Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter, Leia opened up and let Jeffery Dean in. Max realized at that point, that he had fallen for his best friend. Hard. At the end of the chapter, Max learned that Jeffery Dean had a tendency to cheat and Leia got mad at him when he told her about it. And now on with the story.
Since their first real fight as best friends, Leia refused to acknowledge Max and when she did, it always ended up with her yelling at him. It killed Max inside to not have his best friend talking to him. And it didn’t take a perceptive person to notice it was really hurting Max.
“You’re an ass sometimes, sis,” Mission said.
“What in the world, Mission?!” Leia said.
“Your best friend gives you some information about your boyfriend from a source he trusts and because you don’t like what that information was, you’re giving him the cold shoulder. Throwing away a friendship over something that I think anyone would want to know about their love.”
“He’s just jealous so he’s making shit up and I will not put up with it. Jeffery would never cheat on me.”
Mission sighed, “Fine, but don’t come crying to me when he breaks your heart and Max won’t give you the time of day because you threw him under the bus when he warned you about Jeffery.”
“Sorry, Max. She’s being stubborn and won’t listen to reason,” Mission said.
“Thanks for trying. It just hurts to have her ignoring me like this. We used to do so much together and now she won’t even give me the time of day. Or yells at me when I force any interaction.”
“If she doesn’t wise up soon, I’ve got one more trick up my sleeve.”
“I’ll just tell her she’s her mother’s daughter. Our mother played the whole let’s avoid father or yell at him when I can’t trick when we were growing up. I’d rather not use that card because she is her mother’s daughter and is liable to play that trick with me.”
Weeks went by and soon the semester was over. The group went home for the holidays. After the break, Leia continued to ignore Max. What she didn’t understand was why her twin and older brother were taking his side. Sure there had a been a few rescheduling of dates and the dates didn’t happen as often. But Jeffery said he had a fairly heavy course load this semester and couldn’t spend as much time with her this semester as he did the previous semester.
And it was date night. They were going to meet up separately at the local fancy restaurant and then head to the club. Jeffery had said that there was a super special event at the club that was a once in a lifetime experience tonight. Which means it was going to be packed. They had done a club a couple of nights ago when Jeffery learned about this event. Leia was a bit clubbed out but she didn’t want to cause Jeffery to not go to the club experience of a lifetime because she was uncomfortable.
Jeffery had bought her a dress. It was a bit tight fitting, but Jeffery had said that tight fitting clothes were all the rage and to just try it out for a night. And he’d love for it to be tonight. She even did her hair up the way Jeffery had said to try it.
Jeffery mostly left Leia alone while they were at the club. But he always knew when she tried to slip off to the side so she wasn’t so overwhelmed. And tonight was pretty bad. She stuck her hand out and she was shaking pretty badly and she was feeling very odd. Her feeling of claustrophobia and immense anxiety was back again majorly.
“Miss, are you alright?’ one of the club goers said.
“Sir, she’s fine,” Jeffery said, “I’m her boyfriend, I would know if she’s not fine.”
“Dude, she’s shaking and it’s obvious to me that she’s got a cold sweat. She’s not fine.”
Leia didn’t hear anymore as the world went black.
Leia woke up and felt a bit nippy. She realized she was outside on a bench outside of the club. She didn’t see Jeffery in her quick scan around and figured he was inside enjoying his evening. It hurt Leia a bit that he wasn’t out here. She then noticed she wasn’t wearing her dress anymore and was wearing a man’s shirt. She began to panic a bit.
“Relax miss. You passed out in the club. You seemed to be having trouble breathing and your dress was tight. So I took it off and the man over there gave up his shirt so you wouldn’t be out here in just your undies. I’m Jordan, by the way,” a guy said. It was the same guy who had originally asked her if she was alright.
Leia looked over to who it was and blinked. It was Max.
“I’m only out here because the bouncer said he wasn’t letting you back in and you have no business being out here alone in your current condition and state of dress,” Max said, “Let’s get you home.”
“I’ll call Mission. You can go inside. It’s clear Jordan doesn’t have any ulterior motives for helping me,” Leia said.
“Why don’t you call your boyfriend and get him out here to take you home?” Max asked, “He’s the one who urged you to come to the club tonight knowing full well you have anxiety problems. He’s the one who pressured you into wearing the dress that’s a size too small just because it’s in fashion knowing full well you were likely to have an anxiety attack and that the dress would just make it worse.”
