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The Girl Next Door

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The Girl Next Door

February 605
Simdale Valley
Narrated by Chelsea Finnbar.  Chelsea is 29 years old.  Julien Cooke is 31, Todd Phillips is 39, Laney McElveen is 41, Moira Jones is 59, Daniel Ono is 44, and Naomi Redbird is 33.


Chelsea’s Previous Update/ Chelsea’s Next Update

Simdale Valley hasn’t been such a lonely place since Julien and I fell in love; now if I could just earn my place as part of the community.  Everyone acts so friendly; unless you try to take them up on that “Y’all come over sometime,” offer.  Even though I work at  the Town Hall, to keep it going and answer tourist’s questions, I haven’t felt really included here.
 
 
Julien and I got together two years ago, Valentines’ Day 603, after we met at Christmastime.  He’s kind and selfless, really romantic and intense at times.

Such nice company on a cold winter’s night.
 

He hasn’t moved in, but it seems like he’s usually around.  Its definitely not his style to be pushy or impose himself. This year, we decided to throw a party around Valentine’s, because Julien knows it is really important to me to become part of the community here.

One of the people who has meant the most to me so far, is Moira Jones.  She is new too, but since her husband took over the historic bakery on Town Square, it seems like she’s a pillar in the community.  She says she’s not.  She says she is just as much an outsider as the day they first looked at the old bakery and considered buying it.

“Be patient, sweetheart, there’s no quick and easy way into people’s hearts,” she told me over a bowl of soup.  “And if you think you’ve found it, you’re probably not being true to yourself.”

Sometimes I just feel like, “That’s easy for you to say,” when Moira tells me to be patient.  With all the work I do for the community at the Town Hall, I think that the tide is going to turn any day now.

A lot of people came to the party, some who have lived here all there lives.  Like Nathan Gavigan, the nurse at the clinic.

Sandy Bruty, who is the chef at Capt. Jack’s.   Sandy is a fun person, very nice, she just doesn’t have much time to hang out, since she works full time and has a toddler.

Moira came, of course.  I can always count on her.

 

Naomi Redbird was there.  She can be a bit of a flirt, in fact, she flirted with just about every guy at the party.  Including Julien.  I think she’s one of those women that doesn’t realize the effect she’s having on guys sometimes.

I think she realized the effect she had on Daniel Ono, though.  They looked pretty in to each other.  I wonder what his wife would think if she were there.

Naomi, like me, is new to Simdale Valley, and seems like she’d be a good friend.  We’ve been getting to know each other kind of slowly.  I decided, if we are going to be friends, she needs to know how I feel about her flirting with Julien.   It was hard, but I told her I didn’t appreciate it.

She actually took it reallly well, said she would be more careful to be respectful of our relationship.
After she left, her sister, Laney McElveen, made it obvious to me that she did not approve of Daniel, seeing as he’s married.  But she didn’t tell him to his face, so I doubt he got her body language as he was off in his own happy world, and took his time leaving the party.

Laney lives right across the street from me, in a huge three story Victorian house.  She has it all…a wealthy and attentive husband who is crazy about her, two cute kids, and a career, before she decided to stay home with her kids for a few years.  She seems like she has everything she wants.   I was kind of surprised she RSVP’ed for the party; I thought she would be too busy to attend.

The next morning was beautiful and bright.  I live right next to the Town Hall, so walking to work is no big deal.  Today the School Board was meeting, and asked me to attend.

Laney is the head of the school board this term.   Moira, James Petite and Sheldon Bright are also on it; they both teach  high school courses for Virtual School since Simdale Valley doesn’t have its own high school.  Lillith Bright is a journalist, so she attends to complete a write-up for the local news.

The discussion today was about spending some of the Simdale Valley education budget to lobby with the state senate for a secondary school.  James Petite wanted to save the money for the inevitable bad years that make it hard to meet the current obligations of the school board.

Laney told James he needed to get on board for this, after all, he’s a high school teacher who can’t even get a job in his field in this town.

 

Laney said James was just a good old boy who doesn’t care about Simdale Valley’s future.

But I felt bad for James, since he was born here, and he really does want what’s best for the town.  He just doesn’t feel like spending the money on a lobbyist is the best thing right now.  Laney says that  more people with families won’t come to Simdale Valley until we do get a high school, and she may be right.

