Eliza set her sights on the dream; her role changed from oversized mascot to cheerleader, and a coveted team position, was in sight after a conversation with the manager. He observed her, the team spirit, energy and effort she was putting in to master the drills. Long term, Eliza needed to consider her future, unsure if chasing a leather ball on a field for ninety minutes would satisfy her. The manager begged her to consider the offer, discovering she was a descendant of Aria Rodriguez, convinced him, Eliza would prevail where her grandmother failed. Ziva told the story with an alternative ending; dreams shattered as Aria worked to help others achieve their fitness goals.
She settled at the bar; a decision could wait; this bonus would buy her a few celebratory drinks; of course, the self-imposed guilt that she should be putting it towards a new apartment did nothing to deter, Eliza needed this release. Living with rats grated, her landlord insisted he met regulation standards for health and safety; perhaps he should tell that to the cockroach intrusion living in her kitchen cupboard. Eliza had sealed it shut, and the devils were eating through; the noise reminded her of a horror movie. Shuddering, she ordered bar food, preferring the smell of stale alcohol-soaked rugs, tuneless singing from the Karaoke rooms and laughter with friends.
In the sims nation calendar, a day dedicated to romance makes people swoon, offer gifts, flowers, gestures, and the lucky few get to have a moonlit date with their partner. Eliza had ignored Love Day; each year, she cared little for the extravagance, but seeing her sister gush, her love for Caleb, she felt uneasy in her jealousy. As for Patrick, his approach to various women seemed to fall in the realm of lust; Eliza wondered why no one was celebrating self-love, giving themselves compassion or a pamper filled afternoon. Sai had a similar opinion, dumped by his girlfriend, a day battling the Temple of Doom, Eliza’s favourite computer game, or sparring on the punch bag seem the perfect alternative to witnessing the cringefest that would greet them at the bar.
Emilie reassured Eliza, love is, waiting; nothing good came from rushing. The comforting words came with a bittersweetness; Eliza understood her mother missed Rylan; with Charlotte and Patrick living independent, she was alone. Eliza would invite her to the city, a day together, a massage, have their nails done, each time declined, with Emilie convinced Eliza would prefer younger company. As for the invite to move home, Eliza loved her life; the penthouse apartment required some sacrifices; she realised this meant accepting the manager’s proposition; a pro-athlete would be a significant achievement and a salary befitting her sky-high dreams.