Chapter 20

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Writer Notes: WALA! I only started this back in July before my vacation. Now it’s finished for all viewing pleasures.  Lots going on in RL for me.  But still, we have October Fest at HHS right now.  I also haven’t even started Halloween photoshoots yet.  Got to get on top of those.  And The Gang? Not sure if we’ll have an anniversary chapter or not. We’ll see in the next couple of weeks if I can get it done.

Warnings: M for Mature situations, pixelated nudity, suggestive content, deception (Lion King 2, you know you sang it), clutter, betrayal, protesting, pleading, and Princess Leia walking around town.

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Lola Curious worked to help solve people’s issues.  Most of them emotional.  Some of them environmental.  All of them personal.

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And all of those people had the choice to change their lives for the better or worse.  They could deal with their problems.  It took work.  It took courage to share the truth, to work through such vast issues, but Lola knew how to help people.  So she did.

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Yet, some only saw the color of her skin, and with it, her alien heritage.  Both things she could never control.

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She couldn’t control them.  Couldn’t tell them stop or to go away.  If she did, it only helped encourage them.

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And since she had degrees in psychology, she knew the best way to get rid of them.

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To ignore them.  Eventually, they would go away.

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But that didn’t mean the problem would.

***

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For such a long time, she let the issues and drama cloud her head.  But now that she lived alone, she found outlets.

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One of those was her neighbor, Ajay Loner.

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He was friendly, charismatic, profiled a total Popularity Sim, but somehow aspired as Fortune.

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Secondarily, she thought a little Romance aspiration in there.  She knew he was a flirt.  She knew what he was doing.  And she completely let herself indulge in his attention.

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He was her younger brother, Lazlo’s age, but he seemed much more mature than him.  He already started his own photography business.  Evidently, he helped Pat Newbie with a hand modeling job.  He had goals.  He understood responsibility.  And he liked her.

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They became vast friends and easily crushes.

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He was funny and clever.

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They both liked to dance.  He brought out that rarely seen playful side of Lola underneath all that serious demeanor.

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She liked it. She liked him.

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It wasn’t long into their relationship that he met her family.  Each one of them brought a new test if he could handle their “strangeness.”  He didn’t flinch or stare or gawk at her father, nor blink when they explained their family tree.

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She learned of his patience with Vidcund.

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That there was a little Family Sim in him with Pascal and baby Blaise.

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Crystal was excited to double-date again since it seemed Lazlo was cross with Nervous and Erin.

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Lola wondered if it was because their engagement took from Lazlo and Crystal’s or because Lazlo had not yet dealt with his own feelings for Erin.  She knew eventually he would come to her so she did not press him.  But sooner or later, Nervous and Erin would marry.  What would Lazlo do then?

***

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“Where are we going?” Nervous asked.

“You’ll see.” Erin snickered.

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“Why are we stopping here?” he questioned.

“Because,” Erin said. “I wanted you to see our new house.”

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“Our?”

“We’re getting married, silly.” Erin laughed. “We can’t stay with Loki and Circe anymore. Newlyweds need their own space.”

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“So what do you think?” she asked. “Do you like it?”

“It’s…it’s…”

“I know it’s a little small compared to the manor, but it’s just the two of us, and no laboratory equipment, so I didn’t think we needed that much space, but…”

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“It’s perfect!” he exclaimed.

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“How, how can we afford our own house?” he asked. “You didn’t ask Loki for…”

“No, silly, I would never ask my brother for money.” Erin said. “Olive’s helping us out and I still had some left over from my inheritance so…”

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He sighed. “Erin…you didn’t have to…I…I…don’t…”

“I know this is a little overwhelming, but I promise, it’ll be OK. I mean, we are going to live right next to the Smiths of all people! And your mother is just up the road a little ways.” she smiled. “All right?”

“OK.”

***

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If Lola’s family wasn’t strange enough, she wondered what Ajay would think of her friends, most importantly her former roommates.

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She missed hanging out with Erin so she definitely accepted to help her move.  She was even more excited to see Kristen.  Everything was going well.  She was visiting great friends and having so much fun.  She hadn’t realized how much she missed them.

