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Welcome to the Childhood (6)
Published Jun 23, 2011


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Welcome to the Childhood (6: Hopeless Romanticide)

((Author’s Note: Once again, in case you missed it, this series occasionally hooks up with the series “Occasionally Yours” by TSR’s spladoum… where Gwen Glover lives? Yeah, you know the place))

Welcome to the Childhood (6: Hopeless Romanticide)

((Author’s Note: Once again, in case you missed it, this series occasionally hooks up with the series “Occasionally Yours” by TSR’s spladoum… where Gwen Glover lives? Yeah, you know the place))
The Simanski house, 2:00 AM
Jono Simanski’s cellphone is ringing. Before he even answers the call, he’s already aware of two things. By the ringtone, he knows it’s his brother. By the current time of night, he knows it can’t be anything good.
[Jono:] “Jesse? What’s wrong? Are you all right?”
[Jesse:] “No, I’m not all right. Pretty sure I’m about to go to jail.”
[Jono:] “What?! Why?!”
[Jesse:] “There was a bunch of stolen stuff in my truck… I can’t really talk about it right now. Would you call Whistler and tell him?”
[Jono:] “This happened in Foxgrove? You’re still there?”
[Jesse:] “Yeah. I’m at Foxgrove PD. Call Whistler, Jono. He’ll know what to do. About bail or a lawyer or whatever.”
[Jono:] “I’m on it, Jesse. I’ll get you out.”
[Jesse:] “Don’t do anything that’ll get you in trouble. Not for this, okay?”
[Jono:] “You know I’ll get you out, Jesse. Say it.”
[Jesse:] “…I know you’ll get me out, Jono.”
Jono has no sooner hung up than he’s called the Whistler household. Terry, with his daughter in tow at her insistence, arrives at the Simanski house within 30 minutes.
[Jono:] “DAMMIT, Whistler—what did he have in that truck?!”
[Terry:] “There was nothing in that truck, Jon. I watched him empty it. Who the hell do you think you’re talking to? Do you think I’d let him cross state lines with anything in that truck that could get him pinched on a probable cause search?” [Dani:] “If there was nothing in the truck, then how can Jesse be getting arrested?”
[Jono & Terry:] “I don’t know!”
[Windy:] “What about a lawyer? Should we call Peg’s brother, Dad?”
[Dani:] “Wait, wait—Roch is in the states right now. Let me call him first and see if he can fix this.”
[Jono:] “Whatever we do, we need to do it now. Jesse sounded bad. We need to get him out of this as soon as possible.”
[Terry:] “I’ll go see Norm Primrose, in case the super cop can’t spring him.”
Terry departs to pay a visit to his lawyer, while Dani places a call to Special Agent Roch LeBeau, her long-time family friend… and former fiancé, prior to marrying Jono. By the time she finishes explaining the situation as they know it, Dani is so emotional she’s about a breath away from hysterical. [Dani:] “Roch, please! If there’s anything you can do—please get Jesse out of this mess before he goes to jail!”
[Roch:] “I will, alright? I will. Calm down. But Danielle—”
[Dani:] “What?!”
[Roch:] “Your brother-in-law isn’t actually guilty of grand theft, is he?”
[Dani:] “. . . Of course not!”
[Roch:] “. . .”
Dani hastily ends the call, leaving Roch to exchange a look with his fellow agent, Ramona Lawrence. Once again, Roch is fairly certain there’s something Danielle Marquis isn’t telling him about the Simanski twins. But he intends to place a call to the Foxgrove Police Department anyway. He knows a cop there. One Connor Frio. [Jules:] “Dad? Mama? What’s going on?”
[Jono:] “It’s okay, Jules. Go back to bed.”
[Jules:] “Did Mama say Uncle Jesse is going to jail?”
[Dani:] “Yes, but it’s probably just a big misunderstanding—”
