Arc 2 · Between Two Worlds

6.1 Coral Springs High School

“Kian, my man.” The blond rested an arm on his friend’s shoulder and greeted him with a punch to the chest. “What happened to your hair?”

“My dad happened.” Kian replied sourly. “Nice tan. Sulani’s been good to you?”

“Oh yes. Hot, humid, and filled with exotic beauties. Wait ‘til you hear about my summer romance.”

Trevor winked as Kian gave him a shove. “Seriously? How do you even find the time during a family vacation?!”

“Dude!!” Connor interrupted with a smack on Kian’s back. “You can actually look decent! I can’t remember the last time I saw your natural hair colour.”

Kian grunted. “I swear that old man’s made me as boring as he!”

“And yet, chicks still dig your boring ass.” Marques jested. “Speak of the devil, here they come.”

Trevor dodged just in time as Carly pounced on Kian, throwing her arms around his neck and forcing him to carry her piggyback style. Her girlfriends joined the circle and cheered her on.

“Carly you CRAZY MINX!!” Kian bellowed. Their antics must be a common sight as students in the courtyard merely laughed and catcalled.

“Oooh! New hair, but..” Her hands examined him. “… the same ripped beach bod! Did you miss me while I was away? I promise, if I ever go on another cruise, it’ll be for just the two of us.” She made sure to whisper the last three words into his ear. Kian turned bright red.

“Lord of llamas!!! This is why you’re still single!!” Kian’s loud voice boomed across the courtyard, turning heads 50 feet away. He speedily displaced her center of gravity by yanking her arm hard, forcing her off-balance. Before anyone could react, he turned a full circle on the spot, catching her falling back with his left arm and slid his right swiftly underneath both her knees. He caught her even before she sensed her falling.

Cheers and whistles erupted from all sides at Kian’s split-second manoeuvre turned the cheeky ambush into a princess carry. Carly gazed at the school’s MMA youth champion seductively, caressing the fading scab on his cheek. “You know you can help me with that – being single,” she purred. Kian was not amused. He put her down as she pouted at him.

Trevor pushed his hair back and flashed his most charming smile at her. “My poor Carly. If only you hadn’t misdirected your affections to my unworthy friend, they would’ve been returned tenfold now.”

Carly scowled at him. “Zip it, Trevor. Your sleazy moves make me dry up faster than a 40 degree heat wave.” She stuck her tongue at him as the circle laughed.

They were clearly the stars of the school. Girls swooned if greeted by them and boys would either give high-fives or stare in admiration as they walk by. Athena watched as Kian dodged the brunette’s second attempt to embrace him. She still couldn’t believe she was experiencing a normal school life – sitting on a bench at lunchtime and not being harassed by anyone.

Coral Springs Highschool ranked top in all of Simsville, boasting a prestigious academic track record and had the most sought-after-graduates by the best universities. It quickly became a school for the elite. Almost all its students came from privilege – everyone was someone. Athena was considered so normal that she blended in and actually made friends on her first day of school. Kaitlin and Maia had approached her, saying that they recognised her from Celebnews and that they admired her for standing up for herself.

“Trevor’s the blond guy. His dad owns the entire SimMobile chain companies while his mom’s in every blockbuster movie. On his left is Marques, the finance minister’s son. He’s been featured a lot in Politisims lately. I think his dad’s easing him into the political scene. And honestly, how do you not know Connor from the ‘My Hecking Body’ fitness show? It’s hilarious! That’s how everyone keeps in shape too.” Maia exclaimed.

“Isn’t Trevor a dream? He’s got the looks, the brains, the money – everything!” Kaitlin gushed as she played with her ponytail.

“I wouldn’t if I were you, girl. He’s a heartbreaker.” Maia warned. “But if you really like him, go talk to him. He doesn’t even know you exist!”

“I can’t! I’m so ordinary!” she whined. “I’m nobody.”

“Kaitlin Feng – only you would think that way about yourself. Every dime I spend in Uptown Myshuno goes into your dad’s pocket. That’s a lot of money since we’re filming there. I say you two are a match.”

