View Full Version : The Sunset Valley Diaries
10th Feb 2010, 11:44 PM
My name is Sandy. Sandy Jayne. I live with my twin sister Eva, our younger sister Lindsey, and our Gran in a small house on a hill in Sunset Valley. The town is new, and all of the families here are poor, so we don't have much. Us girls sleep in the attic, while Gran sleeps in the bedroom downstairs. There aren't many employment opportunities in a small town like Sunset Valley. You can choose to join the military, turn to a life of crime, or try your hand at politics, but none of these opportunities are available to children or teenagers. So, while our Gran works for our town mayor, the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves at home.
Eva and Lindsey spend most of their time on the sofa, trying to coax interesting programs out of our ancient television. I must state for the record, dearest diary, that Eva and I are only fraternal twins, not identical. I have none of her looks, attitude, or, thankfully, fashion sense. Also, that nose? So glad it's not on my face. No, I find myself to be more artistic than rebellious.
Do you like my face? I painted it myself. I enjoy expressing myself through simple artistic patterns rather then bold fashions. Good thing too, because I don't know where Eva gets her clothes, but there's never been anything nice for the rest of us to wear. The only nice things I own are my easel and my guitar. Well, I must go now, Gran is calling us for dinner.
12th Feb 2010, 5:24 PM
Thanks for reading! I appreciate any and all feedback, about the story, set/sim design, and especially the pictures(I'm new to sim photography). I know the quality isn't very good, but my computer is on the low end of the system specs so if I run it with better graphics(even just to take pictures) it will crash.
EDIT 2/12: Noticed while writing entry 3 that I'd forgotten to look up a character's name and replace a placeholder tag. Somehow missed that during proofreading. Oops! Fixed now.
I feel silly for writing this, but I've found the love of my life. I've known about him for a long time, but we'd never met, and I didn't know what I felt for sure. But now I do. I saw him this morning – talked to him! – and he hugged me. The feel of that hug, the energy that flowed between us. What could that be, diary, but true love? Oh, sorry, you have no idea who or what I'm talking about. I should start at the beginning.
I frequently take walks down the hill. Gran tells me not to, saying that it's dangerous, but there's no wild animals around. And there's almost no other people living around here. I can walk for hours without seeing another soul. There's two houses and a lot with trailers on them down near the town center. One of the houses is the mayor's house – Alec Oldstone is his name, though I don't know his wife's name. The other house is occupied by a gay couple, both in the military. I think they have an adopted son, but I've never spoken to any of them. They're usually at work when I take my morning walks. The trailers are a bit dodgy, and I try not to hang around them much, because three teenagers live there and to be honest, two of them give me the creeps. But the third is the most amazing boy I have ever seen.
The first time I saw him, I was taking a walk as normal and I happened to glance towards one of the trailers. There are no curtains on the windows, so usually I can see inside, but there's usually nobody home. That day, though, he was inside. All I could see was his back as he hunched over his computer, fingers flying across the keyboard, working on something that I could never hope to understand. I only watched for a moment, but in that moment I knew that he was different from the other boy and the girl who lived there.
I went home that day, and painted a picture. It's rather childishly drawn, but it expresses my feelings for him in a way that no words ever could. Every day since then, on my walk, I have looked to see if he would venture outside. But he never had, until this morning.
He was sitting at the picnic table, eating a sandwich. I paused on the sidewalk, as I realized that I had no way of calling out to him as I didn't know his name. He stood up, washed his plate in the sink, and turned to go back into his trailer. Realizing that I was losing my chance, I took a deep breath and shouted. “Hey!”
He turned, and saw me. Confusion flitted across his face, and I realized that he had no idea who I was. “My name is Sandy,” I said. “I live up the hill, and like to take walks down in the valley. This is the first time I've seen anyone outside here.”
“Ah, yeah,” he said. “I mostly stay inside, and the other people who live here, well,” he paused for a moment. “They're not around much. Oh,” he said, walking down the stairs towards me. “My name's Luke. Nice to meet you.” He shook my hand, and I tried not to grin embarrassingly at the feel of his skin against mine.
“So, Luke, what do you do around here?” I guestured at the trailers around me.
“Ah, this and that. I like to work with computers, and I'm a fair hand at fixing things that break. Mostly I just keep to myself, and stay out of the way.”
“You're not like them,” I said. “The others who live here. They're rebellious, and rough, and...” I trailed off, unable to find the words to express how I felt about them.
“Vaguely alarming?” he supplied with a wry smile, and I grinned back.
“Yeah, that. Better you say it than me, considering you live with them.”
He laughed. “Well, it's a place to stay. I've got no family, and few skills to support myself on my own. They let me stay here, and I get a roof over my head, plus food from the garden to eat. And I get to do my own work, plus fix things if they break.”
“But you're not happy here.”
