The pick up

Sinbad woke up with a terrible, splitting headache and a hazy memory. He had no idea what day it was, what he did last night or how he even ended up in his own bed.

All that he knew was that his throat was parched and he needed water ASAP. He slowly got out of bed and somehow managed to drag himself to the kitchen where he gulped water right from the tap, loudly and greedily, like a man lost in the desert.

Sinbad was no stranger to hangovers, they were practically a morning routine but this one was particularly bad. He had to sit down to prevent himself from throwing up all the water he just drank. He was still dizzy and his head felt as it might explode any minute but at least some memories were emerging from the haze. He was at the Red, the local hangout last night, he went there on a job, not for pleasure, but somehow those two would often get mixed up in his line of work and most of his clients.

This particular batch of clients was terrible in every way, out-of-towners, business folk, young, snobby and exceptionally loud. They bought some powder from him, payed him well and kept calling shots and telling stories, the boring ones that gave flavour to their dull nine-to-five lives, they told him of some guy from Sunset Valley who fell asleep at that seminar they were all in town for and they laughed and Sinbad was drunk so he laughed with them and the night passed and they drank more and slowly all his memories dissappeared in a haze…

It was Sunday he suddenly realised which was good because he didn’t have to work today and bad because it meant that his roommate would be home.

And right he was. When he looked outside he could clearly see his roommate Goodwin pacing the front lawn. There was something anxious about this whole ordeal that piqued Sinbad’s interest even through the trobbing of his head. Something was clearly troubling the other man and for Sinbad that meant a greater potential for torture. He got up ignoring his aching body and went straight outside.

“Morning Goodwin.” He called from the porch. He saw his roommate’s shoulders tense and he turned around with a loud sigh.

“Good morning Sinbad. Still wearing yesterday’s clothes I see. In no shape to change again?” He called back in a uninterested sort of way. And in just a few short skips Sinbad was there next to him pushing his face to Goodwin’s.

“What the heck do you care what I am wearing Goode?” This other man took a step backwards obviously surprised by the outburst. These jabs were not unusual between the two of them but today Sinbad was in an exceptionally foul mood and he just wished to take it out on someone. Goodwin was always a perfect target with that annoying baby face and condescending words.

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“You are still drunk Sinbad, your breath smells a mile.” He replied narrowing his light blue eyes. They seeped arrogance. Sinbad had seen his share of spoiled rich brats but something about Goodwin could make him snap just like that. He just hated that guy, he hated how he felt so morally superior to everyone, how he judged his every word, his every move, as if Sinbad had a fucking choice, as if anything he did wasn’t just to survive this shitty life he had been shoved into.

The two of them was as different as two people could possibly be. While Sinbad knew no father and lost his junkie mother before he had hair on his face and had to hustle and claw his own way on the streets ever since Goodwin orphaned as a baby was adopted by a nice elderly couple who gave him all he could possibly want. He had a nice, comfortable life right until the moment he ended up living with Sinbad annoying the hell out of him with every breath he took. He was even attending the police academy, probably hoping to rid the world of the scum he assumed Sinbad was. He just couldn’t bare to look at him so without a second thought he punched him right in the smug pale face.

The punch was another surprise. Goodwin didn’t fall back but for a moment he looked as he might loose his balance and he staggered back like a drunk. Sinbad expected him to strike back. A part of him wished he would. He didn’t think Goodwin a weakling, he was a policeman in training, he worked out at home nearly every day but Sinbad also knew he could hold his ground in a fight. Growing up on the street thought you tricks no old fat cop reduce to training rookies could. And besides Sinbad was taking boxing classes at the stadium for a while now. It never hurt to learn a new trick, he had a hard job too. He braced for impact but it didn’t come.

Goodwin lifted his head, one side of it was already changing color where a bruise would inevitably appear. “I really hope somebody helps you Sinbad.” He said in a pained voice and walked to the house leaving Sinbad to fume alone. He really hated that man.

As he stood outside all alone without a way to clear his throbbing head he realized Goodwin was right in one thing, he reeked.

Sinbad took a shower and changed his clothes. Goodwin had shut himself in his room or maybe he had gone out. Sinbad had no idea and didn’t really want to know. Tormenting the man didn’t help and Sinbad knew not to beat that dead horse any more. He decided he would go outside, run a while. Maybe that would clear his head. Their house was on a small island in the middle of the Twinbrook bay. On one side of the island was the city of Twinbrook with its pretty little houses, parks and offices and on the other side was was the swamp and the wilder part of the town. Sinbad preferred this later part when he planned the routes for his jogs.

