Forrest sat … alone.. eating his evening meal. He was staring out of the window, watching the third police car of the day drive by and daydreaming over what might become of his future when he was suddenly startled by the mobile vibrating in his pocket. He reached for it quickly to silence the urgent ring tone and answered with a cheery hello. On the other end of the line he heard that now familiar voice greeting him. Vivian sounded quite upbeat as she told him her decision. She’d had his police record checked and was pleased to find out it was clean, the museum had given a glowing response to her request for a referernce. With that taken into consideration she had decided to accept him as her town founder. Forrest could hardly contain his excitement as she further outlined the details. He was to sell his belongings, a tram ticket to Newcrest would arrive in the post in the next week and he was to choose for himself the lot that would become his home for the next few years and be turned into Newcrest’s first community lot. She also agreed with his choice and had the faith in him that he was capable of providing a beautiful park for Newcrest. She’d researched his past and discovered that she had attended the same school as his mother and remembered the pretty women and her spirit of freedom and felt sure that a memorial in her honour in Newcrest was a fitting tribute. As Forrest expressed his gratitude and hung up the call, the enormity of what he had to do filled him.
Forrest cleared away the remains of dinner and sat again in front of the TV, the nights news helped to reinforce his thoughts on moving away and starting again. He watched the report of the children’s play equipment in the park being vandalised and put his head in his hands. Hoping beyond hope that what he would start in Newcrest would help the situation back here. He stayed in front of the TV the whole evening, he tried to watch some sport but it bored him, the cooking channel couldn’t provide him with much amusement either and all the comedians just sound flat to his ears and their choice language didn’t impress him much. Maybe it was the tension from knowing he’d be leaving in a few days, or that he knew tomorrow he had so much to organise, but he just couldn’t settle.
He slept fitfully, waking once or twice in alarm then reminding himself that he wouldn’t have a bed to sleep in for much longer and he’d better make the most of it. Tomorrow he had to hand in his notice at work and arrange the sale of his things. Finally he managed to sleep, dreaming of the strangest things, most notably the weird plant that looked like a cow that couldn’t possibly be real, thankfully, as it seemed to enjoy baiting sims with a cake and eating them when they tried to take it.
The following morning, Forrest psyched himself up in front of the mirror, reminding himself that his father would totally approve of this leap into the unknown and his mother would rejoice that her only son had finally accepted that there was a place on simearth for nature, and especially that he would continue the dream that she had been unable to make a reality. He knew they would be watching his footsteps into the future from simbeyond. With his new found confidence Forrest forged ahead with the needs of the day, first breakfast, then writing the letter for his boss. That wasn’t so easy, Forrest was sworn to secrecy over why he was leaving so he had to think up a likely reason why he wanted to give up his regular work. He decided to write that he had had a job offer from the bar in Oasis Springs and that the travelling time to work would be just a little too much from him. With that done, he called the second hand store and asked for an appraisal of his belongings. He didn’t expect it would offer up much, but it should be enough for a small lot at least. With those important things finished, the rest of the week went by fast. He worked his notice at the museum, taking extra pride in his work for the last week. The tram ticket arrived and he tucked it under his pillow as a sort of good luck charm, hoping to ward off dreaming of that weird plant again. On Friday, he received the quote from the second hand store, it was a little less than he had hoped, but more than he had expected, it was enough. He called them to accept and arranged for his things to be taken away on Saturday afternoon. He would spend Saturday night sleeping on the floor, and Sunday he would take the tram and arrive in Newcrest. It was time to begin.
Saturday arrived and as the last box of books disappeared out the door he took a long look around his empty house, he had never really thought of it as home, but still it seemed so empty and strange. He’d arranged to hand his key to the landlord on Sunday morning before catching the tram. He spent a restless night on the wooden floor, tossing and turning, even the tram ticket didn’t help as he’d hoped and there in his subconscious as a nagging thought was that strange plant again, it was so big and threatening, but there was something that seemed important about it. He woke up early, just as the sunlight began streaming through the window of his empty bedroom, he checked the time on his phone and saw it was just 6am. He was too full of nerves and excitement to eat breakfast. So he took a shower and got dressed, deciding to take one last walk around Willow Creek and say goodbye to the graves of his parents.
Strangely he didn’t feel sad as he ran his fingers over the cold stones, a warm breeze caressed his neck, reminding him of his mother tickling him there when he was a boy. He read once more the dedications on the graves and could almost feel the weight of his fathers hand on his shoulder, remembering the last words he’d spoken to him. “Never be afraid of adventure, Son”. He was at peace with the thought of leaving them and knowing that their memories would live on in the adventure he was embarking on. He stayed by the graves and contemplated a while until he was finally disturbed by the hooting of car horns and the wailing of a siren, making him aware that the town was waking up. His next footsteps took him to the house of his Landlord, Mortimer Goth, and he handed over the key. Mortimer was looking stressed as usual and didn’t ask questions, much to Forrest’s relief. Forrest wasn’t too surprised, when you were married to such a socialite as Bella, there was always something to be stressed about. Finally he made the walk home to pick up his ticket to freedom.
Forrest took one last lingering look at his rental house, you couldn’t say there were memories to leave behind, he’d been alone here, only the TV to keep him company and that didn’t answer back when he yelled in frustration at it. The mailbox was empty, the weeds in the garden wilting a little in the morning sun, there was nothing special he was leaving behind. He shook himself knowing the next steps he took would bring him closer to that future he now so wanted. Heading for the second time today towards the Goth Mansion where the only tram stop in town was he took in the sights around him trying to imprint it on his memory.
Forrest sat on a bench and watched the world pass him by, there was no one to see him off, Vivian hadn’t wanted to jeopardise the Cause by being seen in public with him. He daydreamed a while, already plotting on how to survive once his destination was reached. He had some ideas, fishing often gave up valuable fish to sell and he’d heard rumours that you could breed frogs and sell them for a small amount, then there was always the lode stones, if you had a bit of luck, they could offer up gems and metals that sold for a pretty simoleon or 10. Just as he was deciding that he’d survive he heard the ringing of the tram bell and he knew it was time to go.
*author’s note: All screenshots for this story so far have been in a different save game to the one that will be used for the challenge.