“But this is a once in a lifetime…”
“Yea, I’m aware of that. Hence why I’m here knowing you’d be here with Jeffery. Yet who is the one out here with you? Who gave up their shirt and is standing out here in this temperature waiting to take you home? A once in a life time event at a club is less important than making sure I don’t go to the once in a lifetime event of your funeral because something really bad happened, Leia.”
Leia felt tears fall as what Max said sunk in.
Max walked over to her and stuck his hand out to here, “Let me take you home.”
“But what about…”
“Miss, I hate to interrupt, but your so called boyfriend seemed to think you were you just fine seconds before you passed out. I don’t think he’s going to stop what he’s doing to take you home. He’s liable to tell you to wait out here until he’s ready to go home, because you can’t possibly be anything but fine and just fainted for the attention. I know his kind of guy. He’s trouble.”
Leia glared at Jordan, but didn’t feel like waiting for Jeffery to be done. So she sent him a text saying that a friend passed by and offered to take her home so she took the offer. She took Max’s hand which will still offered to her and unsteadily stood up.
She took a few unsteady steps before Max scooped her up. “Hey!” Leia said.
“You’re apparently too unsteady to walk. I think I’m going to call a cab and take us to the hospital,” Max said, “Just to make sure you’re fine. And I’m going to strongly encourage you to go see someone about the anxiety attacks. Every time he forces you to go to a club, you come home with an anxiety attack having happened or about to.”
“I’ve got a car,” Jordan said, “I could drive you. Follow me.”
“Thanks,” Max said.
Max and Jordan waited in the lobby after telling the doctors what they knew. “You a student, Jordan?” Max asked.
“I am, but I’m also an actor. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of me. Jordan McDaniels. Though, I was more of a child actor than a teenage one. My parents knew I needed to have a solid education just in case my dream of being an adult actor didn’t pan out. Like their dreams of being actors. You?”
Max looked Jordan up and down, “You look way different from how you did as a child. I’m not a student. I’m Leia’s room mate and best friend. I’m also an aspiring actor. I’ve had some small parts in some independent films and a few roles as extras, but I haven’t been noticed yet.”
“Do you have a talent scout yet?”
“I do, but I’m thinking of finding a new one. Why?”
“Was going to recommend you to mine. He only takes those recommended to him now. He doesn’t want the actors and actresses who just want to throw themselves into the spotlight anyway they can. He wants actors and actresses who have a moral backbone. You’ve got one. It’s obvious to me, you have feelings for Leia. But you aren’t pressuring her to dump that asshole boyfriend of hers because you know that’s a decision she has to make on her own. You aren’t letting your jealousy get in the way of your friendship.”
Max sighed, “She thinks I am, though. Jeffery has been known to cheat in the past. I warned her of it and she accused me of being jealous and making shit up. She’s been ignoring me or yelling at me ever since and that was before Christmas of last year.”
“Even more proof that you’ve got what my talent scout likes in a person. Despite her cruelty, you’re here making sure she’s fine.”
It didn’t take too long for the doctor to come out with Leia. “Leia’s fine. She just needs some rest,” the doctor said, “I have given her the names of a couple of good anxiety therapists here in town. Try to get her to go to one.”
Max thanked the doctor and then turned to help Leia out and saw she was crying silently, “The news is good. You’re fine. Why are you crying?”
“I was such an ass to you. Yet here you are, still being nice to me.”
Max gently hugged Leia, “I’m your best friend. I care about you. I couldn’t just ignore the fact that I saw Jordan carrying you out unconscious.”
Jordan then drove the pair home and Max got Jordan a copy of his portfolio to give to his talent scout and hoped the guy gave him offer.
Leia looked at her watch after taking a sip of her drink. Jeffery was an hour late now. And he hated when people were late. Leia began to wonder what could be wrong. She figured he had gotten zoned out in his studies or was just too sick to call her. It had been a few weeks since she passed out at the club. They hadn’t been going on as many dates, but Leia figured that was due to Jeffery not inviting her to go clubbing with him anymore and she didn’t mind that. But this was unusual.
“Date still not here, miss?” the bartender asked.
“No. No call or text for me either,” Leia said.
