I was determined not to let Joseph’s sudden abandonment of me ruin my evening. I looked hot… and I knew it. I wanted to have a rocking good time. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the city of Newcrest all that well so I wasn’t sure where to head next.
I decided to call up Cathy Tea. She had spent time in Newcrest when doing research for her interconnected story series, Dr. Jasmine’s Casebook. I figured if any of my friends knew the city of Newcrest, she would. What luck! Cathy was already in the city for a meeting with a publisher, and she had a little time before she needed to head home She promised to be right by.
I located a patio table while waiting for Cathy. The night was warm and thick with humidity. The air was abuzz with the early autumn mosquitoes hovering about the nearby Llama Lagoon. I was still buzzing myself from my espresso and my Bernish coffees, so I requested water when the waitress stopped by my table. I apologized to her, and Summer told me not to worry about it. She didn’t have the most congenial breakup with Joseph. I found myself curious, but I didn’t pry. I didn’t think it appropriate. I munched on my bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with a side of Championne fries. Cathy arrived shortly after I was finished with my supper.
“Aww… you look nice, Cathy,” I smiled, complimenting her scoop neck orange blouse.
“Thanks, Lizzie. I feel… strangely inappropriate. Kinda miss my t-shirt and jeans. But I was here for a meeting, not a garden sale. How are you? How did your date go?”
“Um… it didn’t…” I sighed. “In fact, I’m not sure it was a date.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well…” I filled Cathy in on the evening’s events.
“Yeah, that does sound… odd…” Cathy remarked.
“So tell me all about Newcrest? What should I see while I’m here?”
“The garden center is great! You like lavender? And there’s a tea house in the center!”
“Ooo… I like tea houses!”
“Do you like herbal tisanes? I’m very picky, actually. For example, I like the smell of lavender, but I can’t stand the taste! And chamomile? Ick!”
“I’m not a huge fan of lavender actually. I think it smells like baby powder. But I do like chamomile.”
“What are you writing these days, Lizzie?”
“I’m working on an outline or two for a couple teen dramas. Nothing too exciting yet. I think I might attempt a sequel to Lady Teresa and the Bubble Monster.”
“That’s where I left it!” a young man interrupted their conversation.
“Excuse me?” I said, eyeing the dewy-skinned blonde with an athletic build as he approached our table and reached for the tablet. “Oh you lost it? This is yours?”
“Yes. I’ve been hunting for it for hours,” he said with a panicked tone, despite looking no where near frazzled like I’d be.
“Oh well, here you go…um?” I said, handing him the device, indicating I’d like his name.
“Julian DeBateau,” he bowed and swept his arm across his chest dramatically. “I’ve seen you around. Are you both from Oasis Springs?”
“I’m not from-there, from there, but my boyfriend and I have lived there a long time.”
“Yeah, I live on Stucco Drive,” I remarked.
“Oh! We’re neighbors,” Julian said, surprised. “I gotta go find my friends. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
Cathy and I both waved.
“He’s kinda cute, huh?” Cathy asked. “Nice eyes. Well, I better get going. You need lift back, Lizzie?”
“Naw… I think I’m going to get a water refill and take a stroll along the lagoon.”
“OK! Have fun!”
I returned inside, deciding to get one more glass of water before paying my bill.
A dark-haired guy with swarthy Simtalian looks swaggered up to me with a grin, revealing his healthy pearly whites.
“I seem to have lost my telephone number,” he remarked casually. “Can I have yours?”
“Um… what?” I giggled shyly.
Julian, my supposed neighbor, sauntered up behind the man and placed a hand on his shoulder with an uncomfortable chuckle.
“Ah… ha! ha!” he said. “Lizzie… forgive my roommate, Sammy. He’s had a bit too many Simspani coffees.”
“Oh that’s okay,” I said and smiled. “You two are roommates. So you’re my neighbor too?” I looked at the man called Sammy. “My name’s Lizzie.”
“Lizzie… Piacere,” Sammy said with sweeping gallantry as he bowed similarly to his roommate.
“Do you all do that?” I giggled as he kissed my hand.
“Do what, mia bellezza?” Sammy said.
“Never mind,” I said, deciding to drop the subject.
“He’s like our house dad,” Julian interjected while squeezing his friend’s much larger shoulders. “When he’s sober…”
“I see,” I laughed. “So how many live in your house?”
“Seven of us,” Julian swung around to catch his friend as Sammy stumbled, nearly losing the artfully wrapped scarf about his neck. “You should come by sometime.”
“I think I will. Thanks.”
Julian saluted with his free hand and balanced the bumbling Sammy as they exited the coffee shop, the latter belting out some horrendously off-key rendition of some famous Simtalian opera song. I smirked, and clapped along with the rest of the cafe. A loud whistle echoed behind me, and I turned to see a familiar face sitting at the computers.
Author Notes: Thanks for reading. And thanks to Cathy Tea for collaborating with me. This chapter featured MINEZ‘ Julian DeBateau and Sammy Sarafin. FYI, Championne is my Simworld version of France, Bernish is a reference to Northern Ireland, and Simtalian is my Simworld version of Italy. If you haven’t already, you should totally check out CathyTea’s Dr. Jasmine’s Casebook.