And yet, despite the beautiful weather, Chantia was stuck in a car with no air conditioning.
“Mia, it might be a bit easier to gear back when you’re struggling to get up the hill,” she advised the teen at the wheel. With a suffering sigh, Mia obeyed her sister’s instructions and pushed the car into a lower gear. The car emitted a slightly happier hum and managed to climb the hill with slightly more power.
“Mia, you can start slacking down now, there’s a stop sign at the bottom,” Chantia informed her sister again once they’ve cleared the hill. Mia sighed again, but obediently lifted her foot from the pedal and shifted it to the other pedal where she applied light pressure on it.
“Mia, you should –“
“Oh for crying out Chantia, I’m not completely clueless!” Mia burst out when Chantia started with another unwelcome piece of advice. “It’s not like this is the first time I’ve driven a car!”Chantia harrumphed with indignation. “Yes, well, you’re graduating high school in two months and you still haven’t got your license yet!”
Mia slammed her foot down on the brakes and brought the car to a sharp halt, fed-up with her sister’s comments.
“And you haven’t got a proper job yet!” she retorted sharply.Chantia sniffed pretentiously at Mia’s retort. “I just haven’t made up my mind yet,” she informed the teen. “Besides, I still have time to decide. You, on the other hand, are graduating soon, and it is expected of you to graduate with a license.”Mia let loose another suffering sigh before giving up on the argument. “Whatever,” she rolled her eyes and pushed the car into movement again, but couldn’t resist one parting comment. “You just care more about spending time with dear ‘Sammy’ than you do about getting a job.”
“At least I have a boyfriend,” Chantia pointed out, completely ignoring the accusation. “And don’t call him Sammy.”Mia smirked in amusement at Chantia’s reply, but didn’t continue the conversation, deciding to let victory go to the older girl. After all, it wasn’t really a victory if she still got something (amusement) out of the argument. Several days later, Mia felt even more smug when she returned home with a license and Chantia still haven’t gotten her job, proving once and for all that Mia really was better than her sister. It was clear her success infuriated the older girl, but Mia felt no remorse at getting back at her sister.
“She’s just so infuriating!” Chantia complained to Samuel the next day. “Little Miss Perfect, already having a permanent job waiting for her when she comes back from the wonderful university where she’ll score perfect grades and be all around a typical teacher’s pet,” she mocked sarcastically. “And of course, she’ll be the centre of attention for having both brains and beauty and I won’t be able to say anything because she really is ‘Little Miss Perfect.” Chantia pouted and fell back on the grass, staring up at the rustling leaves above her.
Sam laughed at Chantia’s words, his warm tenor voice drifting into the air. “You’re so cute when you’re jealous,” he teased her good-heartedly. Chantia felt a slight blush warm her cheeks at his compliment and flipped over onto her side to look at him.“I’m not jealous,” she protested. “I’m just…I don’t know. I think just it’s unfair that she already has her future laid out before her and I’m still stuck searching,” she explained with a slight pout gracing her lips. Sam laughed good-naturedly at her and touched a lock of her hair, letting the strands flit through his fingers.
“You’re jealous,” he repeated laughingly. “But really, I don’t blame you. She’s extremely lucky to be so successful already.” Chantia sighed heavily and turned on her stomach. “Yeah, I know,” she agreed. It wasn’t that she thought the younger girl didn’t deserve the future laid out for her – on the contrary, she was glad Mia was so successful. It was just that she wanted a bit of that success for herself.
For several minutes the couple relaxed in silence, merely enjoying the heat of the summer and the gentle wind rustling the leaves on the trees above their heads. Chantia was composing a tune in her head to test out later on her violin (which she had gotten really good at) while Sam drew nonsensical figures and patterns on the ground.“You know, I heard something interesting the other day,” Sam stated a little while later, causing Chantia to stop focusing on her tune and look at Sam instead.
“Like what?” she asked, humouring him, as he was clearly waiting for a response.
