"Shh! Keep it down." Kaya commanded looking over her shoulder to make sure no one had heard him, "Yes," She whispered, "You can be my prom date, but after I've given you a full makeover i mean seriously who picks out your clothes? Your Mom?"
"Erm, yeah I'm 14 of course my Mom buys my clothes." The boy replied.
"Tragic." Kaya muttered, "Anyway so meet me after school today at the outlet mall across town." Kaya shuddered at the thought of shopping at the outlet mall, but it was the one place she could be sure that no one she hung out with would see them together.
"I don't think so." The boy said quietly, interrupting her plan.
"Excuse me?" She said slowly.
"I said i don't think so." The boy repeated speaking louder so she could hear him.
"Are you saying no to me?" She clarified.
"Yes I'm saying no." He told her.
"Are you crazy?" She asked him dumbfounded by his reply, "Don't you realise what going to prom with me means?"
The boy shook his head and asked "What's my name?"
"Tell me what my name is?" The boy confirmed.
Kaya looked at him blankly as though he was from another planet and the boy laughed.
"Unbelievable! We've been going to the same schools since we were children and you don't even know my name." The boy laughed.
"To answer your question Kaya, i do realise what going to prom with you means, it means being popular and superficial and not a very nice person, basically all the things that you are."
"So you're honestly telling me that you would rather stay at the bottom of the social heap than go to prom with me?" She snorted, "I thought you geeks were supposed to be smart."
"Thank you for demonstrating my point so eloquently." The boy smiled, "I don't know what happened to you Kaya, i remember in pre-school you used to share your cookies with me but now." He shook his head some more,
"I don't think I've seen you do one nice thing since we started grade school." He shook his head and started to walk away.
"Oh and it's Jackson by the way, my name." He clarified.
Kaya swallowed as Jackson walked away, she could barely believe what had just happened.
The nerve of that guy saying she never did anything nice! She had just offered to take him from geek to chic and he had thrown it back in her face.
And so what if she hadn't remembered his name, there were dozens of Sims at school she couldn't be expected to recall them all!
As she headed for the school bus she could feel the anger swelling inside her at Jackson's snub, wishing she could find someone to unleash it on she noticed Lexie hanging back.
"What are you doing?" She called, noticing the agitated look on her sisters face.
"N-nothing." Lexie replied, "I'm just gonna walk home."
"Are you nuts it's right across town!" Kaya exclaimed, grabbing Lexie's arm and pulling her toward the bus.
As she did this she noticed the look of fear on Lexie's face, turning around she saw who her sister was afraid of. "What's going on here?" She demanded, "Has that kid been picking on you?"
"Please Kaya don't make it worse." Lexie begged.
But aching for a fight Kaya stormed over to the kid and sized him up.
"Hey you!" she yelled jabbing a finger at his tubby arm.
"Who are you?" He asked screwing up his face.
"I am your worst nightmare!" Kaya replied, "Now let me see if I've got this right." She began.
"You're Mr boss right now aren't you? You know why? Coz your bigger than the other kids." She explained, "Well guess what? When you get to high school your size is gonna be what other kids use to pick on you."
The kid screwed up his face at her assessment.
"Now one of two things is going to happen, either you undo whatever you did to upset Lexie Traytor or when you get to high school i will make your life a living hell, do you understand me?"
The boy regarded her angrily but his lips remained tightly pressed together.
"Now nod so i know you're not deaf." Kaya commanded and the boy obliged moving his head up and down slowly.
"Now get outta here!" She said, pretending to lurch forward and making the boy jump.
"Thanks Kaya." Lexie said, "I never thought you'd stand up for me like that."
"Are you kidding? No one picks on my sisters except me." She said smiling at the girl.
As Lexie ran off to catch the bus Kaya noticed Jackson watching her, giving him her best dirty look she turned on her heel and stalked away.
"Umm Kaya, can i talk to you?" Josh asked as soon as she stepped through her bedroom door.
"Always." She replied cheerily, her run in with the bully having released her tension over Jackson.
"It's about your prom dress." He began.
"What? My dress! What about my dress?" She asked rapidly her anxiety increasing tenfold.
She rushed to her closet door and found the dress hanging where she left it and felt the tension fade, until she noticed the dishevelled look of the garment. Snatching it from the hanger she turned it over in her hands and there she found a tear, right along the side of the zipper.
"What in the hell happened?" She demanded through gritted teeth.
"Kay please don't freak out OK?" Josh begged, "It was just an accident that's all."
"You did this?" She demanded.
"Not exactly no." He said screwing up his face wishing it had of been him, "Look, Poppy was here and I'm not sure why but she tried on your dress and......"
