Sunday, January 3, 2016
Gen 2 Ch 2: Vertigo
The familiar scent of the swamps greeted Bloom along with a soft drizzle. Ah, Twinbrook. Bloom wondered idly what the weather in Bridgeport was going to be like. He had another stop to make first though.
He never wore a watch so he couldn't be sure how late exactly it was when he arrived on his parents' doorstep. Judging by the faint glow on the horizon, it had to be long past midnight already, but there was still light coming through the kitchen window. His mother had always been nocturnal.
"Bloom!" Kaitlin greeted her son with a broad smile that immediately warmed his heart. "How come you're here? Is the term over already?"
"Uh..." Bloom didn't quite know what to say. Everything had happened so quickly that he hadn't even thought about how to tell his parents that he had dropped out. He froze as he started to feel the beginnings of panic rise within him.
"You're back!" Arthur's surprise was audible as he strode across the room to embrace his son. "Are you here for Broccoli's birthday? Won't you miss too many classes?"
"What is it, son? Are you alright? Did something happen?"
Bloom, get it together, for Sims' sake! He chided himself internally and took a deep, steadying breath.
"Mom, Dad, I dropped out. I got a job offer from a game studio in Bridgeport and... well, I'm going!"
Arthur and Kaitlin looked at him in stunned silence. Bloom didn't breathe.
"Wow, Bloom, that's great!", Arthur exclaimed, much to Bloom's surprise, as Kaitlin nodded excitedly.
"We're so proud of you!" She smiled warmly. "But you have to stay here until tomorrow evening at least. You can't miss Broccoli's party, now that you're here!"
Phew, that wasn't at all as bad as Bloom had feared! He sank into a deep sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow of his old bed.
When he awoke the next morning, all his siblings had evidently gotten up already. Bloom rubbed his eyes sleepily and wandered idly through his old bedroom, looking at the walls which were still mostly covered with his own paintings.
On his way to the bathroom for a nice soak in the tub, he saw Arthur and Bismuth at the breakfast table and was overcome with a wave of nostalgia. Could he really manage to leave his family behind and move to the big city all by himself?
He was interrupted in his reverie by Broccoli, who suddenly came up and pulled him into a tight hug.
"Good morning, sleepyhead! College made you lazy, huh? You always used to be the first one up."
"Broc! It's so good to see you!"
"So you dropped out of college just to be able to come to my birthday party, huh? I'm flattered bro, I know you missed me and all, but that's really a bit much, don't you think?"
Oh, and how Bloom had missed his exuberant little brother! He could only laugh gleefully.
"Nah, seriously, I think it's so cool that you're gonna work at a game studio. Which one is it anyway?"
"It's Simtendo." Bloom smiled in what he hoped was a modest - and not completely inane - way.
"Whoa! That's awesome! I mean, I always pwn you at all their games, so maybe now you'll learn some secret tricks or something. Even out the playing field a little." Broccoli winked and grinned mischievously. "You totally have to hook me up with some freebies, alright?"
"I will, Broc!"
As much as Broccoli loved parties, he had never made a big deal of his own birthday, and this one was no exception. The only guests in attendance apart from the family were Beryllium's genetic mother (or another alien, to his embarrassment Bloom could not really tell all of Beryl's new friends apart), their old babysitter Rebekah and Kelly, whom Bloom remembered from that awkward double date so long ago.
Despite being quite a bit older than Broccoli, she seemed to be the first girl whom he had an undying interest in.
The all cheered and clapped as Broc blew out his candles. He was cheering too, but his eyes seemed to be glued to Kelly.
Everyone noted with great interest how bright Broccoli's hair turned when he became a young adult. Their mother was of course delighted to jot it down in her research notes. Broccoli, however, still did not seem to care about any of it.
As soon as he had blown out the candles, he strode across the room and planted a big fat smooch on Kelly's mouth.
This continued for quite a while. Everyone was getting just a little uncomfortable.
After a few moments, as if they had all come to a silent agreement, the party continued with Broccoli and Kelly still entwined in each other's arms.
Everyone tried to act casual, even if some of them weren't very good at hiding their true feelings. It was a lovely little get-together nonetheless.
After the guests (well, all except for Kelly) had left, Bloom felt the urge to paint one last painting on his old easel before he would be off to Bridgeport the next morning.
When he went outside to catch some fresh air on the back porch later, he saw his father outside, painting happily and not even noticing the pouring rain. He supposed they had all become accustomed to the Twinbrook weather. It turned out that, completely independent form each other, Arthur and Bloom had come up with very similar paintings.
"Son, if I believed in these sort of things, I'd say it's a sign. You should take both paintings for your new place in Bridgeport, so you have something to remember your old dad by!"
Remembering his father's words from last night, Bloom raced down the street. This morning he had hastily packed the barely dry paintings and shipped them off to Bridgeport, before he headed to the airport himself. It had been a long trip, but the address had to be somewhere around here. His new apartment wasn't far! He just hoped that the paintings had survived the move.
There it was! This was the building that his new employer had arranged for Bloom to rent an apartment in. It had been really short notice, so Bloom was glad he had a place to stay at all.
When Bloom pushed the button on the elevator and listened to the mechanical sounds coming from behind the closed steel doors, he realized that he had actually never been in an elevator before! Growing up in Twinbrook had been great, but he sure felt like a country bumpkin right now.
He was going to live on the top floor! Bloom hoped he wasn't afraid of heights - he really had no idea.
So far, so good! The elevator hadn't gotten stuck. He had heard terrible stories about this apparently common occurrence in Bridgeport.
Bloom opened the door to his new apartment in excited anticipation.
And he loved it! He was aware that some might have called the decor drab, but black was his favorite color after all, and the stylish slate grey came pretty close. It all still felt quite surreal, as he wandered through his new home.
When he walked up to the windows, it finally hit him. A sinking feeling in his stomach. No, it wasn't vertigo. It was the biggest metropolis he had ever seen and he didn't know one Sim in it. Bloom was all alone.