3 YEARS LATER..........................
"Are you ready?" Kaya called impatiently, "Come on let me see how it looks!" She begged.
Jackson reluctantly obliged and pushed open the door to her bedroom.
"I'm not sure Kaya, it's really not me." He shrugged, pulling at the cardigan she had selected for him.
"Are you crazy?" She asked, "It looks amazing on you." She walked over to him and straightened the collar, "The blue really brings out your eyes. If only you weren't hiding them behind those milk bottle glasses!"
"NO! I'm not taking them off Kaya i agreed to the clothes but not my glasses." He pleaded.
"Just let me see you without them, please." She begged.
Jackson again obliged her removing the glasses, he had discovered that she had an uncanny knack of getting her own way.
"Kaya i can't see a thing!" He exclaimed, squinting in her general direction.
"No?" She asked, "Well how are your other senses?" She giggled.
"Hmm, not bad." He replied but lets just test them a second time." He laughed pulling her in for another kiss.
Jackson slipped back on his glasses and looked at Kaya smiling, "So can you live with the glasses?" He asked.
"I think I'll get over it." She replied flippantly, "Just promise me that you'll throw out that tie!"
"Hey what's that?" He asked nodding to her laptop sitting open on her desk.
"The Simmies best and worst dressed." Jackson read the title out loud, "Kim Simdashian wowed the crowds for all the wrong reasons in her ultra revealing dress, someone really should tell this Sim to fire her stylist!"
"If you're just gonna make fun of it!" Kaya yelled trying to snap the laptop shut.
"I'm not making fun i promise." Jackson swore, maneuvering the machine away from Kaya's grasp, "I think it's really good."
"Oh you do not!" Kaya replied, "You don't even know who Kim Simdashian is!"
"Sure i do she's off that show and she's in that magazine. Actually you're right why is she famous exactly?" Jackson quipped.
"Give me back my laptop." Kaya demanded, perturbed at his teasing, "I've got to hand this in for the school paper today."
"Kaya!" Olive called, "I hope that's your article? The paper is due to print tonight."
"I know, don't freak out." Kaya replied, thrusting the article in her face, "I had to replay the red carpet coverage a couple of times to find out who was wearing what."
"Another celebrity article!" Olive sighed, "Don't you ever want to write about something more worthy?"
"Olive we live in the celeb capital of the country, what could be more worthy than award ceremony coverage?" Kaya argued, rolling her eyes at the girl.
Since she had joined the paper, at Jackson's suggestion a year ago, Olive had given her nothing but grief over her choice of subjects.
Despite the fact that the papers circulation had increased double fold as gossip hungry students lapped up Kaya's every word, Olive still looked down her nose at Kaya's contributions.
"Call me old fashioned but i think Journalism should make an impact, don't you ever want to change the world?" Olive pressed.
"I'm sure your expose on the canteens lack of nutrition really made a difference." Kaya replied sarcastically, "Look Olive, at least my stories get readers, how are you going to change anything if nobody is interested in what you write about?"
"Well my front page article is about prom, as you know I'm head of prom committee."
"As if i could have missed it!" Kaya muttered, recalling Olive pushing this into more than one conversation over the last few months.
"Anyway." Olive continued, ignoring Kaya's mutterings, "The theme this year is Teenage Dreams and i really think it'll be the best yet. Will you be attending?"
"Prom? NO!" Kaya cried.
"But it's senior year Kaya it's your last chance to go." Olive reminded her.
"Oh so you're going?" Kaya asked, turning the tables onto Olive.
"What? Yes of course as head of the committee i have to attend." Olive said flustered.
"I don't get it Olive, every year you organise the prom but you never go and enjoy yourself. What's the point?" Kaya asked.
Olive shrugged and waved a hand to dismiss Kaya.
It was so easy for her to just blow off prom, typical of a girl like Kaya, Olive thought.
In freshman year she was the most popular girl in school until she defected and bagged herself Jackson who was, in Olive's opinion, the ultimate boy. Not only was he smart and friendly but he was so gorgeous, If i had a boyfriend like Jackson I'd love to go to prom with him, she thought.
"So what did Olive make of your article?" Jackson asked.
"She hated it as usual." Kaya said dismissively, "She's more into her own story about prom." She said rolling her eyes.
"Actually, I've been meaning to ask you if you wanted to go." Jackson ventured, "You know with me." He clarified.
"You know how i feel about prom." Kaya retorted.
It was true Jackson did know that since freshman year and the terrible fire at her house on prom night that Kaya had completely turned her back on her old life, her old friends and had every year made a point of avoiding prom.
