Monday, January 4, 2016
Gen 2 Ch 5: Matilda
The days seemed to fly by. Work was going great - Bloom had already been promoted twice! Each night after work he kept checking out the hottest clubs and chatting with the people there. It seemed that one couldn't help but to bump into celebrities here in Bridgeport, so he had stopped worrying about it. They really were just Sims too, and most of them were quite pleasant to talk to.
But still there was no sign of the violet eyes.
Living with his parents, Bloom had never had to think about laundry, so it surprised him when the piles kept growing without anyone doing anything about it. When he stumbled over a particularly large one, he supposed it was time to visit the local laundromat.
It was tedious work! So his mother had been taking care of this all his life? Not just for him, but also for his father and siblings! Thinking about them, he noticed how much he actually missed his family. Hey, he should invite them all over to see his new apartment!
While he waited for the rumbling washing machine to be done, he scanned the newspaper he had brought with him. It had become his daily routine - looking for the place to be later that night. Now and then, there would be photos of himself, unknowingly chatting with this and that celebrity.
By now, the papers knew his name and more and more people recognized him on the street. It was a little uncomfortable still, but he wasn't going to stop with his charisma training just because someone might turn out to be a celebrity. Besides, Bloom was still looking for the girl with the violet eyes.
When the washing machine beeped, he folded up the newspaper and walked over to continue with his laundry. Alright, now to pick a program on the dryer...
He had absolutely no idea what he was doing.
As he tossed his wet clothes into the dryer, hoping that they wouldn't come out completely ruined, he glanced up and his heart skipped a beat.
There she was, beautiful as ever. Just doing her laundry as if she was a normal person, not the elusive, mysterious being that Bloom had been searching for ever since his first night in Bridgeport.
Before he knew what was happening, Bloom's legs had carried him over to her.
"Hi there! Remember me? From the other night at The Brightmore?"
"Of course! Bloom Wyman, how could I forget? You've been all over the papers lately.", she flashed him her stunning smile. Bloom was speechless. She remembered him! She even knew his name!
"Hey, your phone is ringing. Aren't you going to pick it up?"
"Oh, um, sure.", Bloom stammered, pulling out his phone. He hadn't even noticed it ringing. To be honest, with her standing in front of him, he couldn't care less about a phone call, but he had already lifted it to his ear.
"Hello Bloom, this is your agent speaking.", an unfamiliar voice sounded from the other end of the line. "I really need you to go and work out at AJV Wellness Center for four hours today."
Without even realizing what he had just heard, Bloom muttered "Sure, ok." and hung up.
The girl looked at him intently with her mesmerizing violet eyes.
"Sorry about that." He tried his best to keep his voice steady, even through his heart was thumping. "Hey, so you know my name, but you haven't told me yours yet!
"It's Matilda.", she smiled. "Matilda Smart."
"Matilda." It was such a relief to finally know her name, after all this time. "Matilda." It felt so good to say it!
"Yes?", she tilted her head and looked at him quizzically.
"Uh... um... I mean..." Darn! He hadn't realized he was saying it out loud. His mind raced, trying to save him from looking like a complete idiot. He was drawing a blank. Panic started to rise within him. No, not now! Not in front of her...
Then it hit him - the newspaper!
"Er... In the paper it said that Eugi's is the place to be today. I- I'm going there tonight. Wanna meet up?"
"Oh, sure!", she grinned. "See you there, Bloom Wyman."
And with that, she was out the door.
In a haze, Bloom went to get his laundry form the dryer. Good, everything seemed to be fine still. Wait, what had that phone call before been about? Since when did Bloom have an agent? Well, he did agree, so he supposed he should go to that gym the agent had mentioned.
Matilda... Matilda! He finally knew her name. Bloom couldn't wipe the big grin off his face as he ran down the street toward the AJV Wellness Center.
Bloom hadn't expected how relaxing it would be to run on the treadmill for hours, watching the gardening channel on TV. It was as if all the tension just melted away - or maybe the reason for that was that he had finally found her again. Matilda. He could not get enough of her name!
He could barely contain his excitement when it was finally time to head to Eugi's. He quickly went home to change his clothes, and the he was off again.
When he arrived, the place was full of Sims, but Matilda was nowhere to be seen. Constantly followed by that pesky paparazzo, he asked around if anyone had seen her, but no one could help him.
Bloom stuck around until closing time, but there was no sign of Matilda. He'd been stood up. He didn't even notice the half-naked man in the elevator with him.
The days flew by again, as Bloom fell back into his usual routine. Work, some online gaming, looking for Matilda. Had something happened to her? Oh, he hoped she was alright.
He tried to clear his mind with painting, as he usually did, but even that did not work this time.
But there was one thing that brightened his mood! Today his parents and siblings were coming to visit and Bloom even tried his hand at cooking for the first time ever. Tofu dogs, both his Mom and Dad's favorite food!
His siblings arrived first, with Beryllium even bearing a lasagna she had made herself.
"I know you don't eat, Bloom, and what with you being a bachelor on your own and all, I thought you wouldn't have any food here at all!", she said by way of greeting.