They were good looking, Athena had to admit. But having borne the brunt of infamy, she was not as easily deluded by social elitism. She found herself wondering who they really were if they shed their masks of privilege? Would they be like Curtis, who had her misunderstand him for her protection?

“How do they not tire out going to the gym every day?” Maia exclaimed, though she let out a smile.

Kaitlin squealed. “You’re in for a treat! Come on, let’s go too!” Athena noticed a large number of girls headed in the same direction as well.

Athena had never wanted to leave a place more quickly in her life.

It’s the spice festival all over again!

Maia scanned the gym. “The popular girls always occupy the benches near the court,” she sighed.

“Doesn’t matter, view’s just as good from the top!” Kaitlin squealed like a fan girl as Trevor broke past Kian, who looked distractedly in their direction. “There’s some empty spots on the deck!” Kaitlin led the way to the staircase.

“No thanks! I’m out. See you back in class!” Athena gave them a weak smile and started towards the exit.

“ATHENA! THERE YOU ARE!”

She cringed. There’s only one person in school who had a boombox for a throat. Kian appeared by her side and grabbed her arm.

“I was wondering where you were. I’ll introduce you!” Kian said enthusiastically.

This isn’t happening, Athena thought to herself as Kian dragged her to the middle of the court while the whole gym watched.

“Guys, Athena. Athena this is Marques, Connor, and Trevor.” Her cheeks burnt but she forcefully pried her fingers from her eyes and act normal.

“How’s it going? Welcome to CS High! If you have any questions or just want to hang out, don’t hesitate to call out to me.” Marques greeted her with a warm handshake, effortlessly exuding the charisma of a politician’s son.

“I was wondering why your mom didn’t send you here. Going to common schools is like a death sentence for us celebrities.” Connor gave a confident wave.

 “Athena – the name of a goddess. It suits you.” A low baritone voice caressed her ear as she turned to come face to face with Trevor, who boldly leaned into her. The first thing he noticed was her unusual eyes. Intrigued, he lifted her chin before she could react. “Your eyes are purple, and you’re without eye contacts.” He examined with fascination.

Kian pulled Athena away from him. “Jeez, Trevor. Stop traumatising her.”

Kian, why are you doing this to me!? She screamed in her head. She wasn’t the only one who wanted answers from him.

“Who is she!?” Carly shrieked from the benches.

“I just introduced her. Athena, Carly. Carly, Athena,” Kian replied.

“I heard that. I meant why are you introducing her!”

“Because starting today, she’s hanging out with me every recess. We’re training together,” he declared. “If I do basketball, she does basketball. If we’re playing soccer, she’s in my team.”

“What!?” Both Athena and Carly responded at the same time. The rest of the gym exploded into whispers as they continued to watch the scene.

“She’s training with you? Is she your junior at the MMA club?” Marques asked.

“She may as well be. Hm, good idea. I’ll teach you some moves too.” Kian directed the latter response to Athena.

“Did something happen between you two during summer break?”

“Yeah,” came Kian’s unfiltered reply. The gym burst into an uproar as everyone talked at once. Carly could be heard screaming shrilly to her friends, “Do any of you know about her!?” while Trevor frustratingly asked, “How do you always get the exotic ones?” Meanwhile, Marques and Connor congratulated Kian. He tried to explain that they’ve got it wrong and to let him finish his story, but no one listened.

“We need to talk!” Athena proclaimed loud enough to silence the questions. She grabbed Kian by the arm and led him out of the gym.

*****************

She finally let him go when they were alone behind the cafeteria building.

“Woah, you are pretty strong! All this time, I thought Curtis had purposely set the mood in the alley.” He pulled back his sleeve to check his arm for print marks.

Athena shot him an exasperated look. “You’ve just made me become the most unpopular girl in the entire school!”

“How?”

“By singling me out like that! New girl suddenly joins the most popular clique? Have you not noticed the audiences wherever you go?”

“Who cares about them? I do what I want. And you didn’t say no when I offered to help you back at the hospital.”

“I agreed but I didn’t realise that… you’re…” too popular? She’d sound like an idiot if she said that. She tried a different tactic. “What about Carly? She’s not going to agree to that.”

