1.12 Finding Friends (ALOW)

Jenara jogged across her lawn toward the street. There were always neighbors out and about. Someone would share her veggie burgers. She was certain.

Sure enough as she rounded the house, she spotted Don Lothario running along the sidewalk.

“Don!” she called out. “Hey Don!”

The man was in his own little world, listening to whatever melodies and harmonies streamed through his headphones. Jenara tried waving, but by that point, he was already past her view.

“Oh well,” she sighed.

Jenara started down the street, whistling a happy little tune, something she heard on the television program she watched yesterday. The sun hadn’t fully risen yet, a sort-of fuzzy unripe peach in the morning sky, but cast a lovely rosy-orange glow all around. She spotted Sandra Roth crossing the street, and started to call after her, but the girl kept her head slumped and ignored Jenara.

I wonder what her deal is. She seems pretty goth and depressed all the time, Jenara observed.

“Oh, Vito!” she exclaimed, seeing the green-skinned man continue down the sidewalk behind her. “How have you been, my friend?”

“We’re not friends,” he replied, gruffly.

“Oh but I thought we could be,” she said cheerily. “It’s such a beautiful morning. I made some veggie bur…”

“Butt out, pep squad,” he growled. “And stay away from my wife. She’s already happy enough without your influence.”

With that, Vito Terrano turned and stomped down the road, leaving a confused, and somewhat sad Jenara. Why don’t people like me? she wondered, with dismay. Was she too bubbly and bright and cheery? But wasn’t that the way to make friends?

Jenara remembered a word of advice from her aunt, Ana Nova. Once Jenara came home from school with skinned knees and a bruised ego. Her “friends” had made fun of her in front of the boy she liked, and Jenara had been so crushed she wasn’t paying attention and rode her bicycle into a bush. The girls from school laughed and didn’t help her. They called her stupid and said only a loser would crash into a bush on their bike. She had been so humiliated. She cried and said she never wanted to go to school again, and it was the end of the world. Her auntie had set her on the counter, and gave her a spoonful of her favorite dark cherry ice cream.

Did you know that if you cut a tulip, it will continue to grow up to an inch in a vase?” Ana Nova had said. 

Jenara recalled giving her aunt a puzzled look.

“Sometimes people will say things that are cruel and they cut you to your core,” Ana Nova continued. “But like the cut on a tulip stem, it doesn’t mean the end of life. You can grow stronger and taller from adversity. You know this word, right?”

Jenara bobbed her head, the spoon dangling from her mouth.

“There are people in the world who do cruel things, but don’t ever stop being the lovely red tulip, my sweet sun blossom,” Ana Nova kissed Jenara’s hair. “You will find growth in the healing.” 

With newfound purpose, Jenara decided to walk further down the road and visit the park. Perhaps she would find friends there, and someone to share her veggie burgers.

Sure enough she met Gar. He wasn’t in his PlantSim form, and she thought he looked handsome in his jean jacket, neatly pressed khakis, and baseball cap. He was even wearing her favorite color shirt.

“What do you say about professional cows?” he asked.

“Um?” she frowned, thinking hard.

“They are outstanding in their field!” he joked.

Jenara covered her stomach as she laughed. “Oh that’s cheesy. Wait… I have one… why do cows have hooves instead of feet?” She grinned broadly. “Because they lactose.”

Gar doubled over, laughing hysterically. “You’re funny, Jenara Yearling.”

“Do you like veggie burgers?” she blurted out, and then blushed, feeling uncomfortable about her over-enthusiasm. “I mean… I made some… back at my house… they’re just sitting there… all alone…and I could some help eating them. I know they’re not exactly a traditional breakfast…”

“Oh I like veggie burgers,” Gar bobbed his head.

“Good,” Jenara grinned. “You wanna come?” she nodded in the direction of her house, and Gar fell into step. “Say, Gar?”

“Yes?”

“Would you like to be my friend?”

