Hello, and welcome back to Mesa Vista, where we peek in again on Kerie Ng’s family, and as you can see, she was in a bit of a quandary.
Kerie is not the only one, which I’ll explain later.
You may recall that up to this point, Kerie’s love life had consisted of a one-night stand with Mesa Vista’s founder Zach Adams, which she had quickly regretted, followed by a brief crush on her best friend and former roommate Brandon London, who had temporarily become irresistible after her genie had granted Brandon his wish for beauty.
So, while her personal life had rather sucked up to this point, she was making good progress in the Medical career, and by the end of the week she had become a Level 6 General Practitioner.
At first glance, you wouldn’t think Kerie and a guy like Talin Deppiesse would hit it off, either.
But they did.
In fact, it didn’t take long at all for them become an item.
Not that Kerie wanted anything too serious, mind you, but it was nice that she had someone to kiss and cuddle with now.
Her son Noah was still plagued by unpleasant memories of the night a burglar had broken into their house, and he didn’t make any objections when Kerie told him she was thinking of having Talin move in with them.
It turned out Talin had a thing for books, devouring even the driest of the skilling ones.
“I’m back on the day shift. What’s your schedule like?”
“Other than finding a good site for a bookstore, my days are open.”
“Would you mind watching Noah after school?”
“Of course not, that’s the least I can do.”
“Thanks. Do you like turkey?”
“Jeez, how long has it been since you ate?”
*shovel chomp gulp* “Way too long, kid.”
“Slow down, mister, Mom’s gonna kill you for getting food all over the couch.”
“Call me Talin.”
Noah dropped some stuffing on the sofa and pushed it over to Talin’s side of the couch.
“Talin will watch you after school when I can’t.”
“It’s dumb he has to stay with me after school. I’m not a baby.”
“You know it’s the rules.”
“It’s still dumb.”
“Hey, this isn’t as bad as I thought.”
“Of course not. You just have to know the trick to studying.”
“How did you do it? He never listens to me when it comes to doing his homework.”
“I taught him how to make studying easier, but I think the real trick was making him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
But Talin hadn’t done his homework when Noah made his counter offer: a game of Smash Mom’s New Boyfriend’s Face In With a Baseball, cloaked in a harmless game of Catch.
Kerie laughed. “Oh dear, I should have warned you, Noah has zero Nice points.” No doubt from his father, she added silently.
“But thank you, I really appreciate you watching him for me. Don’t tell him I said so, but I think he likes you.”
Kerie leaned in to give Talin a kiss, who cleared his throat and nodded toward Zach standing in the kitchen with them.
“Don’t mind him, he drops by uninvited every week. I have no idea why,” Kerie said in a bored tone.
Talin saw the resemblance to Noah, especially in Zach’s eyes, and he was getting a weird vibe between the two.
“I’m going to leave you two alone.”
“No, wait!” Kerie sighed in resignation. “Talin, meet Zach Adams, the illustrious founder of Mesa Vista. Put your hands down, Zach, you’re making a fool of yourself.”
“Talin Deppiesse,” Talin said, offering Zach his hand, who lowered his own to grasp it in a firm handshake.
“Call me if you need me,” Talin said before leaving the room.
Kerie immediately turned her back on Zach and busied herself with a few stray dishes.
“Mom, Talin’s hogging the bathroom!”
“Must be a bit cramped for three with only one bedroom and one bath,” Zach observed with a rather smug smile.
“Are you offering to let us move in with you? I hear your new house has more than enough room.”
Zach ignored Kerie’s jibe and said gently to the boy instead, “Hello, Noah.”
“Mom, who is this guy? Why is he here?”
“I don’t know, honey, why don’t you ask him?”
The smile vanished. “I’m sorry, I have to go now,” Zach said and abruptly took his leave.
Then why did you come here in the first place?! Kerie wanted to scream.
“Can you believe Zach? I think he’s jealous of you!” Kerie said with a merriment that sat oddly with Talin.
“He’s Noah’s father, isn’t he?”
Kerie cleared her throat nervously, the merriment suddenly gone. “Yes. And don't judge me.”
