Life had been pretty good…for a while. I knew I didn’t really deserve it but I was supposed to forget about that, right?
Alexis wanted to move out of our apartment, with its dampness issues and temperamental appliances. I resigned myself to finding a new roommate and wished her the best before she told me she wanted me to come along.
That had been really fucking new.
I turned twenty-five, and actually had a real party. My stomach flipped and churned when all those people showed up at my apartment, with me expected to host and entertain them all. But it wasn’t bad.
I attended my first wedding-of-a-friend (in fact, my first wedding at all) when Kaylyn finally married Vaughn. It was probably strange that I hadn’t been to one before that…just goes to show how fucking cold I used to be…that’s in the past. I had a good time celebrating anyway.
Lately, I’d been getting more and more sick of working at studios. It wasn’t my employers’ fault – they were good to me. But I wanted to do things my own way, and work for myself.
I said as much to Kaylyn, after we’d had lunch.
“-but that’s pretty stupid – isn’t it? I should be happy, with what I have.” I continued. I’m not good at business and stuff like that. That’s Clarissa’s domain. She went to college. You dropped out at nineteen.
“Before you shot your own idea down in a fit of self-doubt,” Kaylyn smiled and shook her head, eyes twinkling. “I was about to say, that’s a great idea and Vaughn and I have been looking into getting into the fitness market around here. It’s growing nice and getting real competitive.”
Heart banging in my chest, I dared to think she was going to ask me. Believe in yourself and your abilities, you’re very strong, as Alessandra had told me. “You mean…you’d want me?” My voice was small and childish. I could hardly believe she would.
“I would love to work with you, hon! You’re hard-working and strong as hell – and gorgeous! I’d even want to put you all over the…the promotional materials, that’s what it is.”
“I stopped doing that after…” I could model again, if it was a favour for a friend.
“Your baby.” Kaylyn mumbled, looking into her lap. “Right, well it’s only an idea. And trust me, you wouldn’t be just a pretty face. We’d have you instructing, maybe even managing – you do know the industry very well. That’s where Vaughn and I need the help.”
“You’d be my number-one woman for the job, though.” A strange feeling of both elation and treacherous disbelief washed over me.
I seemed ungrateful, gazing stupidly in silence.”I mean – amazing. Wonderful, I-” I stuttered out. Tears pricked my eyes.
“I – just – thank you, but there’s so many better – better people – you don’t need me-” I bent my head, sheltering my eyes with one hand.
Kaylyn sighed. “I’d rather have you than anyone else. And two minutes ago you were talking like you wanted to start running your own place, so-”
“It’s just…you want me?” I weakly finished.
That was what got me, that someone wanted me and trusted me for something like this. Which I’d wanted for a while…but even after everything I learned, the friendships and all the therapy, after I stopped being a pathetic slut and having sex just to feel, I couldn’t believe that I was good enough to be properly wanted. To be someone’s first choice.
You’ll never be, said the evil little voice that still liked to come around.
Shut up, I mentally snapped back at it as I prepared to leave.
“Come here.” Kaylyn stopped me. “I know you don’t see yourself for the amazing person that you are, but don’t you fret about this! Ooh, it’s so perfect! We’ll work so well together! You’re the best I can think of for this.”
She wasn’t having it. “Yes, you are. Let’s get to work, huh?”
This is objectively something good, I reminded myself. You didn’t trick her, she knows you, and she seems to really want you on board. And of course I wanted this too. So I didn’t argue.
“Here we are. 35 Palm Leaf Avenue. Ooh, it’s such a gorgeous neighbourhood.” Kaylyn gushed. “We’re…just on time. Hope the realtor’s there this time.” She was referring to our last viewing, when we were kept waiting for half an hour without so much as a courtesy text.
I attempted to laugh and smile as a normal person would, but I was a little too fidgety and anxious. I clenched my hands, wrapping my fingers around each other, as if that would leach all the tension out.
“Also, I’ve made some calls and I have two more lined up if this doesn’t go well, so don’t worry so much, alright? There’ll be somewhere.”
Immediately squirming inside with guilt, I started making excuses. Coward. “Well, I was busy…with work, and I know I should do more but-”
“Exactly, you work full-time. I don’t mind at all – and you’ll have a heavy workload once this starts up.” Kaylyn grinned and nudged me. “Come on, let’s go in.”
Our realtor was nicely on time. “Good afternoon,” he greeted, extending a hand. “I’m Lachlan Waterman from GreenBox, and I’ll be showing you around today.”
As always, Kaylyn took the lead, shaking his hand and introducing us. “I’m Kaylyn Adams, this is my business partner Sarai Hayes, and it’s very nice to meet you, Lachlan.”
“Likewise. Now, I’ll show you to the front area…”
The property was beautiful, the best out of the three we’d seen so far. There were gorgeous airy windows in the front, perfect for a lobby. The space at the back could be easily made into locker rooms. And the two studios, one upstairs, one down, were large and light and calming, exactly what Kaylyn and I wanted.
We finished the tour on the balcony. Kaylyn was musing to herself about getting plants and little stools to set up a meditation area.
“What’s this all for?” Lachlan asked me.
“Well…” God, he would think it was stupid…why did I care? “Me and my friend, we’re, uh, looking to open up a yoga studio.”
“Oh, that’s…interesting.” he fudged. I was ready to make excuses and leave in shame – seemed like I couldn’t sell any kind of idea. No wonder you need Kaylyn, you weak-“That’s really cool, striking out on your own.”
“Thanks.” I fidgeted. Was he being sincere?
“Seriously,” he laughed, visibly relaxing. His wide brown eyes lit up. “I guess…do you teach, or invest-?”
“I do. Teach. But, I want to…work for myself. Even if that’s-”
“It’s really cool.” he insisted. “Hell, I’m just…GreenBox’s lackey.”
I found myself smiling. “And I’m the same for gyms across this city.”
“Touché. Good on you for getting out of that. Well…I hope this place suited. I kind of need the commission.” he joked.
“Thanks and…yeah, it does.”
“This place is perfect!” Kaylyn squealed.
“So you wanna take it?” I asked her.
“I’m a hundred percent sure, honey, but I’ll do nothing without your approval.” she assured, grasping my hands.
“Well…the office is a five minute walk.” said Lachlan. “Um…I’m gonna get a coffee on the way, would either of you like one?”
“Just take Sarai, I’ve got the address, I’ll meet you there.” Kaylyn ushered us away and picked up her phone. “That’s my husband. Come on, Sarai, go.” She winked at me.
I glared back, but still followed Lachlan and his gorgeous brown eyes. He’d been nice after all.
Author’s Note: Yeah, so I’m back after about…a year? Honestly, this last year has been crazy and pretty difficult at times for me. Sarai’s story was really hard to write about, plus I was losing interest in playing the Sims myself (though I’ve been keeping up on many wonderful stories, if not commenting), so I did stop for a long time…but things are better right now and I do want to continue this. Sorry if the screenshots are a little shaky, it’s been a while! Also, credit to skcaga9 for the wonderful Kaylyn (and her brother Kody, visible at Sarai’s party).
Also, I don’t know shit about real estate so sorry for any inaccuracies.