I’m happy you all liked the first chapter so much! Thank you for following and reading my story. This chapter was originally suppose to be really long, but as luck would have it, it didn’t work out that way. I apologize for the cruddy image editing skills; I was in a hurry. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the way it came out, so I hope you all enjoy it too.
Credit: The coffee shop is the It’s A Grind Coffee & ‘Net Cafe made by me from Sims Supernova. The world I’m using is Anne Arbor from MySimRealty.
The sunlight beamed across my forehead as beads of sweat dripped down the back of my neck. It was definitely summertime as I gazed around the busy inner streets of Belle Harbor. People in their low-rise jeans, mini skirts, and mid-drift shirts engrossed the sidewalks of Harbor Blvd. Looking down at my own attire, I suddenly realized that Belle Harbor had already somehow consumed my wardrobe. I suddenly felt uncomfortable at my own apparel and wished I had bought that pretty floral blouse and jeans at the thrift shop instead.
I let out a sight of defeat. The job hunting process took up most of my day and with the heat of the day, I was becoming tired by the minute. I contemplated on going home when I came across a coffee shop with a Help Wanted sign in the window. It was very quaint looking with its white fencing and olive green garden windows. Hell, I’ve already been rejected six times today; what’s one more, right? I let out another defeated sigh and headed into the shop.
The place was completely empty with only a couple of workers inside. The lady behind the counter seemed to have been distracted by her self-admiration as she held out her hands to examine her nail polish. She didn’t bother to look up when I approached the counter. “Excuse me.” The brunette looked at me as if I had just interrupted her from a passionate make-out session.
“May I help you?” she asked, unenthusiastically.
“I was wondering about the Help Wanted sign. You see, I’m new here and I–“
“Need a job?” she interrupted. I nodded. “Do you have any experience working in a coffee shop or anything relevant to it?”
I shook my head nervously and told her that it was my first job. She frowned slightly and came out from behind the counter and entered a room in the back. I waited anxiously as I kept my eye towards the room. She came out with a piece of paper in hand and told me to fill it out and bring it back tomorrow. Without another word, she went back behind the counter and continued to admire her nail polish.
“Thank you so much,” I happily waved goodbye in spite of her inattentiveness and left.
I took in the fresh air while a light breeze softly caressed my skin. The heavy weight that made residence upon my shoulders were finally beginning to lift and I could feel the tenseness in my muscles drift away into the realm of nonexistence. I couldn’t help but to smile as I got into what was once my mother’s clunker. The smell of stale cigarettes still lingered amongst the leathery seats; reminding me of a familiar scent that I often remembered in my childhood. My mother. A chronic chain smoker whose only ambition in life was to drain the lives of others. Why do I keep doing this to myself? The constant squabbling with my own thoughts was an everyday thing now. As I always did, I promptly pushed back the thought of her and went home.
The bones in my body cracked and ached just as I plopped onto the old hard mattress. Too exhausted to care about the imperfections of the bed, I laid my head down and closed my eyes. The visions of my father soon appeared as he stood in the middle of our living room and held me close to his chest. His eyes filling with pride and bliss as he gazed down at the very thing that implanted the joy back into his heart. I was his heart and soul. Was. I opened my eyes again and swallowed the increasing lump down into my throat. I closed my eyes to keep myself from falling apart and before I knew it, I was fast asleep.
The stench of rotting fish eggs and sulphate stung my nostrils like a bee sting to the eye. Mr. Dugald, a pale vampire-looking eccentric either never saw a bar of soap or simply did not believe in the daily activity of bathing. It had been a week since I applied for the job as a cashier and I was desperately weakened by the foulness that seemed to have clung onto him. How much longer do I have to train with this guy? I silently groaned in the displeasure of his continuous explanation about the procedures of order-taking for the one hundredth time. The shop hardly ever had costumers and now the mystery of it all had been thoroughly revealed.
It was towards the end of my shift and I was becoming impatient standing at the counter and staring out into space when a young man waltzed inside and settles himself down at one of the computers. I blinked twice before realizing it was Declan.
“Shift’s over, Willow! You can go. Have a nice weekend.” Mr. Dugald never smiled, but he was noticeably glad the day was over for some reason.
It took me less than a minute to clock out and grab my belongings before heading out the door. Declan arose from his chair as I passed by him. “Corrina.” I looked over at him to see him grab his book and make way towards me. “How is everything?”
I smiled at his awkwardness. Another guy who hardly smiled. I understood. It was hard to maintain a legitimate smile in a world where constant disappointment tends to dominate how we live. “Hi Declan. Everything is…good, I guess.” I tried to hide my annoyance from the day with a smile.
Declan frowned. “Bad day?”
“You have no idea.”
Declan laughed. “I’ve had my share of bad days, Corrina.”
I smiled, trying to mask my embarrassment. “So what are you doing here?” I asked, quickly changing the subject.
“Oh, I come here often. I like to read and drink coffee.” He smiled. He had a charming way about him in spite of his sadden eyes and gloomy disposition.
“Don’t you have coffee at home?” He let out a small chuckle and shook his head.
“So how are you liking it here in good ‘ol Belle Harbor?” His wide grin turned into an equally charming smirk.
“It’s beautiful here,” I said. “A nice change from where I’m from.”
“Where are you from?” he asked. The nerves in my body went haywire as I desperately searched for an answer to give him. I didn’t want to tell him where I was from. I didn’t want to tell him anything from my past. It wasn’t hard to figure out at all. My mother was the Black Widow of Bridgeport; a well-known serial killer. I shared the same last name as her. My name had been mentioned in the newspaper when she committed her first murder. Although my first name was changed once I was brought into the system for my own benefit, but there still wasn’t that many Stearns from Bridgeport floating about one city. I suddenly felt the room spin so rapidly that I almost felt myself passing out. “Are you okay?” Declan placed his hands on my arms. I could hear the worry in his tone.
I tried to compose myself the best that I could and manage to crack a grin. “I’m just feeling a bit tired, that’s all. I should go. I’ll see you later.” Declan nodded. His expression deepened with concern as he watched me walk out of the coffee shop. I took deep breaths as I gripped the leather-strapped steering wheel of my car. Declan waved goodbye and started down the street. I felt terrible making him walk home in the dark, but I couldn’t risk being discovered. Not now. Not ever.