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“Come on, buddy!” Ajay teased. “You know what they say about blondes.”

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“Oh, come on! I was just teasing!” Ajay laughed.

“Leave him alone.” Kristen snapped.

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“You don’t know him and, more importantly, he doesn’t know you.” she explained. “Shouldn’t you help unload the truck, instead of sitting on your ass any way?”

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“You got it, bossy-shorts.”

Kristen rolled her eyes. “This is why I don’t date men.”

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“Is that right?” he smirked. “Girl, you just gave me a whole new fantasy. How long were you and Lola roomies? Or is Erin more your type? And then there’s the sister I haven’t met…that ran off with some movie star?”

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Kristen mumbled something too quiet for him to hear.

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Maybe Lola didn’t see it with her sparkling eyes.

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But Kristen never forgot what she saw.

***

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***

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“I think I could help with this situation. I may not be a photo-journalist, but pictures don’t lie.” Ajay said.

“Thank you.”

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“I’m glad I can help. I want to help.” he said.

Lola sighed, not wanting to step away from him.

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“It’s just…”

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“Getting out of hand…”

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He walked her to the door. “It’s harassment and it needs to stop.” he reminded her. “You don’t see them picketing P.T.’s house or the Tricous. I don’t know why they would want to hurt such a beautiful woman.”

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“I’ll see you tonight,” Ajay said. “Newbie is supposed to do an awesome trick shot at Club Rubb!”

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“Oh hey!”

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“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about…something!” Crystal said.

“Oh yeah?”

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“I need…pictures done.” she said. “…for my fiancé.”

“Lazlo has been feeling a little down.” he replied. “Some sexy pictures of you could help him out of his mood.”

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“So you’ll do it, right?”

“Yeah, of course, just let me know when you need them.”

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“I’ll call you.”

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***

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***

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“…Lola?”

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“You’re firing me!”

“I can’t have this wack-a-doo circus outside anymore. My patients deserve better. They need their privacy.”

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So they win after all.

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“Lola.”

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“Buzz…I…”

“Are you all right?”

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“No, not really, Buzz, I just got fired.”

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“Fired!” the outrage in his voice startled her.

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“No, I guess I can’t be surprised.” Lola said. “It’s not like this town ever wanted the likes of my kind here.”

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“Lola, I don’t know what to say.” he honestly replied. “You were good at your job…I know you helped me.”

“Really?” she seemed taken back by his response. She made a difference in Buzz’s life?  It hadn’t seem that way.

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“Let me drive you home.” he offered.

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“No, no, that won’t be necessary.” she said. “Ajay’s home. I’ll be all right when I see him.”

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“If you need anything…I’m just up the road.”

***

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“Ajay?” She looked around. The lights for the photoshoot were on. He never had them on unless doing a shoot.

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“Ajay?” she heard the floor boards creak overhead.

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And then she realized, she wasn’t the only one calling his name.

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Romance secondary after all.

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“Lola, can we talk?” he asked. “Please, I need…I…I’m sorry.”

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“Go away! All of you just need to go away!”

“What? Lola, I can explain!”

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“Then explain it to my door!”

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“Is…is she going to tell Lazlo?”

“Most likely.”

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***

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“Lola, it’s your sister Jenny, we are coming up!”

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“We?” Vidcund inquired from afar.

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“OK, we.”

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“I don’t understand why they fired her.” Vidcund went on to say. “She had the most patients, more degrees, more positive feedback, more turn-around. I mean, look at General Buzz Grunt. You and P.T. had lunch with him the other day.”

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“We had to discuss Buck.” Jenny honestly replied. “He’s staying after school while Buzz is at work. Jenny and him are teenagers now and you know we’ll have to have that WooHoo talk soon so…Any way, you know why you’re here right?”

“To clean, but I don’t see why that’s necessary. I mean, Lola’s a neat freak just like me. There’s not going to be anything to…”

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“HOLY SIM GOD NO!”

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“Look at this mess.”

“Have fun,” Jenny snickered as she knocked on the door.

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“Good afternoon, sunshine.”

A groan let her know Lola acknowledged her entering.

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Jenny scanned the room, but not with judgmental eyes.  It was more an evaluation of what the situation was.  “Tough night?”