Gar took off his cap and placed his arm over his chest. “It would be my honor, Jenara.”


It is my goal to start updating this story on Wednesdays around midnight MST.  

Previous Chapter: 1.11 Veggie Burgers

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1.10 Company (ALOW)

Jenara found herself watching over the podlings for nearly an hour. Each one was different, reflective of its comrade in a way. One glowed purple, the shade of a plump dragonfruit, and she could sense the rare and generous spirit of this podling’s counterpart, Tara. Another glowed a bold red, reflective of the heated emotions of its counterpart,Vito. Garbanzo’s podling glowed a vibrant fuschia color, and Jenara blushed thinking of his kind and extravagant words.

Snapping out of her reverie, she headed inside, barely having time to put on a pot of coffee and set out her cakes before the arrival of her neighborhood guests. She didn’t even have time to change. Jasmine came shortly behind, bringing Tara with her. Jenara found herself feeling disappointed when Garbanzo didn’t make an appearance.

Tara cornered Jenara and thanked her once again for caring for the podlings, and relayed her happiness that the younger woman was so generous in allowing a stump on her lawn. Jenara told her it was nothing, and she was enjoying the education and the experience, plus she was happy to meet fellow PlantSims attending the conference, and help be apart of a worthy cause. Tara asked about the PlantSims Jenara had met, and apologized on behalf of her husband. She also made a quick comment about Gar, being quite the ladies man, despite his attachment to another certain PlantSim. Again, Jenara felt disappointed. Perhaps she had misread his intentions, and maybe he was just being nice, but from the way Tara portrayed the man, she had probably flirted with a married man. Talk about awkward.

Despite her completely embarrassing encounter with Don Baxter and the Waterside ladies, they still made an appearance at Jenara’s gathering. Don even brought a friend, J Huntington the III, a local technician, who had much to say about setting up the website of the PlantSim conference and managing a chat room for supernaturals and Sims alike to get to know one another and promote peaceful relations. He even offered to put in a good word at his workplace for her if she wanted a job. Jenara found him to be a bit self-absorbed, but she was happy to meet another fellow tech with an interest in geeky things. She even had the time to debate various Star Trek captains with him, though she wasn’t sure she could forgive him for liking Archer the best. Jenara decided to keep her “lame” comment to herself as that wouldn’t have been polite.

Don nodded to her in his casual “wassup” kind-of way as he passed by Jenara and Tara. He was carrying two plates, one with a slice of Jasmine’s banana chocolate chip bread and the other with a slice of cheescake from Jenara’s kitchen. He brought the desserts to his friend, J. As much as Jenara was enjoying learning about Tara’s PlantSimness, she found herself straining to listen to the two men on the couch.

“This house is cool,” Don was saying.

“Yeah, and it’s resident is pretty cool too,” J said, munching on the banana bread. “Do you think that Jenara chick is into me?”

“Dude, you think everyone is into you!” Don punched his friend in the arm.

“I can’t help it. I’m great,” J grinned much too smugly.

Jenara resisted the urge to roll her eyes.


Hope you enjoyed!

Previous Chapter: 1.9 Petit Chou

1.4 New Neighbors (ALOW)

The doorbell rang. Jenara eagerly ran to greet her male guest, and was surprised to see a woman standing on her front yard instead.

“Uh hi,” she said, as she tripped out her front door onto what she thought was grass.

The pretty lady with the blonde bob and a super cute sundress and feminine ballet flats eyed her up and down. Jenara felt self-conscious in her red sport coat, jeans, and kicks. She rubbed her toe against the astroturf, wondering why on Simterra it came all the way to the front door instead of having a walkway like all the other houses on the block. How did she miss this before when she came in the house? Was it always like this? She couldn’t remember, and it made her feel cheap and awkward.

“Um… hello…” she said again. “Can I help you?”

“Hi, I’m Virginia,” the blonde said melliflously. “I was friends with the girl that used to live here, and she said someone who owned this house a long time ago was moving back in. I just had to see for myself who you were.”

