“The best love story is when you fall in love with the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time.”
University of Britchester Main Campus
At the beginning of their second term at the University of Britchester, both Liam and Vivien had mostly recovered from their broken hearts, enough time had passed since their respective break-ups, and both were ready to not be single anymore.
For party animal Liam it wasn’t hard to do, just meant he was more open to the googly eyes a lot of girls made around him anyway. He was handsome, outgoing, funny, had lots of charisma and was also a star soccer player. Needless to say, this got him a lot of attention, including plenty by the opposite sex.
Interestingly enough, he seemed mostly interested in the nerdier girls, rather than those with a more loose reputation, which had Vivien thinking he was looking for a girlfriend, ultimately.
Hardly a night went by that he wasn’t going out, either with his soccer teammates or some girl. Or girls, plural. But eventually he seemed to have zoomed in on one certain one named Rhea McLean.
But Vivien wasn’t necessarily alone either.
Not long after they had returned to campus after a much needed break back home, she was resting her overheating brain on a bench about half way between campus and the home she shared with Liam. Vivien was the opposite of her second cousin, more the loner type, more on the serious side. All that interaction all day with many people wore her out, as did the studying. Academics had never come easy to her, so keeping up good grades was insanely hard for her, but she did it, mostly to not disappoint her family.
While sitting there, eyes briefly closed, she could feel a presence, smelled someone’s cologne, then it felt as if they had sat next to her. She opened her eyes to the grinning visage of none other than her arch-enemy from childhood days, Malik, her best friend Nikki’s cousin.
Her greeting was everything but warm, after some of the usual crude back and forth, he mentioned that he would be there for a month, which made Vivien grimace. When she learned it was to see if he had what it took to qualify for a special program, if he did he would be attending college for a full semester, if not for a full degree, she realized he had changed.
They managed to find common ground when he asked for her help to find his way around campus, after they both called a truce.
That became the precursor to them seeing more of each other, Vivien would never admit how much she actually looked forward to it.
Her heartbreak courtesy Matteo was only a few months old by now, so she was still very guarded, but couldn’t help getting lost in Malik’s eyes every once in a while, blushing deeply when he noticed she was staring and their eyes met.
Somehow, out of all that, a friendship began to develop. Malik had never been an oversharer either, but Vivien learned bits and pieces of his troubled past, bad choices made out of anger at the entire universe, which lead him down the wrong path, until he had become the stereotype of a young black man who grew up in the bad part of town in affordable housing, without his parents, raised by his ailing grandfather, together with his cousin Nikki, who’s mother had died. While Nikki had always worked hard to better herself, Malik had been so angry about his mother just dumping him at his grandpa’s doorstep when he had been only a toddler, never to be seen or heard from again. Getting involved with the wrong kind of friends had been the final straw for him, until they abandoned him too, leaving him to take the fall for some criminal activities, ultimately landing him in juvi. Once he got out, Nikki had been on his back constantly, until he agreed to change. She found this program for him and gave him a choice: get in or find a new place to live.
“Man, I don’t even know what direction to pick. I don’t know what major to choose here. It’s all Greek to me, I am not qualified for anything. Plus, they all sound boring and don’t know nothing about nothing here! You’re smart, you gotta help a dude out here.” he groaned, when the end of his test month approached and it looked as if he may actually qualify.
“How? I don’t know, what are you good at? What do you like doing? Other than annoy me?”
“That’s pretty much it. I kinda focused on that one – and of course that criminal shit I got involved with. Doubt they have ‘Thug’ as a major, or Valley-Girl-tormentor, so I got nothing. Your guess is as good as mine.”
“Well, you excelled at one of those for sure, can’t say much about the other, but take your word for it. Hey, how about medicine? Doctors are always needed, make good money, if you play your cards right you get to look at naked chicks all day – and seeing how you already have a perfect record of being a douche AND a dick ….”
“Hilarious, skinny Pete. Big mouth for the daughter – and granddaughter – of career musicians, who almost failed one of her MUSIC classes. That must burn! Bet it brought daddy to tears.”
“That doesn’t count! It was classical stuff! I hate that! Boring as balls. I don’t want to hear classical music, learn it, analyze it and I don’t want to read notes, I want to play them!” Vivien snapped back.
“Touchy! Quick yapping and help me already. Maybe I should try music. Doesn’t look like I could do much worse than you. And you know blacks have rhythm in their blood.” he quipped.