Talin held up his hand and said, “Not judging, scout’s honor.”
“Wow. You’re the first person I’ve actually told that to outright.”
“Aside from his father,” Talin said quietly.
“Nope, not even him. Diane Shin is the only other one who knows, but I didn’t have to tell her.”
“Though he would have to be an idiot not to put two and two together,” she mused with a scornful laugh.
“May I ask why you never told him?”
“Look, it was a confusing time in my life… three-bolt attraction gone awry and I didn’t know how to handle that. When he got married, I got more confused, and when I got pregnant, well, I wanted him to know something of what I was going through. Of course, now he has kids up the wazoo and… what good would telling him do now? He’s never going to leave Nikki, not that I want him to, she can have him. Plus, I don’t need, don’t want his help financially, I don’t want him to have any say in how I raise my son.”
“… What about Noah, does he know?”
“He doesn’t. He’s never asked, and I didn’t want to lay any of this confusion on him, because a kid especially doesn’t need that, you know?”
Talin said nothing, just rubbed his thumb back and forth across the back of her hand, which told her more than words that she was safe with him.
“And call me selfish because I definitely am, I didn’t want to deal with a confused kid on top of working so hard to get promoted. God, I want to be Chief of Staff so bad, it’s all I can think about!”
“I know you do.”
“I… don’t think I’m ready to jump into anything serious right now.”
“I know, and that’s fine.”
“Stay far away from me, Talin Deppiesse, I’m lousy relationship material.”
“Oh, I don’t doubt that for a minute,” he teased, “but I do think you’re promising girlfriend material.”
“Sure, why not? You’re dedicated to your career, I’m dedicated to learning as much as possible and getting my bookstore off the ground. I can see this working.”
“So we’re actually on the same page?”
“Looks like it to me.”
“To me, too! Question: are we talking with or without benefits?”
“Still on the same page.”
“Yes, we are.”
So, Talin moved out.
To this new house, which rather ironically has two bedrooms for one person. It’s another one from Plasticbox at MTS that I made over into a more masculine style.
Kerie had fed Talin way too well with turkey dinners and such, and along with the deed to his bookstore, he bought an exercise bike to put in his home office.
And then he got The Book Nook, Mesa Vista’s first bookstore, up and running.
View from the outside.
But not before Noah grew into a teen. He rolled Pleasure with a LTW to become Mesa Vista’s first Professional Party Guest.
That is one I can definitely deal with, and I like that two Fortune Sims made a Slacker.
While his mom was out for a walk with her boyfriend, Noah convened a meeting of the Mesa Vista mean boys at the Ng residence. In attendance beside himself (the defacto leader with zero Nice points) was his best friend Neil Outside with one Nice point. (Ryan Adams, also one Nice point, didn’t attend due to a prior engagement doting on his little sister.)
“I’m hungry, let’s see what Mom left us to eat.”
“Mmm, noogie sandwiches, my favorite!”
“Uck, how old is this cookie?”
“Probably since…” Noah remembered Uncle Brandon had brought the cookies for his sixth birthday, right before he had moved out, and suddenly the lighthearted mood took a serious turn.
“Practically since I was a baby. The guy my mom’s with now, that’s number two she’s moved in and out. It’s a regular frickin’ revolving door around here.”
“Are they roommates or boyfriends or what?”
“Sometimes boyfriend, sometimes roommate… Who knows, who cares, I’m tired of talking about it. Let’s get out of here.”
“And stop at the bakery for fresh cookies?”
“These aren’t cookies. The library? Really?”
Noah elbowed Neil in the ribs. “Think. There’s gotta be girls here, right? Oh cool, I’ve been wanting one of these. Here, want one?”
“Sure,” Neil grabbed the box from his friend and jammed the phone in his pocket.
(You’re welcome, Neil. *grin*)
The main level was deserted, and upstairs in the kid’s section was Ramin Johnston, Gavin Newson and not a girl in sight.
“You were saying?”
“Shut up, this is pretty cool.”
Kerie and Talin returned from their evening stroll while the boys were still out.