“Um… I’m Jenara.”

“What? No way! You’re Jenara… of the Yearling family? Aren’t you like super rich or something? What are you doing here?”

Jenara flushed, feeling uncomfortable.

“Uh… I used to live here… as a kid,” she began, side-stepping the comment about her net worth. “…and I just moved back.”

There. Simple enough answer. Virginia didn’t need to know all the details.

“I might have to stay in Oasis Springs more often then now that someone interesting lives here again,” Virginia said, offering a super bright smile. “I travel a lot to get away from this heat. Frequent flyer miles, baby!”

Jenara chuckled weakly.

“Oh em gee, you gotta meet my mom and sis, Jenara,” Virginia exclaimed, reaching for Jenara’s wrist as if they were old friends. “Hold up…” she whistled for two redhaired women standing on the sidewalk nearby. “Mom! This is the house!” she waved and pointed dramatically.

“Oh!” the older redhaired woman gasped and approached, dragging the younger one behind her. “So this is the Yearling house?”

Jenara received an unexpected hug from the older woman wearing much too youthful attire. The visitor appeared to have received injections, but she could still note the tiny wrinkles around the woman’s eyes, a giveaway to her age.

“I’m Katrina Waterside,” the woman said. “And these are my daughters, Virginia… you’ve already met…and Sarah.”

“We’re twins,” Sarah piped up, bouncing her perky red waves.

“Oh…cool…” was all Jenara could think to say.

Fraternal,” Virginia grunted.

“I’m older than you,” Sarah snipped.

“By like two minutes… who the hell cares!” Virginia shrieked.

“So you’re…uh… my neighbors?” Jenara tried to steer the subject away.

The girls stopped squabbling and looked to their mother, who looked young enough to be their older sister.  Jenara surmised the “fraternal” twins were around eighteen or nineteen, and their mother was in her early thirties.

“Yeah, my ex-husband settled us here in this desert paradise. Could’ve picked a worse spot, I suppose. You’ll like it here if you like the heat. There’s not too much to do, but I like to hit the casinos,” Katrina replied.

“Mom’s really good at the craps table,” Sarah added. “She’s won a whole lot…” she covered her mouth and giggled. “I was friends with the girl who lived here. We used to sneak into the casinos and pretend we were older just so we could get juice and…”

Virginia shot her sister an icy cold stare as if warning her to shut up, but if their mother noticed, she didn’t seem to care about the girl’s admission.

“I always wondered when the Yearlings would come back to Oasis Springs,” Katrina said. “I’m so glad you’re home, honey.”

“Thanks,” Jenara shifted awkwardly, uncomfortable with the Watersides’ strange familiarity with her. “Do you know what happened to the family that lived here? My aunt said they moved out so I could move back here, but I didn’t know the details…”

“Don might know,” Katrina supposed.

“Don?” Jenara looked at her, bewildered. “Who’s that?”

The Waterside sisters giggled. “Don,” they yelled in unison toward the plaza across the street.

The beautiful man with the fruit cake and ribbon stood up from a bench on the plaza, and wandered over into their yard. Jenara felt the heat rush into her cheeks.

“Don Baxter meet Jenara Yearling,” Virginia introduced. “Don used to date the girl who lived here, but he…” she linked her delicate arm with his muscular one and giving his shoulder an affectionate pat. “…moved onto greener pastures, if you know what I mean.”

Jenara was certain her cheeks were full of red.

“Hey, whassup?” Don said, casually.

“Good thanks,” Jenara replied hurriedly, and then flushed. “Oh, is that for me?” she turned her attention to the fruitcake in his hand.

“Yeah, a welcome wagon gift,” he smiled dreamily.

“Uh….what?” she tilted her head, feeling dazed.

“A welcome wagon,” Sarah said, perkily. “You know…a welcome to the neighborhood kind-of thing…” she giggled. “What? You’ve never had one before?”

