(Previous post: Girl Problems)
The place where Frederica Hoves found herself that evening was ugly, unwelcoming. Even Frederica had to admit to that as she looked at the monstrosity in front of her. The exterior of the mansion, or whatever you called the house was made of ugly, grey and mismatched stone. The front door was huge but unappealing. For most people it would be hard to imagine anyone wanting to live here. Most people might be scared or at least creeped out at the sight. Frederica however could not help but smile. It was just the kind of place she would like to live in one day.
However as she got closer to the doors her smile disappeared. To a casual onlooker the distress evident on the teenage girl’s face and in her demeanor might be the effects of the creepy house she was approaching. But the truth was very different. Inside Frederica Hoves was waging a deep internal battle. Her palms were sweating more and more with every step she took. Once she was at the door she inhaled deeply before she was ready to place a knock on the door. It surprised her to see there was a bell on the door, one did not expect a house like this to have something so ordinary as a bell but there it was. She pressed it eagerly and moved one step behind to wait for however it was that would open the door trying to ignore the sound of her heart beating its way from her chest.
Up until very recently Frederica never had to feel the way she did today. She had believed herself resistant to those silly hormonal changes that resulted in feeling of attraction, or what people at her school referred to as “crushes”.
But up until very recently her life was very much different to… Everything changed when Irene left. Her cousin was more then just a partner in crime, she was more then her best friend, Irene was the only person in Frederica’s life that she felt understood her…
Everyone else around her, her family included were just pawns, faceless figures floating around living their stupid, boring lives… And now with Irene gone she was completely alone in the world and it made her lonely, it made her yearn to find something in the sea of pawns, someone worthy of noticing… Or so she explained what was happening to herself.
It all started a week ago when Miss Hoves, her Simlish teacher assigned her to work on a project with a boy from her class she had never hung out with, Aenys Targeryen. Now since Miss Hoves was Irene’s older sister she didn’t think it was an accident, she had probably noticed how down she was after Irene’s sudden departure… It kind of annoyed Frederica at first. She hated pity. Especially the pity of mare pawns. She hated favors, especially the ones she could not return… She hated everything about this new situation she was being forced into.
There was one more reason of course. And it had everything to do with the boy Miss Hoves chose for her to work with. Back when Irene was still in town, and still in school they both really loved to torment Aenys, or Anus how they dubbed him from the very start of high school. There was no special reason for that, they did that to pretty much anyone back then. In fact they stopped only when they were threatened by his older sister.
Since then she had never talked to him, or payed him any mind. She knew he hung out with her other cousin Maja whom Frederica didn’t especially like and that was about it. She figured he would hate her because of what happened before, the whole nicknaming thing and all but he didn’t. Not on the outside at least.
He came up to her after class with a polite smile on his face. “Hey Freddie.” He made brief eye contact but then looked away seeming a tad nervous but not hostile. “I was wondering when you are free to start this thing? Would today after school work?”
“Sure.” She said briefly fixing her gaze on him, trying to see beyond the politenes, and the nervous mannerism.
“Do you mind going down to the school library, it should be rather quiet down there?” He said still not quite meeting her eye.
“Only if Della’s Prentiss Study Club isn’t meeting down there today.” Frederica answered. Aenys seemed thoughtful for a second.
“I guess I’ll check with Nan.” He replied. “I’ll let you know.” He lifted her head and looked at her. First thing she noticed were his eyes, they were bright and lilac, quite unusual and weirdly attractive. Then she saw his smile, it seemed a deal brighter then it did before but she didn’t analyze it further, she was still startled at herself for having such a thought about his eyes. They were unusual that’s all… She told herself in order to relax.
