The images that were flashing through Darren Broker's mind ended abruptly, interrupted by the sound of a screaming dormie running through the corriders outside his dorm room. He assumed it was a streaker, or maybe a cow mascot. He didn't really care, he was just frustrated that his sleep was being disturbed.
Groggy, Darren pushed off his blankets, sat up, and paused. He was trying to remember what his dream was about, but alas, it left him extremely quickly. He didn't remember a thing, except the feeling he felt throughout. A feeling which he couldn't really describe. It wasn't a feeling he was fond of.
Shrugging, he proceeded to get up as normal, rubbing sleep from his eyes, trying not to recoil from the window. The sun's glare was annoying him, but since it was Friday, he didn't have classes until the afternoon, so he sat and enjoyed letting his eyes adjust naturally before doing anything. His mornings usually consisted of dressing himself whilst being unable to see a thing due to the sun hurting his eyes.
After he finished clearing the sleep from his eyes, Darren glanced at the clock and almost yelped in surprise, “Bugger! 7:45? I'm supposed to meet Thomas for coffee at eight!” Now, totally awake, Darren jumped from his bed, quickly threw on some clothes and sprinted from his dorm room, almost knocking over his girlfriend, Rachel, and 4 other dormies in the process.
Darren arrived at the cafe he and Thomas had arranged to meet at ten minutes late, only to find that Thomas was not there himself. Grumbling, he sat down and perused the menu. “ May I take your order sir?” asked the waiter, after Darren put his menu down, indicating to the waiter he was ready to order. “ Yes, can I have an espresso please?” “ Is that everything sir?” the waiter asked, and Darren nodded in confirmation. The waiter took Darren's menu and told him his espresso would be a few minutes. Darren was prepared to wait patiently until a draft started blowing in his direction from somewhere, making him shiver. So he stood up and moved to the lounge at the side of the cafe.
Darren was sitting waiting for a full ten minutes, and got lost in a little daydream before anyone approached him. It seemed the waiter didn't know where he moved to and abandoned his espresso. Darren didn't actually notice. “ Darren? Is there any reason you're humming the theme tune to Charmed?” said the voice of someone Darren hadn't even noticed.
It was Thomas, and he made Darren jump, “what? Do you realise what time it is? You're a HALF HOUR late!” “ Yeah, I'm sorry. I was at the gym, I lost track of time on the treadmill,” Thomas explained. “ Man, that's not cool. I have class in 20 minutes.”
“ Oh, ok. Then I'll just get to the point, it won't take long at all,” Thomas began, “I'm planning on starting a Greek house, and I want you to found it with me.” This was not what Darren was expecting, and he realised he was staring at Thomas with a perplexed look, “Uhh, thanks for the offer, but I'm in my last semester, I graduate in two weeks.” “I know, that's what's great about it! You have your university funds, which they will take back from you when you graduate, so I was thinking you could spend the money on this. You won't be able to use it in two weeks time, so why not?” “ You've thought this through, haven't you?” Darren asked, slightly respecting Thomas for actually thinking of using the money in such a way.
“ Of course I have,” Thomas said with a big grin on his face, “I've always wanted to found a Greek house, but I've never really had the money, then I thought about taking the money from all the seniors who are close to graduating.” “ Wow, you really have put a lot of thought into this. I really don't know what to say. I'd love to help you, but Rachel may have had other plans for that money. I think she's planning on buying a lot of expensive things with it, then taking it back with us.” “ With you? Have you accepted her invitation to move in with you?” Thomas asked. “ Well, not exactly. See, I've been kind of avoiding her since she asked me. I was a bit taken aback, now I don't know what to say to her.” “Just do it, it's not like you're getting married.”
Darren glanced out the window and saw the familiar bright pink top, and grimaced, “Oh no, she's coming here just now. Ok, I'm sorry to do this, but I've got to go. I'll get back to you after I've spoken to Rachel, you never know, she may not even want to look at my face ever again. See you later,” Darren said, running off out the back door before Thomas could even say anything himself. “ Uhh...ok,” he said in response, although Darren was already long gone.
Thomas stood up to leave himself, but decided it would be a good idea to visit the bathroom before leaving. He walked down the hall and pushed open the swing door with the little man in the orange triangle nailed in the centre.
Thomas stuck his hands under the running tap and started scrubbing his hands. He was a hygiene freak, so he felt wrong if he didn't do this. When he was satisfied, he tried to turn the tap off, but he realised he had turn it on too hard, and now the water was flowing relentlessy from the tap's mouth. “ Oh, no. I've broken the tap! Damn! Turn off dammt!”
Thomas continued trying to force the tap off, but the hot water flowing from its spoint was rapidly heating up the metal, and Thomas was having trouble holding onto the handle for a few seconds, without having to pull his hands back in pain from the heat. The fast flowing water was beginning to be too much for the sink's drain, and the water was slowly filling the sink up with the boiling hot water. “ Ahh! That's too hot!”