“I’ve put it off long enough, Talin. I’m going to tell Zach, even though I’m sure he knows. And Noah. I have to figure out the best way to tell him.”
“I can only imagine how difficult this is. I’m proud of you, Kerie.”
“Yeah, well, better late than never. Would you like to spend the night?”
Yup, he certainly would.
Once Kerie had made up her mind to come clean, she went ahead full steam, and Zach’s suspicions were proved correct when Kerie actually called to invite him over.
“Okay, Noah is your son. You wanted to know, now you do.”
Zach sighed heavily. “What are we going to do about it?”
“Simple. I’m going to tell Noah, and he gets to decide what to do about it.”
“Um, I know you’re right, it’s just…”
“Yes, I know… poor Nikki. Well, guess what? That’s your problem.”
“… Is he here?”
“No, he’s out with his friend. I'll tell him tomorrow morning.”
“Noah, I don’t know how to say this…”
Noah cut her off. “I’m supposed to be meeting Neil at the baseball field like ten minutes ago.”
“It won’t take long…"
Noah rolled his eyes. "Okay, shoot."
Or maybe it will...
“The thing is… okay, if you want to know about your father, just ask and I’ll tell you whatever it is you need to know.”
“It’s not Uncle Brandon.”
“No, I’m sorry. For your sake I wish it was.”
“Who is it?”
“Are you sure you..?”
“Okay. You know the man in the hat that stops by every week?”
“Yes. His name is Zach Adams.”
“Zach Adams? But he’s… that's Ryan and Quincy’s dad at school.”
“I know! We were stupid, but it was only once, okay?”
“… Can I go now?”
“He… I should warn you, he owns the baseball field. If you go there, he’ll be there.”
“So he’s rich?”
“I suppose so.”
“Yo, bro, what’s up?”
Despite what his mother had told him, Noah decided he still wanted to meet Neil at the field. Kerie offered to go with him for moral support, which he accepted upon the stipulation that she and Talin were not to hang out with them.
“You’re not gonna believe what my mom just told me.”
“Ryan and Quincy’s dad? He’s my dad too.”
Neil's jaw dropped. “No $#/+! Whoa, dude.”
“He owns this field too, which means he’s rich.”
“… Um, do you know what you’re gonna do?”
“Make him pay.”
An uncomfortable silence followed.
“What can I do for you?”
Noah’s heart was pounding, but he too played a good game – just like his father.
“Your day of reckoning is finally here, it’s time to pay the piper. Me.”
He glanced quickly back at Neil, who gave him a surreptitious thumbs-up.
“Oh God, what did he say, what did he do?” Kerie asked frantically after Noah had left.
“He’s primarily interested in my money.”
“He didn’t… try to blackmail you?”
“Kerie, he doesn’t have to, I told him I’ll give him whatever he wants.”
“Out of guilt? Or is it quiet money?”
“Out of guilt, because it’s the least I can do, I don’t want to piss him off… take your pick.”
Kerie let out a relieved sigh. “Okay, then, I guess we’re good.”
“I hope we’re good.”
Kerie turned and took Talin's hand. "Come on, let's go."
“Whew, I’m so relieved! That went better than I expected.”
“For now, at least.”
“I'll take for now.”
“I like being your girlfriend.”
“See? I told you you had promise.”
“Are you going to go to college?”
“So are my… other boys. I’m sure you’ll see them there.”
“Have you told them… you know?”
“Are you going to?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“… Are you?”
“I’m just sayin’… ya never know what might slip at college, between kegs, parties...”
“Yo, we gonna play basketball or not?”
“Yo, be right there! See ya ’round… Dad.”
“How’d it go?”
“Okay. Fine. Hey, you’re going to college with me, right?”
Back at the Adams house:
“Zach, when you're finished I need to talk to you."
"No problem, all finished. I was looking for a job in Military to see if I couldn't speed up an opening for Intelligence, but no luck. Should have been more diligent about that and remembered to check everyday. Still, not a total loss, I have someone else rolling that ball now..."
“Zach," Nikki repeated firmly. "There's something I have to discuss with you."
"... Sure, about what?"
