Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chapter 2 - Found out

A few days later, I was in the middle of my morning ablutions - yes, it absolutely must take that long to style my hair, especially without a mirror! - when a knock came on my bathroom door. I yelled for them to go away, that I wasn't buying whatever they had to sell, but they just knocked again. So, I finished getting dressed and went outside to see who it was.

It was Harley. I instantly began damage control. I blamed the real estate agent. I blamed the political party currently in power. I blamed the other one too, for good measure, in case she'd voted the other way. I blamed Starling International, I blamed my father, I even blamed Vera the secretary; who, by the way, I'm still not sure would have actually sued us into bankruptcy had she been fired. My father can be hyperbolic at times.

Harley clearly wasn't buying any of it. When I finally ran out of excuses and had to admit that I was, essentially, penniless, she just smiled, without a trace of mockery, and said it was okay. That sometimes these things happen, even to hypothetical heirs to international corporations. That it was nothing to be ashamed of.

The way she said it was so full of confidence, and kindness, that I believed her. She truly wasn't judging me. She told me about her own first place she'd lived in on her own, the dirt and the bugs, and I shuddered along with her. It sounded horrible!

At least this plot of land had potential, she said. The only question was, would I have the ambition to see it reach that potential? Or would I simply sit here looking at my empty wallet and feeling sorry for myself? She asked if I had a job yet, in town. When I answered in the negative, she smiled again and beckoned for me to follow.

The first order of business was to secure a paycheck. After that, I'd be able to put up some walls, and I'd no longer have to live in fear of wandering neighbors laughing at my misfortune.


I wasn't used to working for a boss who actually expected me to, well, work. The job itself - an entry-level writing position - wasn't bad, but every day I returned home with my boss's endless list of demands echoing through my head.

I would have been completely overwhelmed, and given up, if Harley hadn't been there to support me, and teach me about getting by in Oasis Springs. A bit of an amateur gardener herself, she showed me the various plants that grew near my new home - sage, carrots and cherry trees, for the most part - and explained how they could be used to cook better food than the bottom-shelf cereal I'd been living off of.

She set up a little garden behind my "kitchen," with plants both local and from her own seed collection. It would take a while for the plants to grow, she said, but once they did they would more than pay for the cost of the planters, in addition to providing better produce than could be harvested from the wild.

She also explained other secrets of the land, how wealth was hidden inside rocks and clumps of dirt, just waiting to be uncovered. Even the old water pumps held secrets, she said, though she finds it way too yucky to go poking around in there. Watching her work, uncovering ores, crystals and fossils, it seemed to me that she was almost glowing with happiness.

She often invited herself to my house to prepare a yard-cooked meal, when I returned from work. One of the benefits of being friends with somebody who works at a restaurant, I suppose. Something more was going on here, though.

I asked her about it one night. Well, to be honest, it was a bit more of a confrontation. I said, why are you being so nice to me? You don't have to do any of this, show me these things, cook me food. So, why?

She just laughed, shook her head, and smiled that smile again. Any other woman, I'd say she was in love with me. I'd given up on that idea, though. No woman would fall in love with a man who doesn't even have walls for his house. There was no way.

But she firmly gripped the front of my shirt and placed a firm kiss on my lips before telling me that she didn't care, that she wanted to be with me. Staying here with me every night, not just during the day. In a yard-bed sort of way. Then, she asked me if I wanted that, too.

Well, of course. Her shout of joy could probably have been heard clear down the hill in town, and I swear she was glowing again. Must have been my eyes playing tricks on me. She practically dragged me to the bed, barely giving me a chance to undress before we were together, the covers our only privacy.

I've slept with a lot of women, and I do mean a lot. This time, though, it felt different.


I have to confess, the visit by Harley was contrived. I didn't have time to wait for her to decide to show up on her own, so I invited her over, hid in the outhouse, and pretended it was all her idea. Don't judge me.

I did not know she was an alien until I moved her in, though. That was a surprise. Damn you and your plot twists, Sims 4!

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