“ Dammit! If I can't fix this, they're gonna make me pay for the repairs, I can't afford to be spending extra cash.” … ~~~~~~
“ Louise! Wait up!” Laura called, as Louise was heading out to class, “I have to ask you something!” Louise made a frustrated facial expression, but turned it into a smile before turning around, “What is it? I kinda have to go to night class, I'm already cutting it close.” “ Oh, it won't take long, and like you need to go to class, your GPA is 4.0 and you're in your last two weeks of senior year, you'll be fine.” “ I appreciate the flattery, I really do, but can you hurry it up a little please?”
“ Right, ok. Well, since this is your last two weeks ever of school, assuming you don't fail this semester, and you won't, I was thinking we should throw a party for you guys. Formal, kinda like prom, but not. You know? I was wondering if I could use your uncle's bowling club as the venue?” “Oh, that sounds like a really great idea. I'll need to ask my uncle about it first though, when did you plan on throwing this?” Louise asked. “ This weekend I thought would be good,” Laura said. “ Oh, well that might not be the best time. If it's a formal night, people will need time to find formal clothing that's decent.”
“ Fair enough. When would you suggest?” Laura asked. “ Uhh, well it's Friday night, and our graduation date is exactly two weeks today...I think the Tuesday night of our last week would be best, since I know that none of the seniors have classes on Wednesdays.” “ That sounds good, I don't think any of the rest of us will be affected too badly if we miss one morning of classes the next day.” “ No, I don't think so. And you can always make up for it. Listen, I'll have to go to class now, talk about it more later?” Before Laura could agree, the sound of raised voices was coming from the kitchen area.
“ Get away from me, you tramp!” the cook yelled, putting her hands up and stepping back.
“ TRAMP?!” Natalie Tyler yelled, ”How dare you?! At least I'm going to GET somewhere with my life, instead of spending the rest of my days cooking in a DORM!” “ What is wrong with you? What did I do to you to deserve such abuse?!” “ You started calling me names, you saggy old low life!” “ I was just joking with you! Clearly humour is lost on your generation!” “ Oh, bugger off. I'm going to my boyfriends,” Natalie yelled, and stormed out of the dorm.
The cook stood in her kitchen, holding back the tears. She only made a joke about boob jobs, and Natalie took it personally, and now, she knew what everyone of the kids she slaved over the stove for everyday really thought about her. It hurt. “ Well,” she said, “I guess if you all think of me that way, I'll submit my resignation and move into an old folks home. I'm done for the night, kids. See you in the morning.” ~~~~~~
“ Are you sure about this place, Joe? It looks quite expensive,” Philip asked, as he looked at Joe with worried eyes, watching him admire the rustic looking restaurant. “ Why not? We've never been to a place like this before, we might as well try it out, especially now that we're in the last two weeks of our university days, we may as well use our university funds for something before it's taken from us.” “ Wait, you're paying with our shared fund?” Philip asked, a look of horror on his face. “ Yeah, what's the problem?” “ Oh, nothing. Dinner's on me by the way, I don't want you spending a penny!” Philip said, giving Joe a look that he could not argue with.
The two men entereted the restaurant, and were given their seats fairly quickly. However, the only table they could have been given was far too big for two people, so they had to sit side by side, instead of across from each other. Joe picked up his menu and gave it a quick glance, “What do you want to order, Philip? Oysters? They're an aphrodisiac, you know. Should make tonight more fun,” Joe said. “ Joe, behave! I don't want to discuss our sex life in public! What if people hear you?” Philip asked, giving Joe the same look of horror he did outside. “ And? If they say anything we get them beat up for being homophobes,” Joe suggested. “ No. We can't do that. Straight couples don't discuss their bedroom fun times at fancy restaurants like this, and neither will we!” Joe glared at Philip, and Philip smiled in return, knowing he was right.
Behind Philip, the waitress coughed, to let the men know she was there, making Philip jump, “Can I take your order please, sir?” “ Yes, could we please have two plates of Lobster Thermidor?” Philip said to the waitress. He didn't know how much of their conversation she heard, and this concerned him. “ Of course sir, your order will be ready in a few minutes.” The waitress walked away, and Philip turned to Joe, “How long was she standing there?” “ Long enough to know we're gay,” Joe said smiling. Philip's face went red. He was already out of the closet, but he wasn't ready for everyone and anyone knowing.
After they finished their meal, they both stood up to leave, “Philip? Come and stand out back with me?” “Sure, where's the exit?” “ In the foyer somewhere, come on.” Philip followed Joe through the restaurant and out the door to the decking.g.
“ You're looking at me funny,” Philip said, “What's wrong.” “ I love you,” Joe said. Philip was not expecting this, but he'd be lying if he said it didn't make him unbelievably happy, “I...I love you too!” “ Really?” “ Really.”
Joe pulled Philip into a tight hug, “Wanna go home now?” “Yeah. Wish I had let you order Oysters.” Joe giggled. ~~~~~~
After Darren returned home from class, he locked himself in his dorm room, and stayed there the whole day. However, he felt guilty for not giving Rachel an answer, so he decided to leave his room and find her, to talk through their new, unecessary issues.
