"Augh, I can't stand it anymore!" Jean stormed upstairs in the direction of her room.
"What can't you stand, Jean?" Kitty poked her head out of her room, hearing Jean pass by.
Jean stopped in her tracks and turned to face Kitty, with a scowl on her face. "Taryn."
"I thought Taryn was like your friend?"
"I don't know anymore." Jean paced and threw her hands up into the air. "And Scott's taking this jealousy thing way too far and Taryn has taken advantage of this situation and today during lunch they were sitting together and faking the lovey-doveyness and it's just positively sickening..."
"Like, slow down Jean." Kitty could see Jean was getting so worked up, the latter's cheeks were flushing. "Hmm...seems to me Scott's not the only one who's jealous..."
"Jealous? Me? What makes you think that?" Jean folded her arms. "Besides, I already have a boyfriend." Who is a total jerk. Shut up conscience.
"Right..." Kitty eyed Jean, who was avoiding looking her in the eye.
"It's just, I feel so uncomfortable around them, like a third wheel. And I know Taryn's playing Scott. I just don't want this to go too far to the point where someone gets hurt."
"And the look she gives me? Some days, I just wish I could kill her." Kitty winced at the imitation of a strangling motion Jean was expressing. A thought suddenly dawned on Kitty.
"Say, Jean. I think I might like, have just the thing to help like, channel the anger."
"Really?" Jean raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"Y'know, like killing Taryn," Kitty motioned for Jean to follow her into her room.
"I can't possibly kill her without getting away with it."
"No, I mean like, virtually, duh." Kitty walked towards her laptop and switched it on. "Ever heard of something called The Sims?"
"Huh?" Jean's second eyebrow rose to meet the first.
"It's a simulation game. It's like, the rage in town! It's so cool, it allows you to create people and control their lives. And they just released a new expansion pack..." Jean lost Kitty as she rambled on and on.
Once Kitty's desktop came on, she inserted a red CD. Then she clicked a button and a red screen with graphics and scrolling words came up on the computer screen.
"Now this here is a Sims neighbourhood. We build houses and stuff for our Sims to live in." Kitty hovered her mouse over a huge mansion. Eight avatars popped up named "The X-Men" family.
"You actually made us?" Jean was intrigued.
"Yeah. There's me, Kurt, Rogue, you, Scott, Storm, Logan and the Professor. But that's the limit I can create for a household, so, I kinda left Spyke out. Shh...don't tell him." Kitty had a mildly sheepish expression on her face.
"Okay, I won't. Wait, what's that house over there?"
"Oh that? That's the Brotherhood."
"You actually created a Brotherhood?"
"Hey, all in good fun!" Kitty grinned.
"So, what can we do with this, Sims?"
"Hmm...you control their lives basically. Eating, playing, sleeping...good thing though, we don't have to go to school. We can have jobs, well, to earn money, unless you'd rather cheat." Kitty pressed a combination of control shift C keys to bring up a small teal window, in which she typed "rosebud" and an extra thousand simoleans magically appeared.
Jean's eyes widened. "Wow. If only life was this easy."
"It gets better." Kitty held up the box titled "Hot Date". "With this, Sims can now go downtown on dates!" She practically squealed.
"Dates? You mean Sims can hug and kiss and stuff?"
"Yep. Relationships and stuff, get married, have a bunch of kids...yadda yadda yadda. But it kinda gets boring after you get married and get kids."
"How do you know?"
"Well, I kinda...had me and Lance...well..." Kitty blushed. "Anyway, with Hot Date, dating like, gets more fun!"
"Wait, so how do I kill Taryn with this, game?" Jean inquired, getting back to their original topic.
"Simple. You can drown her, electrocute her, starve her, burn her, wall her in...I'll show you." Kitty switched to a different screen. She created a Sim that resembled Taryn and named her that. Then Kitty put her in a house and bought a stove and a tonne of furniture. "Let the fun begin." Kitty smirked.
True to her word, a fire started. The furniture caught fire. Sim Taryn screamed and flailed her arms. Soon, she was engulfed in fire as well. Then, the Grim Reaper appeared, and Sim Taryn turned into an urn. It was quite decidedly sick, but part of Jean was very amused by this game.
"So, can I borrow this?"
Past midnight, Jean got out of her room and headed down to the kitchen for some refreshments.
