A whole summer back home, and Ella was back in Miner Hall as a sophomore now. The kinks of freshman year and dormitory living seemed easier this time around, she actually missed the freedom and noises after being gone. Monroe was on campus now, and they hadn’t talked since she’d gone away to EU. She knew he’d kept his word about college, because her sister, Marisol knew everything there was to know about anyone.
She also knew he was continuing to date Vivienne while at university, which meant the dimmest hopes she’d buried deep inside about them reuniting on campus, were dying a painful death.
It seemed ridiculous to pine over a boy, who forgot about her as soon as she left.
Simon was back, a senior this year, along with Milo. Ella sort of hoped she’d have her own place next year, so she didn’t have to make friends with the new freshmen, which would likely include Vivienne.
Simon was a nice guy, and it was easy to fall into conversation with him after living the past year in the same dorm. Social skills seemed to be something she was gaining, mostly against her will. But it did ebb the loneliness she’d felt the first year, or more honestly, most of her life.
Simon knew everyone who had come back, and he took the time to fill Ella in. Milo, Alex, Lily-Mae, they’d all returned. It kept the dorm at capacity, which meant Monroe was at a different dorm on campus.
Ella had gone all day without seeing Milo, not knowing if they were still sorta-friends or if it had all changed over the summer. She’d mostly chewed him out, and suddenly, it’d seemed they were friends. She’d spent an unhealthy amount of time over summer break, wondering what he was doing, if he thought of her at all.
Even still, it didn’t compare to Monroe, who clung to her brain constantly.
She hears a familiar voice, and is mildly disappointed when it’s Milo. He’s apologizing for losing her number, and how he lost touch over summer. Allegedly, he’d spent the summer thinking of her, in a friendship sort of way.
Oh, it’s really no big deal, she says without lie, because in her heart, it isn’t Milo she pines for.
It seems complicated to Ella, boys, attraction. Her Mom made notoriously terrible choices when it came to men, and the only good guy she’d had, Cesar, she’d treated terribly. A nagging concern that her Mother’s mistakes were a piece of her made her anxious. She doubted her feelings, wondering if she was destined to choose wrong, and if she were, was it better to never choose at all?
Milo pulled Ella outside and out of her shell, pushing daytime hours on her sleep regime, and into trying new experiences, like tossing a football.
When Ella finally did see Monroe, it wasn’t on her terms. She’d agonized late into the night over it, only to have it be nothing like she’d expected.
She comes into the studio, finally an interactive music class, one she’d been waiting to get in until she was a sophomore. The teacher was jamming out, really enjoying the tunes, and naturally, it was Monroe. He was a freshman, and he was already in the class.
He would be talented enough, well-connected, wealthy, all those things, to jump right into a second year class.
All her life choices to follow music seemed foolhardy. Monroe would be successful, because he had his Dad’s name and connections to pull him through. Plus, he was talented and bold. He didn’t shy away from exposing himself, and Ella was none of those things.
Even worse, Monroe was singing, which had always been her part, and he was doing it beautifully.
Ella went to the admin office, and dropped the class. She’d make it up in the spring semester.
Ella distracted herself with helping Milo with his studies. The 3.5 GPA the law school sought, was impossible for Milo to reach now. It was too late for his GPA, but Ella had researched, and if he scored well on his LSAT, he stood a high chance, apparently it was more important.
Milo wasn’t concerned about any of those things. He wanted to have fine treasures and always have fun, and sometimes Ella wondered why she even bothered. Milo didn’t really need her help, his Dad would take care of everything, she was certain.
His entire life was different than hers, how could they have any common ground?
Regardless of her doubts, she continued to help him, pushing him to be a better version of himself.
When they met at the library, and he immediately hugged a cute woman, Ella felt a weird pang. It wasn’t exactly jealousy of the hug, as much as the warm reception the woman received.
When she realized it was Milo’s adopted sister, Itzel, she felt relieved, but there was still sadness. Her half-brothers, Flint and Jett hadn’t reached out to her in a long time. She wasn’t wounded by Flint’s lack of interest, but Jett had always been like a brother to her, supportive and attentive.
Milo seemed anxious when he introduced her to Itzel, and it puzzled Ella. They were friends, or maybe more study partners.
But Itzel was warm and kind, and Ella felt that familiar longing to belong. Even having Cesar and all her half-siblings, she wished there was a whole-sibling, a full family which would include her Mom, in a healthy state and living. Which made her feel bad, considering both of Itzel’s birth parents had died when she was too young to recall.
When Milo put his mind to school, he finished wicked quick. Ella had a 4.0, and she’d studied 150% more than Milo for his 3.0. He could have accomplished anything if he’d put his mind to it. He never worried, because he’d always had everything, and it was these moments when Ella wondered why they spoke at all.
After much persuasion, he convinced Ella to visit Audubon Island. She was adamant against meeting his parents, and this suited Milo perfectly fine. He didn’t have any interest in introducing her to anyone, and meeting his sister was uncomfortable for him.
Milo’s real love was surfing, and after two weekends of constant begging, Ella conceded to give it a try. She knew it wasn’t her scene without even trying, water was only good in a shower, but she agreed in wager for him to write a research paper.
