I can’t believe this is happening.
Karleen clutched the sides of the porcelain toilet, wondering how and when her life became so screwed up. The stench of vomit only compounded her nausea and she puked again. Her stomach ached. Her heart ached. Every bone in her body ached. She tried to tell herself that it was food poisoning, but she doubted Munter would’ve cooked a bad fish. She tried to convince herself she had the flu bug, but she knew better. She was pregnant.
The cold tile floor felt good against her feet as she slid to the side, leaning up against the hanging towel. A little cool-down for my heat-of-the-moment passion? Karleen thought miserably, bringing her knees up to her chin. A baby? I can barely take care of myself. How will I handle a kid? And that wasn’t her worst problem, she groaned internally blowing a piece of hair off her damp forehead.
“I came over straight away,” I said, wrapping my friend in a big hug.
Last night, she dropped a big bomb of news on Joseph and I, right after John left the apartment, planning to call Karleen. I wondered if they just missed each other in the elevator.
“Thanks for coming,” Karleen lingered in my hug a little longer than normal as she steadied her weight, shifting her feet.
“I’m glad you’re here too,” Ash said, as she rounded the corner. “Karleen could use a friend.”
“Staying home from work today?” I inquired.
“In solidarity,” Ash nodded. “I can write from anywhere.”
“You guys,” Karleen said, emotionally. “Come here. I love you.”
We all stood in a group hug for a few moments. I wondered what Karleen was going to decide. I suspected she wasn’t sure who the father was since she had been with John and Munter, even though Munter was her latest conquest. To be honest, I didn’t really have a preference. I had just wanted her to pick one, and stop stringing the other along, but now I felt super guilty about my harsh words. My BFF was expecting and I chewed her out.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Karleen said.
“How are you going to tell them?” I asked, bracing for the impact of words.
“Munter? Or John?” Karleen wailed, and covered her mouth. “Or Goober?”
“Goober?” Ash exclaimed. “You mean that guy you tried to set me up with last night?” she gasped. “Munter’s neighbor?”
I closed my eyes and sucked in a deep breath. It was worse than I thought.
“Three guys? Karleen? Three?” Ash shrieked.
“I know. I’m the worst,” Karleen dropped her head, shame practically radiating from her face.
“What happened?” I asked calmly, trying to be supportive, even though my friend had made not one, but three stupid mistakes.
“I took one of those singles cruises on the Sound,” Karleen explained.
“You didn’t!” I gasped.
“Why am I not surprised?” Ash pinched the bridge of her nose.
“I haven’t been seeing anyone exclusively. John and I were practically broken up and he was holed up on your couch,” Karleen said, waving her arm in my direction, and dropped her head again. “Not like that’s really an excuse. And Munter… he was in Osimceana about a month ago visiting family. I was bored.”
“You won’t be now,” Ash threw her hands in the air. “Sorry…” she adjusted her glasses. “That was low.”
“It was a perfect evening,” Karleen continued. “Breathtaking sunset on the orange waters and the kind where everything kinda glows. I was caught up in the moment. Sipping champagne on the deck with the city’s wealthiest men. At least it was for a good cause.”
“Let me guess,” I sighed. “Bachelor’s auction?”
Karleen gulped and nodded.
“You know how I get seasick.”
“You shouldn’t have gone on a cruise then,” Ash said, astutely.
“It was just around the Sound. I didn’t think it would be that bad,” Karleen shrugged. “I ended up in the bathroom feeling pretty ill. In my dazed confusion, I must not have gone into the right restroom because Goober walked in on me.”
“And instead of apologizing and moving along, you slept with him?” Ash arched a brow.
“It wasn’t like that,” Karleen winced. “He offered to get me some ginger ale and crackers. He’s cute… in a weird kinda way. Apparently this wasn’t his first bachelor thing.”
“Really?” I interrupted.
“Yeah, he did some sort of stint on that Royal Bachelorette show,” Karleen said. “He didn’t make it, obviously. That’s how he ended up here in San Myshuno. He’s an art collector. Or is it?” she frowned and rubbed her jaw. “Art acquisitions? Import and export?” she shook her head lightly and smiled weakly. “Pregnancy brain.”
“Fascinating,” Ash rolled her eyes. “Will you skip to the part where you slept with my date?”
“Gawd, Ash, you could be a bit more sensitive,” I said.
“Oh, don’t worry. I’m not mad. I didn’t really like the guy,” Ash explained. “But I am wondering how this uber geek managed to pin Karleen to the bed.” Seeing our shocked faces, she added, “What? I tell it like it is.”
“Come on,” Karleen whined. “I have assets. I’m funny. I like having fun. I can be charming.”
“You were drunk,” Ash sighed.
“Off my ass,” Karleen giggled, and hiccuped, pressing her hand against her stomach. “Ugh! This indigestion is the worst.”
“Do you need some water?” I offered.
“No, I’ll be okay,” Karleen said. “So Goober and I were chatting it up in the bathroom.”
“Romantic,” Ash fiddled with her hair.
“Sarcastic,” I glared at her.
“He was goofy, yes, but it was kinda endearing. The alcohol and the waves… they were getting to my head… clouding my judgment. He offered to help me go lay down.”
“I bet he did,” Ash snorted.
“Sheesh! Ash!” I threw my hands in the air.
“Sorry, sorry,” she muttered.
“I told him I wouldn’t go,” Karleen stuck her chin in the air.
“You did?” I frowned, wondering where she was going with this.
“Unless he got drunk with me,” she grinned, almost proud of herself.
“I can’t believe you,” Ash sighed and rubbed her forehead.
“What?” Karleen waved her arms. “I wanted him to have fun with me. So we raided the bar and drank a bottle of Chardonnay. Or was it Riesling?”
