Episode 9: Surprises and Stuff – Part 2

Amir takes Camilla out for the night, but it isn’t long before one of their reoccurring issues, occurs… again…

An hour later…

We landed at a hotel bar on the busiest street in the city’s historic district. It was similar to the last one we had been to in WoodPine City Market, and the one before that in Atwood Stadium, from what I could see; but according to Amir, they each had something special that set them apart from the others, and kept people coming back week-after-week. So our objective for the night was to figure out what that ‘special thing’ was.

This game of Bar Night Investigator was research for his newest business venture, an industrial themed cocktail bar in East Atwood, but doubled as date night for us too—part of it anyway. And since the grand opening was only weeks away, he was working overtime, all the time, on the business side of things—including market research—even when we were together.

“What you think about those lights over there?” He pointed at the gold-plated sconces layering the wall near the entrance.

But I didn’t mind. I loved hearing all about this thing he was so passionate about—especially since getting him to talk about anything outside of us, especially family stuff, was like trying to ride the escalator’s railing at the mall, backwards, with nothing but leggings and flip flops on, without breaking so much as a fingernail—not something I’d recommend, by the way.

On top of that, I had fun playing his consultant on these things, and seeing my input influence his decisions, especially when they made the final cut.

“I like the gold. They remind me of fairy lights; the way they’re lining the wall like that.” I traced the air with my finger, following their pattern. “Gives me a backyard patio feel.”

“Fairy lights…” He nodded, staring off into space, like he was visualizing the same set-up I was. “I like that.”

Besides, he always made up for his busyness with little surprises like last week’s rose bouquet for when he canceled on me last minute, and sometimes bigger, more expensive ones like this tennis bracelet for something he did before that, and then there were the… other things where… he…

He was just… really, really good at making up for stuff.

“Let’s play a game,” he said, giving us a small break from work.

And getting me to do things I usually wouldn’t with all these games he always had up his sleeve.

“What kind of game?”

Things that were definitely worthy of a few side-eyes, especially when done in places like… his car at the drive-in movie theater or the balcony of his fourth floor condo, but us being seated across from each other, in this tiny booth, with full-visibility to everyone, didn’t leave a whole lot of options for his usual brand of trouble, so what was he up to?

“Observations,” he said, directing my attention to a couple near the bar across from us. “Tryna guess what they talking ’bout.”

People watching? That’s… not what I would’ve guessed, but okay.

“How would we decide who won though?”

“By whoever’s right ’bout what they do when they done.”

That sounded easy enough, but I knew better than to fall for that, especially since his hand had been under the table, caressing my thigh since we sat down, possible witnesses and all. There had to be more to it than that.

“So what do I get if I win?”

“Whatever you want.”

But those words—such beautiful words, especially coming from his mouth—were hard to turn down. Getting me everything on my Sephora Loves list though, was a pretty big prize for such a simple objective, and only furthered my suspicion.

“And what do you get if you win?”

He sipped his drink, that one smirk that preceded every questionable thing we’ve ever gotten into, seated on the rim of his glass. “Everything I want.”

And those words were dangerous, especially coming from his mouth.

But a year’s worth of body wash, lotion, and lip gloss was on the line, so I was playing and winning. He could smirk all he wanted.

“I’ll go first.”

I zeroed in on the couple, taking stock of the entire scene, from their body language to their facial expressions to whatever else I could see. And the first thing I noticed was how they were standing, even though there was ample seating nearby. Next was his face, his super cheesy smile specifically. Then her and her constant hair twirling. Even from where I was sitting, I could tell he was doing most of the talking, but it wasn’t boring her; her eyes were just over his shoulder because the group of women at the end of the bar were watching them.

Based on this evidence, I’d say they weren’t a couple at all, and that the drink sitting next to her was his treat in exchange for getting to know her. That’s why they weren’t sitting; she didn’t know if she liked him or not—not yet, but all the bragging he was doing was going to win her over. So in a few minutes, she’d probably give her friends over there, some kind of I’m-okay signal, and either follow him to one of the empty booths where the real conversation would take place, or if his game was that good, up to his pre-booked hotel room.

I reported my findings to Amir, and we agreed on everything, but since I went first, that made me the provisional winner—so long as the ‘couple’s’ interaction ended in one of the two ways I predicted.

And since I knew it would, I had the dollar amount of my Sephora order ready to present, but for absolutely no reason he said, “Why you think he’s bragging though?”

Opening the ‘winner’ title back up for discussion.


I was over this game at this point, and more concerned with getting an ETA on my skincare stuff than discussing the why behind men only being able to impress women with money, status, dick—and yes, I do realize the irony in this statement, but it was different with us—so I said, “‘Cause y’all are always bragging.”

Which only opened up a new can of worms because he said, “I didn’t brag with you.”

And while that was technically true, his jewelry was loud enough to do it for him. Besides, he was too busy committing other crimes that were way worse than flaunting his money in my face.

“That’s ’cause you were hitting me with all those corny ass lines instead.” I said, recounting the aforementioned crimes from that night.

The night in question, when all this law-breaking took place, was a few months ago when we first met, at a bar, just like this one—sans the hotel rooms. I noticed him as soon as we walked in the door, and my immediate impression was that he liked attention, and had no trouble getting it. I was used to those types, and a long-term relationship with one of them made me an expert at scoping out those traits.

“Nah.” He laughed at my impression of him. “That was just research.”

“So now it’s research?”