“Nikki, not that again...” Sighing heavily, he rose from the chair.
"How many times must I tell you she means nothing?" he demanded softly, stifling any protest she may have had with his mouth on hers in a hard, deep kiss. Without thinking, Nikki pulled him closer...
And then suddenly she was pushing him away, catching Zach off guard and both of them off balance.
"What was..? What...is...going...on, Nikki?"
Panting slightly, Nikki pressed the back of her hand against her mouth. "That isn't going to work this time, Zach, I'm on to you."
"What are you talking about?"
"It's your MO, I see it so clearly now – that day at Kerie's house, her behavior at Diane's wedding, why she didn't tell me about her baby when Outside Outfitters first opened, and Noah's eyes... I saw him there by the changing rooms. Nobody but our children, your children, have your custom eyes." Nikki bowed her head and began sobbing quietly.
Zach swallowed hard. The game was finally up – she had him and he knew it. "Oh God, Nikki, I'm sorry. It was only once, I swear on the life of our chil..."
"Don't you dare!"
“It’s true! I didn't plan it or plot it... well, I did want to talk to her, but certainly nothing related to that, and when she invited me over, she... it was crazy, it just... and before I knew it, it was over. We both knew it was over. Over, Nikki.“
“Not quite. There was Noah.”
"What did I do? What didn't I do?! I thought we were special!"
"We were... we are! It's that damn elusive Intelligence career! I knew afterwards that I never wanted to touch her again, that I had made the biggest mistake of my life."
She put both hands up to her mouth and said tonelessly, "And getting pregnant again, that was mine."
“Don’t say that, Nikki! Honey, I love you so much..."
"I gave you everything, denied you nothing, you selfish bastard! 'Whatever you want, darling!'" she mocked with a self-deprecating laugh. "My modus operandi!"
Zach staggered back from the anguish in her voice. "Nikki, don’t, please..!"
"Making your boys dig for treasure so we could afford this house, while you never felt the need to get a job in your life? What kind of a sorry excuse of a Fortune sim are you?!"
"Refuse to work unless it's in Intelligence! I know, darling, it's been such a very rough road for you. Do we get to dig again on Sunday to pay our taxes too?"
"No, of course not. I'll... I can earn more money running the Hoops, get us plenty of cash to last us for a good long while. You can quit your job, whatever you want, Nikki."
"... I'll think about it."
"And are we... do you want to leave me? I mean, of course you can have the house, I would have to do the leaving..."
The word had such a sense of finality, and an unbearable ache and feeling of panic waged war with her seething anger.
"I... I don't know, I have a lot of thinking to do…” she said before leaving Zach standing alone in the room…
So. We end this update with Nikki and her quandary…
And as I mentioned earlier, here is the first of mine:
How to resolve the Zach/Nikki/Kerie/Noah storyline: does Zach’s marriage to Nikki survive? To be honest, it’s a can of worms I wish I had never opened since I didn’t think it all the way through. I had hoped I would get inspired when I played them, but that never happened.
So, here’s a simple, very informal poll if you’re interested in weighing in:
Do Zach and Nikki stay married, or do they split?
Feel free to post your answers here or at boolprop.
Otherwise, I can flip a coin.
And now the big one:
I love playing and writing Mesa Vista, but my writing mojo has all but deserted me. I spend literally weeks thinking and working on my more drama-filled updates, and while I’m usually pretty pleased with the results, it takes too long and is just too much of a struggle for it to be enjoyable anymore. Working on writing was never what I wanted my focus to be here, I even state in the title that this BaCC is for fun, and fun for me now is playing and posting some pictures of my progress, and most importantly, getting through the freaking challenge! Whether I can really switch to a less character-driven writing style remains to be seen, but I'll never finish at the rate I'm going if I don't.
To make a long story short, from now on you can expect shorter updates and less of a story.
Next up is Marie Sims, and I’ll end Week 4 with the Simself of my oldest son, which, being the awesome son that he is, he is totally cool with.
Thanks for reading and Happy Simming!
BACC Quick Stats:
Sim count + graves: 44
Sim multiplier: 20