Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge: April 2019


A potted plant, a stack of books–such a simple still life. In an apartment with $20,000 Dekton counters, solid maple cabinets, full spa, home gym, and million dollar views, how was it that Don’s favorite amenity was this simple display?

He made the plan to move in with Mac to escape the complications of living in a desert mansion with his then-girlfriend and her two grown daughters, both hotter than peppers. Too friendly, too complicated. Big mistake. Much drama.

He’d passed Mac a few times in the foyer when leaving her neighbor Lily’s apartment in the city, on his quick exits before Lily’s husband returned. Of course, he couldn’t move in with Lily. Her husband. Duh. But Mac had a spacious apartment across the hall. He could tell, from the way she turned to look at him, that advancing a “relationship” from introduction to move-in status would be piece-of-cake.

For a man like him, fooling an inexperienced woman to believe that he really cared for her required no more effort than taking out the trash and putting a new liner in the can.

A few dates, and he was spending the night. A few nights, and he was ready to suggest the move-in. He took her, sweet nature-loving girl like her, on an island picnic to bring it up.

On the ferry ride over, when he’d planned on reviewing his conversational strategy, he got caught up in watching her. Her broad face opened into a smile as the bay winds rushed past. Those eyes! What was that shining through them?

“You look–” he began, when they sat to rest during their island stroll, “you look like a fresh marsh!” Face-palm. Had he said that?

She giggled. “I’ll take that as a compliment!”

“That’s how I meant it.”

She wasn’t like other girls. Oh, she was different.

“What do you want, babe?” he asked.

“Do you mean, like, really?”

He nodded.

“Like my dream? My dream is, well. My dream has to do with my paintings. One day, I will paint something, and when someone else looks at it, they will feel what I felt when I created it. Does that make sense?”

It did. He wasn’t sure how, or if it were even possible to feel the same thing that someone else felt, at the same time, or at a different time.

His experience had always been that what he felt was different from what anyone else, a woman, especially, ever felt. He could pretend they felt the same thing, but that was about it.

She brought up moving in first, and he balked. It was supposed to be his idea. And now that he really wanted it, he wasn’t so sure he should go through with it. Could it be that simple?

That was three months ago. He stopped seeing Lily, even though she lived across the hall. Not difficult at all. He forgot about the Calientes’ drama. Easy as pie. He watched Mac paint. He worked out. He looked out the window. He got a job in a restaurant.

In some moments, he discovered that what he felt was what she felt.

Maybe he was getting old. Maybe he was a sucker for shining brown eyes. Maybe he was just tired of feeling alone.

Maybe, all these years, he’d been a fool to chase after fast pleasure, other women’s wealth, and adding notches to his belt, when what he’d really wanted, all this time, was to feel what somebody else did, something simple and domestic.

Author’s Note: This short story was written as part of the Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge, organized by LisaBee at the Sims Forums. Readers are invited to read all the entries, and vote for their top three choices in both categories (novice and veteran), for a total of six votes. Any vote that doesn’t contain three for each category (six total) will not be counted–so if you want to vote, please be sure to read all the stories and vote for three Novice and three Veteran stories! You’re in for a treat with this month’s submissions! Happy reading!