“Again, who cares? Just you, for some reason. Don’t worry, she’s not my girlfriend.” Kian shrugged. “The only people I listen to are the ones that matter – my mom and my… dad,” he admitted reluctantly.

“Look. I don’t know why you worry so much about what other people think. My plans and dreams are more important than what some bystander thinks about me, aren’t yours? Maybe you should give a thought about how important this is to you and see if it’s worth ditching for what people think you can or cannot do,” he lectured.

Athena blinked, then hung her head. “You’re right, Kian. I’m letting my fears control me… again. This is important to me and I want to follow through with your plans. I just… I don’t want to be treated like an outcast again.”

The memories came flooding back to her; there was a noticeable quiver in her speech. “I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have friends; sitting on a picnic bench with someone; eating with someone; not having to constantly look over my shoulder…” She blinked back a tear. “My first day here had been amazing! I don’t want to lose all that…” She didn’t want to make a scene, but she didn’t know where the washroom was and the risk of being seen was too high. She hid her face in her knees and apologised through wet sobs.

Immediately, she felt a comforting hand upon her.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realise… I thought I was helping. All I could think of when I lay in the hospital was how we dragged you into our mess, and what I can do to fix some of it.” He thought of hugging her to make her feel better but didn’t think it was appropriate. He kept stroking her hair instead. “This is the only way I can think of to make sure you stay safe, so I won’t take back what I said in the gym. I can’t take it back anyway.”

This isn’t what she wanted, having Kian feel guilty for trying to make her stronger. “No,” she said determinedly and hastily wiped her tears. “I’m glad you said it, I need all the help I can get. I just had a moment of weakness that’s all.” She quickly got to her feet and brushed the stray grass from her skirt. “You’ve reminded me to be strong, and what’s important to me,” she added. “I’ll look for you every recess.” She managed a brave smile.

“And I’ll eat with you every day!” Kian’s voice returned to its default volume as a huge grin spread on his face. “And sit with you on the picnic benches! And make sure no one so much as looks at you otherwise…”

Those won’t be necessary,” she was certain eating with Kian would include the all-stars and their entourage of admirers; and the last thing she wanted was for Kian to face disciplinary action because of her.

“That’s the bell,” Kian said as a ‘DING’ reverberated throughout the school grounds. “I’ll walk you to your class.” Each held a smile as they returned to the classrooms.


Author’s note:

If you think this chapter is obnoxious and yuck, you are not alone. But it is pretty accurate to my high school experience (even the shirtless boys). 🤣

24 thoughts on “6.1 Coral Springs High School

  1. I’m DeafSimmer from the Sims forums, and I’ve checked out your story from time to time. This is my first time commenting here. Good work on the storyline.

    1. Hi DeafSimmer I’m happy you like the storyline. It’s got darker than I originally intended so I stopped sharing it on the forums in case a young simmer stumbles upon it. So I really appreciate how you took the time to come over and have a read. Thank you!

  2. Eeek. That was not subtle of Kian. Practically painted a target on her back. The girl gonna ‘love’ her for sure now.
    Did I read the name Feng? It made me excited.
    Yes, I was wondering about those unbuttoned shirts. Did guys really run around like that in your hight school? Now I feel robbed that they didn’t where I went to school. 😁
    The uniforms are pretty.

    1. Yes! Kaitlin’s from premade Fengs. Most of the students here are from premades. (Carly is a Goth. 😅) My highschool was 100% dramallama. I have this one memory where in the middle of a match, the all stars took off their top in the middle of the match. All the girls around the court went hysterical (or silent) and we bagged the win after. 😅😅

  3. no I didn’t find this chapter obnoxious, i actually enjoyed it a lot hehe
    Athena is so normal. it’s hard to believe that she comes from a popular family.
    I can understand why she’s getting upset. I wouldn’t be surprised if those other popular girls would try to bully her behind Kian’s back. Also not so sure if her new friends will be happy about this, but if they’re worth it, there shouldn’t be any hate.