"Kaya it's our senior year and this is our last chance to go to prom, i just think if we don't go we'll regret it when we're old and grey." Jackson said trying to persuade her.
"It's just a dance." She replied, "When we graduate we can hit every bar in town and get our groove on if that's your thing." She teased, knowing full well that Jackson had two left feet.
"Just think about it OK?" He asked.
"Won't prom be magical?" Lilah gushed, pawing the flier she had grabbed at school earlier.
"Prom sucks!" Lexie replied flippantly.
"Kaya!" Lilah yelled, "Tell Lexie to stop being mean about prom!"
"Not you too!" Kaya sighed, "What is this big obsession with it?"
"I just think it's so romantic." Lilah cooed, "I wish i could go."
"So go." Kaya prompted her little sister.
"I don't think so." Lilah shrugged, "It's not like anyone will want to go with me."
Lilah had suffered some scaring to her face from the fire and although the doctors had grafted skin it had not healed as perfectly as they had hoped leaving her with a large pink, prominent mark.
Having the scar was a constant source of shame to Lilah and had affected her confidence to the point where the only Sims she spoke to regularly were her brother and sisters.
"We'll stay in and rent horror movies." Lexie cut in.
"Ugh i hate horror movies Lexie!" Lilah replied, wrinkling her nose, "Can't we watch Pretty Woman?"
"Again!" Lexie yelled.
Kaya laughed, her sisters were like chalk and cheese, but they had become her best friends.
Lilah was so introverted following her ordeal, that Kaya couldn't help but want to bring her out of her shell and Lexie was so set on denying any girly tendencies that Kaya figured she could use a little prod in the right direction.
Maybe prom was just what they both needed to get them out of their ruts, she pondered and as a plan began to form in her mind she smiled.
"What's so funny?" Lexie asked.
"Nothing." Kaya replied secretively before leaving the two of them alone.
Taking her cell phone from her pocket she text Jackson and told him to get his tuxedo pressed, they were going to prom!
If there was one thing Kaya loved more than dissing celebrities clothing it was match making and she took to the challenge of securing prom dates for both her sisters with relish.
Lilah was easy.
Although she was shy she had her feelings for Liam Donally etched all over her face and it didn't take Kaya long to figure out exactly how to get Lilah a prom date.
A few carefully worded hints should do the trick!
"You really think she would go with me?" Liam asked at Kaya's strong hint.
Hmm, pretty but dumb, Kaya figured.
Then again what guy was able to read a girls signals? Jackson could repeat the periodic table backwards but when faced with trying to figure out when Kaya was hinting for something, he was as clueless as the rest of them!
"Well Liam Lilah has a lot of admirers so if i were you i wouldn't hang about." Kaya told the boy.
"OK, I'll ask her today!" He decided.
One down, one to go, Kaya thought.
Lexie was entirely different kettle of fish.
She shunned anything remotely related to romance completely, choosing to keep her head buried in books that Kaya could barely pronounce the title of.
It wouldn't be easy to get her to go to prom so Kaya would have to employ some rather more devious tactics.
Since Lexie had never so much as mentioned the subject of boys Kaya had to assume that there was no one in particular that she liked, but she had noticed her hanging around this one kid a lot.
His name was Eddie Fitch and from what Kaya could make out, Eddie was completely infatuated with Lexie, he hung on her every word.
But poor old Eddie had positioned himself well and truly in the friend zone and without a little push in the right direction, Kaya figured he'd never get out of there.
She knew it would be simple enough to get Eddie on board but if she told Lexie about the set up she would run a mile. Luckily Lilah was filled with excitement at the development between her and Liam and ended up providing Kaya with the perfect cover story.
"So i guess you heard about Lilah's date for prom?" Kaya asked, putting her scheme into motion later that evening.
"It's all I've heard about." Lexie replied, rolling her eyes.
"It's great that she has this date Lex, you know how hard it's been on her." Kaya reminded her sister.
"I know, I'm happy for her but i don't get why she needs some guy asking her out to validate her, i mean what's the big deal with guys anyway?" Lexie replied in her usual superior way.
"Lilah is a romantic. This date, this prom means the world to her so please don't rain on it." Kaya asked, "Actually i was hoping that you would help me out and come along for the ride?"
"You expect me to got to prom?" Lexie asked, raising her eyebrow sceptically.
"Purely as a support for Lilah." Kaya reminded her, "In case anything goes wrong."
"Kay you know how i feel about all this mushy crap!" Lexie retorted.
"Look i agree with you prom is one big popularity contest, you know i don't play that game anymore but i think it would mean a lot to Lilah if you were supportive."