“Wow, had I said that you’d be slapping the racist card in my face … but if we are beating the clichés here, how about Athletics. Literally a caveman can run after a ball and you seem pretty … buff. Maybe use that?”
“Well, they only offer soccer here and you can’t get me to run after a ball like a fool with ten other guys while wearing shorty shorts. But, look at who noticed what I got under my shirt. Wanna see the rest?”
He just chuckled, watching her cheeks flush brightly. Obviously her stares hadn’t gone unnoticed, but he knew about Vivien’s rough breakup with Matt from Nikki, who had hammered into his skull to stay away from her. Back then he had agreed, thinking it would not be a problem, since he never liked her. Now, it seemed to have become a major problem, he really didn’t want to stay away. On the contrary … he now DID like her and wanted to get closer. A LOT closer. Just how without spooking her and pissing off Nikki? Was she even interested in him? Worth a test.
“Hey, how about we take a break? My brain is fuming and you look like yours is about to melt out of your ears. What is there to do around here?” he asked.
“Hmm, couple bars. Guess they are all right, although I wouldn’t know. Liam seems to like them, so I guess they are okay. Then there is the Commons where everyone always hangs out … we could get a coffee. They started carrying Starbies on campus, so it’s really good.”
“Da hell is Starbies?!”
“Sorry, guess I don’t speak rich Valley girl. Isn’t there a club around here?”
“Club? Like student association? There is one for the cheer team, or …”
“Nah! Nobody wants to see me in a cheer uniform, least of all myself!”
“I used to cheer at Del Sol Valley High. Gooooo Eagles!”
“My point exactly. I was talking about a real club. Wanna check if your skinny ass got any moves. And not some bro’s backyard shit, a real club where we can crunk at. Smash some booze. That kinda shit, just not too flossy, got just enough cash to get to next week, then I got to find me some gig that pays.”
“I have literally no idea what you just said, but can you QUIT calling me skinny?!”
“You ARE skinny!”
“It’s inherited. I can’t help it. I eat. Just not a big appetite. And don’t they say you can never be to skinny or too rich? Got one down, here to work on the rest.” Vivien shrugged.
“What a rich Valley girl thing to say. High society problems. And aren’t your parents loaded?”
“They are, but I do not want their money. I don’t like the easy way. Also, they have three more kids to take care of, from teen to toddler. I want to make my own money and fame.”
“Three siblings. Jeeze, don’t they own a TV?”
“Ha ha. My dad didn’t know about me until I was about 3. Funnily, it was because of Liam that he found out. Mom and dad weren’t getting along then, and he ended up marrying another woman, had my half-brother Blake with her. He’s the teen. That marriage fell apart, finally he married my mom and they had another baby, my brother Chase, the toddler. At some point they both started fostering my half-brother’s other half-sister Celeste, whom I am not related to. Her parents had died in a car crash, she’s my dad’s ex-wife’s kid with her new husband. My parents thought, since they can help, they should.”
“Got a headache from dat shit! And I thought my family life was fucked. Adopting the ex’s kid? Holy fuck. Had I known they are like that, I would have had them adopt Nikki and my ass. But, seriously, your family needs a reality TV show.”
“If you only knew … that wasn’t even the half of it. Anyway, I don’t really go out unless Liam drags me along, so I don’t know any clubs, sorry. Not really my thing. I can text Liam … if anyone knows what’s close and good, it would be him. He goes out every night, I swear, I have no clue when he manages to study, but somehow his grades are better than mine. Just not fair.”
“Or, we can use the almighty internet. You got anything less …. ah … Valley girl to wear though? I don’t want to embarrass myself with you. People might think I kidnapped a 12 year old and go Amber alert on me.”
“Hey, there is a club just 15 miles North. Bit far to walk to. Do you know anyone we can borrow a car from?” he exclaimed, swiping around on his phone.
“Nope, but we can take a cab. There are always some … ah .. near the plaza … oh .. urgh…” Vivien halted when she remembered the last time she had seen Matteo was when she pointed him towards those.
“You got issues with cabs? Or did you use your infamous Vivien ways on some poor driver dude and got your ass banned for life?”
“No. Just … reminded me of something unpleasant. Or someone.”
“Ah. Yeah. I get it. Some ex thing. How about an Uber then? How long you need to get ready?”