[Jules:] “Windy! You told! You said it would be okay after you graduated! You told and now Uncle Jesse’s going to jail!” [Windy:] “Jules, wait—”
Jules flees back into his room, Windy close at his heels.
[Jono:] “What the hell was that about?”
[Dani:] “I don’t know… but I think maybe…”
[Dani:] “…Windy has a crush on Jesse.” [Jono:] “What?! He’s too old for her!”
[Dani:] “Really, Jono? You sure about that?”
[Jono:] “…Point taken. But even so, she’s been a little sister to us for years, Dani. I don’t think Jesse could possibly see her any other way.” Meanwhile, in Jules’ bedroom…
[Windy:] “Jules, please believe me. I didn’t tell your Uncle Jesse I like him. And even if I had told him, I swear it would be okay. The police couldn’t arrest him for that.”
[Jules:] “But… if that’s true… why’s he going to jail, Windy?” [Windy:] “It sounds like it’s all a mistake, Jules. We don’t really know what’s going on yet. But I promise, my dad and your parents are trying to fix it. Okay?”
Jules tries to smile. He knows Windy is trying to make him feel better, but it isn’t really working. He just doesn’t understand why his family keeps having to go to jail.
Like… like bad guys, or something. At 7:00 AM, Roch LeBeau calls with an update on the Jesse situation.
[Roch:] “Apparently, Gwen Glover had the misfortune of having a suspected thief for a roommate. He filled Jesse’s truck with stolen merchandise while it was parked in the driveway of their residence. The thief either intended to set up Jesse to take his fall, or he intended to steal the truck as well and was interrupted.”
[Dani:] “But it’s all straightened out? Jesse can come home now?”
[Roch:] “Yes, he’s just been released. No charges were filed, and the police returned his truck. I assume you’ll see him by late this afternoon.”
[Dani:] “Oh, thank you, Roch. Thank you so much.”
[Roch:] “You’re welcome, Danielle. Just try and keep your husband and his brother out of police custody for awhile, mmkay?” The Simanski household begins the process of calming down, and Windy returns home to begin the preparations for her graduation party. She misses the surprise arrival of Peggy Sue Primrose by no more than five minutes. Which is probably for the best. [Peg:] “Holy crap did you two see the paper?!”
[Jono:] “ ‘Mayor denies knowledge of illegal campaign funds’ ?”
[Peg:] “Not THAT paper—the Midnight Starz!”
[Dani:] “Oh. My. God.” [Jules:] “What is it? What does it say?”
Jules tries to get a glimpse of what has Peggy Sue and his parents so interested.
[Jono:] “Whoa, Jules, hang on.”
[Dani:] “It’s a… a grown up paper, Jules.”
Jules is suddenly hustled off to play video games with his Dad. Which is probably way cooler than whatever was in that grown-up paper anyway.
[Peg:] “Huh. I never realized how small that girl is topside. Nice angle for Jesse, though.”
[Dani:] “Peg. Could you possibly be more inappropriate?”
[Peg:] “Just saying.”
At noon, the Simanski doorbell rings again. This time it is Leo Sekemoto and Henry Hatch at the door, asking to speak to Jules. Henry’s mother, Emma Hatch, and Leo’s father, Leighton Sekemoto, are looking on from the base of the porch stairs. Rather severely. [Leo:] “Hey, Jules.
[Henry:] “Hi, Jules.”
Jules is cautious as he steps out onto the porch. The last time he saw Leo and Henry, they were laughing at him along with the rest of their classmates for being afraid of a clown. Not exactly fun times.
[Jules:] “Hey. Hi.”
[Leo:] “I’m here to say I’m sorry about yesterday, Jules. It was mean, what I did… and I’m real sorry I did it.”
[Henry:] “I’m sorry, too, Jules. I’m not scared of clowns, but I’m scared of just about everything else, so I sure shouldn’t be laughing at anybody for being scared.”