Hours later however she caught her heart beating a little faster when she got a text from him. He said that the library would not be occupied by the Study Club and that they could meet. Frederica tried to calm herself by trying to convince whatever stupid part of her being was making her nervous that it was just a stupid project, she tried to think of all the tedious work she needed to just get behind her so she could go home and search for a new show to binge watch…
Aenys was already waiting for her seated on one of the desks there looking around the rows of books. He said a polite greeting as she came up to the desk, he even gave her another of those smile that made her heart stop and then even go faster again…
They talked about the assignment and as Frederica observed him all she could think about was how mean she and Irene were too him… They didn’t need a reason for that, of course but she couldn’t help but wonder, why this boy? He was quiet, unnoticeable, and to be honest quite good looking, with pale, platinum blonde hair and those lovely lilac eyes… And there was something about his face that, if you weren’t careful could easily get to your head, just like that…
Their project was to find a book they had widely differing opinions about, write down their own opinions, discuss them and document the results of those discussions. For the two of them finding such book really wasn’t hard, they disagreed about pretty much everything. Convincing each other of their opinion… That was a different struggle.
But it forced them to spend a lot of time together which in turn lead to Frederica developing those before mentioned strange feelings that she fought hard not to label as infatuation. And this in turn lead her to, for the first time since she started high school, consider going to a school dance.
Frederica never considered herself pretty, she knew she wasn’t, by any standards there were. And looking herself in the mirror hours before the dance she was harshly reminded of the fact. Never before did it matter. Who cared about appearances? But now she did found herself caring…Maybe just maybe, in the poorly lit dance hall, in a nice, new dress, or something, she would manage to catch the eye of Aenys Targeryen…
However the dance was just one big disappointment. Aenys came to the dance with Nan Prentiss, whom everybody knew was dating Branden Caliente and he never left her side. To make matters worse Frederica was crowned Prom Queen together with her stupid little brother and as they got up to accept their crowns somebody yelled: “Now kiss!” and the whole audience laughed… Frederica was filled with instant hate to all the losers assembled there but she said and did nothing…. She was so angry, at herself for trying to fit in with the pawns, for exposing herself this way…
And now here she was at Aenys’ house. She obviously didn’t hate him… And she couldn’t understand why….
And then the doors swung open dragging Frederica out from her thoughts and instead bringing her to a very unconformable reality. The last person Frederica wanted to see appeared before her. Aenys’ older sister, half-sister in truth, did not wear the dark clothes Frederica expected to see but other than that she had not changed much since graduating. Her hair was still dark purple and her dark blue eyes narrowed menacingly still gave Frederica the chills. “What are you doing here?” She asked before Frederica could even open her mouth.
Ferderica straightened up and smoothed her skirt over with her hands gathering her confidence in the process. “I’m here to see Aenys, I need a word.”
“I’m glad you learned my little brother’s name.” Chiquita answered quite coldly. Frederica fought the discomfort her glare brought and did her best to reply in the same manner.
“You made sure I do.” She said with a mean smile. “We are working on a project together I need to speak to him.”
“Well tough luck then. He is not home.” The older girl said.
“Do you know where he is and when he’ll be back?” Frederica asked. The thought of Nan Prentiss came unbidden into her head and she felt something similar to dread spreading trough her body threatening to make her sick.
“Even if I did,” Chiquita said slowly. “I would never tell you.” She finished accenting the last word strongly. Frederica was about to give her an even dirtier look then before when she heard a familiar soft voice behind her.
“Freddie?” Her head spun around instantly. He was standing on the small bridge in front of the house looking confused but still handsome, oh so handsome… She felt herself blushing as she met his gaze.
“Hey…” She said rather stupidly. “I had some things to say about the project…” She rambled on. She wished his stupid sister would just leave so she could tell him the real reason she was here. A perplexed look passed over his pale face. They had finished the project days ago, before the dance. But he did not say anything.
“Yeah…sure.” He said and looked up at his sister who was still standing on the door, her arms crossed over her chest. He then turned to Frederica. “Do you want to come in?”
“No, it’s fine.” Frederica said hoping his sister would just leave… “I’ll be brief.”
“Okay, sure.” Aenys said shuffling nervously as he stuck his hands in his pockets.