“It’s about that house up on the hill,” he answered with a slight tilt of his head towards the house in question. “You know, the one up there by the waterfall?”His words caused Chantia to sit up straight again. She knew exactly which house he was talking about. It was, after all, the house Charlotte and the other ghosts lived in.At Chantia’s nod, Sam continued. “I heard the real estate agent called in a team of ghost hunters,” he stated with a slight hint of amusement in his voice. “Apparently, the reason the house has stood vacant for all these years is because nobody wants to buy a ‘haunted house’. So now the agent asked a team of ghost hunters to get rid of the ghosts. They seem pretty desperate to get rid of that house, if you ask me.”
Chantia focused on the one part of his words that stood out. “Vacant?” she asked, slightly confused. “The house isn’t vacant; the ghosts live there.”Sam laughed at her statement, clearly thinking she was joking. “That’s kind of the point of hiring ghost hunters,” he pointed out with a confused half-smile. Chantia shook her head, desperately trying to get him to see her point.
“No, you don’t understand,” she argued. “That house – it’s the ghosts’. It belongs to them. It’s their home, always have been. Who does this agent think he or she is?!” Chantia questioned angrily. “They can’t just force the ghosts to leave!” With that Chantia stood up to leave, anxious to get to the house in question and see if her friends were still alright.Sam grabbed her arm, trying to prevent her from leaving. “Chantia, what’s going on? Why are you so worried about this? It was just a random bit of information I got; I thought you’d find it interesting, not -”
“– freak out? Is that what you’re trying to say?” Chantia accused. “Well yes, I do find it interesting; very interesting in fact. As would you if it were your friends in danger.”Her words caused silence to fall around them. Sam stared at her with an unemotional expression, seemingly trying to make sense of her accusation. Chantia bit her lip slightly. She honestly hadn’t meant to say that. Now he would think she’s a freak and break up with her and –
“That story,” Sam interrupted her mid-thought, “the one you told me back when we were still in school, the one about the ghosts and the magic and the different worlds. That was real, wasn’t it? The girl in that tale – that was you, wasn’t it?”
Chantia stared at him, flabbergasted that he made the connection. Slowly and hesitantly, she nodded, confirming his suspicions.
Sam raised his eyebrows at her silent confirmation. “That’s…pretty cool,” he admitted. “Why didn’t you tell me it was real?”“You don’t think it’s weird?” Chantia asked disbelievingly. Sam shook his head.
“Of course not,” he assured her. “I love those kinds of things; you know, paranormal and supernatural stuff. I think it’s pretty cool that you managed to get involved in it.” He gave a short laugh. “Aisha has been trying for years to get involved without success,” he admitted with amusement in his voice.Chantia stared at him, unable to believe her luck. She had always been afraid of what her friends would think of her when they found out about her abilities, and yet it seemed she had worried unnecessarily. “Oh,” was her eloquent response.
Sam laughed at her and snaked his arm around her waist, pulling her towards him. “Come, let’s go see those ‘ghost friends’ of yours,” he suggested, smiling warmly. This time, Chantia allowed him to pull her away, incredibly glad he had come into her life.The house was still as she had left it when she had last visited it and the ghosts were all still fine, much to Chantia’s relief. She warned them about the rumours and left with a lighter heart when they promised her they’d be careful. Still, she couldn’t help but be worried that they would be placed in danger again, so she made a decision then and there. She was going to buy the house.
But first she needed to find a job, and once again it was her sister that offered a possible solution.“Why don’t you specialise in parapsychology?” Mia suggested when Chantia tore apart another newspaper she had accidently handled too rough. “With your existent skills and abilities, I’m sure you’ll be able to make a success of it.”
Chantia looked up from newspaper. “Para-what?” she asked, confused by the unknown word.“Parapsychology,” Mia repeated promptly. “The study of psychic and paranormal phenomena and the resolution there-of. Including, but not limited to, apparitional experiences, extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis.” Chantia mentally cut out the scientific jargon. “So you’re suggesting I become a ghost hunter,” she concluded incredulously once Mia finished talking, having years of experience in translating Mia-talk to normal-talk.