When he sat down at my table, I thought for sure he’d tell me about his job, or his car, or the price of his watch—like every other guy who tried to hit—but he didn’t. And he was cute, and I was kind of drunk, and kind of horny, so I gave him a pass for all those outdated pick-up lines he dropped on me.

“That’s what it’s always been,” he said. “Me tryna see what you like.”

“And what do I like then?”

Okay, I know I said I wanted out of this game, and asking him that was like hitting a U-turn at the exit, but I couldn’t help it. I was curious.

“A few things,” he said. “Touches for sure.” With that under-the-table hand sliding up just enough to make my leg twitch, proving his point. “Compliments and shit like that too. But those the small ones. Your big thing…” He reclined in his seat, his favorite I-know-something-you-don’t-know smile taunting me. “Nah. Never mind.”

Never mind? What do you mean never mind? You can’t just drop some top-secret sounding words on me then dismiss it with a never mind!

“What?” I said, all anxious-like as if whatever he was about to say was imperative to my well-being.

It wasn’t, of course, but I wanted to know!

He shook his head, completely ignoring the legitimate urgency in my voice. “Nothing.”

“What?” I said again, my curiosity growing into frustration. “Tell me!”

“Nah. You not ready to hear it.”

Not ready to hear it? Here we go with that again…

He was always doing stuff like this—and I fucking hated it. It’s like he would let me get close to things, just to keep them from me. And by things, I didn’t mean in the physical sense like the Sephora stuff, the jewelry, the dinners, the flowers, and all the other ways he spent money on me. Those things he’d give me, easily—with no problem. Stuff I didn’t even ask for or expect in any kind of way; he was always giving those to me, completely unprompted. But the things I’m talking about, things like… feelings… specifically in the form of words—the stuff I actually did ask for? That shit was off-the-table.

My questions were always off-the-table.

“Whatever. I don’t even care anymore.”

And I knew this situation wasn’t that big of a deal; probably just another level in this stupid game or something, but him choosing not to tell me yet another thing… just reminded me of all the other things he wouldn’t tell me.

“You mad now?” he said as if my frowned-up face, tightly folded arms, and refusal to look at him wasn’t proof enough.

“No,” I said, despite my demeanor.


“I’m not.”

I was, obviously. And even though I knew why I was, I still felt kind of… conflicted for being mad in the first place. I mean, it’s not like none of this was new. He had been like this since the beginning. But I guess I just thought… it was because of the rules and stuff we had in place back then, and that he would… change once we got… together-together.

But I guess I was wrong about that.

He reached across the table, his hand extended for mine. “Come here.”

“I don’t want to,” I said, keeping my arms, especially my hands, close to my chest.

“You can’t sit with me for two minutes?”

I rolled my eyes at him acting like we were on opposite sides of the room. “I’m literally sitting across from you.”

When he realized I was serious about not coming over to him, he pulled himself up from the table, letting out a loud-enough-for-me-to-hear sigh before joining me on my side.

He’s really gonna act like I’m getting on his nerves?

“Why you always mad with me?” he said, trying to squeeze into the small one-seater; exaggerating as usual.

I wasn’t mad nearly as much as he made it seem, but if that was how he felt, maybe he shouldn’t have always been doing things that always gave me reasons to be mad all the time.

“Why are you always being so dramatic?”

Despite him trying all kinds of ways to get in my seat, I remained in my spot, my body as stiff as my dad’s overly-starched jeans. But one unexpected nudge on his part knocked me right out of place, allowing him to slide in—barely.

I swear I hate him so much.

We may have been squished together like sardines or whatever, but my arms were staying folded, and my eyes nowhere near his direction.

“I’m dramatic?” he said, his words all stressed out like there was some mistruth to what I said. “But you the one sitting over here pouting and shit like somebody did something to you.”

Forget what I said earlier. I wasn’t conflicted anymore. He definitely deserved this attitude.

And by this attitude, I meant me ignoring his ass—and if his response to me not answering his calls, or texts the minute they came through were any indication of how he felt about that kind of stuff—he wouldn’t be able to handle it.

I lifted my glass, my eyes straight ahead, as I took the longest, quietest, most ignoring-the-man-sitting-next-to-you-ist sip of my drink. I didn’t even like vodka like that, and only ordered it because tequila takes me out, and I was not trying to fall asleep on our date, but knowing he was losing his shit was worth a mouthful of spicy grapefruit water.

Right around the two-minute mark, he broke his silence, saying something, whispering it directly in my ear, but my ability to comprehend any of his words was disabled until he said something worthy of hearing; something along the lines of… I was wrong, or I’m dumb— I’d even settle for I need to do better as a boyfriend by not closing you out and being honest about my feelings and the other things going on in my life. So until then, I was officially non-fluent in the Language of Amir.

I swallowed back the first disgusting sip, and as I tilted my glass for another round of Silent Treatment Sipping, he gave in, the floodgates of much-deserved apologies flying wide open, drenching my side of the seat in a non-stop stream of I’m sorrys.

“I’m sorry. Okay?” he said for like the thirtieth time, unloosening my arms like they were the keepers of my anger or something.

I wasn’t ready to forgive him yet, but I let them fall to my sides anyway—a decision he wasted no time taking advantage of. He played his apology tune in my ear, once again, slipping an arm around me, pulling me in for one of those please-stop-being-mad-at-me hugs I had been receiving a lot of lately.