To Leo and Henry’s relief, Jules doesn’t have to think about accepting their apologies for long.
[Jules:] “It’s okay, guys. We can still be friends.”
Henry proceeds to invite Jules to the park to spend the day with the Hatch family and Leo. Jules excitedly asks his parents’ permission. Jono and Dani, after speaking briefly with Emma Hatch, agree. In fact, this is a blessing. Jules will be off having fun for the day, leaving his parents to deal with things less fun at home. Landgraab Memorial Park, 1:00 PM
At the park, Henry’s father teaches Jules and Leo how to catch their first minnows—one of the many high points of Jules’ day.
Henry, as it turns out, is already something of an angler. Jules also meets Henry’s big sister, Hannah, and her best friend, Mary McGraw. Hannah and Mary just started attending the big kid’s high school this year and don’t have much interest in hanging out with elementary school kids. Not surprisingly, Leo and Henry consider this a bonus. Henry’s mother is a professional chef. For supper she cooks hot dogs for everyone on the grill. Jules is very impressed. It turns out a hot dog cooked on a grill is way better than a hot dog cooked in a microwave. Way. After the cookout, Jules, Leo and Henry attempt to play some catch before it’s time to go home. Henry isn’t nearly as good at catching as he is at fishing.
[Leo:] “It’s a baseball, Henry. Not a bomb.”
Leo attempts, for the third time, to show Henry how to catch a baseball. Jules looks around the park while he waits. He notices Holly Porter sitting by herself, reading a book. Or trying to. The Alto twins, Devlin and Angelo, seem to be making this difficult for her. [Devlin:] “Must’ve had it easy for the family tree assignment, huh, Porter?”
[Angelo:] “What did you do—just put your picture in the middle and call it done?”
[Jules:] “Why are you guys being mean to her?”
[Devlin:] “Oh look who it is. Julie the scaredy clown.”
[Angelo:] “Why do you care if we’re mean to her, Julie? She your girlfriend?”
Jules, who hears this as girl ‘friend,’ states the obvious.
[Jules:] “Yes.”
Devlin and Angelo bust out laughing. Given the events of the previous day, Jules is now pretty clear on what being laughed at sounds like. He doesn’t like it, and he doesn’t understand it in this case.
[Jules:] “If you guys can’t be friendly, I think you should go home.”
[Devlin:] “Hey, Porter. Did you know your boyfriend’s mother used to clean our toilets? Until our father fired her, of course.”
[Angelo:] “And mop our floors, and make our beds, and pick up our toys…”
[Holly:] “Sounds like your house must be an awful messy place, if Jules’ mother isn’t cleaning it up for you anymore.” Devlin and Angelo’s nasty smiles turn into nasty glares. Before anything else can be said, Leo and Henry, accompanied by Henry’s father, walk over to fetch Jules. The presence of an adult inspires Devlin and Angelo to slink off, muttering darkly between themselves. Meanwhile, at the Simanski house (about the time Jules is enjoying his first grilled hot dog)…
Jesse Simanski returns home from Foxgrove. One look at him and it’s obvious there’s something wrong with him.
[Jesse:] “Before you ask me anything, can we leave the talking for tomorrow? I just want to crash on the couch. Haven’t had any sleep, and I have to play with the Repomen tonight.” Now it’s obvious there’s something seriously wrong with him. Jesse always tells his brother everything. The bigger the news, the sooner he spills it. Avoiding the telling of something this big… not a good sign, and not likely the result of too little sleep. But Jono doesn’t push him.
[Jono:] “Yeah, it can wait, Jesse. Go ahead and crash.”