Kaya spied Lexie's expression form the corner of her eye, she wasn't an expert when it came to reading Lexie, she could never be sure if she was about to laugh in her face or cave in and give her what she wanted but this time it was the latter.
"OK I'll go, but there is no way in hell that i am wearing a prom gown!" Lexie threatened.
"Girls! You all look stunning!" Iris exclaimed as she made the three of them line up at the bottom of the staircase to take a photograph.
Cody was speechless but his expression said it all.
He was a mixture of nerves over all three of his daughters going to their first formal dance and excitement at how momentous this was for each one of them.
"How do i look Daddy?" Lilah asked expectantly.
"You look beautiful sweetheart." Cody replied his eyes filling with proud tears.
"Urgh Dad!" Lexie complained at his sappiness.
As Kaya sat beside Lilah in the limo that had collected the three of them she felt a cold shiver run down her spine as the memory of the fire returned to her. She knew that Jackson thought that the fire was the reason she had avoided prom like the plague but in truth it was the fear of returning to her old ways.
Back then prom was the pinnacle of Kaya's existence, it had meant more to her than anything and getting crowned prom queen was the ultimate display of how much more superior she was to others.
Now she feared that being surrounded by the teens who had once watched her every move made her blood run cold.
She had changed so much, she wasn't that girl anymore.
But what if being at the dance made her miss how things used to be?
"Kaya! Is this a set up?" Lexie demanded, spotting Eddie lingering by the bar, a tattered corsage clutched in his hand.
"What! Of course not." Kaya said, waving a hand dismissively, "Eddie just happens to be going stag that's all, would it kill you to enjoy yourself with him?"
"I swear if he pins that flower on me I'll kick him!" Lexie hissed between her clenched teeth as Kaya stifled a giggle.
Lexie was so adamant that she would never fall in love and succumb to all that fairytale garbage, but Kaya figured she just needed to open herself up to the possibility that it wasn't so gross after all.
She spied Lilah standing self consciously at the side of the dance floor.
Kaya knew she had felt every inch the princess when they left the house but the way other Sims stared at her scar always set her back, making her insecurities come to the foreground.
Just as Kaya was about to go over and ask her sister to dance she spotted Liam making his way over.
"I-I got these for you Lilah." Liam said, offering her a beautiful corsage of pink roses.
Lilah took them shyly, not knowing what to say.
"You look amazing." Liam whispered making Lilah's whole face light up.
As much as her father and sisters kind words helped her, nothing could match hearing those words from someone who wasn't obligated to make her feel good.
"So are you done fixing everyone else's night?" Jackson whispered in Kaya's ear as he sneaked up behind her and placed an arm around her waist.
"Are those for me?" Kaya asked, eyeing the bouquet of white flowers he was grasping.
"What these old things?" Jackson asked, laughing "So are you ready to dance?"
Kaya bit her lip and answered, "There's just one more thing, but i need your help?"
"Anything." He replied.
Kaya had noticed Olive sitting alone at the sidelines and asked Jackson to dance with her.
She knew that Olive gave her a hard time but she also knew that the reason behind it was Olive's crush on Jackson.
Maybe I'm going mad, she thought, sending my boyfriend to dance with another girl!
But then she figured everyone deserved at least one dance at prom, and her feet would thank her later for the reprieve from being stepped on by Jackson's clumsy left feet.
"OMG is that Kaya's boyf dancing with Ms prom committee?" She heard the familiar voice of her one time friend Connie over the music and chose to ignore her.
Besides Connie would soon be quieted by the prom King and Queen announcement that she would no doubt win yet again with her brain cell challenged boyfriend Ricky.
"Hey!" Jackson said breathlessly, fresh from his dance with Olive, "It's time for the announcement."
"Can we go outside?" Kaya asked, not wanting to watch Connie and Ricky fawning over each other.
"Sure." Jackson said grabbing her hand and leading her out.
"And this years prom Queen is Kaya Traytor!" The announcer called.
"What!" She cried, stopping dead in her tracks and looking at Jackson, "How can i of won?" She whispered.
"Come up and collect your crown!" The announcer called, waving to Kaya.
"I-I can't go up there Jackson." She shook her head, "It must be some kind of joke."
But as she spotted Connie's face turning redder by the second she realised it was no prank she had won the vote fair and square.
"Did you get your friend Olive to rig the votes?" Connie snapped angrily, "Maybe that was the trade she gets your geek for the night and you get the crown is that it?"
"I'm not interested in that crown." Kaya hissed.
"Sure your not Kaya, you would step on anyone to get it, i know you." Connie demanded.
"Not anymore you don't." Kaya retorted before walking out of the prom.