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“I shouldn’t have went to the club.”

“Still going around rejecting every guy that looks your way?”

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“Well…not anymore.”

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“I thought you had job interviews yesterday?”

“I did.”

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“And?”

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“All three said no.” Lola sighed. “It was poor timing considering the landlord’s weekly visit.”

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“He’s giving me another week, at least.”

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“You know, P.T. and I could help.”

“No, Jenny, you are not loaning me simoleons.”

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“Well, at least oblige me with a shower?” Jenny asked. “You look dreadful, dear. What is a sister to do, but worry?”

Lola sighed. She knew Jenny wouldn’t stop until she got out of bed. “OK.”

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“I knew it!”

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“You’re a miracle worker!”

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“Next, we’re stopping by my house. We need to put your super powers to better use.”

Jenny…”

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“I’m not joking.” she said. “I’ve been wanting to clean out the upstairs for awhile. Those storage rooms need going through. You, Pascal, and Lazlo have all kinds of stuff up there and I’m not going to go through it without you.”

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“How is she?” Vidcund asked.

“It’s hard to say. You know what it’s like to have a broken heart.”

“So you want me to deal with BOTH Lazlo and Lola? She needs a sister. You or Chloe and since Chloe is away…”

***

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“I don’t need a babysitter.” Lola urged.

“That’s not what I mean.” Jenny replied. “Just maybe, you’d like to stay with me for awhile.”

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“Vidcund and I were just discussing cleaning out one of the storage rooms.” she continued. “And since you may not have a job by next week and rent is past due, you might…there’s nothing wrong with having a back-up plan.”

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“It’s a great idea.” Vidcund agreed, but not because he truly did, but most likely because there wasn’t room at his place with Lazlo, the baby, and Pascal.

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“I don’t have time for this,” Lola replied. “I’m meeting Erin and Kristen in Downtown later. I will figure out what to do when I need to.”

***

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Jodie Larson, Kristen’s girlfriend, liked to pick sports Kristen didn’t like or never played before.  For this event, it was bowling and Kristen had never played it.

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She didn’t particularly like being an amateur.

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Lola liked Jodie.  It was nice to be apart of her old roomies’ lives again.  But Jodie was a little bit pushy.  She brought her brother, Jason, around from time-to-time, hoping he and Lola would “click.”

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Lola wasn’t ready to be in a relationship again.

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But Jodie was for her.

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Jason was a nice man.  He, like Lola, was in-between jobs, but he was bright and open to almost anything as long as it gave him a better opportunity.

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Fortune Sims, something she understood too intimately.

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But she reminded herself not every fortune sim was Ajay.

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Kristen seemed to find a way to get past her frustrations and learn to beat the game.

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Perhaps Lola could too.

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“OK, what you need to do…”

“I know how to bowl, Kristen.”

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“Perfect score, Erin Beaker.” she beamed. “I spent summers bowling. It’s one reason why Kristen would never let us come here before. Do you remember that Lola?”

“Yep, I remember the argument.”

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“She just didn’t want to be beaten, but guess what, I’m still winning Kristen!”

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“For now. Lola still has to finish her set.”

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“No pressure.”

***

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“I think it’s going well.” Jodie insisted. “They look like they’re having a good time.”

“Maybe if you’d stop staring, they’d have a better time.”

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Since Jason knew she was well educated and top of her class from La Fiesta Tech, he insisted on using big words to sound smarter. Maybe he didn’t get the clue that she didn’t care about his brain.

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Or that she was completely uninterested.

***

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“Why are you throwing your leg up?”

“It helps.”

***

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“Hey, I know…I know things have been difficult for you.” Jason began. “And I want you to know that…if you need a friend…”

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“I’m fine.” she smiled convincingly. “But thanks for the offer.”

“I’m not my sister,” he half laughed, half coughed. “I’m not exactly looking for a relationship either, but…you know, make your sister happy and all.”

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“Thanks for being honest.” Lola nodded.

“Hey, maybe, we can hang out sometime.” Jason replied.

***

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He was sweet, but Jason wasn’t the kind of man she was interested in.  Maybe it was wrong to hook up with one of her former patients, Gabriel Green, but she was no longer a therapist after all.