 

After the meeting, Laney came up to me.  “Well, we are going ahead with the plan,” she said.   “I know you are going to be able to convince the Education Committee in the Senate that Simdale Valley needs a high school.  This is in the interest of both the chamber AND the school board.  You can start next week by attending Senator Todd Phillips’ press conference in Port Prominence and inviting him to lunch.”

Moira didn’t look so happy about the decision.  She felt as tight as our education budget is, it needs to be more of a consensus between everyone on the board, rather than a decision ramrodded through by a wealthy member of the community, who really has nothing to lose.
I was just thinking that this is my opportunity.  To prove myself to this community, and to Laney.
But when I got home, Julien asked me what was wrong.  At first, I was pretty defensive, “nothing!”  Then I told him how Laney had told James what the board was going to do.  The more I told him about it, the more I thought, she really humiliated him in front of everybody there.
“What are you going to do,” Julien asked?  I told him I was going to do my job, get my research together, and talk with Senator Phillips.
Over the next week I spent all the time I could, when I wasn’t with tourists, researching the proposal.  I worked on it every night until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Bright and early on the big morning, I was waiting for the government building to open.

Lillith came in just after me, and sat with me.  It was nice to see a familiar face.  Senator Phillips came in, brisk and smiling, and stepped up to the podium.

He was talking about how the education committee was announcing this year, we would be able to give raises, above and beyond step increases, to the teachers of the Peninsula State.  For the first time since the stock market crashed, the budget for education was in the black.

 

While he was talking, I thought he caught my eye a couple of times, but maybe it was my imagination.

When he came out of the conference, I gathered my courage, and spoke up.  “Senator Phillips!”

“I represent the Simdale Valley Chamber and School Board.  Do you have a minute?”

 

I asked if I could buy him lunch from the cart downstairs.   He gave me a look that made me blush.

I could hardly breathe.  I told him the stats I had compiled that showed that Simdale Valley having a high school would economically benefit the whole Peninsula State.  “Simdale Valley is the gateway to the state,” I said.  “Attracting higher income families to live there would improve the level of tourism services, and having higher quality secondary education there as well will provide a more technically advanced worker base.”  Right now Simdale Valley depends on home school and virtual school for secondary.

Senator Phillips listened to me.  He seemed enthusiastic about the idea.  And as he said before, this was a good fiscal year to make such a request.   I’m a good lobbyist, because I know how to read people and can give a solid and passionate reason for what I’m advocating, but it was sort of surprising that he responded so positively.
Senator Phillips is actually from Summerton, and that’s where his re-election campaign is based.  He asked me to come see him there about the education matter, and bring our proposal.  I took a quiet, bright day to take the ferry to Port Prominence, then drive through the mountains to Summerton.

 

The next election is almost three years off, November 608, so the headquarters was really quiet.  Senator Phillips was talking to an aide at a desk.  As I was standing near the door, trying to decide whether to venture in further, he turned and saw me, and grinned.

“Chelsea, so glad you came.  Let’s grab a cup of coffee.”

Over coffee he asked me to consider becoming his campaign manager, for the southern part of the state.  He said he had asked around, checked my CV, and felt like we’d be a good match.  My head was reeling; I didn’t know what to say.  It was out of the blue.  I don’t know whether his campaign is something I could back or not.  It’s easy to see how he got elected to Senator with that irresistible charm.  I barely know him and yet he makes me feel like we are going to do great things together.

Either way, he said he was going to advise the Education Committee to put a five year plan in place to build the high school for Simdale Valley, with matching funds from the local and state budget.

A month later, I was back in his office in Summerton, and he had good news for me.  The high school plan was part of the new budget, and had the full support of the education committee.  My first big lobbying job for Simdale Valley was a huge success.

Before I left, Senator Phillips stopped me at the door.  “Chelsea, have you thought about becoming my campaign manager?”  He asked with those captivating eyes.

My knees were weak; my heart was racing.  My brain was screaming, “Take the chance!”  The adrenaline was flight or fight, I chose fight.  I chose take the job, and make it work for me.

