Bloom had been worried about Shameka's sudden interest in him. After all, she was one of Broccoli's girlfriends... or whatever. He wasn't quite sure what they were, but it sure seemed like more than friends. But of course all his concern was unfounded, as Broccoli cheerily suggested a double date.
"I'm so happy for you, Bloom! Finally you're coming out of your shell! Let's all meet up at the pool this afternoon."
He even stayed upbeat when it turned out that his date had aged up into a young adult since he had last seen her and they kept whispering and giggling together. Bloom could only admire his brother's carefree nature. He had much more trouble keeping up the conversation with Shameka - they just didn't quite connect.
"Oh, so you like drawing and stuff, huh? I haven't picked up a brush since I helped my dad repaint the garden fence - teehee!"
To be honest, Bloom was relieved when the date finally dragged to an end and he could get back home to his games. He knew it wasn't quite in line with his vow to become more outgoing, but at least he was playing online with other people. Hey, that did have to count for something, right?
But of course, Broccoli wouldn't let Bloom give up on dating so quickly. He'd invited Shameka to the birthday party he was throwing for Beryllium the next day and looked obviously excited to see Bloom dancing with her.
Then it was time for Beryllium's birthday!
"I wish... I wish to find my home planet!", Bloom overheard her whispering before she blew out her candles.
She obviously enjoyed having all the attention on her! Bloom was impressed by his little sister's confidence.
She instantly fit in with the other teenage girls as well, turning up her nose at her slice of cake.
"Uh, no way I'm eating that. I'll get fat!"
Despite her newfound superficiality, however, neither of her older brothers was able to beat her at chess.
"Checkmate. Destroyed you, Broc! Phew, just in time too, I have an appointment for a facial at the spa!"
Instead of sleeping, she had now taken to "restoring her brain power" by absorbing electromagnetic energy from her surroundings, or something. Their mother was fascinated, of course.
But even Bismuth, who had worshiped Beryllium's every move before, was a little weirded out by this.
"Ew, gross. Not at the breakfast table, Beryl!"
Bloom sometimes wondered what it must be like in that big bald head of hers.
But he supposed he shouldn't be the one to judge other people's strange habits.
While they spent hours in the rich soil of the front yard, Broccoli often regaled Bloom with his stories about meeting girls and practicing his "flower kisses" on them.
"It works like a charm every time. The girls love it!"
"Broc, I'm sure they just like you despite this weird 'flower kiss' thing, not because of it!"
"Dude, I'm telling you, you need to try it! Trust me! After all, I tried that photosynthesizing thing you told me about and now look at us."
"Yup. Like two flowers waiting to be picked."
"That's what I'm trying to tell you, Bloom! You have to let yourself be picked! Go get Shameka! When did you last see her outside of school? At the birthday party? It's been too long! Give her a call right now and ask her out."
"Alright, alright. But Broc, I better wait until the weather clears up. Most Sims don't like the rain like we do."
"Dude, every day's a sunny day when you are with a pretty girl. Call. Her."
And so Bloom dialed Shameka's number. There was a uncomfortable feeling in his stomach - something just didn't feel right. Ugh, he wasn't going to let his nervousness get the best of him though! Not with his little brother watching him like a hawk... buried beneath the ground.
When they met at the festival grounds later, the weather had cleared up. Bloom was glad about that - they had the perfect conditions for a successful date. But somehow, even when he recalled all the tricks he'd learned back at the charisma class, their conversations always felt like a terrible drag.
They soon ran out of things to talk about and decided to try roller skating. Bloom was extremely annoyed at himself. Even after the charisma class he was a hopeless case! Shameka was a nice girl and deserved better than him. Someone who could actually keep up a conversation with her.
So as the sun neared the horizon and it was time to end the date, Bloom gathered up all his courage.
"Shameka, I'm sorry this date was... not so fun. I like you and all, but I think maybe... maybe we should forget this whole dating thing and just be friends?"
At that, Shameka exploded.
"How DARE you! You, breaking up with me? Pah, whatever. I only went out with you because I was curious about you... you... you FREAK!"
With that, she stormed off and left Bloom in a state of shock. Had this been a mistake? Maybe he should have tried doing that "flower kiss" thing... but no. It just didn't feel right.
He must have stood there for quite some time, because it was already getting quite dark when he spotted Broccoli across the park.
"Bloom, Dad sent me to find you because it's getting late. I told him you were on a date but he wouldn't listen! Anyway, I hope you had fun! Where's Shameka? You better say bye so we can head home."
"She's gone. We, uh..."
Bloom really wanted to let his little brother know all that had just happened. But he just couldn't bring himself to tell him about the "freak" thing. That might just hit too close to home. What if all of Broccoli's conquests thought the same? No, no, Bloom was certain that they actually liked Broccoli for his cheery nature. He was just a likable guy. It was Bloom who was the freak. An awkward, annoying, stupid, shy freak! Regardless, this was something he wasn't going to worry his little brother with.
"We decided to just be friends. We just didn't click, you know?"
Broccoli looked at Bloom like he could tell that there was more to the story, but thankfully he stayed quiet. He just pulled his big brother into a quick, tight hug.
"Alright then, Bloom. Let's go home."