“ Rachel? Uh, what happened here? Did the cow mascot light something under the sprinkler?” … “ Ok, I'm sorry I've been avoiding you all day, it's just, I was surprised by your offer.” … “ I have an answer, if you're interested.” … “ Ok, I deserve this silent treatment, I do, but can't you at least hear me out?”
“ Rachel, I want to say yes! I have all along, I've just needed some time to prepare! Commitment isn't something I have an easy time with, you know that. Getting close to people is difficult for me to do, you know what happened to my parents, and you should at least be compassionate and understanding towards me for that. I'm broken, I'm not a normal guy being a jerk, I'm a guy who's parents were murdered in front of his eyes, and then went through at least eight foster homes, and treating me like I'm just some common guy scum isn't fair!” Darren's words meant something to Rachel, as she stopped dead outside her dorm room door, Darren took this opportunity to approach her.
“ I'm sorry,” Darren said, “I know I've not been treating you right. My therapist thinks I've been making progress but I disagree.” “ It's ok,” Rachel replied, “I... I've been a bitch. I forgot how hard things can be for you sometimes and let myself get angry at you for something you can't really help. Can you forgive me?” Darren smiled, “Always. So, have you bought the house yet?” “ No, not yet. I bought a lot of stuff today with the money, and I've already sent it all back home to my mother, asking her to sell it all for a profit.” “ Think this will work?”
“ I really don't see why not. They tell us we can spend our university funds on anything as long as it's on campus and above board.” “ Well, that's great news. How do you know no one is going to buy the house between now and us graduating?” “ I don't know that won't happen, but I doubt it will. It was only put on the market yesterday, and people don't usually start getting visits for a few weeks. I only know about it so soon because my parents are realtors.”
“ Awesome! Can't wait! So, do you wanna come into my room?” Darren asked, Rachel opened her mouth to respond, but she was interrupted by someone shouting, “Darren! Rachel!!”
“ Have...you...guys...heard....the....news?!” asked a very out of breath Natalie, who had clearly sprinted to them as fast as she could. “ No? What happened?” Rachel asked. “ It's Thomas...he died this morning in some coffee shop's bathroom. The police think it was murder,” Natalie said, grabbing her chest. “ Funny, it's not nice to make jokes about people's lives like that,” Darren said, with an annoyed tone. “ Joke? Who's joking?”
“ Ignore him, he's not having a great day,” Rachel said to Natalie with an encouraging smile, “Do the police know anything on who killed him? Or....how?” “ Not that I know of. I just passed the shop on the way home from class, and overheard the police say they found him murdered in the bathroom. I ran straight here. I knew you were friends with him, Darren.” “ So, you thought you'd come and gossip my friend's death to me? Wow, very compassionate of you,” Darren said, unable to hold his anger in, “Excuse me.”
Darren walked briskly to the door to the balcony. He needed air. Once outside, he ran up the stairs onto the roof.
Darren closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, looked up at the sky, opened his eyes and exhaled. He felt fear. “ Please just let it be a coincidence, please, I'm begging you.” “ Darren?” Darren jumped and turned around to see Rachel standing nervously behind him.
She quickly pulled him into a hug, “I'm so sorry. I know how close you were to Thomas, and...this...it can't help your troubles, can it?” “ No, it can't.” “ Don't worry, I won't get mad at you over things like that anymore. If you're worried about moving in with me, you don't have to. It's fine, I'll understand.” “ Thank you, I still do want to move in with you, but”
Darren pulled out of the hug, “There's something I never told you about my foster homes.” Rachel looked confused, “What?” “ I told you all my foster parents decided they didn't want me because I was so angry over my parents' death. Well, that isn't true. All of them were murdered mysteriously, and the police never found any evidence from any of the scenes.” Rachel gasped, “Why...why didn't you tell me this before?” She asked, sounding worried. “ Because I was scared you'd run away! Even now, I don't think you love me enough to stay, I can see me telling you this really worries you.”
“ I'm not worried. Darren, I don't know what happened to your parents, or any of your foster parents, but I do not believe it is linked to Thomas. Don't think that.” “ What if it is?! They ALL died minutes after making contact with me. I bet you £100 that the police find nothing. Thomas's case will have run cold by next week. I promise you that.” “ Come here,” Rachel said, pulling Darren into another hug.
“ We'll just have to find that evidence ourselves then, won't we?” Rachel asked.
~*~*~*~*~ And that, is the end of Chapter I! :) I hope you liked it! Remember to leave a comment. Chapter II should be up next week. Notes *Although none of the main cast are simselves, Joseph and Philip are based on real people, and one of those people requested that they be put in a relationship with the other. *Siobhan made an appearance in this chapter! She was in the restaurant with Joe and Philip! Did you spot her? ;) *Thank you to Phlip for proof reading! *HUGE thank you to everyone over at www.thesimswritersguild.com for being patient with my image editing noobness and giving me all the great tips! It's much appreciated!