    1. She’s definitely a fish out of water when it comes to celebrity stardom. 🤣 I’m glad you liked the chapter. I agree. Girls are vicious. 😛

  4. I do wonder why Avery hadn’t considered this school for Athena earlier, though of course even the short time we’ve spent there so far goes to show that there’s a whole other set of issues steming from only spending time with those of priviledge. I guess Avery just wanted her to be “normal”.

    It’s interesting to see Kian in such a regular setting for a change! Of course he is popular with the ladies haha. Though I am sad he had to ditch his edgy hairdo. I’m not surprised he didn’t realise he was putting Athena in an awkward position, not only he’s a dude but he’s such a direct person, I’d be surprised if he did anything else.

    The shirtless guys blaying basketball made me laugh – trying a bit hard, are they? 😂

    1. Me too! I like his flaming red hair. But I have to follow the personality of the characters I created 😭 (In this case the dad’s reigned supreme) And school required permission papers for dyed hair (if kids need to do photoshoots etc).

  5. Whoa! I don’t know if it was the fresh start or the fact that new-school scenes are immersive as-is, but it felt like something evolved in this chapter. Maybe it’s just that my brain shuts down for action scenes and works in overdrive to read new people in social situations, but I’m appreciating it more and couldn’t put this down. Figuratively! Read it over twice.

    Is Trevor British? Some of his dialogue sounds kinda British to my American ears. And Carly—man, that girl has some boundary issues. I’m rooting for Kian to report her for harassment.

    Man… that basketball scene gave me a headache for how much work it must have taken to set up. And everyone’s made over so well! Were these all sims that existed in your game before the start of the story? Put me on the list of people who adored Kian’s hair color change as a detail.

    what’s happening here is that WordPress formats ‘-‘ as a hyphen, ‘–‘ as an en dash, and ‘—‘ as an em dash. People who type em dashes like this ‘ — ‘ are mimicking their length in print. I do the triple-dash em dashes because I write in markup language syntax and want to distinguish them from en dashes

    1. Ooh! I’m glad you like this chapter seriously. I’m so out of my comfort zone for ch 6 and 7 (These are my midway transitioning, trying out too-many-things-at-one-go chapter)
      I didn’t give Trevor and most sims a heritage. I was worried of portraying them wrongly so I’d say everyone is generic whatever that means haha. But y’know, guys are less likely to report for harrassment because of the stigma that its a un-masculine thing to not take it.
      Oh gosh yes, getting everyone to line up and pose and not walk away halfway was a pain. I think because I hit the limit of sims you can have on one lot so they autonomously break out of their poses. I created each ‘side’ character but Kian’s friends and some of Carly’s are downloaded. :>

      Ooh! Now I know the difference between hyphen, en dash, em dash and what they’re called. 😀 Thanks!

  6. It did feel more like middle school (11-13 yrs old) than high school. Man, that had to have been rough!

    Clueless Kian was just trying to be sweet. 🙂

  7. It’s been a while since I read your story, so I had a hard time recognising Kian! He looks good with the brown hair. I’m glad he stayed true to himself and involved Athena, although I do think she’ll get bullied by Carly and her posse.

    I was so impressed by all the pictures with a bunch of poses in them, especially in the gym. That looked like a right pain to do.

    1. Aw Thank you! Yeah this chapter caused me some royal pain there but im pretty happy with the outcome! Haha 😄 oh heey im glad you like Kian’s new look. My so thinks his dad is the best for forcing him to redye his hair.

  8. I didn’t think it was obnoxious. I felt you actually captured high school pretty accurately. Actually I went to a “elite” school too … I was the scholarship kid, but it was all girls. However the girls in this chapter reminded me of some of the students from my high school experience. Great job!

    I also loved how Kian wanted to look out for Athena on her first day. Even if he made her a target. Eek! But to me that was just telling of the typical boy… not understanding the dog-eat-dog world of girls sometimes. Which is sad because honestly we women should be building each other up not tearing each other down. Of curse, that’s something that might come with age.

    I did think it was important that he reminded her that goals are more important than what people think of you. Ultimately at the end of the day being a people pleaser is exhausting.

    Carly is a bit much. Wow. But again I knew girls like that in high school. And she definitely distinguished herself.