Notes:

Thanks so much to Starr, for the amazing Government Building, and to Dee, for the Campaign Headquarters!  They are both really well built buildings with great details and I look forward to having more of this storyline take place in them!
Senator Phillips (gameplay) came home with Chelsea four times!  It’s really funny because she was in the EA Career track, a lowly level 2.  I am changing her over to Pru’s Political Strategist career, which has a really great progression.  The second time the Senator came home with Chelsea, he got out of the ridiculous clunker car, and gave her a kiss.  They were only in the 20’s in the relationship panel, but he’s a romance sim.  This gave me the idea to have him pursuing her.  But first, he had to have a makeover.  Here’s the game’s idea of a Senator:

And plastic surgery, on the front lawn in the snow: 

Naomi didn’t flirt with Julien (gameplay-wise,) but Julien did notice her; every guy always does.  She has the massive attraction bonus.  When Chelsea confronted her (argue) after the party, she was so nice about it, and they ended up becoming better friends.
Whoa, Daniel crossed a line with Naomi at the party, even if it was just flirting.  It is appearing that Seiki is a chip off the old block.  In a small town like Simdale Valley, I don’t think it will be long before Dr. Ono is on to him, so now I have to figure out that storyline.

 

 

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9 Comments so far:

  1. ashland sims says:

    Aw, I hope Chelsea starts to feel included in the community soon. I'm glad she's at least been able to find a friend in Moira.

    Chelsea did a great job with the Senator. She seemed really confident in trying to convince him. He even asked her to be his campaign manager! I'm so excited to see a high school in Simdale Valley! Way to go Chelsea!

    LOL at his original appearance! Wow, that guy does NOT look like a senator! Wow, he seems to be pretty interested in Chelsea since he came home with her 4 times! I'm curious to see where you will go with this – will Chelsea stay with Julien or is she going to have a fling with the Senator? The suspense!!

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting, Ashland! So yeah, the Senator was dressed a little weird. And definitely creepy with him coming home with her everyday but one, and kissing her when they got out of the car.

    Moira is a good friend to lots of people, like Hattie and Chelsea. It might be tough for Chelsea to figure out exactly who she can trust in Simdale Valley though, and who will accept her as she is without just wanting something from her.

    Ah, yes, the potential love triangle, hmm.

    Thanks again for commenting!

  3. Apple Valley says:

    So glad he got a makeover and I can't wait to see how things turn out for her working with him. It was great seeing the building in your game and the changes you made to it.

    • Oh, thank you Starr! You can't believe how excited I was about your building! There was a table and a couple other things that showed up as global hacks or red lined in Sims 2 Clean Installer, so those were the only things I didn't install and changed. I think most of the paintings/wall hangings reverted to their original mesh and there were some nice chairs in the hallway and an awesome looking model of a building that I deleted since the mesh for the chairs/table didn't show up. I am not the best at using Clean Installer, or working with custom content.

      Thanks, too, for commenting! I hope you are well these days, know you are busy.

  4. Carla says:

    Uh oh! Daniel and Naomi – that isn't going to look good to anybody! I'm glad Chelsea told Naomi what she really thought of her flirting with Julien. It can't hurt to lay down some boundaries.

    LOL at Senator Philips pre-makeover! He looks much more believable now. I hope Chelsea's new job with him isn't going to sabotage her relationship with Julien. It seems like his mind is set on just one thing to me! Could be dangerous.

  5. retromaisie says:

    Okay that makeover was BEYOND needed!! I totally laughed at the games definition of a senator. I'm concerned about him pursuing her especially with that aspiration, I really like her with Julien. She seems pretty smitten with the senator though, and now they will be working long hours together.

    Too funny that Chelsea and Naomi became better friends after the party! Nice seeing the school board in action too.

    • I know, wasn't that outfit NUTS. Maybe a senator after a coke-induced fog in Vegas, but anyway. I agree with you, I don't know if Chelsea can really handle him as well as she thinks she can. And Julien is really nice, really a good guy.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Maisie!

  6. I love how deeply detailed your stories are. I’m excited to see how this all turns out. 🙂

  7. Rory, thanks so much for commenting! I tried to reply on my phone a few days ago but it was acting up and then I didn’t have internet at home (it was acting weird, saying there was no DNS server), but I appreciated your comment! I’ve got some work to do to continue and then wrap up Chelsea’s story arc here; I hope I can do something I’m happy with in the end. I look forward to your story starting up again one day! (I haven’t gotten any post announcements for a while?)

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