*This is a long one*
Anthony Bachelor moved his family to Simmington Hills to help develop the town's military program. It's his job to recruit young cadets that will successfully defend against future militant attacks. He's already recruited 15 year old Sierra Spencer into the ROTC program.
Sierra shows real promise and potential. This is what she's always wanted to do. Anthony knows it's her determination to step into what her mother, former Military Advisor, Asya Rasmussen, started, and that's what gets her over that wall. She told Anthony it was important to her to change her mother's legacy, and it touched his heart.
Anthony will be reporting to a highly decorated officer by the name of General Bruce Peterson, who has recently moved here from Apple Valley and lives in Bluewater Village at the Fort Hills Military Base [FHMB] with his wife, Greta. (See Simmington-Times Headlines.)
Simmington Hills' military program is in its infant stage, and will take years to become the powerful institution Mayor Sabien Cunningham, Sr. hopes for.
The move came with much excitement when Anthony found out he was to be stationed in Simmington Hills. You see, he already knew someone living here. A Sim he hasn't seen in over 27 years.
"Wow!" is all Anthony could say as he walked onto the lot at BBV Motors and had a quick look around. He couldn't help but chuckle at the thought of how this former geek learned how to 'make lemonade out of lemons' and turn a bad memory into a successful one.
Back in high school, Anthony was a bully. Not of his own freewill...Anthony was much too shy to bully someone just because. He was egged on by his friends, mostly. He and his friends used to harass this chubby kid named Edward Valdes to the point of tears. Edward Valdes was older than Anthony, but that didn't matter. They used to beat him up, take his lunch, and throw garbage on him, among other things. In fact, Anthony was the one that nicknamed Edward, 'Big Boy'. Edward hated, I mean, HATED that nickname. The very sound of it used to strike fear in him. It didn't matter, though...the name stuck, and everyone who lived in his hometown or went to his school, called him 'Big Boy Valdes'. Anthony became popular because of it, and Edward became more withdrawn.
Edward never stood up for himself so he was an easy target. He had no brothers and sisters to take up for him either, so he would withdraw into his schoolwork or pray to disappear. If he could've blended into the walls, he would have. However, one day Anthony found out that Edward didn't have a father...just like him. He felt sorry for the husky guy and turned his friends away from bullying Edward anymore. Anthony would've apologized to Edward, if he had allowed it. Every time Ed would see Anthony approaching by himself, he would run the other way. Pretty soon Edward graduated and it was years later when Anthony found out what had become of him, when he saw a write-up in the hometown paper about his car dealership success in Simmington Hills.
"How you doin' ol buddy? It's been too long, man!" Anthony said. He could tell Ed was trying desperately to recall his face. What Anthony mistook for being nonrecognition, was really Ed trying to figure out an escape. "It's me...Anthony Bachelor!" Anthony hugged him.
What did he want? And why was he here?! Edward thought to himself. He walked Anthony inside. Years of dealing with the sales business gave him enough tough skin to find out directly what Anthony Bachelor wanted from him.
"So what brings you here, Anthony? I'm quite surprised, actually, that you'd take a chance on showing your face to me. I've dreamed of knocking you out many times, but if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have Big Boy Valdes Motors; the most popular car dealership in SimNation." Ed managed to smile.
Anthony understood Ed's bitterness and explained everything to him; the military stationing him here and how sorry he was for the past, how he had always wanted a friendship with Ed, and how proud he was of him. He told him he hoped they would become friends.
Ed surprised him with what he said next...
"It's possible we could become the best of friends, Anthony."
"But, I'm not the same guy you used to mess with back in high school. Like I said, I've got the most successful business in the Hills. I've got a lovely wife, and I'm a grandfather now for goodness sakes! No funny business; I don't have time for it! If we're going to be friends, I need you to be on the up and up." Ed pointed and further said, "I accept your apology. I think it will be nice having a childhood friend here, even if the memories aren't that great. We go too far back to let that hinder us from getting to know each other now."
Truth be told, Edward felt relieved and glad to have a friend from his old hometown in Simmington Hills, and he looked forward to building a great friendship with Anthony.
"Why don't you guys come over for lunch? We just live right around the corner from here in Cedar Homes." Anthony asked. "C'monnn! You're not that busy right now...you can meet my family."
"You got a deal if I can interest you in a car real quick." Ed chuckled.
"What about TWO cars? Will that make up for any bad blood between us?" Anthony laughed.
"That will MORE than make up for it!" Ed staggered back in a fake heart attack motion and laughed. "I'm gonna run home and change clothes; scoop up my wife and we'll be right over."
When Anthony reached out for a hug this time, it was well-received and returned just as sincerely.
***Back at the house, Nedra Bachelor greeted two of her regular clients. Nedra is a self-proclaimed psychic and works as a Conspiracy Theorist for Simcity Psychic Organization. She gives palm readings and sage advice to anyone who needs it.
Chance Blair is a regular who drops by every other day seeking help for his lack of ambition, his weight gain issues, and bouts of depression. Nedra is trying to help him with his direction in life and with his neurotic mood swings. He's a lost soul. Nedra thinks to herself as she gives him a once-over. Chance has gained weight in the 3 months since we last saw him. He hates feeling like a loser in life, so he's trying to better himself.