Hearing footsteps, Scott looked up from his refrigerator raid. "Still up? I wasn't aware you had a test tomorrow."
Jean yawned. "Nope."
"So what's keeping you up?" Scott watched as Jean walked over to the cookie jar. "Nightmares again?"
"No, I couldn't stop playing The Sims," Jean admitted, feeling a little silly. "Y'know, computer games. Kitty introduced me to it."
"You play Sims?" Scott raised his eyebrow.
"I didn't know you actually played computer games, Jean. I thought only Kitty, Kurt and I played them."
"I sorta borrowed it from Kitty...wait, you play Sims too?"
"Well, it was Kitty's fault. But it's really kinda cool."
"Really? My family like died in the first five days." Jean put her face in her palms.
"Well, it kinda has a little to do with strategy. You need to get a rhythm, a feel of things. It's quite systematic actually."
"Easy for you to say."
"Play a little longer, you'll get the hang of it." Scott reached out to pat her hand on the table. Jean flinched a little, then kicked herself inwardly for that.
"Don't you feel, weird, playing yourself in that game?"
"Well, at least your life's perfect in it." Scott had a dreamy smile on his face. "A wife, two kids and a house with a white picket fence. No dog though."
"Not my Sim, though I'm trying to work on it. Every Sim hates me now, and I think I accidentally killed you." Jean ended with a nervous laugh.
"Me? You borrowed Kitty's skins too?"
"Yeah, I did. So we can look like us. More like us." Jean took a sip of her drink. "So, who did you marry, and how did the kids turn out?"
"Well, er...let's say it's what I wish for to come true. I don't want to jinx it, in reality."
"Oh, okay." It had better not be Taryn...
"So, what about yours?"
"Well, I'm trying to win the heart of this other guy..." Jean's glaze shifted. "But I seem to be getting nowhere. I think he hates me right now. Our relationship is like minus two."
"It's not that bad. You guys just need to...erm...talk more. Hang out more, do more stuff together..."
"I did that, then tried to 'flirt', and it went downhill from there. I tried to cook him dinner, and ended up burning him to death. I'm such a failure." Jean started banging her head on the table. Scott dragged his chair over and patted her on the back.
"Hey, it's not the end of the world. Well, give yourself time...try harder. Trust me it's a lot easier with Sims than it is with real life." I wished my Sim life was my real life...
Jean looked up and caught Scott's lingering gaze. They stayed like that for awhile, each not daring to move a muscle until Jean broke the silence. "I really should get back. The mansion could be burnt to the ground by now."
"At least you don't have to save the game," Scott called from the kitchen as Jean headed back upstairs. It was his turn to bang his head on the table.
In the week that passed, both Scott and Jean found themselves mesmerized with the game. They had discovered the wonders of the different kisses, cuddling, the picnic basket, the hot tub, and the love bed.
Jean's Sim Scott had succeeded in proposing to Sim Jean, while Scott's Sim Scott had a great career and a happy life with Sim Jean and Sim kids Nathan and Rachel. Both of them were not aware of the parallel Sim lives they led. And they were enjoying themselves immensely, to the point where they thought something was seriously wrong with the picture. They were not going out, but instead were fantasizing about it in, of all things, a computer game?
The following day, Scott and Jean found themselves both gravitating towards each other after school.
"So er, what's going on with Duncan these days? Has he been around?" Scott rubbed his neck nervously.
"Yeah, he's around. He's er...y'know..." Jean looked away.
"No, what? Tell me."
"Well, he's just...not the guy I thought he was. It hasn't been that great. Not it is like with you and Taryn." Jean stopped and looked up at him.
"Oh yeah, yeah, Taryn is...really nice...er...listen, Jean? I think we need to get things out in the open. For a long time now I've been..." Scott was rudely interrupted by Duncan sounding the horn of his car.
"Augh...never mind him. Er...what were you gonna say?"
"Well, it...it's just that I...we...y'know what? Why don't you just go on, he's waiting. We'll talk later." He put a hand on Jean's shoulder, before turning to leave.
"Alright already! Augh...I'm coming!" Duncan, you are so dead the instant I get home...
Scott watched as Jean walked over to meet Duncan. He decided Duncan had to die that night.
Life was certainly a lot easier as a Sim.