“What exactly are you sorry for?” I tested the sincerity of his words.

And he responded quickly and accurately. “For not answering your question. Right?”

I guess he really was listening last time.

I gave a slow but affirming nod. “Right.” Looking up at him for the first time since he said those God-forsaken words, my head rested against his chest as my arms wrapped a little tighter around him.

He looked back at me, a hopeful smile on his face. “So you forgive me now?”

And it made me realize that… I was being too hard on him. I mean, it’s not like we were talking about anything important anyway. And he did apologize on top of acknowledging why he was apologizing in the first place.

He had never done that before.

So that meant there was some kind of understanding there—progress even, right? Which meant it would only get better, right?


So I was just being too pushy, impatient— I know I could be impatient sometimes… most times… all the time; when all he really needed was time.

And since everything else was good— no, amazing, I could give him time… and tonight, forgiveness.

Author’s Note

Noticed the change in format? More words, less pics? This is how the story will be posted from this point on. Long story short, I love this story and all the time I’ve spent working on it and everything else I’ve done for the sims, but I have a lot of other writing projects (and corresponding goals) planned for the future that I’d also like to give my attention to. Spending less time doing things in game for pics means more time writing, more story content for y’all, AND more practice with my prose and all the other stuff that goes into making good stories. I hope y’all still enjoy it, changes and all, and as always, thank you for your support!

Don’t forget to subscribe to get notified as soon as the next episode part drops!

Go Out Or Stay In?

Impromptu photo shoot of Camilla and Amir in one of Sulani’s beautiful beach hotels.

I came across two pose packs, Purr by afrosimtricsims (early access until 6/6/22) and YOLO by dearkims and had put them to use.

Whenever Camilla and Amir are together, they’re always tempted to skip all their plans and stay in. I imagine it would be no different on the beautiful beaches of Sulani.

Camilla’s hair + outfit

As always, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next post!

Episode 7: Boundaries and Stuff – Part 5

Camilla and Amir’s date continues, this time from Camilla’s POV.

Switching up on me. That’s what I wanted to say. But if I did, I knew he’d play dumb—just like he always did. So I let it go, and moved on to saucing the pizza. At least with that, I knew exactly what I was getting. Unlike him, and this wishy-washy stuff he’s been on lately.

Especially this past week.

Take the other day, for example.

We were in bed, at the hotel, and like mid stroke, he asked what I was doing when I missed his call earlier, and why it took so long to call him back. That part wasn’t new, though—he’s always in my business, especially when he thinks I’m too compromised to deny him access—so I said, “You’re not my boyfriend, Amir.” Like I always do, but then he stopped, and in this tone that was almost offended-like, he said, “So that’s how you feel?” And it threw me off because that part was new. So I said the first thing that came to mind which was, “Is that not how you feel?” But then he got all quiet in his I-don’t-want-to-answer-your-question way—and went back to stroking like we weren’t in the middle of a conversation that he started!

And I would’ve let that go had this been his standard flavor of nosiness, but this was different, part of his new MO where he baits me into these conversations that question what we are, then backs down whenever it’s time to elaborate on what he means.

This whole thing was just… annoying and frustrating, and I just wanted him to say it—what he meant or at least how he felt— ‘cause I had a feeling… that whatever it is… it’s the same thing I’ve been feeling too.

So later that night, when he texted, asking if I was thinking about him, I made another still-not-my-boyfriend comment to see if he’d get the hint. And when his response was a request to take me out again, I thought it worked, and if I gave him the chance, he would finally say something real, but clearly I was wrong.

I grabbed two handfuls of cheese and dumped them on the pizza, followed by those tomatoes he’d finally finished slicing.

At least he did one thing right tonight.

He watched as I tossed them around, letting them fall where they wanted, regardless of where, the floor included. When I grabbed the chicken pieces and sent them flying in a similar fashion, he took the bowl from me.

“You keep this up.” He chuckled a little. “Somebody’s gonna end up with chicken and cheese and shit in their hair.”

Nobody asked for your commentary.

The chef’s assistant clapped his hands, instructing everyone to head over to the baking station. I wasn’t done topping the pizza yet, though, so I tried to get the bowl back, but he kept it away from me, adding on to his ever-growing list of tonight’s infractions— No, make that this week’s infractions.

I hate him so much.

He must’ve caught wind of my annoyance because his trademarked smirk was gone, and his tone was kind of serious—kind of like a person who wanted to have a real conversation, but I knew better than that.

But I did want my bowl back and he knew it. So the more I reached for it, the further he pushed it away.

“Camilla, look.” He followed my movements, trying to trick me into making eye contact with him.

Nope. Not falling for that again.

“What?” I kept my eyes on the bowl, reaching past him to grab it.

He blocked my attempt with his arm. “Keep doing what?”

I slapped it away, damn near at my wits’ end with his cryptic ass questions and this childish ass hand game. “What are you talking about?”

He paused, and while he thought about, whatever he was thinking about, I made another grab for the bowl, but this time, he got a hold of my hands, and within the span of like five milliseconds, I made the mistake of looking up, and got caught right in his trap.

Stay strong, Camilla…

With our eyes locked, and the backs of my hands being traced by his fingertips, my body turned into a breeding ground for goose bumps.

Stay strong, Camilla…

And as his smirk returned, my whole reason for being mad slipped away from me at an alarming rate.

