Chapter 16

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Writer Notes: Happy Holidays everyone and I hope you’re having a great 2016 thus far. Do you have any resolutions for the new year?

Warnings: multiple scene switches, pixelated tears, nudity, lots of captionless photos, suggestive content, awkwardness,

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“Honey, it’s time.” Mary-Sue said enthusiastically.  She’d always thought Lilith would be the one ready to spread her wings and fly away from the nest.

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She’d been wrong.

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“Oh, Lil, honey, you’re going to have a great time in college.” her mother said.  “I know I did. And since your dad and me could survive it, I know you can. You’re much stronger and smarter than us.”

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“Thanks Mom.”

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“Can you believe it, Dad?” Angela squealed. “I’m going to college today!”

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“I know.” Daniel sniffled. “It just seems like yesterday you graduated grade school and now…”

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“Oh Dad.” Angela giggled. “It’s going to be OK.”

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“Call anytime you like, guppy.” he said. “I’m always here for you and your sister.”

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After a quick good-bye to Kaylynn and a pep talk for Daniel, the girls were ready to go.

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“They’re going to be OK.” Kaylynn said softly.

“It’s not them I’m worried about.” Mary-Sue teased.

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Mary-Sue’s boss gave her a whole week off because he believed she needed time to adjust to her new circumstances.  She wanted to work and hoped that the phone call was him changing his mind.

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It wasn’t.  It was the same auto-tone message that had called earlier that week.  She only made it to “you are a winter” before she hung up.

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The silence in the room was noted.  She knew Kaylynn was about to ask something.  “Yes, Kay?” Mary-Sue inquired before turning around.

“I’m done for the day.” the maid managed. “Unless there is anything you require?”

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She made it into a question on purpose.  Ever since their argument, they had been avoiding each other.  It had not been a coincident that Daniel dropped the girls off at university by himself.

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“No,” Mary-Sue began. “You did an excellent job today, helping the girls with their rooms and your regular duties.”

“Thank you, ma’m.”

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“But I want to talk to you about the other week.” Mary-Sue continued. “I must apologize for my behavior. It was wrong of me to accuse you of such wrong doing. I am sorry and I hope we can move past it.”

“Y-yes, ma’m. I-I would like that too.”

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“How about you and I get together sometime this week when you’re not at work and have a girls night out?” Mary-Sue smiled. “What do you say?”

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***

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***

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Johnny really liked college thus far.  He knew it would get harder as the semester went on, especially when sports started. But he enjoyed the first week on campus while it was still rather quiet.

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He hadn’t really even thought of his high school buddies until he saw the Pleasant’s twins’ father.  Daniel wasn’t just their dad.  He was also a legend and one of the best coaches out there.

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Would it be too much to reach out to him while he was still in college?  Daniel was apart of the pros, but an endorsement from him could help jump start Johnny’s career.

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But there would always be obstacles in the way.

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“Help free the cowplant from being used in laboratory experiments!”

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“Johnny Smith?”

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“Hi, Mr. Pleasant, how are you?”

“I’m well.” Daniel replied. “Are you living in this dorm?”

“Were the girls assigned here too?

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“Yes! It’s good to know there’s a good strapping guy like yourself here to look after them.” Daniel smiled and it reached his eyes.

Johnny should have known the way to get on Daniel’s good side was through his daughters. “Yeah, I’ll definitely look after them.”

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“OK, keep in touch.” Daniel waved him off. “I’ll be watching your games. Go Llamas.”

“Go Llamas!” Johnny smiled.  That had gone better than he’d predicted.

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But his foot was barely in the door without Lilith and Angela on his side.

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He wouldn’t come on strong.  The girls needed to be wooed slowly and at the right times.  He let them be and see who else arrived.

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“Tiave, how are you man?”

“Wondering about the hypocrisy of our peers and how they plan to keep their secrets from those they’ll hurt the most.”

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“What?”

“Oh nothing.” Tiave shook his head. “You got here early, huh, John? Found any great places to hang out?”

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“Not really.” Johnny shrugged. “Most of the town’s been pretty dead until these last couple of days. Nothing really exciting has happened, but sure now that a lot of the student body is here, things will move on quickly.”

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“I’ll see you after awhile.”

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“Definitely.”

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“Meadow, this is so great!” Angela announced. “I can’t believe we’re in the same dorm. This is perfect!”

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“I know. It’s great to rely on good friends during this transition in our lives.”

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“Johnny!” Angela squealed. “You’re here too?!”

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Dustin rolled his eyes.  She didn’t notice the big green guy when he walked through the door?

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“I know, this is totally great.” Johnny smiled. “I didn’t expect to see any of you here.”

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“Especially some of us, right John?” Dustin called.

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Johnny ignored him.  Just as he got rid of Tank Grunt, Dustin Broke took his place.  Not that Johnny and Dustin ever liked each other.  His feud with Tank was just more vocal.

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Dustin was one of those people who had so much potential, but squandered it.  Johnny didn’t know if it was because he had no direction, no one to teach him, or plain laziness.  Dustin Broke would never amount to much.

