And we’re back! This is Roxanna Llama-Llama reporting LIVE from Sulani continuing the interview with our bachelor, Rick Goengeter. Our beautiful sunny day has become a bit overcast, but Rick assures me that we won’t get drenched sitting here if there is a sudden downpour.
The temperature had become a bit chilly, so Rick lit a fire and made us a citrus swig drink. The man is considerate and can light a fire without burning the place down. That, in itself, is amazing!
After commenting on how refreshing the drink tasted, Rick showed me his little garden. He certainly was self-sufficient on this island.
When we were seated around the campfire again, I continued the interview.
So, Rick,” I began, “I was re-reading my notes and you had mentioned that Noelani had played matchmaker and that you had gone on a lot of dates. And in all those dates, you didn’t find somebody to love?” I asked, already knowing the answer he would give.
“No, I didn’t find somebody. I wasn’t actually looking. Only went on some dates because Noelani had arranged them. You know, didn’t want to disappoint her. I mean there are a lot of attractive single female sims in Sulani, don’t get me wrong. But, they were just not, they were not…” Rick paused and stared off into space as if he was remembering something.
“They just weren’t HER, were they? You came to Sulani because you were trying to forget about HER,” I said emphatically. Even though Rick hadn’t mentioned the real reason he had come to Sulani, I had this intuition that Rick had come here with a broken heart and had tried to forget things.
I’m not sure if it was my imagination, but I thought I saw him wince.
“Well, actually I didn’t come here to forget about her. I will never forget her. I came to Sulani to avoid a holiday that was very painful for me,” Rick replied.
Aha! I, Roxanna Llama-Llama, was right! A sim female was involved! And, I could tell that whatever this holiday was, that it had something to do with HER. I decided to see if he would talk about it.
“So, Rick, are you able to tell me about it? What happened?” I asked waiting patiently for him to respond.
“I knew you would ask and I have been preparing myself for this question. And I guess now is a good time to talk about my past. About what happened and why I came here,” Rick said quietly.
I didn’t want to say a word, because I knew that what Rick was about to tell me had changed his life. But there was silence. I could tell that Rick was still struggling with it.
“Maybe we could start at the beginning. What was her name? How did you meet?” I asked sensing his hesitation.
A look of relief came over Rick’s face as if he was thanking me for helping him get through this.
“Her name was Calista Cummings. She worked as a bartender in San Myshuno at a place called Planet Honey Pop! There was a Spooky Halloween Party there and a bunch of us decided to go. As part of the festivities, they held a karaoke contest. Well, I entered and sang quite badly, but I won. The winner received a free drink at the bar. When Calista asked me what I wanted to drink, I told her ‘Sparkling Water,’ and she told me that it was her favorite drink. She brought over the drink with a little fruit skewer in the glass and told me that she always added a bit of fruit because it makes the drink more special. Her shift ended, but she stayed and we chatted…”
“Her costume that night was a gnome and I asked her about it and she told me that she had a HUGE gnome collection. She just loved gnomes. Well, we just talked all night, and we were getting quite giddy on all that sparkling water we were drinking and actually closed the place down. And that was the start of it.”
“After that night, we were in constant communication with each other and saw each other practically every night. She lived in an apartment within walking distance of the bar. Even though her apartment was nicely decorated, it was really run down, but it’s all she could afford. Things were always breaking down and she was constantly calling the landlord who sometimes didn’t show up. I ended up repairing a lot of the items and asked her if she wanted to move in with me after a week. I just wanted her out of that place. But, no, her apartment was close to her job and she was saving her simoleons for something bigger and better. She was very independent that way.”
“Things were going great between us. Calista was so different from any sim I had ever met. She was funny and always had some zany outing planned. Like the time we went to Myshuno Meadows and ran around reading all the plaques “out loud” using a different accent each time. Just the thought of her made me smile and I knew that Calista was the sim I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,” said Rick a bit sadly.
Rick had stopped speaking and I looked up from my notepad and saw that Rick had a pained expression on his face. I could tell that whatever he was about to reveal was very difficult for him to relive. I put my notepad down for a moment and said, “So, then what happened, Rick…it’s ok, just take it slow…”
Rick took a deep breath before continuing.