“No,” Jenara looked down at her shoes.

She made a mental note to call a landscaper tomorrow to fix her front yard. She couldn’t have astroturf without a walkway if more neighbors were to stop by.

“I’m sorry. I’m being rude. I should invite you in or I suppose we could go have cake around by the pool,” Jenara added.

“You have a pool!?!” Virginia squealed, clapped her hands like a child, and ran around the side of the house, taking full advantage of the invitation.

Katrina laughed. “Virginia was born a water baby.”

As if that makes sense… I didn’t exactly invite them to swim. 

“Sarah, on the other hand, is afraid of water, but we live in Oasis Springs, so there aren’t any large bodies of water around for miles,” Katrina continued.

The pretty redhead pouted.

“I like swimming,” Don said cheekily.

“Oh… you do?” Jenara’s eyes lit up. “I bet you look ravishing without a shirt on.”

Instantly, heat flooded her cheeks. Sarah continued frowning, and Katrina laughed, amused. Don shrugged as if not sure what to say.

“Did you…uh… bring swim trunks?” she asked. “…and suits?” she cleared her throat. “Swim suits… did you bring your swim suits, ladies? you’re all welcome to swim. I think the pool is clean.”

You think the pool is clean? Jenara did a mental face-palm.

“I’ll go find Virginia,” Katrina said, wandering around the side of the house.

“Do you like… pools?” Jenara squeaked.

“I could swim,” Don remarked.

“I haven’t gotten a chance to swim in it yet, but I’m assured the caretaker took excellent care of it. Even so I built a cleaning bot to help me out and save me time in the future. I’m technical like that and all. I mean I really enjoy building things and tearing them apart, so let me know, neighbors, if you need any help building or tearing apart things because I’m great at that,” Jenara babbled. “I’m good with my hands if you ever need a hand or something.”

What in the Creator’s name is wrong with me? You wanted a bigger hole! Jenara couldn’t have been more humiliated. It was as if her mouth was talking and her brain was somewhere else. Don just stared at her, making Jenara feel worse. Sarah gave Don a weird look and then broke into a funny laugh.

“Oh Don, she’s yapping away like a little puppy,” Sarah said, bemused. “And she’s got a dog collar around her neck so that’s even better.” She touched Don’s arm playfully. “And she offered to give you a hand… if you ever need it. How cute is that?”

“Well, that’s what good neighbors do, right? Give each other hands. I’m happy to help you with all your needs in any way I can,” Jenara continued, much too cheerily.

Oh llamas! Can you dig a deeper hole? 

“What kind of needs?” Don smirked.

“She said all…” Sarah laughed daintily. “Any and all needs, just like a faithful ole pup… Jenara, isn’t it?”

Jenara frowned.

“I’m sure my sister and I can accommodate Don in the way you’re suggesting, but if we break anything around the house that he can’t fix, I’ll be sure to send him your way. In swim trunks if you prefer,” she winked for emphasis.

Jenara’s cheeks burst with color as she realized the double entendre for the first time. Llamas! That’s why Sarah was laughing at me so much. 

“Maybe we should go,” Don said.

“Fine by me. I hate swimming, and I despise fruitcake,” Sarah flipped her hair over her shoulder. “It was nice meeting you,” she said to Jenara in a saccharine sweet tone.

“Riiight… bye…” Jenara waved as the two left her fake-out front lawn.

She didn’t even bother to go find Katrina and Virginia as she walked straight inside. She would go bury herself beneath covers now.


Author Note: This chapter is part of 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 case you’re wondering about the name switch, I did this for sanity sake. While ALOW takes place in the alternate TS4 world, there is crossover to my TS3 world – Simterra, and it takes place on the same planet. I debated changing the TS4 worlds to some random Simterran country, and then decided it would just be easier to rename certain crossover characters.