Camilla… girl…

Once our fingers interlocked, he rose our hands to his mouth. “A minute ago, you said I keep doing something.” And painted slow brushstrokes with his lips against the back of mine; his gaze, never wavering. “What I’m doing?”

He knew exactly what he was doing—the looks, the hand-holding, the thing with his lips—making me feel stuff that at one time, only made me take my clothes off, but lately’s, been making me feel… different, you know, like how it feels coming off a roller coaster when you’re lightheaded, and your stomach’s all upside down, and it’s weird, but you kind of want more of it?

And it was working.

‘Cause I kind of wanted more of it, but that would require something he refused to do.

So, I snatched my hands away, breaking eye contact, so he couldn’t distract me with his stupid, sexy demon powers anymore. The pizza would survive with minimal toppings.

The class was encouraged to mingle while the oven timers kept track of our pizzas. Amir and I started out like most of the other ‘couples’, in the middle of the floor, engaged in conversations we had no real interest in. But because of that last stunt he pulled, I slipped away when he wasn’t looking, trying to keep us apart until I figured out what to do—without his interference.

When he realized I was gone, which didn’t take long, by the way, he tried to get back to me, but this one, rather thirsty woman, cornered him against the wall, forcing him to endure her shameless ass flirting instead.

Didn’t she come here with someone?

The way she was in his face, smiling, twirling her hair—I couldn’t stop my eyes from rolling.


At least I got what I wanted, though, space from him to think…

With me… on one side of the room… and him… on another… with her…

Is that what I wanted, though?

A flashback of him playing dodgeball with my questions gave me the answer I needed.

It is. It is what I wanted.

But watching her over there—all in his personal space, with her hand on her chest; her obnoxious ass laugh assaulting my eardrums—made it hard to concentrate on anything else.

Wait… is he really stuck over there or… does he want to be over there?

And just when I thought her behavior couldn’t get any more desperate, it did—but fortunately, a text came through, giving me a much-needed break from the gagfest taking place in front of me.

I looked down at my phone, swiping to my messages to reveal the identity of my savior.

Oh, it’s just Salim.

Oh, it’s just Salim? When did he become just Salim?

Our calls, our hangouts, were like the highlight of my days. The fun we have together is something I always look forward to. Our talks, our back-and-forths, our friendship… our friendship

I guess we really were just friends… ‘Cause if he wanted more, he would’ve said something by now… right? It’s not like he hasn’t had the chance. I mean, we have lunch together, nearly every day, and we talk just as often; that one morning we had breakfast at that fusion place, he could’ve said something then too, but he didn’t, so maybe he’s good with things being this way… And I guess… that means… I’m good with it too.

The rest of the night’s events took place in the dining room. The soft candlelight, food, and fresh cut roses placed in each of the private booths were textbook elements of a romantic dinner—but I wasn’t feeling none of it.

So I ate my food in silence; counting down the minutes until this thing was over, and I could go home and away from him.

I’m guessing my cold shoulder was too much for him because just five minutes in, he said, “Why you being so quiet with me?”

Why I’m being so quiet with you?

It took everything for me not to recount each and every smile, wink, and giggle he stood over there soaking up from Miss Desperation, but I didn’t.

I just gave him a taste of my own brand of selective memory instead. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

But because he’s Amir, instead of taking my denial for what it was, he took it as an invitation to slide up in my seat. “Ahh, so you’re not talking to me then?”

Once again, trying to work his magic to get himself out of trouble.

Definitely not falling for that again.

So I moved over, recreating the distance I intentionally put between us. “Why do you care?” I asked, looking as far away from him as the small seating space allowed. “Don’t you have someone else you rather be talking t—”


I didn’t mean to say that. Not out loud. And definitely not to him. The last thing I needed was him thinking I was jealous— ‘cause I wasn’t. For real. I didn’t even care that he was talking to her. It was just… principle, ‘cause we came together and— I wasn’t jealous, okay?

But the damage was done already, as made evident by his stupid ass grin.

He slid back into my seat, this time with an arm resting on my side of the booth; his eyes roaming over my face, examining it, like it was the headliner of one of those exotic exhibits at the zoo. “So this what you look like when you’re jealous, huh?”

See, this is exactly what I was trying to avoid!

“No!” I gave him one hard shove for even allowing that thought to cross his mind.

He rubbed the spot on his chest where my fist left its mark, laughing victoriously— No, maniacally, like he was winning some devious game, one where the objective was to get a rise out of me… in more ways than one.

I hate him so fucking much.

Before I could react, his arm dropped, and in one swift move, he pulled me closer—the closest I could possibly get.

“You wanna know what we was talking ‘bout?” he whispered in my ear; the mere notion of his mouth being that close to me, sending tingles racing down my spine.

How is it that even when I’m pissed at him, he STILL has this effect on me?

I tugged at his arm, pushing and pulling, trying not to fall victim to another one of his spells.

“No?” I replied to his stupid question.

But struggling only made his grip tighten.

“You sure?”

And encouraged him to make his next move even bolder than his last.


So I gave up. Temporarily. Which I’m sure is exactly what he wanted.

Giving up wasn’t the same as giving in, though—not in this case—but with his lips trailing slowly down my neck, and his hands in places I should’ve been too mad to want them, it was getting real hard to tell the difference.

Damn… I am falling for this again.

He traveled back up to my ear, whispering against it, the soft air that accompanied his words, setting off tiny batches of fireworks that started somewhere in my belly, but ended up where his fingers were. “So you don’t wanna hear what she said ‘bout this girl I’ve been kinda seeing?”

