When all you had was some grass and a sleeping bag, there wasn’t much keeping you at home. I started to leave my new plot of land then hesitated, looking back. My sleeping bag just lay there, looking too much like a beacon for thieves. I ran back and picked it up, attaching it to the bottom of my backpack and then leaving, feeling slightly more comfortable now. I didn’t care if thieves took my newspaper but I needed something to sleep in!
My first stop was the park and as I walked along the pathway, the shadow of a statue fell over me. I assumed it was the founder of Sunset Valley. Some unlucky sailor washing up on shore, perhaps? Or maybe a great explorer who braved the seas to come to this continent.
“Thank you,” I said, blushing very slightly in embarrassment that I was talking to an inanimate object. Nobody was close enough to hear me, though, so I stayed where I was for several minutes, dreaming about my future in this lovely town.
Finally I walked away and, seeing a chess table, went over to it right away. Chess! I loved chess. I wasn’t very good, but I loved it. There were pieces set up and I looked around, wondering if someone was coming back. It just didn’t feel right so I started to walk off when a voice stopped me.
“Hey! You! Yeah, you!”
I spun around, eyes wide. “I didn’t touch that!” I promised.
The man in front of me laughed. “Boy, you’re jumpy. You’re the new guy, Ja..Jared? Dan-something?”
“Jacob Danevbie,” I stammered and the man seized my hand, shaking it.
“I’m Aiden Jones. You like chess? You wanna play?” Without waiting for an answer, he sat down and gave me a look.
I set my backpack down and sat down across from him. “Are these your chess pieces?”
“No, they belong to the city.” When he saw the look on my face he laughed again. “From your accent, I’m guessing Bridgeport. I don’t know how things are there, but here you can leave things laying around and they generally don’t get stolen. The criminal gang here is pretty nice about that.”
“A criminal gang… nice?”
He laughed again as he put me in a check. “It’s strange. So what are you doing here?”
As we started a new game, I explained to him briefly what I wanted. I had come for a new life and, maybe someday, a family. When he listened to me talk about children he grinned.
“You need to talk to Mrs. Bee. Elouia Bee, she runs the local daycare center. Busy Bee’s Daycare. She’s always looking for a new employee. There aren’t many of them, but the parents here in Sunset Valley need more.”
I felt hopeful but then he went on to explain that the employees worked out of home. My heart dropped and I thanked him quietly. I didn’t want to tell him that I had no home to work out of yet!
Later that day after Aiden left me so he could go to work, I called into City Hall and asked about building a house. I was told to talk to someone named Pauline Wan and when she was around. Since it was Sunday, she was busy elsewhere. I thanked the person on the other side and headed into the bathroom of the park.
EW EW EW EW EW EW!!! I covered my nose and my mouth, trying not to throw up. This place stank and it was just so disgusting that I wanted to run far away and dive into hot water just to feel clean. But as I had no toilet…
“Oh…. grrrroooosss!” I wailed, after having used the bathroom. I ran to the sink and cleaned my hands off, hoping–praying–I didn’t get some sort of disease. After I scrubbed off my hands and arms, I ran home and threw my sleeping bag down on the ground. I crawled inside and changed into my pajamas, not liking sleeping in jeans. I folded my daytime clothes up and used them as a pillow.
I blinked up at the night sky, my heart pounding. There was nothing between me and… well EVERYTHING! What if a thief came? What if a murderer came? WHAT IF A BEAR CAME?!
Suddenly Aiden’s word floated around my head. The criminal gang was nice… as freaky as that sounded, I decided to try to keep my fears locked away and I closed my eyes tightly. Not used to sleeping on the ground, it took me quite a while but finally I drifted off.
I was still worried about bears, though.
I stood in front of the grocery store, blinking sleepily. I hadn’t slept well. My entire body ached. I was used to sleeping on a regular bed, not how I did last night! Erf, I thought as I went inside. I need to get used to it.
The first thing I had done after waking up was to call City Hall. I was promised that Pauline would be in so I was heading there when the store made me pause. It was almost directly across the street from where I slept so it wasn’t hard to miss. I was starving…
However, since I didn’t have a fridge or anything I just bought some apples and bananas then asked the clerk for an application. As I walked to City Hall, I ate two of the bananas and read through the application (which resulted in me running smack into a street lamp… OUCH! Okay, no reading and walking!)
As I grew closer I began to hear the sound of music. A guitar, being played really well.
A woman was standing outside City Hall, strumming away, oblivious to everything around her. I stopped and listened, tapping my feet and patting my thighs. When she finished I applauded which caused her to jump. “Oh!” she giggled slightly. “I didn’t realize anyone was listening. Wait… you’re Danevbie, right? New dude?”
“Um, yeah,” I said. “And you play really well. I was enjoying it!”
She seized my hand and shook it, much like Aiden had. People here were really friendly!
“I’m Pauline Wan. Architect. I’ve been told you’re in need of some walls!” She lifted her eyes and smiled a little flirtatiously, then leaned in a bit close.
I gulped slightly and felt nervous. I wasn’t used to being flirted with and despite being really into romance, I was much of an amateur when it came to things like that. Maybe people here were a little… too friendly sometimes.
I took a step back. “Yeah, I have some money but not much.”
“I have the perfect idea!” she stated rather loudly. “I can build on a budget, don’t you worry. Um, how much do you have?”
I went dark red and muttered, “4,775.”
She rubbed her chin, frowning. “Yikes! I see the problem. But don’t you worry, I can get something put up for that cheap and probably even be able to paint it! I know where I can get some nice windows and a good-looking door for cheap…”
As she chattered away with the plans, relief swept over me. Finally she told me that she’d have it started that very day. I told her not to rush but she promised, asking for about five hundred simoleons. Then she smacked her forehead. “I almost forgot the contract! I’m sorry, I love building and I can get a bit too excited…”
We drew up a contract and signed in, then I gave her the first bit of money. She gave my shoulder a playful punch then ran off to begin her work.
I spent the rest of the day in the park, playing chess.
Playing by myself was a bit lonely, though. But at least this time I won! Of course if you look at it the other way, I also lost. Uhhh… heh. We’ll just leave it at I won!
Just before the sun set I went into the other bathroom at the park and was so happy to discover it was MUCH cleaner than the other one had been. I washed up in the sink since I really didn’t have a shower or any other way to get clean. Then I headed home, biting my nails as I turned the corner by the store. Had Pauline done anything?
YES! I hurried across the street and grinned at the work. She had set down the foundation and put up three corners. There was a note pinned to my sleeping bag, Pauline’s promise to get some of the walls up the next day. I stretched out on the grass and as I filled out the application for the grocery store I realized how comfortable and at home I felt in the Valley.
I finished the form and rolled onto my back, staring up at the darkening sky. An idea struck me and I jumped up, running through the town until I arrived at the edge of the sandy beach. I stared at the night sky for a long time, letting the warm ocean breeze envelop me.
Home, I thought with a contented sigh.