Later that evening, Jesse does manage to get up in time to make it to Windy’s graduation party. But this is entirely due to Jono, who (after repeated shakes and calling Jesse’s name don’t work) must resort to pouring a glass of water on him to get him moving. The Whistler house / Whistler Collections Co.
At the party, the Repomen are well received. But Jesse is drinking heavily between sets, and by the last set goes off the predetermined playlist with “Love Stinks.” Although the other band members are familiar with this classic, they hadn’t rehearsed it, and end up following Jesse’s lead with multiple flubs.
Luckily by this time, the partygoers aren’t paying any attention to performance quality. The impromptu J. Geils Band cover is met with loud approval and applause, and on that tune, the Repomen wisely wrap their performance around 11:00 PM. Jesse, oblivious to the irritation and consternation of his bandmates, discards his guitar and wanders off in search of another drink. Windy takes this opportunity to follow him.
[Windy:] “Hey, Jesse.”
[Jesse:] “Heya, Windy. Party’s good?”
[Windy:] “Yes, great… Jesse, could I talk to you? Privately?”
[Jesse:] “Maybe later?”
[Windy:] “It’s really important.”
[Jesse:] “Uh, okay.”
Jesse has no idea what this is about, but he sure does wish it could wait. For Windy’s sake he tries to clear his head, when what he really wants to do is drown his head in a keg.
[Windy:] “Jesse, I… really like you.”
[Jesse:] “I really like you, too, Windy.”
He’s not giving her even half his attention. Realizing she’s going to have to be as blunt as possible to get his attention, Windy takes a deep breath.
[Windy:] “Jesse, when I say I really like you… what I mean is… I’m-in-love-with-you.”
This declaration comes out in a rush. Jesse stands there, apparently speechless, when in reality he’s only trying to sort out what she just said.
[Windy:] “I know you don’t think about me that way…yet…but do you think maybe you could? That we could, you know…”
She takes a tentative step forward. Jesse still hasn’t muddled out what she originally said, but now he’s finally getting the point of what she must’ve meant when she said it. He stumbles a step backward.
[Jesse:] “Windy—whoa—hang on—”
[Windy:] “Jesse, will you just think about it?”
[Jesse:] “No—no thinking on that—”
[Windy:] “Why not?”
[Jesse:] “Because you’re my sister!”
[Windy:] “But I’m not really…”
[Jesse:] “But that’s how I think of you!”
[Windy:] “Well, I can wait…”
[Jesse:] “I don’t want you waiting!”
[Windy:] “Maybe your feelings will change…”
[Jesse:] “I don’t want my feelings changing!”
Windy bursts into tears.
[Windy:] “Because of Gwen? She doesn’t care about you, Jesse! She’s hardly even real! I’M real!”
Jesse, least prepared for this last line, recoils even further. It wasn’t Windy’s intention to hurt him, but it’s readily apparent that she just did. Unable to face his pain (so reflective of her own, but for someone else), Windy flees, sobbing. Jesse has no time to recover from this encounter before he’s tapped on the shoulder by his boss. Terry Whistler. Windy’s father. Who may have witnessed that entire scene.
[Jesse:] “Whistler—I didn’t—I swear I wouldn’t—”
[Terry:] “Relax, Jes. I’ve never been even remotely concerned about you and my kid. Give her time, she’ll get over it. Let’s go up to my office. I want to talk to you about something else.”
Terry’s office is on the second floor of the Whistler Collections Co. building. Jesse has rarely been up here. He wishes he wasn’t up here now.
[Terry:] “So you came within an eye blink of getting arrested. That’s new, huh?”
[Jesse:] “Yeah… it sucked. But I didn’t say anything to the cops.”
[Terry:] “Wouldn’t have mattered if you did. The stuff in the truck was a setup, not your fault. Now, the skin show in the hot tub… that was your fault.”
[Jesse:] “Cops just gave me a warning on that.”
[Terry:] “I’m a little sorry they did.”
[Jesse:] “Uh, okay… why?”
[Terry:] “Because then you’d have one of these. And you’d know what that’s all about.”
Terry gestures at the wall to his left. Displayed on it is every repoman in his employ. In mug shots. Jesse Simanski is the only employee of Whistler Collections Co. not pictured on that wall.
[Terry:] “We’ve put this off long enough, Jes. You’re not a kid anymore. It’s time you were either a full member of my crew… or you move on.”
Jesse winces. He knows exactly what Terry is asking him. He knows the collections company his boss runs is only the legitimate face of the criminal operation he really runs. Jesse has never been a direct part of that, because he was hired so young, and Whistler wanted to keep him out of trouble.
Jesse thinks about how Gwen Glover looked at him when the doubt set in. This isn’t difficult; the image seems to be burned into his brain. The Foxgrove cops had it wrong about him last night. But a few times a month here in Valley, they wouldn’t have had it wrong. Because Jesse has known the truth about Whistler Collections Co. for a long time. And by not asking questions about how he’s paid and what goes into his truck, he’s been a criminal accessory nearly as long. Now he thinks about the fact that all of Terry’s crew has done time in jail. It stands to reason that if he agrees to what Terry is offering, he will also do time in jail. Separated from his family. Unable to help them if they need it. And how will they see him when he gets out? . . . [Jesse:] “Terry… I can’t.”
[Terry:] “I know you can’t, Jes. Known it a long time. And that’s okay. But you’ve had a little heat on you now, and if you’re not able to come aboard, you understand I need to let you go?”
Eight years and eight months Jesse’s had this job. Now he’s getting fired. His one and only chance with Gwen ended in epic disaster. Windy has gone completely round the romantic bend and will probably end up hating him. And now he’s unemployed. All in the course of the last 24 hours. [Jesse:] “I uh… need a drink.”
[Terry:] “Yeah. Same here. Let’s get to that.”
Some time later, Terry places a call to Jono, who answers on the first ring. Dani and Jules are sleeping, but Jono can’t sleep. Not when he’s this worried about his twin.
[Jono:] “How is he?”
[Terry:] “He’s passed out over here. I’ll take care of him, bring him home whenever he comes around. And Jon, I gave him his choice. He let me let him go.”
[Jono:] “You had to do that now?!”
[Terry:] “You know I had to do that now. Before he got himself pinched for real. Prison is no place for Jesse, or for you. Now’s the time for both of you to get clear. Now, or never, Jon.”
[Director’s Commentary: J. Geils Band’s “Love Stinks” can be heard here for free with a copy/paste to browser (can’t say for sure if this link will work for non-US browsers, apologies):]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0LAs7X5ybE