“What’s your boyfriend’s name? If he’s a regular, I can let you know if I’ve seen him tonight.”
“Poor you. He was here earlier. Left with a pretty little thing, they were headed to her place for the night. She was giggly, they had had some drinks. But that’s his MO. String one girl along while having flings on the side. You aren’t the first to be here waiting for Jeffery Dean to show up,” the bartender said, “Here, have a drink on me.”
Max had decided that it was time to move on from Leia. It was clear she was going to go be with Jeffery for awhile. So he might as well get on with his life. He decided it was time to go out to a club and find a one night stand. And maybe someone who would be that special someone.
He arrived at the club and sat down at the bar to scope things out.
“Hey, Max. Here alone or with someone tonight?” the bartender asked.
“Hey, Sandra. Alone. Why?”
“Got a girl here tonight, boyfriend’s not only cheating on her but stood her up on her date. She could just use some company. I dare not stick her with just any guy considering and I know you won’t take advantage of her. She has had a couple of drinks. She’s in the bathroom currently,” Sandra said.
Max ordered a drink and by the time Sandra had finished, the girl Sandra wanted him to hang with was coming out of the bathroom, “Here she comes, Max.” Max glanced over and froze. It was Leia.
“Jeffery Dean is in for a world of hurt.”
“Oh, she’s your best friend isn’t she. The one you have a crush on.”
Max nodded and saw Leia sit down next to him and not even notice he was there. He took a sip of his drink and said, “Good batch, Sandra.”
Leia blinked. That sounded like Max. She glanced to her side and Max was sitting right next to her. She could tell he was aware of her presence and said, “Why?”
“Why did he cheat? Because he’s an asshole. Why did he stand you up? Because he’s a douche. Why does it have to hurt? Because you loved him. Did I cover the one you were wanting?”
Leia nodded, “I’m never falling in love again. When I’m ready for kids, I’ll adopt. Love is just asking to be hurt and I can’t take it anymore.” She buried her head in her arms and missed the hurt look on Max’s face.
Sandra mouthed a sorry to Max.
Max nodded to Sandra and turned to Leia, rubbed her back and said, “Never is a strong word.”
“But all I’ve seen it do is end in hurt. My grandparents loved each other deeply, but when Grandma died, Grandpa was so depressed. My father has had two relationships. The first one didn’t want to go further than just saying they were in love and yelled at Father when he said they were boyfriend and girlfriend. His second relationship was fine until Bailey found out about Darius. Then she went ballistic and really hurt Father. Now Jeffery has hurt me. No. Never again will I fall in love.”
“I’m sure if you asked your Grandpa after your Grandma had died if he regretted falling in love and he would say no. And I’m sure your father doesn’t regret his relationship with your mother. Yes, love can hurt. But you shouldn’t give up on love just because you’ve seen more than your fair share of the hurt it can cause.”
“Too risky. I want to go home.” Leia then stood up and headed for home, Max followed after her.
And that’s it for this chapter! Has Leia closed herself off from love forever or will Max be able to break through again? What’s going on with the other siblings? Find out in chapters to come!
Progress towards Obi’s Goals:
- Become Private Investigator – Achieved Chapter 2.19
- Complete 30 cases
- Snoop 10 locations
- Write 5 papers on findings
- Reach level ten of Private Investigaor Career – He’s at level 1
- Go through 5 garbages and 5 mailboxes
Progress towards Leia’s Goals:
- Master Painting Skill – She’s at level 6
- Master Writing Skill – She’s at level 8
- Paint 20 paintings
- Be friends with parents – Due to story reasons I’ll only be considering Atton as her parent.
- Get 5,000 in royalties (or sell 15,000 from paintings) – She’s got like $2568 in royalties
- Paint family pictures (spouse, kids, parents if alive)
- Join book club (if applicable)
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Atton – Hit Movie Composer: Hit Movie Composer – Level 10 – MET Chapter 2.14
- Obi Wan – Perfect Mind, Perfect Body: Level 10 Logic, Level 10 Athletic – Logic is at 3, Athletic is at 5
- Leia – Professional Author: Earn $4000 a week in royalties – currently earning $896 a week in royalties
I claim no knowledge about how the acting world goes. Any differences from reality can be explained by it working differently in the Sim universe. I do not plan on focusing too heavily on the careers of my Sims this generation.