For once, Bloom did not have to psych himself up before approaching a pretty girl. He just went up to her. It felt completely natural.
Bloom had never been able to keep up such a fluid, entertaining conversation, but with her it came easily. She even seemed to find his jokes hilarious!
He could not take his eyes off of her. When she reached out and touched his shoulder, it was as if an electric shock ran through him.
"Come on, let's dance!", she said softly.
Of course, he could not refuse her charming smile, even though he worried that he was about to make a complete fool of himself.
Luckily, she did not seem to mind his awkward dance moves.
They danced for... hours? Minutes? An eternity? He had no idea. Bloom was completely lost in the girl's violet eyes. The music blared loudly, but it was as if he just watched her in silence the entire time.
Again, he and the bartender were the only two people left in the club. Bloom went to the arcade machine beside the door, playing half-heartedly as he hoped against hope that the girl would return. He hadn't even asked her name!
Bloom barely even registered the little victory fanfare that sounded when he beat the final boss. She was still on his mind, and she wasn't coming back. He hadn't noticed that the club had started to fill up while he had been playing.
"Woah, you beat the final boss! I can't tell you how many times that dude pulverized me!", sounded a deep voice from behind Bloom.
The voice belonged to a brawny man, who immediately engaged Bloom in an excited conversation about old-school arcade games. He really did know his stuff and Bloom was in his element.
"You work at Simtendo? That's so neat! Any inside scoop on what's coming up next?"
"Well, actually it's my first day tomorrow, so I don't really know...", Bloom stammered.
"Relax, man. Just kidding! But hey, you're pretty bold, staying out this late when your first day at work is the next day. That's what I call style!"
The man grinned in a way the reminded Bloom of his little brother Broc. Maybe that was why Bloom felt comfortable telling him what was on his mind.
"There was this girl, you see, but she left all of the sudden and I was hoping she'd come back."
"Oh wow, you really are from a small town, aren't you? Looks like you've fallen for one of Bridgeport's party girls. Careful with those club-hoppers, man. They'll break your heart."
Stunned, Bloom was about to inquire further when all of the sudden it hit him.
"Wait, what did you say before?! What time is it?!"
He raced down the street, hoping it was the right direction toward his apartment building.
Surprisingly, he did find his way back home, even though the city was even more confusing during nighttime. He could have sworn that he'd seen several pairs of glowing eyes flashing at him through the darkness - and he was certain these eyes did not belong to cats.
No matter, he needed to clear his mind and try to get at least a tiny bit of sleep before it was time to go to work the next day. Bloom sighed heavily, thinking one last time about the beautiful girl at the club before his head hit the pillow and he drifted off to sleep.
It felt like just minutes later when his alarm went off.
"What... where...?" Crawling out of bed dazed and confused, it took him a couple of moments before he remembered where he was.
He quickly went to get ready.
"Water for you..."
"... and water for me."
Once dressed, Bloom took one last appraising glance in the mirror. Wait... did the people at Simtendo even know what he looked like? Had they seen a picture? Did they know he was a PlantSim? What if they...?
But there was no more time for worry - the sound of a car honking furiously came through the bathroom window.
"Carpool!", he remembered and rushed out the door, towards the elevator.
Once he came outside, Bloom wasn't so sure anymore. Was that car really waiting for him? There must have been many other residents in the building, maybe it was meant for one of them. But, not knowing what else to do, he went up to the car to ask the driver.
He knocked on the window, which the driver opened immediately. "Um, sorry, but are you... is that the carpool I've been told about? Bloom Wyman, for Simtendo?"
"Yes, yes, get on in!" The driver motioned impatiently and Bloom obliged, feeling sheepish. The car started before Bloom could even fasten his seat belt.
"So... um... do you work at Simtendo too?", Bloom asked.
"No, I'm just a driver for SBC."
The guy obviously didn't want a conversation, so Bloom stayed quiet and stared straight ahead for the rest of the drive.
Luckily, it wasn't a very long drive. Bloom ran towards the tall, imposing building with a feeling somewhere between anxiousness and excitement.
His first day actually hadn't been that bad! Again, Bloom had been worrying for no reason. His coworkers had barely looked twice at his unusual appearance, and the work was a lot of fun. Only after he'd left work for the day, did someone stare at him curiously. Well, he supposed that even in the big city a PlantSim was a rare sight.
Bloom sat down in the little restaurant on the bottom floor of SBC and opened a newspaper he had picked up inside. He could only stare at what he saw there. It was a picture of Bloom himself, talking to the man at the club last night. The caption read:
Star lyricist Tom Wordy seen at The Brightmore, chatting it up with unknown green man. Is he fostering a new young talent? Has he given up on rebellious teen star Lil Bling?
What?! He had met another celebrity last night without even noticing? Wow, maybe they really were just like normal Sims, he thought. So that's why that woman had stared at him before! He was in the newspaper, albeit as an "unknown green man".
He wasn't interested in the many gossip columns, however. Bloom was looking for the 'Hotspot Detector' the bartender had been talking about the previous night. If the girl he had met was a 'club-hopper', as Tom Wordy had described it, maybe he could meet her again at today's trendiest location.
Tonight's place to be was Waylon's Haunt, apparently, so Bloom got in a cab and was on his way.
When he arrived, the place was already packed with people.
On his way to the bar, he was stopped by an odd man in a suit.
"Hello there!", he said smiling, baring a pair of unusually pointy teeth. "Didn't I see you in the paper this morning?"
"Um, I guess you did. I really had no idea, actually, but..." Bloom was feeling a little uncomfortable about it all, so he tried to change the subject.
"Actually, I'm wondering if you could help me. I'm looking for a girl I met last night. Have you seen her? She has long blonde hair and violet eyes. She's very pretty."
The man laughed, flashing his teeth - fangs? - again.
"Look here, my young friend, this whole city is full of pretty girls. You're a rising star, and soon they'll be flocking to you. Don't waste your time chasing after one."
'My young friend?' - Bloom wondered at that odd expression briefly. The man did not look any older than Bloom himself. But more than that, Bloom had to think about the rest of what he had said. Was he wasting his time chasing after one girl he'd only met briefly? This city was so enormous - what were the chances of ever finding her again? Maybe the strong infatuation he had felt last night had been because of the drink the bartender had given him. Still, he could not get her violet eyes out of his head...
But she wasn't here, so Bloom supposed he might as well talk to a couple of people, just to keep up with the practice.
The man had been right. There really were a lot of beautiful women in Bridgeport, even in this bar you couldn't take two steps without bumping into one. So Bloom introduced himself to the closest one.
The conversation very quickly dragged to a halt, however. They simply didn't have anything in common.
Bloom quickly excused himself and walked over to yet another attractive woman.
But again, they ran out of things to talk about very quickly.
His thoughts returned to the girl with the violet eyes. How come he couldn't stop thinking about her? Maybe he wouldn't have anything to talk about with her, either. What made her so special to him?
As he was trying to strike up a conversation with yet another woman, a strange man in overalls approached Bloom.
"Hey, what's your name?"
Too surprised to even think, Bloom answered, "Uh, Bloom Wyman... why?"
The man did not answer. Instead, he pulled out a camera and snapped a photo of Bloom!
"What... what are you doing?!" Bloom asked, but the man had turned away and walked towards the restrooms. Was he the janitor? Weird.
From there, he continued to watch Bloom and take notes.
"Darned paparazzi.", the woman Bloom had been talking to muttered. "They're everywhere in this town."
The she turned to him and smiled, "I didn't know you were a celebrity!"
Bloom was taken aback.
"I didn't know either."