He shrugged. “It's a life.”
Suddenly, an idea occurred to me. “Hey, what if I told you I could find you a place to stay, but without any alarming people around?”
He grinned at me. “I might say it sounds a bit too good to be true.”
“Well, believe it or not, it's true. The house where I live, it's just me, my two sisters, and our Gran. We could definitely use another pair of hands around the house, especially if you're as good at fixing things as you say you are. Our attic is pretty big, we could fit another bed up there for you easily.”
“I don't know, are you sure your Gran would be okay with that?”
“She'll be fine with it. The housework is never getting done as it is, and she'd never want to you stay somewhere you're not happy. Come on,” I pleaded, grabbing his hand.
Slowly, he nodded. “Alright. I can't come right now, but if you give me a few days to pack up and let the others know that I'm leaving then I can be up there by the end of the week.”
“That's great,” I said. “I'll let my Gran know. I don't think she'll have a problem with it, so assume that everything's okay if you don't hear from me. Okay?”
“Okay.” I turned and began to walk away, but was stopped by his hand on my shoulder. “Sandy?”
I turned, and he was so close to me. He grabbed me and held me in a tight hug, and I could feel his breath on my neck as he spoke. “Thank you.”
It's only been a few hours. I still tremble when I think about what happened – the conversation, the hug, and what I promised. I hear Gran downstairs; she must have just gotten home from work. I still need to ask her, but I know she'll say yes. Oh diary, I'm so excited!
12th Feb 2010, 8:12 PM
Great start, I like :D keep it up.
13th Feb 2010, 1:56 AM
^^ Ditto. Sandy is really adorable. Your pictures are fine, don't worry about them. My old PC was the same; would crash if you tried to turn the graphics up even just for a minute! If you want to stop speech bubbles and skill gaining bars and plumbbobs from showing you can type 'hideheadlineeffects on' in the cheat bar, makes it easier to get photos without having to worry about them.
Looking forward to the next update :)
13th Feb 2010, 5:58 PM
Thanks for the hideheadlineeffects cheat tip, el_flel. I've already taken pictures through chapter 6, but I'll definitely try to make use of that in the future.
Well, that went well. I don't mean with Gran, she loves the idea. But my sister Eva overheard us talking, and she's not happy. I don't see what say she should have in it. Gran's the head of the house, and she thinks that offering Luke a place to stay is a nice thing to do. But Eva and I had a huge fight about it, and now she's not speaking to me.
It was after dinner, and I was walking up to the attic to work on my painting. When I got to the top of the flight of stairs, I was surprised to see Eva lounging on her bed. She usually watches television in the evenings, and often complains about sleeping in the attic, because it's drafty. Why would she be up here? As it turns out, she was waiting for me.
As I entered the attic, she swung her legs off the bed and got to her feet. “I heard you talking earlier,” she said, walking aggressively towards me.
“About what?” I said, taking a quick step backwards.
“You know about what.” She fixed me with a steely glare, and when I didn't reply she rolled her eyes. “With Gran. That Duke boy-”
“Luke!” I glared in her direction. “His name is Luke, not Duke.”
“Whatever. Look, I don't give a damn what his name is, but I can't believe you'd hatch some scheme with him without even consulting anybody else.”
“I asked Gran!”
“Other people live here too, you know. Me, for example?”
“You?” I said incredulously. “Why do I have to ask you?”
“I'm your sister,” she said. “Not only that, but we're twins. Who else are you supposed to ask?”
I was stunned into silence for a moment, but then I came right back at her. “I would have asked you if I'd thought you were going to care! Why do you care so much?”
“There's barely enough room in this place for the three of us.” She spat the words out, looking around the room with disdain. “What makes you think we can fit another person? And also, think about the money. We can barely afford the bills and our food on Gran's salary as it is. Did you think this through at all, Sandy?”
“Ok, first of all, there is loads of room in this attic.” I retorted. “I can take a good twelve paces from one end to the other, and five across the middle. We could fit another bed up here easily. Secondly, if money was an issue, Gran would have said no. Plus, Luke says that he could support himself where he was staying, so having him around should actually help with our money problems.”
“Oh please.” Eva rolled her eyes again. “He told you that? No,” she said, cutting off my angry retort with a dismissive wave of her hand. “I'm sure he makes plenty of cash. Did you think to ask him how?”
“Wh-what?” I stammered, taken aback.
“He could be a thief, or a murderer, or worse. You have no idea.”
“He's a good guy!” I shouted. “You don't even know him.”
“Yeah, well, do you?” she retorted, then turned and disappeared down the stairs.
We haven't spoken since. I trust Luke, and I don't think that he could be any of the things that Eva said. But there's a nagging voice in the back of my mind that just won't shut up. Just between you and me, diary, I'm having some mixed feelings about all of this. Could she be right?
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