"Wait up!" Jackson called, racing out after Kaya, "Slow down!"
Kaya was shaking with rage and Jackson took a step back, it had been a while since he had seen her this way but past mistakes had taught him not to press her when she was seething like this.
"Why did they vote for me?" She demanded through salty tears, "I know what the Sims in this school think of me, they all hated me for being popular and now they hate me for giving it away so why did they pick me?"
"Because they can see now what i always saw in you. You're a good person Kaya, look at everything you did tonight for Olive and your sisters." He replied, "Maybe they were jealous of you in freshman year, but nobody liked you Kaya. Now they know you're not just some shallow mean girl, you're feisty and sharp witted and you know more about celebrities than anyone i know."
"That's not hard!" Kaya laughed through her tears at Jackson's little speech.
"You're brave Kaya, you're not afraid to be yourself and to speak your mind and over these past years you've learned to curb that mean spirit. I couldn't love you more and i can't imagine being without you."
"What do you mean without me?" She asked catching a hint of sadness in his words.
"I've been accepted to the science academy at Twinbrook." Jackson revealed, "I didn't think I'd get in but...."
"Why wouldn't they want you Jackson you're a total genius." Kaya sniffed sadly.
"I'm going to turn it down Kaya i don't want to leave you." He said stroking her hair.
Kaya smiled and lent in to kiss him.
"This science academy it's a big deal right?" She asked.
Jackson nodded, "Like winning a Simmy." He smiled wryly.
"Then you have to go." She told him, before he could protest she said, "I want you to go Jackson, after all everyone knows high school romances never last."
Kaya sighed heavily as she stared at the photograph of her and Jackson at prom. She picked up her crown and tossed it into the trash can, what good was a queen without her king? She wondered.
She had done the right thing, of that much she was sure. There was no way she could allow Jackson to give up his future for her, they were only in high school after all what were the chances of theirs being THE relationship?
But if that were true then why did her heart hurt so much at the thought of prom being their last night as boyfriend and girlfriend?
She dragged her heels all the way across the hall to Josh's room finding him painting as usual.
Since the fire Josh had thrown himself even further into his art, spending all of his time creating and none of it grieving for the loss of Poppy.
The police had told them the tragic story of Poppy and her mother and how she had been the one to start the fire but even though no one in the family blamed her, Poppy could not face them and had left Bridgeport to live with her father.
"Wow Josh that painting is brilliant." Kaya said appraising his work.
"Yeah it's OK i guess." He shrugged, "What's up? It must be something big for you to come in here."
"Well what do you expect? Josh this room is so dark and depressing how can you be creative in here?" Kaya nagged, "And seriously would it kill you tidy up once in a while?"
"Come here." He said gesturing for her to hug him.
Kaya sighed and returned the hug, Josh could still read her like a book he knew that whenever she started to snipe at petty issues she was really just masking her own pain.
"It's Jackson." Kaya sniffed.
"Well who'd of guessed it! Boy troubles." Josh quipped.
"Josh it's not funny OK?" Kaya protested, "He's leaving town."
"I'm sorry Kay, but that's just graduation for you some Sims leave and some stick around." He reasoned.
"Yeah but i told him to go!" She informed him, "Now I'm just thinking maybe I've gone insane! I mean i changed everything about myself Josh, I ditched my friends my whole lifestyle just to be with him and now I'm sending him away."
"Come on you didn't do all that just for Jackson." Josh prodded her.
"I know but being with Jackson just made it so much easier you know? What if i end up being a hated mean girl again?" She whined.
"Well i never hated you." Josh said sticking out his tongue to make her laugh, "And I'm not going anywhere."
"Yeah about that Josh, you know after graduation this house is officially mine so I'm giving you 4 weeks notice of eviction." She dead panned.
"Ha, ha!" Josh laughed ironically.
"Seriously though Josh you really need to think about getting a job and a life outside of this room." Kaya pressed.
"Hey i though you came in here for my advice not to lecture me!" He moaned, "Besides art is my job."
Kaya smiled wryly but she was half serious.
Although she would never kick Josh out he really needed something to push him into existing like a normal Sim.
The days leading up to graduation dragged by without Jackson.
Although they passed each other in the hall Kaya would always rush past him before he could speak to her, not wanting to give her heart opportunity to overrule her head.
Finals came and went and before she knew it her 18th birthday was upon her.
She bent down to blow out the candles on her cake, the sounds of her family's support ringing in her ears. What should i wish for? She wondered.
Happiness? ....................A fairytale.
As the smoke rose from the extinguished candle Kaya smiled, she didn't need wishes she was going to make her own path and her own fortune.