I shook my head. “You were lucky you didn’t get alcohol poisoning.”
“Who would’ve thought Goober was a lightweight. After a few glasses of wine, he was pretty loopy. Much more relaxed. Making the stupidest jokes. He was a bit clumsy too… tripping into me a lot. Must’ve been the waves.”
“Are you really that oblivious?” Ash exclaimed. “Or do you just lack self-respect?”
“Ash!” I gasped.
“Seriously, someone has to talk some sense into you,” Ash said. “Karleen, you are a beautiful, sexy, wildly popular, funny woman. Do you not get it!? And you’re not an idiot. I know you’re not.”
“What Ash is saying is we care about you. You deserve better than these little jaunts around town. We’re not eighteen anymore. You’ve gotta be careful and well…” I interjected.
Ash pointed to Karleen’s abdomen. “…this is what happens when you aren’t.”
“I know, I know,” Karleen said, a tear slipping down her cheek. “Oh I know…Goober was a mistake… a big bad mistake.”
“We were kicked off the boat because we were too crazy. We had been dancing on the counters. I think one…or both of us took off our tops,” she smirked in between crying. “…Goober was pretty funny shirtless. I was stupid. I was stupid. Drunk. Lonely. I’m such a slut!”
“Oh Karleen,” I pressed my hands to my lips.
“Now hey! You’re not allowed to call yourself names,” Ash said, softening.
“We woke up in the boathouse… his, I think…” Karleen narrowed her eyes. “He has boats. Did you know that?”
“Munter doesn’t have a boat, but plum! His bed is softer. His… touch is softer too,” she sobbed.
“Karleen, do you have feelings for all three guys?” Ash inquired.
“No!” Karleen gasped as if she was in pain. “Not Goober. From what I remember, he was sloppy… but Munter?” she sucked air in through her teeth. “I love the way I feel when I am with him. And this is going to break his heart. He’s so good to me and for me. He doesn’t treat me like the trailer trash I am.”
“Karleen, you are nothing of the sort.”
“What? I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. You know this. My dad is white and my mama is Mexsimican and he left us when I was seven. I wear crop tops and hot pants. I work in a bar when I can get my act together. What the plum is wrong with me? That’s the definition of trailer trash. And Munter doesn’t care about any of that.”
“What about John?” I almost hated to ask.
“He called me last night… oh…” Karleen grabbed her stomach as her eyes rolled back into her head.
“Calm down, dear,” Ash warned, grabbing Karleen’s wrist. “Don’t have a panic attack.”
“I know… I know… I know…” Karleen said, repetitively as she slowed her breathing deliberately.
“John’s pretty good too. He puts up with all my crazy antics… like the time I danced topless on the bar counters and the times he half-carried, half-dragged me home, and he went paintballing with me and had bruises all over his body for a week.”
“Do you love John more?” Ash asked.
“I don’t know,” Karleen said. “He has fun with me. I like that. Remember that time when I was convinced I had tennis elbow, Lizzie, after one session?”
“Yeah,” I laughed. “You walked around with your arm at a right angle.”
“Yes, and John indulged me with a massage. He was the only one who believed me. Though honestly he may have just been looking for an in with me. And that time we went to karaoke with you and Akira and Riley and I was embarrassed about my horribly off-key singing voice so John got us a private room so I could practice.”
“Yeah, you practiced for a long time,” I winked at Ash, who rolled her eyes.
“We didn’t really do any singing, but I think I jumped an octave,” Karleen smirked, but her smile quickly faded. “Goober and I don’t have any of that. He and I just got stupid drunk together.”
“Do you think Goober’s the dad?” I inquired.
“I… don’t… know…” Karleen whispered, a panicked look rising in her eyes. “Oh gawd! Lizzie! Ash! What am I going to do if Goober is the dad?”
I stayed with Karleen for most of the afternoon before heading home to meet Joseph. We curled up under a blanket and watched action movies, because those were safe, and we laughed and cried and ate ice cream. Ash even fried up a pan of sopapillas, Karleen’s favorite. When I left, I squeezed Karleen’s hands and made her promise to call me if she needed anything. She cried and said she was sorry for yelling at me, and I told her not to worry about it.
“Karleen?” Ash knocked softly on the door.
“Yeah?” she sniffled. “Come in.”
Ash sighed and slipped into the room quietly. She settled on the edge of the bed where Karleen was crying.
“Hey, I’m sorry, Kar. I was pretty flip.”
“I deserved it.”
“Yeah, maybe, but I shouldn’t be a big ole meanie. I’m just grumpy because the dryer ate my favorite wool socks.”
Karleen swiped at her face. “Oh what am I going to do, Ash?”
“Tell him. Tell them all. They deserve to know,” Ash said, in a straightforward manner.
“Munter will never forgive me, and John? He’s as good as gone. And…” she looked almost petrified. “I don’t want the baby’s dad to be Goober. It was a stupid mistake. One stupid night.”
“You should tell them the truth or else it will eat you alive. You can’t hide forever,” Ash said, offering a sympathetic hand. “You should be honest before the problem grows any bigger…” she poked gently at Karleen’s abdomen. “…quite literally.”
Karleen laughed sadly. “Oh Ash, you always know what to say.”
Author Notes: Yep, I was pretty surprised when Karleen had not one, not two, but three love interests. And the plot thickens. Who’s the daddy? Oh dear… talk about drama. Ha. Hope you’re enjoying and thanks for reading. FYI, Osimceana is my Simworld version of Australia and Oceania in general. LegacySims2017’s Goober Nerdstrom did appear in PrincessSimcess‘ The Royal Bachelorette challenge. This chapter featured LegacySims2017‘s Goober Nerdstrom Munterbacon’s Munter Bacon, and TheYayToast‘s Ash Toast.