This girl he’s been kinda seeing? Yeah, okay.

I suppressed the moan that was fighting to escape long enough to play along. “What did she say?”

“I told her I be thinking ‘bout her all the time,” he said. “So she said I should tell her.”

Sounds like “she” knows what she’s talking about.

My eyes fluttered shut as my head titled back, giving him more access. “Why don’t you?”

He took advantage of it, sending his tongue on its own exploratory mission, braking only to answer my question. “‘Cause I don’t know if she feels the same way.”

“But what if she does?” I said, way quicker than I’d like to admit.

He laughed a little. I guess he noticed it too.

“That’s what she said.” He paused again. “So I told her we have all these things between us like, rules and shit that keep people apart.”

Okay, horny or not, I could see where this was going.

My eyes popped open and my head titled forward, just as he was making his way back up, putting us face-to-face. “And what did she say about that?”

“She said I should ask her to let me take her home.”

Let him take me home? Like, to my apartment where I live? I don’t—

He kissed me.

Before I could really analyze that thought, or weigh the pros and cons, his lips were on mine, and my hands were in his hair, and my legs were trembling, and— I really wanted to go home.

I backed away, just a little. “But what if her roommate’s home?”

He smiled in that sneaky way he does. “She told me to make sure I’m quiet.”

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Episode 7: Boundaries and Stuff – Part 4

Amir takes Camilla out on another date and attempts to knock down some of the very loose boundaries that exist between them.


So, I know what I said before about relationships and messing things up, but something she said made the risk feel like it was worth taking. We were texting one night, super late, like three in the morning, and I asked if she was thinking ‘bout me—you know, just fucking with her.

She sent one of those thinking emojis, then a text right behind it. Late night thoughts are reserved for boyfriends, is what it said.

I could tell she was joking, but it got me thinking ‘bout how late at night… is when she’s always in mine.

It’s been like that for a minute too; her showing up in my dreams, doing shit like laying in my bed, leaving her stuff around, making my place hers. And when I wake up, it feels… real— right, like that’s how it’s supposed to be. And now I’m kinda feeling like… that’s what I want it to be.

Especially after that night at the movies, where she was comfortable letting things slip that she wouldn’t have before. Where she was good with ‘us’, and me keeping my arm around her waist like she was my girl. Where at the end, when it was time to go, she gave me that kiss, the one that had something, something in it like— I don’t know what, but I could tell she didn’t want to leave, and I didn’t want her to leave either.

So, I got this plan, and if— nah, when it goes the way I want, tonight’ll be the end of all these rules and what she calls boundaries, starting with the biggest one.

Her address.

I met her ‘round eight, at the same spot from last time—this gas station, I’m guessing’s close by her place. Her car was parked out front, but last time it wasn’t, so she must’ve walked then. And if she did walk, that means she can’t stay no more than a few blocks away.

I leaned across the passenger’s seat and opened the door for her. “Not walking today?” I asked as she slid inside.

Damn, she looks good.

She looked at me like I was crazy, a finger pointing down at her feet. “In these shoes? Boy, bye.”

A hint.

A good one too, ‘cause what I know about women and their shoes is they’re not walking long distances in heels, so the streets on either side of the gas station are out.

Getting that answer might be easier than I thought.

I took advantage of the opening she left me. “Must be a long walk if you’re worried about hurting your feet.”

She closed her door. “Long enough.” And strapped on her seat belt. “This place we’re going to has food, right?” Changing the subject before I could get any closer.


So, it wasn’t easy, but it’s cool ‘cause we still had a whole night ahead of us, starting with food; and this date-night cooking class thing I had planned was going to get me all the answers I wanted.

I can’t take credit for the whole idea, though. The inspiration came from this corny ass movie I was watching the other day ‘bout this dude who was chasing this girl that stayed giving him the runaround. He tried everything to get her attention, but what won her over in the end, was taking her to do something she liked—but didn’t expect. In her case, it was pottery making.

Now, Camilla didn’t talk a lot about her hobbies, outside of that one show and some art shit, but one thing I’ve noticed from all the weekends we’ve spent together is she likes to eat—a lot.

So, this cooking class thing is like pottery making for her, and taking her home is winning for me.

We made it kinda late, but just in time to catch the main chef’s performance, which was crazier than the traffic we fought to get here. Instead of cooking like he was supposed to be, he was in front of the class, belly dancing—well, trying to anyway—to loud music that blared throughout the classroom.

His knives—that needed to be confiscated—were spinning above his head while he rolled his hips and shook his ass like a washed up R&B artist desperately trying to make a comeback.

When I found this thing on Simoogle, I knew it was going to be some bullshit—with its first-page result prices for this third-page result class—but last-minute date-night planning don’t leave you a lot of options.

The setup was nice, though. I’ll given him that, and Camilla liked it too, so I didn’t see the point in complaining.

Terrified gasps broke out amongst the other couples as we took our place at our station. Some were covering their faces while others sought comfort in their partners.

I looked at Camilla, half-expecting her to be as freaked out as some of the other women, but she was laughing, clearly enjoying herself, not an ounce of fear in sight.

I knew she was different.

Back upfront, he lunged from side-to-side, landing a knife in each hand before breaking out into a poorly executed cartwheel. His assistant met him once he landed; a blindfold in hand for his next life-threatening trick.

Camilla leaned into me.