“Harvestfest was coming up and I had bought her an engagement ring. I was going to propose to her on one of her favorite holidays. I had suggested that we go out for dinner, but, no she wanted to make this tofurkey dinner feast for us and had been baking and cooking practically the entire week…” Rick stopped speaking, but after a moment’s reflection, continued, his voice dry and raspy.
“It was the morning of Harvestfest when I got the call. There was a fire in her apartment complex and she didn’t make it out. She died in the fire,” Rick said mournfully.
“…when I arrived, the police were there and another division called the gnomicide squad were doing an investigation. The official investigation revealed that it was faulty wiring in the electrical box, which then started the fire. Some of the gnomicide officers were carrying out a few of her gnomes for lab work, and I heard one of them commenting about all the food everywhere. I looked around and Calista had certainly cooked a feast…apple pie, salad, fruitcake, coffee…there was so much!
But it was all charred…nothing left…everything was gone…all her gnome collection…everything…burned in the fire. The officers, did, however, find all these seed packets lying around and asked if Calista had been planning on starting a garden. I really didn’t know, but they took those away to be analyzed, too…”
“…I don’t even remember how I got home that night. All I knew was that Calista was gone. My love. Forever gone,” Rick said in a despondent voice and buried his face in his hands.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I looked at Benny and silently mouthed “OMG!” I went over and put my hand on Rick’s shoulder. “Rick, I’m so sorry. That must have been so shocking.”
“Yeah, bummer you didn’t get to eat any of that tofurkey dinner feast …” Benny started saying.
I glared at Benny just then.
“Oops! Hey, I’m sorry Rick. Wow! Oh that’s bad…my bad…” said Benny with an embarrassed expression on his face all the while mouthing an apology to me, “Right! I just came to see what you had in your cooler here. Got any tofurkey jerky? Oh geez…probably not. You know what, I’ll just grab some granola and I’ll be down at the water if anyone needs me. Maybe build a sandcastle or something…” said Benny as he back stepped towards the beach.
I looked at Rick then and he looked like he was in a daze. I don’t even think he heard what Benny had said. THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT! What a horrible, horrible tragedy. The poor guy. No wonder he was a wreck when he came here. But why here? There was still more to this story, and I had to find out. “Rick, are you alright? Can you continue? We can always do this another day…”
“No, I’m fine. I was just thinking about Calista and the whole year after the funeral,” he said quietly.
“Did you have any family close by to help you through this?” I asked.
“No…my mother had passed away years ago and I never knew my father. I was an only child. So, no, no family. Just me.”
“Oh, that must have been hard having to deal with this by yourself.” I quickly scribbled “mother???” “father???” in the column to research later.
“Yeah, it was hard. A very bad year for me. I buried myself in my work. Barely spoke to anyone. Shut myself off from the world. My friends tried to get me to do things, but I would always say I was busy. And when I did go out, I just kept seeing things that would remind me of Calista. Especially gnomes. I couldn’t pass a house on the street or go into a store without seeing a gnome,” Rick explained.
“Yes, that would be really hard. A lot of sims like to decorate their gardens with gnomes,” I remarked.
“And then a year had nearly passed and Harvestfest was just two weeks away. I couldn’t bear to be in town with all the Harvestfest celebrations going on. I had to get away. And then walking home one day, I saw a billboard advertising vacations to Sulani. It looked so beautiful. Peaceful. And then I saw the fine print “gnome-free zone”, and I knew that’s where I had to go,” Rick admitted.
“Well, that explains a lot. So you came to Sulani to get away from the gnomes and Harvestfest and painful memories…” I replied writing more notes.
You know, I had read about freak accidents like this. Calista sounded like such a lovely sim. Too bad her apartment was in such disrepair. But who is the gnomicide squad? I had never heard of them before. And I wonder why the island of Sulani is a “gnome-free zone.” Seems kind of strange. But you know, I always did find gnomes a little creepy myself. I needed to do more research on this.
“So, Rick, I know that Noelani signed you up for the bachelor search, and then you were chosen for the Bachelor in Paradise show. But, do you think you’re ready? I mean, you were quite shaken when you told me about Calista. And, it’s been….how long…eight years? Do you really think you’re ready to find somebody to love?” I asked Rick quite frankly. I mean it was obvious that Rick had truly loved Calista and was still choked up talking about her.
