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"Ugh, my sim can be such an idiot sometimes. Like, you don't even know." LeAnne tossed her hair over her shoulder as she spoke, momentarily breaking her focus on Mia's face. LeAnne tilted her head to assess the eye shadow she was applying.
"What does he even know, anyway?" Mia asked.
"Exactly," LeAnne answered.
"Mine too." I added.
"Overall, she's doing fine, but I'm not convinced she's working at her full potential," Mrs. Cotten said.
Marie looked at David. "We have been a bit disappointed with her marks," she said. David nodded.
"Children mature at different rates, of course. But some students are less fortunate with their sims," Mrs. Cotten said.
"We've had a very good history with ours, in both of our families," David added.
Mrs. Cotten folded her hands on top of her desk. "What do you know about hers?"
"Very little, so far, she refuses to talk about it," Marie replied.
"That's not uncommon in children her age. She'll likely be more inclined to share once she's had her Debut Party in a few years."
I stared into the bathroom mirror. There was a knock. "Sweetie, are you done? Everyone will be here soon."
"Yeah, Mom, just about."
"You've been in there for a long time. We need to take pictures before everyone gets here."
My mother had a face lotion called Lovely that sat on a shelf in the bathroom. It caught my eye as I went through the motions of adjusting my dress.
Another knock. "Sweetie."
"I'm coming right now, Mom."
"I wish Benji was better at math," Claire looked up from her notes.
"I bet," I replied.
"Can Lovely help you with this?" Claire gestured to the graph paper in front of her.
"Sometimes."
"You want another coffee?"
"Yeah, you want my card?"
"Sure." Claire waited while I fished my payment card out of my bag and handed it to her. When she stood up, her chair scraped against the floor. The two girls sitting next to us gave her a dirty look.
"Do you have a special friend?" my mom asked me.
"Uh huh." I sucked on the corner of my blanket.
"Can you tell me about them?" she asked.
"His name is Toby." I answered.
"No sweetie, that's your bunny."
"Marie." Dad walked over and crouched down next to us on the floor.
"I know, David, I'm just not very patient," Mom replied.
"She'll tell us when she's ready."
"We like to have a good sense of what you and your sim can do. At Fabriek, we know how important the entire being is."
"Of course." The interviewer was in her forties with a sleek haircut and well-tailored suit.
"So perhaps you can tell me more about..." she glanced down at the paper in front of her, "Lovely?"
"They are individuals sometimes, aren't they?" I said, breezily. We both laughed.
"Well, Lovely lives up to her name. I know some people feel their sim balances them in some way, that they make up for things that we aren't good at. But I don't feel that way about Lovely. I think she more enhances me."
"Can you give me an example of a time when you and Lovely overcame a difficult challenge at work?"
"So." My mom hesitated. "What does Lovely think of him?"
I laughed. "Is that more important than what I think?"
"No, of course not. But it is important."
"She thinks he's lovely."
"Oh you're terribly funny." She laughed and took another sip of her wine.
"Has it ever happened that someone was born without a sim?" I asked.
Someone behind me snickered.
"Very rarely. But those people do not live very long. We are in a symbiotic relationship with them after all," Mr. Cullen answered.
The bell rang to notify us that class was over.
"Your chapter three homework is due tomorrow," Mr. Cullen shouted over the noise of students closing their books.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

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