"Poppy! She did this?" Kaya yelled, her temper clearly lost. "I knew it! I knew there was something i didn't like about that girl!"
"Kaya please you weren't here OK, you didn't see her she was upset." Josh pleaded.
"SHE was upset!" Kaya yelled, "What about me? She's ruined my prom dress."
Josh took a deep breath, he had known Kaya would overreact but the look in her eyes was one of pure fury.
"I can't believe you would take her side Josh, i mean look at what she's done." Kaya continued shoving the ripped garment under his nose, "She's obviously jealous of me!"
"That's it Kay! I've heard enough. It's all about you isn't it? You are the most selfish person i have ever met, all you care about is this stupid prom and this stupid dress. Who cares if your dress isn't perfect? Poppy is not jealous of you she's dealing with some problems right now and they are much bigger than prom."
Kaya reeled from the way Josh spoke to her. They had been best friends forever and he had never once criticized her or raised his voice to her, she had no idea that he felt this way about her.
"Josh I'm sorry." She started.
"I don't want to hear it Kay! I've had enough, you know i was gonna offer to get your dress fixed but you can forget it! I hope your prom is ruined!" He shouted at her before storming out.
Kaya stood still for a moment watching the door as it slammed behind him then she did something she hadn't done in a while, she burst into tears.
She didn't hear the door open and Lexie coming in.
"Are you alright?" Lexie asked.
"What? Yes of course." She snapped, quickly drying her eyes, "What do you want?"
"I just wanted to say i think you're the best sister ever." Lexie said smiling sweetly.
Kaya looked at her little sister and promptly burst into tears again.
"Kaya what's wrong?" Lexie asked running over to hug her sister.
"It's nothing." Kaya sniffed.
"Tell me maybe i can help." Lexie offered, "It's the least i can do after you almost stopped Tommy."
"Wait what do you mean almost?" Kaya asked.
"Well i guess he won't post anymore mean comments but he hasn't taken the page down." Lexie confided.
"What are you talking about, what page?" Kaya asked.
Kaya scrolled through the list of comments that other Sims had left on the page, she was shocked by the level of hatred in the posts.
Most of these Sims didn't even know Lexie but they had all jumped on the band wagon started by Tommy and called her the most vile and hurtful names.
"How long has this been here for?" Kaya asked.
Lexie shrugged, "I guess a week or so." She replied.
"Why didn't you tell me about it?" Kaya asked.
"I didn't think you would care." Lexie stated, "You're always so mean Kaya i thought you would laugh if you read what people had said about me."
Kaya stared at Lexie in shock, first Josh and now her little sister, what kind of a monster was she?
"I'll take care of this OK?" Kaya said choking back her tears.
The day of the prom arrived and Kaya had no dress and no date, although she had promised Lexie that she would take care of the page that Tommy had posted she had no clue how she would do it.
Josh still wasn't talking to her and it felt as though her whole world had come crashing down around her, and the worst part was that no one cared.
Although no one said it Kaya realised that they all thought that she deserved it and maybe they were right. After all her own sister had thought that she would laugh along with the cyber bullies who had made her life hell, why would anyone else have a better opinion of her?
As she slammed her locker door shut she caught a glimpse of Jackson out of the corner of her eye and turned to face him.
"Hi." he said shyly.
"If you've come to tell me what a horrible Sim i am don't bother i already know." She snipped.
"Actually i wanted to say that i admired the way you stood up for your sister the other day." He started, "I mean I'm not sure about your tactic, picking on a grade schooler is not ideal but i guess he deserved it." Jackson laughed.
Kaya looked at him unsmiling, "Not that it matters anyway, everyone can still read the horrible things those Sims posted on-line."
"On SimSpace?" Jackson asked.
"I happen to know a thing or two about computers, I'd be happy to to help you get rid of it." He offered.
"You could really do that?" Kaya asked.
"There's not much i can't do with a computer." Jackson replied.
"Can you come over to my place tonight and do it?" Kaya asked.
"Sure, but what about the prom, isn't that tonight?" Jackson queried.
"I guess I'm not going." Kaya replied sadly, "Come over around 6 OK?"
Josh sat in Dr Deign's office, usually his sessions revolved around him telling her lies so that she would continue to tell his parents that he was doing OK but today something was really bothering him and he decided to open up to her about it.
"I have a friend who i guess is sick too." He began.
"You mean sick in the way that you are Josh?" Dr Deign asked.
"I guess, i mean I'm not sure exactly what kind of disorder she has but it's something like mine." He continued.