Secretly, she admired the beauty of the island, wondering why her family had never come out to visit for a day.
Milo gave some vague instruction, then he was gone.
Standing proved impossible for Ella. Every time she’d get upright, she’d tumble right off.
She couldn’t help but laugh though, mostly at herself. Surfing. Cesar would never believe her, Manny would be proud. He always encouraged her to try new things, discover herself, and while surfing wasn’t her thing, it wasn’t a terrible way to spend an afternoon.
Milo stayed out for hours, and Ella was exhausted, struggling to lift her legs out of the water after just one hour. She wasn’t in the shape Milo was in, if she really cared, she’d jog with him and Simon in their little fitness club, but she didn’t see that happening.
Starving, they grabbed a late lunch once Milo realized she’d gone missing.
Something about the fresh air and new experience took Ella off her guard. She felt flirty, pretty, and she let her guard down.
It was her idea to try the axe-throwing, Milo had done it enough times on his family vacations to the Cascade mountains, something Ella didn’t really want to hear about.
He humored her, and her weird stance and grunts. But at the end of her throws, he was impressed and slightly intimidated.
They wandered in the cheesy museum, and it was his idea to go in the photo booth for a picture to commemorate the day.
But what followed, seemed like a mutual decision. She wished she had been drinking, so she could blame her choice to screw Milo in a photobooth on that. She wasn’t, and she couldn’t.
In the moment, she didn’t feel the shame of having her first time be with a rich boy, in a photobooth, where families were just on the other side of the curtain. His skin was soft, but tough with strength and use. She hadn’t noticed before.
In the moment, she felt seen and understood. They pushed one another to be better, trying new experiences. Although in this department, he’d had experience.
Afterward, Ella quickly sobered. Embarrassed and ashamed. They were just friends, she was sure Monroe was sleeping with Vivienne, but what if they weren’t? What if he judged her for it? She knew it was ridiculous, but she couldn’t stop thinking of Monroe, even when she was with Milo.
When the evening was ending, and he looped his fingers into hers, she knew those hands in a way she hadn’t previously. She squirmed her hands free, feeling uncomfortable at the places they’d touched and known on her. Instead of feeling seen, she felt exposed and anxious.
Milo was her first, but he had experience, just like Monroe probably had experience, and she’d been waiting all this time to loose it in a quick romp in a photobooth? She felt disappointed and confused.
The ride back to university was quiet, and she could feel the tension of her rejection. He wasn’t asking her to be his girlfriend, and she knew he didn’t want that. Milo was a fun guy, seeking fun and entertainment. But he was wealthy, and used to getting his way, and things felt changed.
When they got back to the dorm, she invited him to have dinner in the cafeteria, and he made an excuse to linger outside. Not feeling like eating alone, she went to the second floor vending machine and took chips back to her room.
Ella was right about Milo, but while she’d pined for Monroe all summer, he’d been thinking about the drowned mouse of a girl, who had the gall to tell him he was a fool. Staring at the girl, who had lost just about everything, he felt ashamed to be such a wasteful cliche.
After sleeping together though, she’d withdrawn. Milo felt confused, and she had been right, he didn’t want a girlfriend. He’d dated Maxine for months, and he wanted to have fun before he dived deep into another relationship. And Ella Carver was a relationship, she was work.
Milo wasn’t ready for such commitment, and he wasn’t ready to be humiliated on the pier in front of other islanders either.
Notes: So Ella’s first time was with Milo, in a photobooth… and it was ACR. Ella is still smitten with Monroe, he is still dating and smitten with Vivienne. And Milo likes both Ella and the random girl walking by… seriously, he met her, and now he wants to date and kiss her.
As I’ve mentioned, Ella and Milo have 1 bolt, while she has 3 with Monroe. Not that boltage exactly matters, but she has a stronger pull to Monroe. Personally, I don’t think either of these guys are a good choice for her, as their backgrounds are really quite different, and at this point, I think Ella is too insecure.
Milo pulled off a 4.0, which brought him up .1 on his GPA. I was doing some research, and it looks like scoring really high on LSAT gets you accepted into law school, so I’m going to play with that a bit after he graduates in the spring.
Simon is still dating Cassia, and he’s still constantly connected to his family. They come by and call him all the time. Cassia seems bored, like she expected something else for their evening. I am not rooting for this couple, but they would likely get me a redhead so I’m not forcing them to stop.
And Ella met up with Kenzie for a lunch on campus after Kenzie called. They are still good friends after all these years. (Kenzie was Ella’s social worker for those who don’t know/recall).
Lily-Mae is still dating Alex, and she’s pretty happy with him, and this is another relationship I’m not digging, but we will see what happens. (Mostly its his black/blonde hair, because Finn McCarthy’s family is all blonde, and they’ve primarily married black-haired sims, and it’s SO dominant!)
Grades this term: (Simon and Milo are seniors)
Simon – 4.0
Milo – 3.1
Ella – 4.0
Lily-Mae – 3.1
Alex – 3.5
Thanks for reading!