There was something peaceful out there in the swamp, with it’s eerie sounds, the ruffle of the leaves the buzzing of the insects, the chirping of the birds, the burble of the river and the absence of all human noise. He would often stop on the bridge and look upon the town spilled lazily on the other side. One might hate the stinky backward hellhole Twinbrook was but still the view from here would inspire a sense of awe in even the blackest soul like Sinbad’s was.

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He stopped in the same spot this morning. He was a bit tired, covered in at least a dozen mosquito bites all over his naked upper body but his headache was gone. Goodwin and their fight were gone. There was a sense of peace Sinbad only had in these rare moments away from the world and society’s poisonous grip.

He took the same route home and didn’t see a soul, well unless he counted that old survivalist Bayless who lived out there in the swamp somewhere. He sped along the bumpy road on his rusty bike and he and Sinbad waved to each other as they often did when they ran into one another in those empty roads.

Goodwin was gone when he came home. This rare occurrence meant Sinbad had the bathroom all for himself and he took use of the fact by making himself a hot, relaxing bath. He just lay there listening to music on his phone as the day slowly faded away. And then his phone chimed with a sound of a text message. Unknown number. No surprise there.

Pick up a the park by the chess tables. 9pm.

Sinbad groaned loudly as he got up from the bath spilling water everywhere. He threw one of Goodwin’s towels to the floor to suck it up and dressed hurriedly. He wasn’t supposed to have a pick up tonight. He was supposed to be off. But then again his employers weren’t the kind of people to whom one could say sorry guys I don’t do overtime. He didn’t even know the guys he worked for. That is how those things went. This way if he were to get caught he couldn’t snitch on anyone. Not that he would but it was a good model. It meant someone smart was running things. The Rackets probably, every one with a half a brain knew they ran this stinky town.

Sinbad knew more of it than most though, his mum, in the days she still walked this earth entertained all kinds of shady characters, some of them really dangerous people and most of them big talkers who spoke of things that even as a boy Sinbad realized they shouldn’t really be speaking of. And he listened and he learned and when his time came he used bits and pieces of all that knowledge to get where he was which still wasn’t really far but he meant to go further and he had the means too.

He went outside without a shirt. The night was chilly but he guessed he could just run to keep warm, better than doing laundry, that was something Goodwin should take care of.

He arrived at the park exactly three minutes before the scheduled time. There was no one in sight which was good and expected. The nights were already getting chilly this time of the year and it was a Sunday after all. His employers did know to pick these times and places well. The chess tables were on the further side of the park so Sinbad made his way there and then he noticed a girl standing close looking round through pink sunglasses.

His other dealings were usually not this pretty he thought looking the girl over. She had blond, disheveled hair with very bright pink streaks running through it. Her mini skirt was pink as well and the short black top she had revealed her belly button and pink tattoos over her flat stomach. 

“Evening beautiful.” Sinbad said as he came closer, he threw her one of his mischievous smiles that was known to melt the hearts of girls. It didn’t seem to work on this one though.

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“Are you here for the pick up?” She said facing him seemingly untouched by his appearance. She must have been new to this Sinbad guessed. It was the nerves, that is why his smile and shirtless sight had not worked for her. 

β€œYes my lovely, I am Sinbad.”  He kept the smile hoping it might ease her up a bit.

“I was told no names.” She replied harshly crossing her arms over her chest.

“Sometimes we give them, sometimes we don’t.” Sinbad replied with a shrug. “When the other person looks like you I make sure I do.” He hoped this would finally do the trick. It didn’t.

“Look lowlife, understand this, I am not here to make friends or fool around. I am here to do a job. That is it. Try to push me into something and I’ll push back. That is no threat, that is a promise.” Sinbad took a step back, not because he was afraid of this clearly unstable girl but because he didn’t want to give her a wrong idea, he might do a lot of socially unacceptable things for money, he might sell stuff that cannot be sold under Sim laws, he might occasionally steal, from his stupid roommate or his employers, sometimes he even dumpster dived, it was a way to survive but he never, NEVER touched girls without their permission.

“Hey listen lady, this is clearly one big misunderstanding, I am not here to hurt you or nothing, I just wanted us to meet because I guess we would be working together and seeing each other more but whatever. I will just take the stuff and leave.

“You better.” She said rummaging through her small handbag and producing a small plastic wrapped package which she placed in Sinbad’s outstretched hand. Sinbad sighed watching her cross her arms again. He put the bag in his short’s pocket. The girl still stood there not taking her eyes, still hidden by her big sunglasses, of him. He turned around.