"Woah, Bloom, that is one view you've got here!", Bismuth chirped cheerily.
Then Broccoli came and pulled Bloom into one of his tight bear-hugs.
As they chatted away happily, Bloom noticed Beryllium and Bismuth hugging behind them for a rather long time.
"What's up with those two?", he whispered to Broccoli, who rolled his eyes.
"Ack, they've been going on like this for weeks. It's pretty gross if you ask me."
"I mean, we're not genetically related, but I've always thought of Beryl as our sister. Haven't you?"
Bloom nodded, glancing over at the two of them from the corner of his eye.
"Well, Bis has always been the weird one in the family - and that's saying a lot, huh?", Broccoli chuckled.
Then Kaitlin walked through the door. Bloom was shocked at how much she had aged since he'd last seen her. Maybe it was the worry about Beryllium and Bismuth that had gotten to her.
"Bloom! Come here, let me have a look at you!"
Bloom was glad that despite her looks, his mother hadn't lost any of her excited energy.
"Your dad is still downstairs, looking for a place to park the car. He insisted on taking that darned police cruiser along - for some reason he still thinks that it gives us all a thrill to ride in it! I think it's really just him who gets the thrill - but if it makes him happy."
They all sat and talked for a while, when Kaitlin got up suddenly.
"I almost forgot!", she exclaimed. "I brought you some more of my research notes, Bloom. I thought you'd be interested."
"Thanks so much, Mom!"
The hours passed and everyone entertained themselves as best they could in Bloom's little apartment. Arthur still hadn't shown up when Kaitlin announced that it was time for them to head to their hotel for the night.
Just as they walked out into the hallway, Bloom heard the elevator doors open, followed by his father's voice.
"Finally I found a place to park in this darned city... yes, yes, Kait. Just go on ahead. I'll be down soon. Let me just see my boy."
Arthur too had aged visibly. Between this, the car thing and the tank top he was wearing, Bloom hoped that his father wasn't going senile or something!
"Bloom, it's so good to see you! How has the city been treating you?"
"It's so good to see you too, Dad!", Bloom said, with tears pricking the back of his eyes.
"What's wrong, son? You look troubled."
Arthur still seemed as sharp as ever, so Bloom relaxed a little.
"Well, Dad, there is this girl, you see. She's... she's really special. But it feels like I've been running after her all this time, trying to catch up. And as soon as I think she is within reach, she's gone again."
His father smiled knowingly. "A pretty face can do that to a guy."
"No, Dad, it's more than that. I've been thinking about your advice and I really know that she is the one."
Arthur, still smiling, glanced over at Bloom's desk where he had displayed the lapis lazuli.
"This is the stone I gave you to remind you of that, isn't it?", Arthur asked.
"Yes. I've been looking at it every day, thinking about your advice."
"Then you should remember the other thing I told you that day."
Bloom thought back to that day, straining his memory. Closing his eyes, Bloom recited the words echoing in his mind, "When you find the one, you will know it, son. And don't let anything keep you from being happy."
"And there you have it. Don't let anything keep you from being happy. When was the last time you did something that made you happy, Bloom?"
Bloom stared at his father, seriously thinking hard. Clubbing was fun to most people, but to him it was still just a means to an end. He had always been so focused on the first part of the advice that he had completely forgotten about the second part. He kept quiet.
"Son, as long as I can remember, you have always loved art. When was the last time you visited the museum that's right across the street from here?"
"There's a museum across the street?"
The next day, Bloom didn't even open the newspaper to look for the day's hotspot. He took the elevator down and as he walked out, the doors closed on him!
When he finally managed to free himself, he fell flat on his face!
He just hoped the paparazzo, who was now constantly following him, hadn't snapped a photo of that!
His father had been right! There is was, an art gallery right across form his apartment building. Bloom had been so caught up in finding all the hottest clubs that he had overlooked the thing that would have normally excited him the most.
As he walked around the building, looking for the front entrance, he saw something from afar that made his breath hitch in his throat. Could it be? Was it really her?
It was! Bloom approached her with some slight trepidation - after all, she had stood him up last time. Maybe she didn't like him. He didn't want to look like a stalker.
"Hey, Bloom!", she exclaimed as she saw him. "I'm sorry about the other day. Something came up, and I didn't have your number, so..."
Bloom just grinned at her happily. She hadn't stood him up! Well, not on purpose at least. He was sure she had a good reason and didn't think to ask her about it.
"So... uhm... do you come here often?", he asked, immediately cringing at the cheesy line.
Matilda just giggled.
"As a matter of fact, I do!", she said. "I spend most of my free time here, actually. What about you?"
"It's my first time."
"Well then, I'll show you around! Come, the entrance is over there.", she said, grabbing his hand.
She was leading him around the side of the building, when Bloom suddenly stopped.
"This sculpture...", he mumbled, looking up at an enormous wooden structure.
"It's amazing, isn't it?", Matilda replied, sounding equally impressed. "I think it's my favorite piece here. I can't get enough of these elegant lines."
They both stood and stared at it for a while when Matilda continued, "You know, this might sound silly, but when I look at it, it always somehow reminds me of..."
"Love.", they said in unison.