After three planes, two trains, and one bus, twenty-one year-old Jenara Yearling was finally home. It was a strange feeling. She had not returned since she was seven years old. The place looked much the same, except someone had planted fresh flowers in each of the window boxes. Jenara had known her great aunt had retained possession of the property and had been renting out for years, but she was surprised how good of condition the brick estate was as if her Ma and Pops were still alive and well and bustling about the grounds.
What is this feeling? Wistful? Thoughtful? Melancholic?
Jenara didn’t want to feel depressed. Not on her first day back home in nearly fourteen years. She rubbed her forehead. Perhaps she was feeling dizzy from her whirlwind trip from Windenberg. Thanks to her generous guardian, Jenara was able to attend university in Deutchsimland and pursue a degree in technology. As a recent college grad and the sole heiress of her great aunt’s estate, Jenara was a bit overwhelmed and unsure of herself. When learning of Ana Nova’s passing, she immediately returned Stateside.
On the plane she had made a checklist on her tablet.
- Move into the neighborhood.
- Assess condition of the house.
- Unpack personal effects.
- Talk to the bank about property taxes and property value.
- Discuss affairs with auntie’s lawyer.
- Find a job to pay for upkeep on the home.
At some point, she found herself drifting into the wishful category.
- Make new friends.
- Fall in love.
- Have a family.
More than anything, she wanted the last one. An only child raised by an aging caregiver, Jenara always felt lonely as a child. It was part of why she traveled overseas to the Sim Union to try new things and meet new people. She had hoped to receive a ring by the time she graduated, but her collegiate Deutchsim boyfriend had other plans, and they didn’t involve moving to sweltering Oasis Springs, Simvada, or children. So when he broke up with her on graduation day, Jenara wasn’t surprised. They had different life goals. Even so, she couldn’t help but feel sad. Four years of her life she could never get back. Four years of wonderful memories and loving moments… just gone…
…much like her auntie. Jenara had never been close with Ana Nova, but the woman hadn’t been cold or distant. They were just separated by two generations which made it difficult to understand one another. Even so, her auntie had tried to give Jenara everything she wanted, indulging her whims. Perhaps that would make most children spoiled, but Jenara had always felt she had a good head on her shoulders. Maybe it was because she wanted friends, not things, but she always felt like her great aunt was trying to be kind and make up for the loss of family.
During her sophomore year in high school, she discovered a love of gadgetry and learned how to take things apart and put them back together. She was better than most of her classmates at gaming, collecting high scores like nobody’s business. Unfortunately, that just increased her isolation as her friends grew jealous and distant. Now whenever she was feeling lonely, she plunged herself into a new gaming challenge or attempted to take apart her latest piece of technology and put it back together. That… or drown her sorrows in a tub of dark cherry ice cream and a romance movie.
She reached for the doorknob, and entered her key.
Deep breath, Jenara, she told herself. Here we go.
This is the first post in my brand new series, A Life of Whimsy, following Jenara Yearling, my torch bearer, for an ISBI TS4 challenge. If you want to learn more about my plans, click HERE. In the meantime, enjoy!