“Where did you find this guy?” she whispered behind giggles that refused to be suppressed. “He’s hilarious.”

I gave a nonchalant shrug, like this kind of shit was part of my usual. “I got my sources.” Then nudged her a little. “They could be yours too.”

Her go-to for ominous responses like this was usually sarcasm, but this time she stayed quiet and went back to watching the show.

I put my arm around her, amplifying the hint I just dropped, but her silence remained. The new smile creeping up on her face, though, told me all I needed to know.

I’m definitely winning tonight.

We were entertained with bad dance moves and dangerous knife tricks for a little while longer, but I wasn’t tripping ‘cause the longer he kept this up, the longer I got to keep her where I wanted—next to me, snuggled up in my arms.

For the first time tonight, her guard was down and the odds of me finding out the thing I wanted to know shot up from like ten to seventy-five. When she looked up at me, for a third time, to comment on the crazy shit going on upfront, I took my shot…

“So, I was thinking later I could—”

But the crowd broke out in cheers as the chef took his bow, bringing his performance to a close.

I should beat his ass for his terrible timing.

We separated, following the assistant’s instructions to prep our stations. The countertop was full of all kinds of cooking shit; pans and bowls and other things I ain’t never seen before— not up close, anyway. The kitchen don’t get much face time in my house.

He silenced the music. “Alright, Junior Chefs.” And pointed at words written in large letters on the chalkboard behind him. “Welcome to Cooking With Love! Tonight, you lovebirds will learn first-hand how to make Chef Pancake’s world-famous chicken pesto pizza!”

World-famous? I don’t remember seeing no accolades next to his name; and why is a dude named Pancakes making pizza, anyway? And who the fuck names themself Chef Pancakes?

The assistant clapped loudly, urging the class to do the same, while the chef took his place in front of his station. He started the lesson with kitchen safety rules, then moved on to equipment and other things we’d be working with. Next was— Shit, I don’t know. I wasn’t really listening.

I was noticing, though, how comfortable Camilla was with all this. How it seemed like she knew what to do before he even told us. The way, in minutes, she had turned a bowl of flour, water, and oil into something that resembled pizza dough. The way she took charge, with no problems—almost like this kind of shit was part of her usual.

That movie might’ve been on to something.

The tomatoes I had been tasked to slice, sat untouched on the countertop while I watched her work. In the background, I reminisced about one of those dreams I mentioned. Specifically, the one where she spent the night, and it was late, and she said she was hungry, and we were in my kitchen and—

“What?” Her eyes shot up from her ball of dough.

Oh, shit.

Her tone, her pinched together eyebrows, her hands that would’ve been on her hips if they weren’t gripping a flour covered rolling pin—she had to have known I was watching her, or maybe she heard what I was thinking ‘bout her?

I hoped it was the first one.

I played it off like I wasn’t doing neither. “Nothing.” I nodded at the wall behind her. “I was looking at that poster over there.”

She sucked her teeth; her expression alone, calling me out on my bullshit. “I can feel you staring, Amir.”

Alright, she caught me, but telling her something she wants to hear, a touch even, for good measure, will make her forget about it.

“I’m just… watching you do your thing.” I ran my fingers slowly across hers. “You’re good at it.”

The skepticism washed away and a smile—the smile—the kind that let me know what I was saying, doing was working, took its place. “Thank you.”

And just like I predicted, she was good, and back to rolling her dough.

I grabbed a knife and started on those tomatoes, following up on that compliment I gave her. “You cook like this all the time?”

“God no.” She chuckled, shaking her head, like I was wrong for making that assumption.

I laughed at how dramatic her response was. “Why you say it like that?”

“No reason, I just…” She stopped rolling and looked up at me again. “Lets just say that… when you’ve spent as much time in the kitchen, against your will, as I have, it becomes your least favorite place.”

That was personal.

We didn’t even have sauce on the pizza yet, and I was already breaking down boundaries and shit.

I know I’m winning tonight.

I kept the momentum going by asking what she meant. So, she told me ‘bout how her mom has this catering business, and used to make her stay in the kitchen when she was little, so now it’s one of their many beefs that’s been going on for years.

If I would’ve known cooking would get her talking like this, I would’ve been taken her out.

“But you got all these skills, though.” I pushed some more; trying to see how much she would give me. “Why you don’t use them?”

She grinned in a way that said she wasn’t afraid of a little get-back. “Because I know it pisses her off.”

She’s definitely my kind of girl.

My grin matched hers. “So you like causing trouble, then?”

She shrugged. “Sometimes.”

She finished molding her crust and moved on to the sauce. I was still stuck on those tomatoes, but she didn’t seem to mind.

“So, what about you?” she asked. “You like causing trouble for your parents, too?”

Even though questions were my thing tonight, I let her have this one.

“Nah.” I kept my head down, focusing way more on those tomatoes than I wanted to. “But, let my mom tell it, though, everything I do is trouble.”

She stopped stirring; trying to catch a glimpse of my face that was conveniently shielded by my hair. “Why is that?” she asked in the most sympathetic voice I’ve ever heard in my life.

So sympathetic that I almost told her how my mom thinks her nephew is so fucking perfect that everything I do—good or great—in comparison, is always a fucking disappointment to her. How even after I bought my third condo, the only thing she could talk about was his degree, or the masterpiece he was going to write one day, or the grand-kids he was going to give his mom because he was capable of finding a nice girl and settling down—almost. I almost told her all that. But, I didn’t. I’m not trying to do all that with her.