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Johnny had no idea what Angela saw in him.

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But their relationship was doomed no matter what. Angela was determined to full fill her dreams.  Dustin would go nowhere.  Johnny doubted she would let him drag her down too.

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Lilith had a better relationship.  While she was wild with no sense of determination, Dirk was full of the opposite.

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They balanced each other out.  Lilith made sure Dirk got out into the world.  And Dirk made sure Lilith didn’t get into too much trouble.

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Therefore, it was an easy choice for Johnny.

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Angela was the one he needed to pay close attention to.

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But he also knew, college would be distracting and hard.

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He didn’t know all the obstacles ahead of him.

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He would have to lean on good friends from time-to-time.

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Until his plan could swing in full motion, Johnny decided to let the chips fall into place.  In the meantime, he concentrated on school work and training for the upcoming season.

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He would steer away from distractions.

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And work hard.

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Although, not without having a good time.

***

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“Hey, neighbor.” Dina waved afar.

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“Hey,” Don echoed. “I’m guessing you saw the moving truck.”

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“Do you want to come with me to introduce ourselves to the new neighbor?” she asked.  “Nina’s not home, but if it’s guy, she’s a bad wing man to have anyway.”

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“Dina…” he could have complained how he just got off a double-shift and felt gross and tired. But with how his work schedule was playing out, when would he ever have the time?  Besides with everything going on, he hadn’t seen Dina this excited in a long time.

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“OK, but even if it’s a guy, are you sure I’m the best wing man?”

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“You’re engaged!”

“I can’t guarantee I won’t charm them.”

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“Hey Don!”

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“Er, hi Goopy.” Don tried to compose himself.

“Dina!” Donna squealed. “How nice of you to drop by.”

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“You’re moving here?”

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“Long time no see,” Don tried to relax. “How have you been holding up, Goop?”

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“Oh, you know, working and stuff.” Goopy replied. “I’m in the townie pool as jack of all trades, but it’s good to see you. Maybe we could hang out sometime.”

“Yeah, I’d like that.” Don agreed. “But I’ll let you get back to your work.”

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“Don Lothario,” Chloe smiled. “I haven’t seen you since college. Well, I guess that’s not true. I saw you on the news during the Bella Goth scandal.”

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“And this is my friend, our neighbor, Don Lothario.” Dina said in a rather high voice. “He’s a doctor.”

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“It’s very nice to meet you.” Donna said. “And thank you for coming to welcome me in the neighborhood. That was very sweet of you, considering you look as if you had a long day at the hospital.”

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“Uh, um, yeah, no problem.” Don nodded. “It’s nice to meet you as well.”

Donna smiled. “I know you came here to be polite, but we have a lot of unpacking to do so I won’t keep you.”

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“I look forward to our dinner, Dina!” Donna continued. “And meeting your sister, Nina. Chloe tells me she was all the rage back in college.”

“I’m sure she looks forward to meeting you too.”

***

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“Well, I’m out of here.” Jason Larson announced.

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“Thanks for the great night.” he added. “I’ll call you.”

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Nina snorted.  “Yeah, see you around.”

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Jason had been random.  She’d actually been more interested in his sister.  Jodie reminded her of someone else.

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She’d been leaving messages on Kaylynn’s phone for weeks now, with no reply.  Why hadn’t she given up?

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Maybe because she missed her.  Maybe because for once in her life she felt guilty.  She needed to talk to Kaylynn.

***

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“And that’s what happened today.” Kaylynn announced.

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“That’s great news.” Remington Harris said.  “Mary-Sue’s coming around.”

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“It takes a lot of courage to apologize.” Lucy Hanby added. “Especially for a woman like her. You should definitely take her up on that offer to hang out.”

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“Don’t you think that’s a little unprofessional though?” Kaylynn asked. “Bosses and their employees aren’t supposed to be friends and go out for casual lunches.”

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“Are you worried what people will think?” Remington asked. “Or are you worried that it will complicate your work relationship?”

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“I don’t know.” Kaylynn said. “It’ll be loads awkward. Daniel’s easier to have conversations with than Mary-Sue.”

“But I’m guessing it would make things worse for you if you invited Daniel out too.”

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“Probably.” Kaylynn answered just as the phone began to ring.  They let the answer machine pick it up.

“Hey, Kay, it’s Nina. Just wanted to talk. All right. Bye.”

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“I love how she never says: call me back, I miss you, how are you.” Remington shook his head.

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“She’s been calling for weeks.” Lucy grumbled. “What does she want to talk about?”

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“We had a falling out.”  Kay had kept her word to Don.  She hadn’t told anyone what he, Nina, and she did that night.  Not even her roommates knew.  It wasn’t easy keeping a secret from them.

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“You should call her back.” Remington said. “Clear the air. Make her understand you don’t want to see her again. Or maybe you two can work it out or something. Whatever happened, is it worth losing a friend over?”

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***

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“Come on guys!” Lola shrieked. “Let’s work together. Things can get done so much faster if you don’t fight each step of the way.”