"I'm really worried about Poppy, the last time i saw her she kind of freaked out and now she won't return any of my calls."
"Did you say her name was Poppy?" The Doctor asked.
"Yes, i met her here actually." Josh admitted.
"Tell me exactly what she did." Dr Deign prompted.
As Josh recounted the story to her he could see the Doctor's eyes getting wider and wider.
"So you found her wearing a prom dress and you say she didn't recognise you." The Doctor confirmed.
Josh nodded to confirm and felt his stomach fall as the Doctor put her head in her hands and said "Oh Poppy not again."
"Should i be worried here Doc?" Josh asked.
"I'm afraid Josh that Poppy's condition is a little different to yours." Dr Deign disclosed, "She had been doing so well but now it all makes sense, she met you and it started all over again." she sighed.
"You're gonna have to fill me in here." Josh said.
"When Poppy was at her last school she met a boy and fell for him very quickly. She decided to stop taking her medication and her symptoms soon became out of control."
"How out of control?" Josh asked.
As she entered the ballroom she looked around in awe at the beauty of the decoration.
Fairy lights twinkled around the ceiling lending a magical feel to the room and Poppy smiled as she realised it had finally happened, tonight she was good enough.
Glancing around the room her heart sank as she saw Amber.
She was dancing with Thom!
In that moment she realised that it had all been a lie, the note had been a joke played on her by the other girls.
She was a joke and everyone knew it.
"I told you so!" the voice in her head taunted.
Poppy turned and fled from the room, away from the party and the laughter and into the fresh air.
She took big deep gulps of it all the while her heart was pounding against her chest as the adrenaline pumped double time through her.
"No good, no good!" the voice sang to her over and over.
"Stop it!" She cried out taking her head in her heads and beating the side of her face to quiet the voice, but it would not relent, "No good, never gonna be any good"
Her heart beat faster still and as the voice reached fever pitch inside her head she felt something snap and suddenly everything went silent.
Poppy moved on auto pilot, she knew what she had to do to show them, show them all.
Inside the party had carried on as though nothing untoward had even happened until Robson noticed the smoke billowing in from under the heavy ballroom door.
"Fire!" He called over the sound of the music.
But as they tried to escape many found that their route was blocked completely by the raging flames.
As the flames leaped higher still, Poppy found herself outside of the building.
She could hear so many voices now, all shouting, begging, pleading for help.
She wasn't so useless now, people needed her now.
Wide eyed she picked up her cell phone from her clutch purse and dialled the fire brigade.
"You see Josh Poppy's condition is perfectly controllable when she takes her medication, but when she decides she doesn't need it anymore she doesn't make rational decisions. She was lucky that time, the fire brigade arrived in time and no one was seriously hurt."
"What about the school?" Josh asked, "Didn't they press charges?"
"They had no proof that it was Poppy who started the fire, although they tried to pin it on her i brought in my lawyer and they soon backed off."
"YOU brought in a lawyer? Why would you do that?" Josh asked.
"Because Poppy is my daughter." Dr Deign revealed, "I had to protect her."
"And what about now? She's clearly off her meds again, what if she makes another bad decision?" Josh demanded.
"Bridgeport High is having a prom tonight, you don't think that she would do anything irrational do you?"
Josh didn't wait for the Doctors reply he rose from the couch and headed out of the door towards the school.
Kaya watched as Jackson tapped away at the laptop.
"That's it." He declared, "I removed all traces of the page and blocked Tommy from using the site again, i also sent him a virus just as a little extra payback." He snorted.
"Wow don't mess the geek huh?" Kaya laughed, "Sorry i didn't mean that." She back pedaled.
"Yes you did." he laughed, "It's OK Kaya I am a geek, i don't mind being called one. It's only you and your friends that think being smart is some kind of disease."
"Well it clearly affects your ability to dress well." She retorted, "Where did you even find a tie that disgusting? Come to think of it why are you even wearing a tie?"
"I-I erm." Jackson stammered looking away nervously, "I was wondering if you still wanted to go to prom with me?" He asked.
Kaya looked at Jackson's outfit again, it was a truly hideous suit but the boy wearing it was so kind and selfless and he was asking her prom.
The mean girl inside Kaya screamed all kinds of insults but she held her tongue, "Just give me a minute to fix my dress." She replied smiling. After all what good was being popular if you couldn't take who you wanted to prom?
Poppy looked in through the window and surveyed the happy scene before her. The girl and boy looked so happy together, sharing a private joke.
She had a faint memory of why she had come to this house, it was to see a boy, a boy she liked.
But as she looked through the window she saw him in the arms of another girl.