“No, I am a big girl, cab is fine. I don’t know, 10 minutes?”
“10? Jeeze. Make it 30 and put some effort to it. We’re not going to the library, girl! Meet at the plaza?”
“I don’t know if I want to now, your douchebag is showing! We had a deal …”
“Lemme put it to you this way: you are going. One way, or another. Your choice if the easy way or the hard way. I don’t even care if you are not dressed, I’d dress ya, and nobody wants that. So be ready – or I’ll be back here! All right, I’ll get ready then too, see you in 30. Don’t be late!”
Chuckling he got up and left.
Once he was gone. Vivien started to panic. She had no club clothing at all here. Standing before her closet, getting desperate, she called Liam.
“You busy?!” she asked hurried.
“Why, what’s up? You okay? Need me to come home?”
“No. Just need some help. What should a girl look like when you go out with her?! Like a club, to dance! I mean a girl you’d want to … you know … see again.”
“Huh? I dunno, preferably one head, two arms, two legs, …”
“What are you asking me?! I am not Insta or Pinterest!”
“But you are male and like girls. Just .. what kind of girls? Make up, yes/no? Short skirt or jeans? HELP! LIAM, HELP MEEEEE!”
“Ah! I get it now. Someone’s got herself a date! Okay, just wear something you wouldn’t wear to class, depending on what you want to happen with your date, make sure it sends the right message and try to be comfortable, if you want to dance. I hate taking a girl to a club and then we end up sitting around all night because she got a flat tire on account of uncomfortable shoes. Could have done that without paying a cover fee and having to yell over the music.”
She ended up taking pics with her phone of her maybe items, sending them to Liam and he sent back thumbs up – or down – Emojis. Mostly thumbs down … and a few puke Emojis, doing nothing for her mood.
Finally then she had an outfit he approved of.
“Thanks Liam! I owe you. Enjoy your evening with … ahem … whom again?”
“Don’t know, lemme ask. Hey, my roomie wants to know your names!” he yelled into the round and Vivien heard several females yell out their names, followed by giggles and Liam’s laughter, before the call was disconnected.
“Well, good for you, Liam. You deserve it, whatever that really is. Seems to make you happy, so more power to ya. Now, on to the wreck that’s me. Jeeze, I don’t even know if I remember how to move on a dancefloor. Yikes!” Vivien mumbled to herself, turning in front of the mirror again.
When she finally was ready and reached the plaza, she was out of breath.
“You’re late.” Malik greeted her.
“Sorry, I had … uh … a phone call.”
“Whatever, let’s get.”
After a little while at the club, Vivien couldn’t remember the last time she had this much fun. Laughing, dancing, and every once in a while she dwelled on the fact that this was with Malik, who used to be a red rag to her. Maybe this is how you knew you are maturing? You finally like hanging with your enemies? Hmm.
At some point they needed some fresh air and went outside.
“Hey, Malik? Thanks. You were right, this was needed.” Vivien said.
“Wait, can you let me get my phone out and hit that record button, then repeat that?”
Vivien grunted, while he laughed.
When it was time to leave, they shared the cab to the plaza, but Malik insisted on walking her home. At the door it became awkward. She thought he would kiss her, but he only looked at her, thanked her for a nice time and wished her goodnight, then turned around and left.
Into her disappointment crept the wonder how long it would take them to kiss, and maybe even more. Was that a good idea? Her father had never liked Matteo, who is from a wealthy, established family. If her dad suspected him to have ulterior motives, what kinda drama would rain down on her when she brought home a guy that came from nothing, had an even more complicated family background than her, also a criminal record and no money at all? Worst of all, her best friend’s cousin. Yikes. But should her happiness hinge on what her dad thought, knowing that he would probably hate every single guy she ever brought home? Did Malik even like her like that? Maybe it was all in her head and all he needed was a familiar face on a scary big campus.
Maybe she could ask Liam to play silent observer next time he was home when Malik came over. Liam was excellent at reading people, he’d know.
But that could be so embarrassing, asking her male cousin to be her attraction meter, especially in case he thought she was only imagining stuff with him. So humiliating!
Author’s Note: Just so you see, I didn’t plan this. They were enemies … but now …
Liam also made his choice very quickly, surprising to me, but whatever floats his boat.
I never force two Sims together, but if I see the above, I KNOW they are into them. Now, bear in mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will ride off into the sunset and be happy forever after. It may, or may not.