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“Good morning,” he smirked.

“Morning,” she groaned.

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“I’m not going to lie,” he began. “But I was pleasantly surprised by your call and afterwards.”

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“I enjoyed it too.” she confessed.

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“I’m guessing you’re not staying for breakfast.” Gabriel said.

“You are correct.” she laughed. “But thanks for the offer.”

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“How is it going with your roommate?” Lola asked, remembering he was having a hard time adjusting to the Romance Sim lifestyle. It didn’t seem to bother him now after their night.

“Fine, Chasity’s still a wild thing, but we have an understanding.” he answered. “Her time right now has been either work, exercising, or spending time at her club…thing…for romantics like her. I think it’s at Sandy Bruty’s place.”

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“The celebrity chef?”

“Yeah, she’s got some type of Romance Sims United place where they can all go ‘unwind.'”

“That’s…interesting.”

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“I’m sorry to hear you lost your job.” Gabriel continued.

“Me too.” she replied automatically.

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“I’m not sorry it led you to me last night though.”

She thought about it for a moment. “Me either.” she laughed.

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“Maybe, we’ll see each other again.” he winked then added. “Sooner-than-later?”

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“Maybe.” She said as her stomach filled with a black pit of regret.

***

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“Hey.”

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“Hi…Buzz, how’s it going?”

“Just doing some shopping. How…are you?” he asked.

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“Dealing with a lot of rejection lately.” Lola replied. “Did you know I’m too overqualified to run a cash register because I have a psychology degree?”

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“Why don’t you apply for the position at the SCIA?” Buzz offered. “They’re always looking for people to analyze Sim behavior. A psychology major like you could probably do them some good. I could refer you, if you want.”

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“Thanks, that’s very…generous of you.” she smiled. “I could use a break in this job search. My landlord too. He’s nice to keep giving me more time, but I know patience only lasts so long…any way I should get going.”

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“Since I’m going that direction, do you mind if I join you?”

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“I’d like that.”

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“I’ve got to ask.” Lola began. “A couple of weeks ago in that parking lot, you said I helped you. But you never said a word during our sessions so I’m wondering how exactly I helped you.”

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“Well…” Buzz seemed to think about it.

“It’s just you never seemed to be making progress until you showed up at Jenny’s and had an actual conversation with her and P.T. before the summer.” Lola said. “I think it scared us all to see you being really…nice.”

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“Umm…”

“I’m prying, aren’t I?” Lola sighed. “You can take the therapists out of the job, but not the job out of the therapist, I guess.”

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“Sorry, Buzz, your business is your business.”

“It’s OK.” he insisted. “Jenny asked me a similar question recently.”

“She’s even nosier than me, I suppose.”

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“P.T. and Jenny have done a lot for my boys, especially when they needed me or their mother and neither of us…could.” Buzz explained. “I’ve learned to respect the Smiths.”

“And how did I play a role in that?”

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“Lola!” They turned towards Ajay and he said nothing for a moment. “Can we…talk…please…?”

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“I have nothing to say to you.” She replied.

“Please Lola, we need to talk!”

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“Leave me alone, Ajay!”

“But Lola…”

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“You heard the lady.” Buzz intervened. “She doesn’t want to talk to you so respect her wishes.”

“Stay out of this, dude.” Ajay warned. “It’s none of your business!”

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“That’s General.” Buzz hissed. “General Buzz Grunt.”

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“Oh…I…sorry, Mr. Grunt, sir. I mean, General Grunt…uh…I…”

“Go?”

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“I should have you around more often.” Lola chuckled. “Maybe you could have gotten rid of those protestors awhile back.”

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“That’s Ajay, I’m guessing.” he said.

“Yeah, another of my grand mistakes.”

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“There’s never mistakes, just lessons.” Buzz said.

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“Well, I better get going.” he continued. “Got to put these groceries away.”

“Yeah, sure. Thanks, Buzz.”

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It was always peaceful before the storm. Maybe her storm had passed.  She could only go up from here.

***

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 particular chapter she worked on the entertainment career.  You can find information about Bustin’ Out and the main story’s careers HERE.