Tomas

This is Tomas.

Tomas

“Stop staring. I’m not ‘too plummy for this shirt’. Eww.”

Right now, he’s Red’s favorite person, and we almost lost him.

Red met him about one Sim week ago, when he was still a teen. He was strolling past their home one afternoon, and they struck up a conversation that ended up lasting well into the evening. It wasn’t so much that they had that much in common. It was that talking to him was simply fun.

He’s so intelligent. When Red talks with him, she feels that she’s talking with someone who actually has ideas! His own ideas!

Her park boy friend Clarence is all right to talk to–he listens to her and hangs on every word when she describes her plots and talks about image, metaphor, narrative style, and other literary elements. But he never contributes. He just listens and looks at her with soft eyes and then says something like, “Wow. You’re so talented.”

It gets old. Red has never wanted fans. She’s wanted colleagues!

And then park boy Jamie: he’s a book worm and a snob, like she is, but he cuts in as soon as she begins to talk. “Hey,” he’ll say, “did I tell you about that novel I read where the limited narrator is a snail? Ridiculous. But it worked! It’s been done. Anything you can think of. It’s been done before and better.”

She always felt just a little bit defeated after a conversation with Jamie.

But talking with Tomas was simply fun! He listened without interrupting. And then, he contributed with ideas that furthered the topic and helped her to develop and expand her thinking in new ways! She had never had a conversation with anyone that worked like this. Here was someone she could talk to for hours and gain fun, rather than lose it.

She also very much appreciated that not once while they talked did he look at her with gooey eyes. He followed her ideas–he didn’t stare at her body or lose himself in her gaze.

When her dad, who’s now working on the body builder aspiration, had to go to the gym to work out, he asked Red to accompany him. A body builder herself, she knows her way around the gym.

Tomas was celebrating his young adult birthday with a workout.

“Hey!” Red said. “Want some coaching? I’d be happy to share a few tips!”

“Sure,” he said. “I’m always glad to learn from someone who’s got experience.”

Tomas

“Kick your heels up! Aim for my finger! This high! That’s how you’ll get maximum stride!”

The gym was surprisingly empty.

Grim

Great way to relieve the stress of reaping!

And so was the locker room.

Grim

No de-robing for Grim! What would you see under there? Bones?

But Tomas and Red hardly noticed. They were so engaged in their training session.

The moment Red and her dad got home, Red rolled the whim to “Chat with Tomas.” We invited him over, and each Tomas whim was replaced with another the moment it was fulfilled. The cycle of chatting and joking carried well into the evening, and when it was time for Tomas to leave, we had locked in “Be funny with Tomas” as a reminder to invite him back first thing the next day.

This was the first time that Red had ever consistently whimmed to socialize with anyone other than family members. She’d rolled a few “cloud-gazing” whims for friends before, but never this constant stream of chatting-joking whims for anyone other than onezero.

I saved the game and shut down the computer for the night. The next evening, we played through until the Sim morning, and when morning came around, I had Red open up her phone to call Tomas. His number was gone. So were all her other friends’! Only the park boys and their families, who’d been moved into homes long ago, remained. I checked relationship panels. All gone–even the long line of ghosts that had been filling everyone’s relationship panels. All gone.

It had been generations since we’d had culling in the game, but I think something may have been tweaked after the recent update, for I’ve noticed that more and more Townies had been strolling by the lot. My strategy to prevent excess Townie generation–and hence, prevent culling–seems no longer to work. And Tomas, Lilliana, and the whole string of Red’s suitors were the victims.

I exited the game, and rolled back to my back-up save from the night before. This isn’t Pinstar-compliant, but then, neither are the youth-potion guzzling Boughs. And when it comes to love, love trumps the rules.

Zipping back in time to the previous night, before the midnight culling, I quickly moved Tomas, Liliana, all the suitors, and as many Townies as I could into homes.

When morning came, Red called Tomas.

And I have never felt so relieved to see the pop-up that someone would be right over!

When Tomas showed up–amidst my big smiles on this side of the screen–he was still feeling a little tight from the big workout that Red had put him through at the gym the day before, so she offered him a massage.

Tomas

Yeah. That’s the flirty cow hat. I’m trying a little nudging in the romance direction.

Afterwards, they sat together in the music room, which is one room where the environment objects aren’t overly focusing. It’s one of the best places on the lot for quiet, relaxed conversations.

Red

“I just had this weird deja-vu thing! Like I should feel really lucky to even be here!”

I prompted Red to initiate the first flirt–not enough to spark a romance bar, just enough to test the waters.

And the waters were warm. Toasty, in fact.

For a while, due to her soulmate aspiration, Red has had the “First Kiss” whim locked in. And now, she has a whim for that first kiss to be with someone in particular, Tomas.

As night fell, they found themselves on the rooftop. Tomas rose from the microscope as soon as Red joined him up there.

I suggested that she confess her attraction to him. That was too forward, and both of them felt awkward.

Then Red took matters into her own hands. She knows that one of the best ways to get through to a non-romantic Sim is through her video-game prowess.

Tomas

“Seriously? You scored over a million points at Blic-block?’

It worked. Non-flirty Tomas began to swoon.

Tomas

“I had no idea your reflexes were that good!”

What were these feelings within him? He had to admit that Red stirred him.

Was it enough that we could venture a kiss?

Red flirted a little more, all the while, her fun meter plummeting. Neither she nor Tomas, it seems, are romantic by nature.

And then, I hoped it might be the right time. Maybe it was too soon for Tomas!

Tomas

“Oh! I hope she brushed her teeth!”

But it wasn’t too soon for Red. The bookworm has found love.

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