Mia nodded. “There’s more to it than that, of course, but basically, yes. Your sensitivity to ghosts makes you ideal for it. I just think it’s worth looking at.”Chantia stared sceptically at Mia. “Ghost huntery,” she repeated flatly. “As in, throw the ghosts out of the house they live in, ghost huntery.”“As I said, there’s more to it than that. Parapsychology isn’t only the study of ghosts and spirits, but also of mind-based abilities such as telekinesis, telepathy or clairvoyance, since a lot of ‘ghost hauntings’ are actually caused by such powers,” Mia explained. “Besides, I’ve heard from Charlotte that a lot of ghosts don’t move on simply because they’re unable to let go of their problems. So, if you help them resolve their issues, they’ll be able to move on of free will and you’ll be able to prevent them from falling into Damnation.”
Chantia looked at Mia, wordlessly mulling over the suggestion. It was definitely something she’s never thought of, mainly because ghosts were such an integral part of her life that she couldn’t imagine a life without them. She’d never stopped to consider how they affected the lives of people who couldn’t see ghosts, only their effects. It was something she hadn’t thought of, but Mia was right. It was definitely worth looking at.A trip to the library later she had her answers. It was something she could see herself doing, and to her surprise, the best university in the country offered several classes on the subject. With her future in mind and her dream of buying the house her friends lived in, she applied for University and to her greatest relief, was accepted into the program without problem.
“I’m going to university,” she informed Sam when she saw him again, “starting next semester. I’ve decided I want to become a ghost hunter, and it seems a degree in parapsychology is the best way to get in.”
Sam was silent for a bit while he mulled over her words. “Well, if that’s you really want to do, then I’m glad for you and wish you the best of luck,” he stated. “Just promise me you’ll keep in contact with me and won’t party so hard you’ll forget about me,” he requested with a teasing smile. Chantia laughed and threw her arms around his neck. “No worries about that,” she assured him. “There’s no way I’ll ever forget you. I’ll call you every night and visit you every vacation,” she promised. She really wanted him to join her at university, but she knew there was no way he would be able to. Sam was an orphan, so he didn’t have any family who’d be able to sponsor him through university, and his marks from school weren’t nearly high enough to allow him to qualify for a scholarship the way Mia had done.
Soon enough, the day signalling the start of the new semester arrived. As had been expected of her, Mia graduated from high school with perfect marks. She was also declared as Valedictorian and voted ‘Most Likely to Take Over the World’, something Chantia found quite amusing since she herself had been voted ‘Most Likely to Save the World’.
“I think that’s the last of it,” Mia said as she placed the last of her clothes in the suitcase and closed the lid. “Whatever’s not packed at the moment will just have to stay here,” she concluded when she heard their ride arrive to take them to the university. Chantia was still packing some stuff into her suitcase, but before the driver could get impatient, she finished packing and followed Mia down the stairs.For the first time ever, the girls were going to be away from the house they were raised in for more than a couple of days. It was something new and unexplored, and both girls were eager for the next part of their lives to start. Evelyn on the other hand, wasn’t nearly as eager. Even with Gustave sharing the house with her, the house was going to be far too empty without the two girls around.
“Be careful, both of you,” she admonished the girls as she gave them their farewell hugs. “Study hard, enjoy it, and don’t do stupid things.”
Chantia laughed and tightened her arms around her mother. “We’ll be good,” she promised her mother. The driver closed the boot of the car after he placed the last of the luggage in it and waited impatiently for the girls to complete their farewells. Chantia bade her father goodbye while Mia did the same to Evelyn and within minutes, the girls were in the car and on their way to university.
_~…~_In truth, Chantia won’t really pull any benefit from going to university, since she’s going to have a profession and not a typical job (at least that’s what it looks like. Not sure if that’s true or not). But I’ve never played a sim in university before (at least, not in TS3) and I’m not ready to let Mia go just yet, so to university they go.