Don already makes an appearance in My Life with Criminals story, and is referenced in From Riverview, With Love and The Kassiopeia Fullbright Mystery Series. In the original Sims, Don Baxter was used in the promotional materials, and he eventually married a redhead named Sarah. Sarah has a sister named Virginia. Since Katrina isn’t mentioned in TS3, I kept her name, but gave the three ladies the last name Waterside, inspired by “Waterside Dina.” This saved me hassle for the TS3 Caliente family given they have been mentioned and will make appearances in my other stories. I will continue to do this for other characters in the TS4 world. Also for now, Oasis Springs is just outside Oasis Landing from TS3 in terms of geography on Simterra. Hope you enjoyed and didn’t cringe too much at the awkwardness of poor Jenara.

Previous Chapter: 1.3 Passing Time

Next Chapter: 1.5 Pod

1.3 Passing Time (ALOW)

After a late lunch, Jenara settled into her dad’s computer in the old office. After checking her emails and bank account balance, she sent a quick email of thanks to her great aunt’s attorney and the caretaker of her family estate.

Bloop! 

She smiled. Eva.

Jenara quickly typed a few words to her friend via chat.

TheDarlingYearling: Hey girl, I miss you. 

CapricciosaBossa: OMG! Jenara! It’s great that I caught you! I didn’t think I would with the time zone thing.

The DarlingYearling: Yes, you caught me. I’m settling into my old home. 

CapricciosaBossa: Wow… how’s that for you? 

TheDarlingYearling: Weird, but I’ll adjust. How are things in Windenburg? 

CapricciosaBossa: I headed back to Simtalia for the summer. I didn’t want to deal with the drama. 

Jenara frowned. She knew Eva meant the stuff with Jenara’s ex-boyfriend. The three of them, plus a few others, had shared a house together. After the break-up, things grew tense in the residence with the roommates picking sides. Jenara didn’t blame her friend for getting out. She had been grateful for an excuse to leave Deutchsimland also. The ladies chatted for a half-hour. Eva told her about the strange hours she was keeping at her new job as a night club assistant manager. The girl certainly had talent, and with her flair for the dramatic and design, Jenara suspected her friend would go far in the club life.

CapricciossaBossa: I’ve gotta snooze if I’m gonna be alert for my shift tonight. Keep in touch. XOXOX, girlie! 

TheDarlingYearling: Get some sleep. I will. XOXOX back attcha. 

Jenara poked around with her chat settings, killing time to see if any of her other uni mates would pop up online, but given the lateness of the hour overseas, she didn’t hear from anyone.

Closing out her chat, she loaded TheSims. Nothing like an alternate world and playing supreme commander for awhile to beat the blahs. After an hour in CAS customizing her Sim’s appearance, and another hour of wooing the boy next door, Jenara’s Sim had found love and settled into the heart-shaped hot tub for some heat and fun. Jenara clicked save in frustration. Even in an alternate reality, Sims were finding love with ease. 

Pff! she blew a tuft of brown hair out of her glasses. I’m pathetic.

She wasn’t going to make friends staying indoors and gaming all the time, despite her undying love for all things Sims. Cracking her knuckles, she leaned in her dad’s office chair and interlocked her fingers behind her head.

Think! Think! There had to be a community center around here where she could meet people, or maybe a local park. She should probably go grocery shopping. Jenara closed her eyes and began making a mental shopping list.

A throaty whistling sound interrupted her thoughts. Her eyes snapped open. Standing up, she followed the sound through the office and kitchen and into the living room. Feeling a bit like a creeper, she peered through her blinds and caught sight of one of the most beautiful men she had ever seen.

He was whistling and walking happily with a plate full of fruit cake wrapped in a crimson bow…

…and he was headed straight for her front door.


This is the fourth 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. Eva Capricciosa is a TS4 Sim. And I just love that my Sims can play the Sims forever! Lol.

Hope you enjoyed!

Previous Chapter: 1.2 Welcome Home

Next Chapter: 1.4 New Neighbors