“Later.” He threw at her from behind not bothering to look at her again. A total psycho. Too bad. He thought to himself as he walked away. And pills. Where the hell am I going to sell pills in this hole?


The Gift

Lisa Bunch stood on the lawn intensely focused on her nails. Her long blond hair was tied in two long braids and she had a long sleeved pink shirt on and lovely white shorts that perfectly showed off her long legs. “Later.” VJ threw back at his father and brother who were eating breakfast in the kitchen and turned to the door heading to meet her.

“Where are you going Vahid?” His father asked. The very sound of his deep yet whiny voice made VJ’s skin crawl.

“Out.” He replied without looking back.

“I thought you would help me and Miraj around the house a bit today .”

“Well I thought you wouldn’t be a total loser. I guess we were both wrong.” VJ replied opening the door. For a moment he thought his father would respond, lose control. He held his hand on the door handle and then a heartbeat passed and nothing happened. He pressed the handle, opened the door and he was outside. Away. “Hey Lisa.” He called from the porch once the door was closed behind him.

“Oh hi VJ.” She responded looking up from her nails. “You are late, and need I remind you that you called me.”

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“Yeah, yeah, let’s just go.” He stomped away wishing to be as far as possible from that house and the man inside. Lisa followed as he knew she would.

“I think I should go and get my nails done, professionally.” She said stepping next to him as if that was something he wanted to hear. VJ sighed. Lisa was his best friend, he knew her since they were kids and they had been friends since. She was a really strong-willed girl who could always stand up for herself. The only girl in class he could never bully. She had also grown up to be quite hot. Yet still sometimes she would act like the dumbest airhead there is. He stopped to light a cigarette and she narrowed her eyebrows at him. “You really have to light that thing now? We are walking!” He smiled.

“Oh don’t be like that, I will give you a drag.” She pretended to pout but he could see a trace of a smile in those wicked eyes of hers. “Come here.” She came closer and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and she wrapped hers around his waist and they walked like that for a while just enjoying the sunny Saturday.

There was a reason VJ had invited Lisa over today and it wasn’t just so he could see those legs. There was something big he wanted to tell her but he wasn’t quite sure how. It all started with his job, it was a part time gig,  and it didn’t pay as much as he would want but it wasn’t as if he could count on his old man for support here, even before this recent fiasco, him not being able to pay up for his trip to France and the end of the school year, he was just unable to provide and VJ had to fend for himself. The job was at the local bookstore, a small brick structure near the park VJ pretty much avoided up until the day he started working there. It was close to the school, he could walk there and he was barely ever late and the job wasn’t hard, people mostly just came in found what they wanted and he would charge them. Sometimes they would have questions but the computer at the register could provide most of the answers. At least for the adults that came in. Kids were a different question, they could be annoying but VJ would shoo them off and they would rarely bother him again.

It was a good job but sometimes it got a bit boring, there would be afternoons when no one came in and he was not allowed to install anything on the computer and playing games on his phone and messaging Lisa could get tiresome day after day so one of those afternoons VJ did something totally out of character. He picked up a book, he chose carefully, it was one of the pricier ones, it had a nice cover, purple with silver writing. He loved the combination even thought the title was stupid. “Solving the friend problem” the letters read. VJ had no problem making friends, Lisa was an example of that, he couldn’t help it if all around him people were idiots. But the book promised to teach you tricks to be able to impress even idiots and VJ decided to give it a try.

He ate it up. He read it faster than any other book, ever. He read it at the store, he read it at home.

With school books he always struggled finishing them at he would give up or simply not bother to start at all but this book spoke to him, of course one could always say that it was a pack of bull, all those micro expressions and shit so what VJ did was he conducted a little experiments so to speak. 

Usually the customers who came to the store would always bit put off by VJ, his black and blue mohawk, the spiked collar and bracelets he wore, and if that wasn’t enough he knew he had what people could call “bitch face” and he used it freely to prevent people with getting too comfortable around him. It worked pretty well, for all it’s intended purposes yet that day VJ decided to try something different.

The first person to walk in was a decent looking middle-aged woman with brownish-red shorter hair that barely covered her ears. She walked straight to the register and VJ used his loveliest, most charming smile to say “Good day Mrs. How can I help you today?”

“I am looking for a book.” She said as if that wasn’t pretty darn obvious, her being in a bookstore and all. She gave him the name of the book, a string of barely incomprehensible words, some of them in Simatin of all languages. Usually VJ would not hide his annoyance with this but today he chose the other route asking her politely to repeat what she said. She did and it didn’t help. He couldn’t spell it if he tried. She sighed a bit with frustration when she saw his troubles. “Maybe I can help you run that search?” She asked. Now if it were any other day VJ would just tell her to bugger off, there was no book, get lost. Instead he smiled.