“Don’t stay out too long, dinner is getting cold.” Chiquita said suddenly. Her voice was much softer now that she was addressing her brother and not Frederica. A faint sound could be heard from the house, it sounded like child cries. The girl turned around and went inside and finally Frderica and Aenys were alone. She felt her chest constrict in a rather unpleasant way. At the same time she hoped he would come closer and close the wast space between them and that he wouldn’t. Why is this happening to me? She asked herself furious.
“So what’s really up?” Aenys asked breaking the awkward silence.
“Oh right…” Frederica spoke, he throat dry. “My brother, Kerry is having a slumber party tomorrow. I don’t know if you heard… I would… I would like you to come.” She finished and even tried to smile. Aenys returned the gesture.
“Sure. I would love too.” He then added. “You didn’t have to lie to my sister though. She is cool.” Frederica had nothing to say to that. She only smiled and said goodbye, leaving hastily before Aenys could notice her discomfort.
When she got down to her brother’s party the living room was already full of people. Most of them were already in their pajamas. Someone had turned on the stereo and some of them were already dancing. She didn’t spot Aneys straight away but it was still to early…
Her mother appeared quite embarrassingly, like she knew she would. She came out of the kitchen carrying a key lime pie and a huge welcoming grin. Key lime pie was her grandmother’s specialty , all three of her siblings, and Frederica herself loved it. Ever since grandma died her mother had insisted to make it for any special occasion. It irritated Frederica for some reason, almost as much as it irritated her that her mother just had to make an appearance when she knew the whole school would be there…
Her brother didn’t seem to mind. He was chatting with a girl whose name Frederica didn’t remember, it started with an M… But the rest escaped her. It didn’t matter anyway, none of this stupid pawns mattered… She hated them all… All but…
He was standing close to the door and awkwardly scanning the room when she spotted him. She caught up to him as he was making his way to the other end. “Hi.” She said suddenly out of breath. She tried to smile wishing she had one of those dazzling smiles she saw on TV. Instead her smile would only puff up her already puffy cheeks and make her small eyes only smaller. She hated she felt this way, she hated that one cute boy could make her feel this self-conscious but there was nothing she could do about it… He was holding something, she noticed suddenly. Her face brightened even more. “Are those for me?” She asked loudly, to make sure he heard her. He looked down at the flowers in his hand like he had forgotten he had them and blushed.
There was a small hesitation as he looked around the room, as if he was checking something then he turned back to Frederica and managed to smile weakly. “Yes.” He then proceeded to hand her the flowers, a smile spreading over his face.
“They are beautiful! Thank you!” She said and a voice in the back of her head spoke. He is just being polite. But still she smiled at him and for a few moments they both stood there awkwardly. “I’ll take them upstairs.” She finished and hurried up the stairs to her room. When she was back down the room was cramped up with even more people, even the music seemed louder. She saw Aenys still standing where she left him so she walked straight to him.”Do you want to dance?” She asked standing up on her toes so she could speak directly to his ear over the blaring music.
He didn’t answer at first. Instead he looked at the corner of the room. Frederica followed his gaze to another couple dancing in the corner, Nan Prentiss and Brenton Frail. She then turned to Aenys just in time to see him nod and say. “Sure. Let’s dance.”
They moved closer to the center of the room, where there was more space and Frederica felt her heart beating faster as she was given an excuse to come closer to Aenys then she had ever been. She was looking straight into those violet eyes that made her really notice him that first time they spoke. And she knew he looked at her, only her. Her heart was going crazy in her chest but she ignored it, she ignored everything but the boy in front of her.
He was wearing his pajamas, which included a sleeveless shirt that made Frederica notice how strong and muscular his pale arms were and when he touched her with one of those hands she felt the heat raditing from it trough the rest of her body and she felt as if she could faint…
But she didn’t faint… How could she… she was dancing with the most beautiful guy in the world… The guy who brought her flowers… The guy who made her feel less alone…