    I like the makeovers by the way. He’s a nice looking Sim. Also cool CC uniforms.

    1. Aw thank you! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside! An all girl elite school?? Owh That must’ve been a wild ride. I bet you have some really interesting stories to tell from that environment xD

      Yeah! Haha! Your assessment is spot on. And yes, it’s really a pain that the media for most of the past had always pitted women against each other. I’m so glad that in current times, we’ve moved on to empowerment and equality. I know some places around the world are still struggling with that but it’s a good step in the right direction.

      Omg your comment jogged my memory that I had a Carly in my high school! And lo and behold, she spent every recess/lunch chasing after my senior from martial arts club. It’s kind of funny to watch actually. Kian is dice-rolled. CAS played favourites there giving him such a nice look. xD

  9. I think was really well-written and accurate to the experience, actually! Not obnoxious at all. I went to a high school kind of similar to this one (except it was a boarding school), so I got so many flashbacks thanks to your writing 😛 I liked this a lot!

    A bunch of new characters to spice things up! I enjoyed reading about all of them, even though I can already tell some of them are going to annoy me in the coming chapters if they get a lot of airtime. Let’s start with the the positives: Kian is looking goooooooooood with that hair, even if he thinks it’s bland. I like it! Maia and Kaitlin seem sweet, even if they’re a little boy obsessed. I really like how you portrayed Athena in this chapter, very vulnerable about finally being in a school where she doesn’t stand out at all. Even though Kian kind of messed things up for her with what he did, it was nice to see them have their little moment at the end there. I’ve always liked him and I’m excited for him to become a bigger character now that we’re on HIS turf, haha.

    And for the negatives (about the characters, not the writing because there were no negatives there for me 🙂 ); AHHH Carly reminds me of this one girl I went to school with. Like, it was like I was hearing her voice while reading Carly’s parts and, just… AHHHH high school flashbacks. She’s like if someone took Regina George’s Queen B personality type and role and gave her Gretchen Wiener’s jealous insecurity to hinder her. She’s going to be a thorn in Athena’s side, isn’t she?… sigh. And the boys, Connor, Trevor, and Marques, they seem vapid and stuck up, especially Trevor who gives me creepy vibes with the way he examined Athena and referred to her as “exotic” (yuck). BUT the way they act is accurate to the way the social rulers of an elite high school act, so bravo there. You portrayed them so accurately you gave me flashbacks. 😛

    Great chapter!

    1. Awww i love love that you think this is accurate and it made you have a (hopefully) nice trip down memory lane and love that you shared the trip too! Woah your highschool must’ve been dramallama too woth these personalities in your batch! 😂 yeah Kian is hiding a very good looking dude underneath all that clothes and hair. His dad is a pain bt I have to admit im on dad’s fashion sense side although i miss his flame colored hair. 😂

  10. Typical clique behavior. Poor Athena thought she’d escaped it but Kian pulled her right back in. But at least she has an ally. Kian does look good as do the other jocks and the girls are pretty too. I’m dying to see Curtis and understand how she’s going to fit into all of this.

    1. I’m glad you think so! I was really worried about this scene bt it looks like i got it ok 😊 Kian is good looking. Personally i miss his edgy hairdo, but he looks so upstanding here so i like that too 😄

  11. It’s nice that Athena for once feels like she’s on somebody else’s level and not completely othered, especially when the girls say they were glad she stood up for herself.

    I’m not surprised Athena doesn’t want to be an outcast again. Once you’re accepted in any way in some kind of social circle you’ll cling on to it for dear life.

    Interesting that you based it on your own highschool experience! All I remember from high school was the constant drama amongst the popular girls, the neon craze, the constant fights and the bad smell, but that’s the UK for you : P

    1. Hehe! I gotta write from what I know right? That said, this isn’t an autobiographical story, only that parts of it are metaphorical or relatable. 😄 Neon craze, constant fights and bad smell??? Whut. That all sounds incredibly interesting to me. Any chance of a teen story next? ;P

      1. Honestly, if I wrote a teen story based on my experiences in a UK high school, it would be a mess and there’d be too many detentions and fights that there’d be no time for plot XD

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