The untouchable ones. Never bullies, never outright mean to anyone, never openly at fault. The ones that work in more subtle ways, like the polite jocks that get straight As and treat their girlfriends like shit but nobody knows or if they know they don’t care because he’s just so handsome and what a well-mannered young man. Like them, Josephine got away with anything and not only because of her father but because that’s what she’s good at – getting away with anything. You should have been a criminal, someone had told her once. Could have. She used to smile and take it as a compliment but she’s less sure now.
She’s less sure of a lot of things now.
Success, for example. She used to think you earned your success. No matter what you’re starting from, she would say, you can climb your way up. It had been easy back then to claim such things. Now she knows that she works her ass off in a hopeless, awful line of work. That her body hurts after nine hours full of grease, heat and impolite fucking customers that she wants to slap rather than serve fries. Customers that look down on her or – even worse – look at her with pity. She can tell. Over the past few years she’s developed a sixth sense for spotting pity.
She knows that at the end of the day all she wants is to go home, take a long shower and go out to do something fun. Something uncomplicated and simple and fun. There’s no energy left to study or network or look for new work opportunities elsewhere because she needs to breathe too.
One thing she finds simpler now that she’s nobody is to date.
Before she was always aware that she was part of something bigger than herself – a family name, a legacy – and she had to be a sweet, good girl with good taste or at least pretend to be. High school all over again, forever, all the masks and games of her teenage years reinforced.
Now she applies the want – take – have principle and she finds that it makes her much happier. She lets her neighbour Dennis ask her out during her first week in the building. No regrets. He’s not her type and even before she goes out with him she learns that he’s a player, albeit a nice, friendly one who doesn’t give you any illusions about what he’s doing.
Fine by her, really.
The apartment complex she lives in is pretty awful. Old, dodgy flats and a rough neighbourhood but she’s grown to like it. Dennis lives upstairs and Michael Smith lives next door so she doesn’t lack for company when the urge sets it.
She still wants to go back to school to study culinary arts. But it’s not for free so she needs to sell off her last pieces of haute couture – just a few handbags and a dress remain now – before it’s going to happen. And she does it, with much less sadness than she might have thought once upon a time. It gives her 8000 simoleons in cash which will be enough for at least two years of studies.
Her dad still thinks she ought to work in a different field – business or finance – and isn’t thilled to hear what she’s planning. But Josephine isn’t thrilled that he’s married and expecting a baby with his new, young wife either so she supposes that makes them even.
She does visit them in his new place – or Ada’s place, really. She’s like the opposite of a gold digger and Josephine doesn’t really understand her motivations. Sure, her father is a nice guy but not that nice.
They do seem very happy about the baby, though, and Ada is grateful for the gift baskets Josephine has brought.
She might not care to be best friends with her new stepmother, but there’s no reason they can’t get along.
Another thing Josephine is less sure about these days is her taste in men.
Take Michael for example. He’s just a regular hopeless dude. Too old to be stuck in his Peter Pan-lifestyle, too clever to be working night shifts at some filthy store selling pornos and cigarettes to teenagers, too lazy to bother. Too charming to be trustworthy. And she really doesn’t get why she finds him charming. That’s just the mystery of the century, really.
She doesn’t understand her need for Michael. He disturbs her life in an almost uncanny way and even if she lets him spend the night pretty often she wouldn’t ever trust him enough to fall in love. no. certainly not.
Instead she lets herself be charmed by Dennis when he tells her he wants to meet her father. Because god knows she could do with something nice to show her father after these past few years. He’s always been very invested in the idea of Josephine finding someone nice to be serious with because she’s always been a bit of a fluke when it comes to dating and he’s never even met anyone she’s been with.
Until now, that is.
Dennis makes a good first impression, she can tell. Her dad is practically glowing with approval and Josephine can’t shake the feeling that these two men want this thing to happen much more than she wants it. It makes her skin crawl, makes her feel like a kid again.
“He’s a really god guy,” her dad offers afterwards, when they order some food at the outdoor bowling place.
“Sure,” Josephine answers but for some reason she feels less infatuated with him now than ever before.
So yeah, she used to be one of those girls but now she’s just a regular mess, like anyone else. Perhaps it’s cosmic karma bullshit. Perhaps it’s just life.
* Title from Aimee Mann’s “I know there’s a word”.
* This was the end of my first round! I’ve had so much fun with this new hood and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it. Thanks for all your comments and such. I’m glad you found your way here.
* Currently working on my list of ROS – mixing and matching and stealing – but I won’t use them for another round or so, since I figure the first phase of any hood is to set up the families and make some babies. 😀