Chapter tune: Europe – Prisoners in paradise
Weeks passed, fortunately without any more dramatic events.
Rose spent much of her time with her two closest friends after the incident, Emma and Madison, who both stepped up to make her feel better, by going swimming, shopping, or at the spa.
They were subtle enough not to invite her to the bar were everything took place, or to mention much about their work at the bistro.
Rose also found a new job eventually, at a small bakery near the beach.
The owner was a very sweet old lady, named miss Myrtle. She was always nice and encouraging. She also liked to give plenty of money to charity, no matter how much she earned at the end of each day.
“My sweet girl” she often called Rose.
Rose of course didn’t have any references from the bistro, so when she went to ask for a job, she simply took a plate of cupcakes that she had prepared from home. She was instantly hired.
The hours were really long but Rose didn’t mind. She loved the smell of freshly baked pies and pastries, the creative freedom that miss Myrtle gave her, but most of all she loved the fact that she was really good at this job.
Christopher also took the opportunity to hang out with Rose. He showed her his favorite fishing spots and took her out as often as he could.
One day they decided to go to the local festival which was held every three months.
They spent the afternoon chatting and doing the many activities the festival had to offer. While it was getting darker, Christopher suddenly became more serious. “Rose, about that night… when I told you that I’d be there for you… I really meant it you know.” Rose gave him a friendly hug. “I know Christopher, thank you for everything. You are a good friend.”
Christopher signed. “What if I want to be more than a friend to you?” His headed shifted towards her face.
“Look Christopher… I really like you but I can’t see you like that now. I’m so sorry.”
“No need to apologize. I know you’re still in love with him” he said -not mentioning Jared’s name- “but I believe that I can make you forget him, in time… He was so stupid to let you go Rose, I’d never do that to you. If only I had told you how I felt before all this.”
I don’t think it would be any different, Rose thought, but decided to keep this thought to herself.
She was still in love with Jared, Christopher was right. The fact that she hadn’t seen or heard from him since that night didn’t do much to turn her feelings off; on the contrary – there simply wasn’t a switch for that.
“I’m sorry” she said again “I don’t want to lose our friendship, but if you think that we should stop seeing each other I’ll understand.”
“Not at all” his expression became more carefree and cheerful again “I told you I’m there for you no matter what. Even if it means as a friend for now.”
The fall was almost at its end and Rose was happily working at the bakery.
It was a particularly busy day. At about nine o’clock though, every customer had left and Rose was helping miss Myrtle close for the night. Suddenly, she heard a voice coming from the front door: “Hey doll.”
Rose’s heart almost skipped a beat. She would recognize that smoky voice anywhere. She approached him, once again not knowing what to say. The truth is she had convinced herself that she’d never see him again.
“Hi” she finally said “What are you doing here?”
“Well, I heard that this place has great pie” he replied smiling.
“Ok then” she said coldly “What can I get you?”
“I’m sorry, but we are closed dearie” miss Myrtle shouted when she saw him “I don’t want my sweet girl to get any more tired today”
“I came to talk to Rose for a bit if you don’t mind” Jared said.
“Oh, I’m sorry dearie, are you Rose’s friend? She’s such a sweetheart I tell you, and her work here is better than I could ever hope for. We have so many customers now, you wouldn’t believe it. Although I’m sure some of them come just to see her beautiful face.”
“I find that very easy to believe” Jared said looking straight into Rose’s eyes.
“Rose dear, I’m going to go now. I suppose it will be ok for you to close the store? Goodnight dearie” she looked at Jared “it’s always nice to meet a friend of Rose’s”
When they were left alone, Rose spoke: “Do you want some coffee?”
“Sure” he smiled again “And some of your best pie too”
Rose didn’t know what to think. Why did he come here, after all this time? And so unexpectedly… Her heart was beating so fast, she thought it could stop any second.
Jared was staring at the display. “You really made all of this by yourself? I told you you had talent kiddo. I hope you remember that” his voice took a slight nostalgic tone.
“So, how are you?” Rose asked awkwardly when she brought the coffee. For some reason, she couldn’t stop herself from making small talk. Her friendly nature didn’t help much.
“I’m good, sort of. Haven’t found a decent job yet, so a little here and there until I find something stable.”
“You didn’t go to work at the diner I presume…”
Jared laughed “I wouldn’t be caught dead working there. You know Molly would come every single day just to gloat”
“Yeah, Molly…so what did you want to talk to me about?” Rose realized that she was still supposed to feel mad towards him.
“Well, not much…except…well, I’m a dad now” he said.
Rose felt her heart sting. “Oh…congratulations. It can’t be with Molly though, right?”
“No, not her, thank god” Jared laughed, feeling a little ashamed at the same time. “Claire, the one before Molly. It’s a baby girl, her name is Emily” he said with a gleam in his eyes which lasted for only a second. “Her mother doesn’t let me see her though. She says they’re better off on their own”
Rose felt her patience run thin. Had he really decided to show up just to share the news for his newborn with her?
“I don’t understand what all this has to do with me” she said while standing up from her seat “Why are you here? In fact no, don’t even answer that. It was good to see you, I guess. Now I have to close the shop and go. Please leave too.”
When she returned from the bathroom where she was supposed to change from her work outfit, Jared was gone. She decided to go to the beach nearby to clear her head.
She felt awful. She couldn’t stop torturing herself with questions. Why did he have to come back and mess with her emotions again? It really hurt all this time when she didn’t see him, but it hurt even more now that she did, even for what it felt like a moment.
Again, while she was alone, her tears somehow started to find their way out.
Suddenly she heard footsteps on the sand.
“It’s me, don’t be scared doll” Jared said. “I was babbling before, you know. I’m sorry. It was good to see you again, to talk with you… I didn’t mean to make you upset.”
“I came because I can’t stop thinking about you. I know I screwed up, I always do. You trusted me, you shared everything from your past with me and I held back. It’s probably too late… but can I tell you everything too?” he asked. One could tell that he was not waiting for an answer.
PS: How lucky was I that the week Rose started working at the bakery, icemunmun from modthesims released a new mod with tons of dessert recipes!