((Special Thanks to:

* TSR artists: Living Dead Girl (office objects, misc. clutter), wideopeneyes (coffee cups), SIMcredible! (misc. clutter), tdyannd (misc. clutter), lwsupremacy (Guinness posters), emz666 (Pirates of the Caribbean posters), hrekkjavaka (baggier jeans Whistler wears), elke (WoW shirt Denny wears), IN3S (Hello Kitty shirt Windy wears), abuk0 (peace pattern Windy wears), spladoum (Jesse’s authentic HS-numbered football jersey), and Cyclonesue (fire door and countless objects making Whistler’s office as craptastic as the rest of his lot)

*MTS artist: cmomoney (EA matching empty shelf), Purplepaws (toy car Jesse’s had since he was three years old)

* TSR’s spladoum for this that and the other thing, and for giving Jesse that Bad Morning on the floor

> Hellooo end credit readers! That’s a lot up there, folks… I’m always amazed anyone gets this far. I should start leaving coupons down here or something. You really should be getting more outta this than just my lame rat HUZZAHs :D ))

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#21xlorofloraJun 26, 2011

beautiful story \:wub\: Jesse \:wub\:

#22ohgodcaitlynJun 29, 2011

I just read 80 slides and didn't even realize it. This story is one of the few that I am willing to read that much for, I love it tonss. Keep up the good work, I'll be here when you do (:

#23MangioJun 30, 2011

Screenshots are so cute \:wub\: I'm glad the kids apologised.. and the mob outside wasn't going to attack the household from that gossip newspaper. I'm glad Jules stuck up for Holly. How do the Alto kids even know what "girlfriend" meant? \:D Such an awesome comeback though \:wub\: Poor Windy.. her heart must've broken into a bazillion pieces. Wow the last 24 hours have been extremely nice to Jesse. I hope he'll get a proper job, one which does not involve criminals now. \:rah\: Congrats on the feature, can't wait for more \;\)

#24mogan44Jul 2, 2011

It's been too long!  Great installment!  80 pages seems long, but I keep wanting it to go on and on!

#25pumpkingoblin86VIPJul 7, 2011

Great story, well done \:\)

#26HellsaintJul 8, 2011

Oh wow. I finally got to reading this chapter. \:D  Its friggin' brilliant!!! 80 slides and each one is a gem. Really really awesome stuff Rob \:\)

#27MarioQuinteroAug 14, 2011

HOT TUB!!! with this guy... LOL

#28Bo0GeRBELLAug 20, 2011

Love! \:wub\:

#29Sims2CrazeApr 14, 2012

I wish you would continue it....

#30eviFeb 7, 2013

Great story and very very good screens!\:rah\:

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