Keith Dalton is another client who loves to get his palms read for predictions about SimCity Furniture like...he wants to know if he'll reach a million simoleans in furniture sales in his lifetime. He gets sports forecasts too, like...if his favorite sports team will win their game, stuff like that. Nedra thinks he bets on games according to what she tells him.
Ed and Emerita stop by for lunch with the Bachelors later that afternoon. Ed is excited to talk about their new grandchild, Emeline, born last month.
The Valdes are both intrigued with Nedra's occupation and talk about 'special awareness' for most of the afternoon into the evening.
Edward doesn't get it, but he's polite about it. The Valdes are a more practical couple when it comes to matters like this. "Nobody can predict the future. It's just not possible" They both contend. Nedra loves healthy debates like this...little do they know, she can read a person just by looking at their body language or how they dress.
During lunch, Ed recounts he and Anthony's past with Emerita and Nedra, and shares his tremendous appreciation for Anthony's willingness to apologize.
He's so over the top in his emotions, that he serenades Emerita out of the blue. Emerita's been yearning for PDA (public displays of affection) from Edward for the longest time. It felt really good.
Nedra thought it was sweet, but kind of fake and 'for the moment'. She could easily tell this guy doesn't show his wife much attention.
"Well, guys, I hate to cut this short...but, I have to leave tomorrow for a Psychic conference in Three Lakes." Nedra announced. "We're gonna have to do this again sometime."
"You bet!" Ed exclaimed. "Alright hon, you ready to go?" Ed gets up from the floor and looks at Emerita. "Looks like it's started raining outside. You know there's supposed to be some kind of storm moving in over the next few days. You be careful on your trip, Nedra, but I'm sure you already know that." Ed cracked.
That night Kent begged his Mom not to leave before he woke up the next day, like she usually does on these trips out of town. He wanted her to wait until Daddy got home from work.
"Spend the day with me and Kendra." he begged. "You know we're out of school for the summer, Mommy, and I hate when Kendra babysits me...she's MEAN."
Kendra and Kent always dreaded when their mother had to go on trips. It meant that Kendra was in charge and her brother seemed to act the worst because Mom was gone. A good noogie always seemed to set him straight 'cause he hated those.
Kendra'd rather spend time in her room dancing to the pop station on her radio than watching her little brother.
"You guys know how much I love you, right?" Nedra asked out of the blue.
"Uhh...duh! Yes, Mom! Shhh...this is the good part." Kendra hated when Sims talked during her favorite part of the movie.
"I want you guys to try to get along better with each other, that's all. I'll be quiet, Miss Kendra." Nedra smiled.
When Anthony got home, he was surprised his wife had waited on him. "You're still here?" He smilingly asked. "Yeah, I need you to help me fasten my suitcase." Nedra chuckled as if that was the only reason why.
"Oh...and is that all I can do for you, my dear?" Anthony smiled slyly.
"Not hardly..." Nedra smiled and Anthony moved the suitcases off the bed and flung the comforter to the floor.
"Speaking of...I really need to be going."
After her shower and a quick run down of everything she might have forgotten to pack, Nedra kissed Anthony goodbye. "See you in a few days." She pouted as the taxi blew its horn outside.
The next day a terrible hailstorm devastated Simmington Hills and its surrounding areas...including Three Lakes, which was the hardest hit.
The damage to the hood and to Sim's personal properties was minimal compared to what Anthony was about to find out.
He was at work when he received a call from the Psychic Organization's conference leader.
The call changed he and his kids' lives forever.
The Obituary write-up in the paper made it all too real.
Nedra was really gone.
Desperate to find something to help him feel better, little Kent runs over to the side of the grave nearby and picks up a small teddy bear...as everyone gasped in shock.
"Put that down, Kent." Anthony yelled slightly too loud. Kent dropped it right where he stood, scared to death he did something wrong. He ran back over to his sister's side, crying.
"Mistuh Peduhson *sniff* whose teddy bears are those?" Kent cried softly.
"It looks like it belongs to a baby, Kent. Let's see here...it says 'Shauna Spencer'." Gen. Peterson pinched at the tears forming in his eyes and let out a long sigh. He's witnessed a lot of death in his years with the military and it never gets any easier.
"We better not mess with the teddy bears, Kent...I bet her Mommy and Daddy bought those for her, ok?" Kendra tried to console her little brother as best she could. But she could imagine how bad he needed a teddy bear right now....she did too.
"Let's go home, kids." Anthony said almost running to the car. He'd had all he could take.
General Bruce Peterson seemed really disturbed at the cemetery. He went from grave to grave...just standing there, zombie-like. It was really strange, but oh-so-fitting, in my opinion.
Stranger than that...Anthony sees a pretty woman who happened to stop by to pay her condolences; probably somebody Nedra knew from work *wink*...considering the way she's dressed. And he's thinking about getting to know her, heart-farting for her...not two feet from his wife's grave! Even Kendra's excited to meet her!
In his defense, I see he wants to fall in love...or maybe he wants a love one day, just like the love he shared with Nedra.
I might have him pursue it, if he wants to...and see what happens.
One death down...one more tough one to go. *sniff*