“That’s boring.” I looked over at her with a forced a smile, and a new conversation topic in the works. “Tell me something interesting like…” She watched me curiously as I wracked my brain for a question that would get us back on track and me closer to my goal. “What you do for work.”

“That’s boring,” she mocked me alongside a mischievous smirk. “How about you tell me something interesting like…” She kept me waiting a few seconds, just like I did her. “Why you picked this place to go to.”

Damn, she’s good. Better at deflection than I thought. Not better than me, though.

“You don’t like it?”

“I do,” she said quickly. “You just keep…” She paused like she was weighing her words; trying to decide if what she wanted to say was worth saying. “Never mind…”

I guess it wasn’t. Or maybe it was?

She went quiet; giving all her attention to the sauceless pizza in front of us. Something changed, and I don’t know what it is.

Fuck. Am I winning tonight?

If you enjoyed this episode of Camilla – Vol One: Impulse, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next one!


During one of my more recent CC shopping sprees, I stumbled across this hair and this outfit, and just knew I had to get Camilla in it.

During one of my more recent CC shopping sprees, I stumbled across this hair and this outfit, and just knew I had to get Camilla in it. Now, her style is nothing like this. I would actually categorize it more as ‘cute’ than ‘sexy’, but I figured she wouldn’t mind making an exception for a little photoshoot.

If you’re interested in the items pictured in this post, check out the links below:

outfit / hair / eyeliner/shadow / nails

As always, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode of Camilla – Vol. One: Impulse. If you’re new to the story, check out the homepage to get started!

Episode 7: Boundaries and Stuff – Part 2

Camilla’s parents pay her a visit; and the day starts off exactly how she expected.

I can’t believe she would pop up on me like this! I stomped circles around my living room. No. Actually, I can. This is classic Bridgette. Only thinking of herself and what she wants with no regard for my feelings or my time. I mean, what if I was busy today? I plopped down on the sofa; relieving the floor from the hour-long assault it had been subjected to. I could’ve easily been doing something that took real planning, like… a vacation.

People go on vacations all the time during the summer. So what if I was on my way— No. Already gone to a resort in another city or state or country, even? I smiled at the thought of having the upper-hand for once. She would’ve shown up here with a fresh supply of unsolicited opinions, hot and ready to serve; and I would’ve been on the beach, in a bikini, sipping my third margarita, without a care in the world.

My smile widened as the image of her disappointed face in front of my unanswered door played on a loop. This would be her first taste of defeat, and the fact that I was the chef behind this salty-ass dish would take her to new levels of anger. The type that would have her calling, making all kinds of threats, if I didn’t pack my bags and get my ass back to Atwood ASAP. So dismissing her calls, letting her go to voicemail, as her loss of power became overwhelmingly obvious, that would send her into a fit of rage.

I snickered at this imaginary victory. My laugh intensifying as the vision of her throwing the fifty-year-old equivalent of a tantrum appeared in this fantasy.

I collapsed into the sofa cushion, on the verge of tears, as gut-busting laughter took over me. I was r-e-l-i-s-h-i-n-g in this scenario, but then the scariest sound imaginable ripped through my apartment, nearly yanking my soul from my body.

I jumped to my feet, my heart doing full-blown dance moves, as I sprinted across the room. That horrifying-soul-shattering sound that had me visibly shaking in the window of my patio door was the slamming of a car door. And judging by the way the car whimpered when the door smacked it — I was sure the owner was my mom.

I peeked behind the curtain to confirm my suspicion. It was her. Arm-in-arm with my dad, James, cuddled up like they were on some kind of date. She whispered something to him. Probably the details of her evil plan— Wait. No. She wouldn’t do that ‘cause then he’d take my side, and she hates when he does that. So it must’ve been something else. Something I’d have to figure out later because they were on their way up.

I dashed into the kitchen for one last look-over. The sink, my main area of concern, seemed clean, but my version of clean was nothing like my mom’s version of clean. So, if there was so much as a speckle of last night’s spaghetti sauce left anywhere, she would find it — and I would never hear the end of it.

The sound of their footsteps met me at the door, and with the most convincing smile I could muster up –given the circumstances — I opened it.

“Hey, Daddy!” I wrapped my arms around my dad’s neck; a spark of genuine excitement taking the place of dread for a moment.

“Hey, Pumpkin!” he replied in his deep-soulful voice, taking me right back to the happier moments of my childhood.

He lifted me off the ground and spun me around like this was his homecoming, and I was still the five-year-old girl waiting by the door for him. “I’ve missed you so much!” he said.

My mom rolled her eyes as she pushed past us and into the living room. “Put that girl down,” she said. “She is too big to be swinging around like that.”

“Oh, hush Bridgette.” He dismissed her unnecessary commentary. “She’ll never be too big for my hugs.”

Thanks Daddy.

“Hmph.” She chuckled sarcastically; bypassing the entire living room and heading straight into the kitchen. “Tell that to your back.”

Here we go

I pushed the door closed and scurried across the room. “Hey, Mama.” I said, following closely behind her.

And just as I predicted, this room was first up on her ‘inspection checklist’. She was looking straight ahead, so I couldn’t see her face, but I knew she was watching, judging everything.

She sighed, as if my presence was annoying her.

That was fast.

“Hey, Cami,” she replied without so much as a glance in my direction.

Yeah… She’s definitely annoyed.