“Terribly sorry to bother you like this Mrs. but I just can’t get the spelling of those words right it seems.” She smiled back, her annoyance melted away.

“It is alright. Half of it is Simatin and technical words, it is normal you would struggle with it.” He moved away letting her step behind the counter to the computer. “Oh my, this interface is terrible!” She complained. “No wonder you struggle.” VJ threw a pained expression on his face although what he really thought is that the reason he struggled was because stupid women come inside asking for stupid books in dead languages no one speaks in the world but he held his tongue as the woman typed away. “There it is! Ordered but not yet came in!” She pronounced.

“I am sorry Mrs.” VJ said not feeling sorry as well, inside he gleamed with satisfaction that the wretched woman head not found what she wanted.

“It is okay young man, it is not your fault.” She said rising up from the bookstore’s computer. “I will just come in some other time.”

“Or maybe you could give me your number and I can call you when the book comes in.” He said in his most I-want-to-be-of-use voice. The woman turned around her face alight in surprise and joy.

“You would do that? That would be splendid! I wouldn’t have to come in again in vain again!”

“Sure thing Mrs. And maybe in turn you don’t say to my boss I let you touch that thing.” VJ added gesturing to the computer. In reality nobody would give a shit.

“Oh, of course”. She fished a pencil and a piece of paper out of her bag and hastily wrote it down handing it to him. It was the book title, correctly spelled, a phone number and a name.

“Susan.” VJ repeated looking her straight in to her green eyes. “Nice to meet you, I am VJ.” She smiled back and VJ knew he head her hooked.

She came to the store many times after that one and she and VJ would often talk. She was a scientist, worked down in the lab in town, she was married, her daughter, a bit older than VJ had just moved out and she was still dealing with that, she loved chess and computers, had a passion for virtual reality. All this she told VJ, all this and more. One evening when she came as he was ending his shift she even bought him hamburgers and they went across the street to the park and ate them on the bench while she talked and promised to teach him chess the next time she came.

It was a wonder. The book didn’t lie. It was possible to fake your way into befriending anyone. Now Susan was a pretentious, boring woman but she was not stupid, even VJ could see that. And she totally bought his act. This was big. VJ could do great things with it, he could climb his way to the top, he would be better than his pathetic father, one day he VJ Alvi could be the leader of the free world even!

He interrupted Lisa’s silly story about her nails or whatever to spill all this to her, all about that magic book. By the time he finished the story they had walked all the way to the town. He lead her behind the bookstore where he moved and old brick reveling his hidden stash. The book was there, along with his spare lighter and a nearly empty pack of cigarettes he forgot he had there. He pulled out the book and handed it to her.

“I want you to read it. It is so good Lisa, trust me, it would change your life.” He felt a little bad about parting with it but he had already gone over it so many times, there were no mysteries it could reveal to him anymore. Lisa took it from his hands and threw it inside her handbag which she the, dropped to the floor and stepped closer to VJ wrapping both of her skinny, pale arms around his face and before he could fully comprehend what had begun happening she to kiss him, full on the lips

It was not a soft innocent kiss like those they sometimes shared as children fooling around. There was passion in this kiss, passion and tongue. VJ’s first instinct was surprise but soon he let himself be taken away by it all. Before he knew it his arms were wrapped all around Lisa as well and they were full on making out on the bookstore’s parking lot. Not a bad way to start the day.


/* And so the new story begins πŸ˜€ thank you all for reading and please let me know what you think of the new start. */

Changes

Ok first of all I would like to thank everyone who read my stories, liked and commented. I really appreciate all of you so much <3. It pains me to say that I will be ending my New Sunset Valley stories.

I have really invested a lot of time into building that town, it’s sims and their stories and also this blog but the story had gotten too big for me to find the time to regularly update and the save file in the game had gotten really lagy and almost impossible to load which makes playing time impossible.

I will try to keep this blog alive though with a new project. I debated starting a new town from scratch but I fear the same or a similar situation again so what I decided is to start a series of short sim stories all set in the same universe, they will be standalone and loosely connected. I hope you will enjoy those even more. πŸ˜€

Initially I wanted to promise I will try and post in a more regular pace but then life interfered again, company I worked for closed last month so there was that stress, finding a new job and all that. Luckily it all went well but next Monday I am starting in a new company and I have no idea what to expect but I will do my best to invest as much time as I could in this new project.

So thank you all again and I hope I will be back soon!