“You’re right, I still have difficulty talking about it. I haven’t really told anyone about this, other than Manu at The Sand Bar that night, and, of course, he told Noelani. And, I can go for months at a time and I’ll be fine, but then, just a song or a smell, and I’m back there eight years’ ago. The pain is the same. Keala Hoapili, one of the island elders, told me that it’s ok to ‘remember the past, but that we need to look to the future.’ I know that there will never be anyone like Calista, but I also know that she would have wanted me to move on with my life. And so I’ve decided that I’m willing to give love another chance. Maybe there will be someone else out there for me. “Somebody to love…” Rick replied.
Benny ran up from the beach just then and said, “Hey, come and see this cool sand sculpture I just made. I think I could win a sand sculpting contest.”
It was probably a good time to take a break because it had been quite an intense interview. There were still a few more questions I had to ask Rick but figured that I would wait and ask him another time.
I had to admit that Benny’s sand sculpture was pretty good and before I even had a chance to say anything, (so unlike me), Rick suggested that we make one, too. I think he needed a bit of “sand therapy.”
The sun was setting, and I hated to leave Rick alone. Then I remembered….“Hey, Rick, Manu told me that there was a Kava Party at The Sand Bar tonight. I’ve never been to one before. Do you think that you would like to join us and maybe introduce us to some more locals?” I asked using my most persuasive smile.
“A Kava Party? Tonight? That Manu, he didn’t tell me he was having a kava party. It sounds like a good idea, but…but, I have a feeling I’m supposed to stay here for some reason…”
“Kava Party? What the heck is a kava party? Hey, Rick, come with us. I can talk to you about dive sites…and maybe even challenge you to a game of foosball? I saw one there the other night and haven’t played in years. I used to be pretty good in the day.” Benny turned around and winked at me like we were in this conspiracy together.
“Hmmm…foosball challenge? You’re on. But I have to warn you, I am the island foosball champ! Let’s go!” Rick grinned and gave Benny a pat on the back.
Well, you know, I had to hand it to Benny that sometimes he did say the right thing at the right time. More often the wrong thing, but in this case, he definitely convinced Rick to come with us. I liked Rick. He really was a nice guy, and after hearing that tragic story, I really hoped that Rick would find “Somebody To Love”.
“Rick, have you ever thought about maybe trimming that beard a bit? You know, get a little make-over before the show? Because I, Roxanna Llama-Llama, have contacts…lots of contacts…”
Until tomorrow…Wikki Wikki Wii from Sulani!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sorry everyone for such a long-winded chapter, but, as promised, Rick had a pretty involved backstory. So tragic.
For anyone who doesn’t own the Seasons pack, a bit of an explanation is in order. During Harvestfest, which is a pre-made holiday, holiday gnomes appear on your lot. You have options to “appease” the gnomes by giving them certain gifts, like apple pie, coffee, etc. (FYI: You don’t have to cook, it’s just a pop-up selection, but for the basis of the story, Calista cooked). If it’s the right gift, they get a halo above their head and reward you with seed packets. But, if it’s the wrong gift, they get angry, and get a red flame above their heads and break objects in your house. You can then try to “plead forgiveness” to the angry gnome, and sometimes it works, but more often than not, you get struck by lightning. You can also kick a gnome which enrages all the gnomes on the lot. Read more here Sims VIP – Magical Gnomes
From the amount of food that Calista had made, she was certainly trying hard to appease those gnomes. I mean don’t you just hate it when you invite gnomes over for dinner and they complain about the food? Poor Calista.
“Gnome” sightings from Maxis builds. Paddywack’s Emporium, Magnolia Grove and Johnny Zest’s house, Oasis Springs.
I needed a little reno build of 1313 21 Chic Street, in San Myshuno. This is the apartment with the Needs TLC Trait and the…ummm..surprise…under the front door carpet. Since Calista was an unconventional, boho type person, I needed an eclectic vintage apartment. This is a room build, which suited the story very well. I just added some gnomes. Ok, a lot of gnomes.
I created Calista Cummings, but she really had a personality all her own. The picture of her blowing the air horn on unsuspecting Rick…she did that autonomously. I don’t even know what to choose to do that in-game myself. Oh, and by the way, she had the erratic trait.