I had no idea what crime I committed between the door and the kitchen, but I continued to follow her; hoping to thaw her cold shoulder and earn myself a spot on her good side.

“How was the drive over?” I asked.


“Was there any traffic or…” my voice faded to silence as she approached a dead end.

She rerouted, heading back in my direction, but as she neared the sink, her footsteps halted. From the middle of the room, she meticulously scanned the walls, the stove, the countertops, and especially — the sink! Why is she staring at the sink?! She moved in closer, and as I stood there, frozen, inspected the base of the faucet; a concerning look on her face.

It was time to go— Not her. Me. ‘Cause I knew where this was going, but if I attempted to evade the criticism that was coming my way, it would only make things worse. I needed a diversion, something big and unavoidable like… a break-in or natural disaster. But my door was locked and the weather was nice, so I had to work with what I had.

I faced the living room; fear practically oozing from my body, but my dad — my protector, and the only thing that keeps her from truly speaking her mind — was too busy repairing the TV stand to see I was in danger. His helpfulness is going to get me verbally murdered!

She turned to me slowly. Oh my God. And as my arms wrapped tightly around my body. OH MY GOD. Surprised me by saying, “You have a roommate?”

She got that from the sink?

“Oh… Yeah…” I replied, hesitantly. My arms loosening, just a little.

Was this some kind of set-up? Getting me to let my guard down so when shots start firing, I wouldn’t see them coming?

She let out a small chuckle as she walked past me. “Well, that explains it.”

This was definitely a set-up.

I spun around to keep my eyes on her. “Explains what?”

“The sink, Cami,” she said. “How many times have I told you about wiping it down when you were done with the dishes?”

And there it is. The criticism. The only thing she ever has to say to me and the one thing that ruins… everything.

Oh, how I’d pay money — real money — to have her lose her voice for like a decade or three.

“Enough for me to know better than to think you finally started listening just because you moved your behind to Atwood.”

What does me moving to Atwood have to do with sinks and dishes?

“Speaking of which,” she went on. “I’m glad you finally found time for us in your busy schedule.” She rubbed my dad’s shoulder playfully. “Your daddy here has been dying to visit.”

Was she for real? What part of receiving a text with their arrival time was my decision? How was I even—

Oh… that was my crime. Never extending the invitation she’s been demanding for months. Mystery solved, I guess.

He finished his work on the TV stand. “It’s a good thing too,” he said, pulling himself up from the ground. “This leg was so loose, another day or two,” he tapped the top of the TV. “And this would’ve been on the floor.”

She fake-gasped. “Did you hear that Cami? It’s a good thing we’re here because without us, you’d have trouble on your hands. Again.”

And for this crime, she’s going to spend the rest of the day making me pay for it. Is jumping out the second-floor window a logical option?

If you enjoyed this episode of Camilla – Vol One: Impulse, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next one!

Impulse: The Soundtrack

Ever wonder what kind of music would play during episodes of Camilla’s story if it were an actual show? Well, now you know!

I finally got this playlist to a point that I’m happy with, so here it is! Camilla and I are most definitely soul sisters when it comes to our musical tastes, so just like you would in any of my personal playlists, you’ll find mostly Hip-Hop and R&B singles (many of them by the same artists because we like what we like!).

The overall theme of the playlist is the various stages of her relationships/feelings with herself and the people in her life. Most of the emotions depicted are hers, but there are few that belong to others. As you can see, things get… interesting, lol.

The position of each song follows the progression of the story. Bonus points to you if you can guess which song represents which scene (or idea) that we’ve seen so far!

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss the next episode of Camilla – Vol One: Impulse!

Why Notion Is The Best Productivity Tool For Me + Resources

My thoughts on Notion along with a few resources to help customize your workspace.

My homepage for Camilla’s story: Impulse

I’ve searched high and low for a program to call home for my creative projects that not only does what I need, but looks how I want too. From Evernote to Scrivener to Google Docs, they each had features I really enjoyed, but lacked in others I can’t live without. So stumbling across a recommendation for Notion a few months ago was like the answer to all of my workspace needs.

What I Like About It

  • It’s simple to use and highly intuitive. The block system functions very similar to WordPress’ (where this blog is hosted) so the learning curve was nearly nonexistent.
  • It’s highly customizable, with options to embed playlists, videos, gifs, even widgets that display weather, time, and fun quotes. On top of that, there are cover photos and emojis that can be customized to make each page truly unique.
  • It has a calendar and scheduling feature. Having my content and content calendar all in one place is super convenient.
  • It has both online and offline functionality and syncs across multiple devices. Being able to start something on my PC and pick up later on my iPad is a must and Notion allows me to do so effortlessly.
  • Easy-to-use navigation system in your sidebar at all times.
  • It’s free! Need I say more?

A Few Resources

With all the customization options Notion provides, it would be a shame not to take advantage of them, so here are a few theme and widget resources I found while working on my space:


Notion custom themes – Google Chrome extension. Only works on the web version, so be mindful of that.

A collection of templates by Ella’s Notion Templates

Aesthetic Notion Templates

25+ Aesthetic Notion Templates

Notion templates on Etsy

Aesthetic and Functional Notion templates by Life & Notion

Student Notion Setup by Sincerely Students

Notion Enhancer – Google Chrome extension. Tons of fixes and improvements for Notion





Pomodoro Timer

A Soft Murmur


I hope these resources help make your workspace everything you want!


Curious about the story behind the workspace? Check out the home page:

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