Hillary generally kept to herself although she was predisposed to having an active social life. Most of the time, she just wanted to stay out of sight–Harold’s sight mostly. If the truth be told, Hillary was quite comfortable and happy in her own skin. But, after being verbally abused most of her life, the lies and the truth tend to get mixed up. The lies often shrouded the truth. But, sometimes, just sometimes, the truth dispelled the lies, and the real Hillary came out like a Ghost Orchid. This night was one of those nights. She liked looking pretty and feeling pretty. And when she felt pretty, she broke out the high heels and short skirts, styled her hair, and packed on the makeup. Most times she called on her best friend, Jase Templeton, to go out and have drinks and enjoy the company.
“What are you grinning at,” she asked.
“You are the most beautiful creature God ever created,” he said genuinely.
“Oh, please. Yeah, I’m a creature all right…in the morning when I wake up!”
“I bet you’re beautiful then too.”
“Not with my hair all over my head and no makeup!”
“You don’t need makeup to be beautiful, Hill. You’re beautiful just the way He made you.”
“Pfft! That’s what all the guys say to the fat girls when they’re not interested.”
“Hill! I’ve been telling you this since we were kids. Stop chasing after guys who can’t appreciate you just as you are! You are beautiful inside and out. It doesn’t matter what size you are.”
“Oh yeah? Then why am I perpetually single? Answer that!”
“Oh, I have plenty of answers to that question, but you’re not ready to hear the answers.”
“Oh? Try me, Dr. Templeton.”
“Ok! First of all, you’re too consumed with image. You’re always talking about how you look and how you think other people think you look when the truth is none of that really matters! And then, the guys that interest you are also image conscious.”
“Just because they are drop dead gorgeous doesn’t mean they’re image conscious.”
“You’re right. They’re not image conscious. They’re image obsessed!”
“Whatever. You’re just jealous of them.”
“Right. I’m jealous of them,” he said sarcastically.
“You are! You wish you had washboard abs, bulging biceps, and perfect hair.”
There was a lull in the conversation as Hillary’s mind began to wander, but not that far.
“You said you had more than one answer. Give me another,” she said trying not to sound too interested.
“You’re too blind to see what’s right in front of your face.”
“Jase, please. Don’t start that up again.”
“What? What’s wrong with me?”
“You eat cereal!”
“What’s wrong with cereal,” he laughed.
“You eat it like…like nine times a day! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you eat anything else! No wonder you look like a pot bellied pig.”
“There’s that image consciousness again…”
Jase continued laughing and was enjoying shredding her supposed logic to pieces. But she wasn’t done yet.
“And you play video games in your pajamas all day and night!”
“I’m an eSports Gamer! It’s what I do for a living!”
“Hmph! Leave it to a geek to figure out how to turn a useless pastime into a job. I bet that’s not even a real job!”
There was one thing Jase learned during his lifelong friendship with Hillary. There would always be something for her to pick on. So, he conceded but decided to put things into perspective for her.
“Hillary…I am highly intelligent. I am at level seven of my career. I make more than §4000 per week. I own my own home. I may be a little clumsy, and, yes I enjoy sci-fi and video games, but to be 22 years old and have accomplished this much? I am confident you won’t find a better match than me. Now…let’s change the subject before one of us gets our feelings hurt.”
“Oh! We’ve got this girl staying with us!”
“Her name is Juliana, and mama is teaching her to speak Simlish. She’s a cute little brown thing! We don’t know where she came from or how she even got here, but mama thinks she’s been homeless so she brought her home.”
“Wait…so, there is a homeless girl…a foreigner…you can’t communicate with her, and she’s living at your house?”
“Yup! Isn’t that crazy? Mama is the most generous person I know!”
“Harold didn’t say anything about it?”
“He can’t. Mama is fed up with him. What she says pretty much goes these days.”
“Wow. I’d love to meet this Juliana. Well…maybe when her Simlish is better,” he chuckled.