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“I don’t know really what they’re arguing about.” Crystal confessed. “We did most of the work this morning.”

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“It comes down to science,” Vidcund said. “The sim body can only do so much work, burn so many calories before…”

“Vid, you’re just trying to make excuses so you can be on the truck.” Lazlo interrupted. “Stop being lazy a grab some boxes.”

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“I’m appalled for you to call me lazy.” Vidcund frowned. “I am definitely not the one here who is lazy. Why we’re we so late? What time did you get up this morning, Lazlo? ”

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“She should have moved before everyone went to college and on vacation.” Vidcund muttered.

“Come on, Viddy.” Crystal said. “The sooner the truck is cleared, the sooner you can go back to your telescope.”

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“Fine. Let me have a damn box, Lazlo.” Vidcund huffed.

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“See? That wasn’t so hard, bro.”

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“Hey, Crystal, will you…”

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“I got it.”

“Thanks.”

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“Buzz, hi, what can I do for you?” Lola asked.

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“Coming on a little too strong don’t you think, Sis?”

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Buzz ignored his comment. “Actually, I was just driving by.” he said. “It looks like you could use some help.”

“Yes, actually, help would be very much appreciated.”

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Everything moved much smoother after that.  Buzz understood how to use people’s strengths to better an operation.  Vidcund got his wish to be on top of the truck.  It made him feel special.  Lola was just glad the bickering was over.

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“Hey, new neighbors.” Ajay Loner grinned.

“Well, new neighbor.” Crystal corrected. “Lola’s the only one moving in. We’re just here to help.”

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“I’ll be with you in a moment.” Lola half cringed, half smiled.

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“No worries,” Ajay smirked. “I like to watch a strong woman do her thing.”

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“Hey, what about us guys?” Lazlo whined.

“Keep moving.” Buzz ordered.

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“Thank you, Buzz, you’re a lifesaver.” Lola said.

“Well, the job looks half finished.” Buzz replied. “Don’t we still need to get everything upstairs?”

Lazlo and Vidcund groaned at the same time.

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“Actually, Crystal and I have been doing that.” Lola smirked. “We’ll do just fine.”

“OK.” Buzz didn’t seem convinced.

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“I’ll help if they need a good hand.” Ajay offered.

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“You can take both of mine.” Vidcund grumbled.

“Man, you guys could use some motivation.” Ajay smiled. “It’s a good thing I’m here, because that’s just my specialty.”

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Lola rolled her eyes. “Who wants a water?”

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“So Chloe moved out.” Buzz started the conversation.

“Yeah, yesterday.” Lola replied.

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“That must be…tough.” Buzz said. “You two have been together forever.”

Lola nodded. “After Erin and Kristen left, Chloe and I had a bit of a falling out.”

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“We’re still sisters, but…” Lola realized Buzz was actually talking to her. He seemed genuinely interested in her situation.

“It’ll be odd not having you all as neighbors.” he said.

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“At least you’ll have the quiet you always wanted.” Lola teased. “But any ways, how are you? With all of us moving out and around, I didn’t even think that the boys have gone to college. That must a change? Even Buck is on vacation with Jenny and PT.”

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“It’s been…I’ve been good.” he replied.

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She realized that had been the wrong move.  Buzz was uncomfortable with the conversation shifted about him.  “How is Olive?” she decided to ask.  “I haven’t seen her since the kids’ going away party.”

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“She’s fine, I guess.” Buzz said.  “I haven’t seen her much, except at widower meetings.”

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“You’re still going to those?” Lola tilted her head with interest.  “That’s good. I’m glad.”

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“I-I should get going.” Buzz announced.

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“Oh. OK. Thanks again for all your help.”

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“I promise when we move into our own place, we’ll hire movers.” Lazlo said.

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“Yeah, like you’ll ever move out.”

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“It’s so cool that we’re going to be neighbors.” Ajay said. “I don’t know if you remember, but we have met before at Club Rubb. I’m one of Donna’s friends.”

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“I remember.” Lola answered, although she vaguely remembered that night.  What she did know was that her date passed out on the floor and Kristen had stayed in a foul mood for weeks.  She could never get her friend to say what upset her so much.

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Things were different now. She had no roommates to worry about.  She was on her own.  She felt relieved, but at the same time, scared.  Like Buzz had said, she’d never been on her own.

***

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“Looks like we had an audience.” Joe Carr smiled.

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“More like an admirer.” Sandy Bruty giggled. “I’m apart of group called RSU, or Romance Sims United, and…I’m always looking for new sims to add.”

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“Um, no thanks.” Joe frowned.

“Oh, come on. It could be fun.” Nina teased.

“Not tonight.” Joe insisted.

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“It sounds like fun.” Nina said. “Do you have a card? I’d love to meet other romance sims out there.”

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“I look forward to hearing from you.”

***

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“Things are about to get very interesting.”

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Additional: In each chapter, I will try to feature a career that Pat Newbie is working on to keep with the Bustin’ Out theme.  In this chapter her featured career was Counter Culture.  You can find information about Bustin’ Out and the main story’s careers HERE.