9.4: LIKE-Like

One of Asher’s favorite things about his parents’ house had always been the view of the city, and the best place to see it was from the small garden above his mother’s design studio. It had been months now since he’d found the time to go up and visit his secret favorite spot. So, when his father insisted that he and Oliver had been playing too many rounds of their videogame and needed to get some ‘fresh air’, Asher had known exactly where he wanted to go.

“You sure your mom won’t mind?” Oliver asked uncertainly as he followed his friend down the paved pathway toward Emberlynn’s design studio. “We’re not gonna bug her or anything, are we?”

Asher shook his head. “Nah, I come out here all the time. And trust me, Penny’s way worse — She keeps trying to sneak in and mess around with Mom’s stuff… But I know way better than to do that.” For how loving and laid-back his parents were, Asher had learned that they both took their work incredibly seriously. Their in-home work spaces were practically sacred ground, but Emberlynn usually made an exception for the little garden nook above her studio.

Asher paused when he reached the large glass doors, knocking his fist lightly against one of the crystal panes. Emberlynn looked up from the costume prototype she’d been working on, and smiled at the sight of her son and his friend waving from outside.

Asher gestured at himself and Oliver, then pointed in the direction of the narrow staircase leading up to her garden. “Can we go?” He mouthed to her through the glass.

She gave him a nod and a quick thumbs-up before turning back to the tall mannequin beside her and losing herself in her work once more.

“See? Told you it was fine…” Asher beckoned for Oliver to follow him as he hopped over the small fence and cut across the grass to make his way up the stairs. 

His smile widened when he reached the top, taking in the view of the vast city. It always felt so surreal to look at it, like he was in one of his video games looking out over the pixelated skyline. It was just too cool-looking to be real, wasn’t it?

“Woah… cool!” Oliver cried appreciatively as he stood beside his friend, taking in the view as well.

Asher turned his gaze to Oliver’s smiling face. The sight of his friend’s joy made his heart leap almost as much as the breathtaking view did. How had he not thought to share one of his favorite spots with one of his favorite people sooner? Guess I was too greedy to share!

“Yeah, it’s awesome, right?” He asked, still beaming at Oliver.

“Man… I wish Mom’s house had a view like this instead of that big stupid wall.”

Asher couldn’t help his surprise. He’d never thought his friend would be jealous of anything about his house. Oliver’s mom lived in an enormous mansion that had a swimming pool twice the size of the Rosebrooks’, an indoor sauna, a private tennis court… It was insane.

But it was also surrounded by an ugly, giant white wall and sealed in behind a heavy metal gate that remained locked at all times. After all the creepy stalkers Callie had had to deal with over the years, she’d had no choice. 

“Are you kidding? Your mom has the coolest house ever!” Asher replied at last, hoping to remind Oliver of just how lucky he was. “It’s definitely pretty epic up here though. Mom says she likes to come up here when she wants to like, think and stuff.” He explained, taking a seat at one of the chairs. “Maybe that means I could’ve actually focused and finished my science project sooner if I came up here to work on it…”

“It’s tomorrow, right?” Oliver asked. “The fair?”

Asher nodded, his stomach giving a little somersault at the reminder of how close the big moment finally was. “Yeah, I just got my project done last night. I was kinda worried I wasn’t gonna finish in time.” He confessed. “I kept trying, but I couldn’t concentrate.”

Oliver looked at him questioningly. “Why not?”

“Honestly?” Asher hesitated for a moment, almost embarrassed to respond. “It’s Lily. She’s been… weird.

“Weird how?”

He let out a soft sigh. It felt so awkward to try and explain. “Like… following me around all the time? And… Like grabbing my hand and touching my shoulder and hugging me to say hi or bye like, every time she sees me… you’ve seen it, right? I’m not crazy?” Asher asked, almost worried he’d been making a big deal over nothing. “It’s weird, isn’t it? And distracting…” It had been nearly impossible to get any work done on his project when he had a very clingy shadow hovering hover him.

To his surprise, Oliver burst into hysterics at his words. “Oh my God, Ash…” he managed to choke out between his giggles. “You’re kidding, right?”

“What?!”

“You seriously don’t know?” His friend paused to shake his head. “Okay… I wasn’t supposed to say anything… Promise you won’t tell?”

“I won’t. I swear.” Asher would never dream of breaking a promise to Oliver. “What’d she say?!”

Oliver took a deep breath. “Lily has a huge crush on you!” He cried.

Asher’s eyes went wide. “What?! No way!”

“Dude…” Oliver started laughing again. “She’s obsessed with you. She totally wants to be your girlfriend.”

“Seriously?” Asher’s blood ran cold at these words. Lily wanted to be his girlfriend?! His mind raced as he went over her bizarre behavior again and again in his mind. Lily had been giving him lots of attention lately… So that had to be what it all meant, then, right? That she liked him? LIKE-liked him? Asher’s heart began beating faster and faster as this thought crossed his mind, and a strange twisting sensation slowly invaded the pit of his stomach.

“Ollie, what am I gonna do?!” He managed to choke out at last. “I don’t wanna be her boyfriend.” What if she expected him to hold her hand? Or kiss her? Ew!

Oliver appeared genuinely surprised by this question. “What do you mean? I thought you liked her too!”

“I do! Kinda. But like, as a friend…” Asher bit his lip. “Like, she’s smart, and she makes me laugh, and stuff? And she’s not ugly or anything…” Those were all good things, right? “I definitely like her, but I don’t really think I LIKE-like her…” He confessed. But then, had he ever really LIKE-liked anybody before? How were you supposed to tell for sure?!

His friend’s face fell. “So… you don’t LIKE-like her?”

Asher shrugged, feeling just as confused and uncertain as ever. “Maybe? I’m not sure. But… I don’t think so.”

“Oh. Crap…” Oliver appeared guilty. “I… I kinda-sorta told her you did…”

“Ollie, what the hell?!” Asher cried.

“I really thought you did!” His friend explained desperately. “You always hang out with her and you guys are always smiling and being all… you know!”

“Because she’s my friend! That doesn’t mean I want her to be my girlfriend!”

Oliver looked vaguely like he was going to be sick. “So… I should probably warn you… I’m pretty sure she’s gonna ask you to be her boyfriend.” He explained weakly. “After the science fair’s over.”

“OLLIE!”

“I’m sorry!”

Before Asher had a chance to respond, he heard the muffled pounding of feet on the stone stairs. Uh-oh…

Just as he’d feared, his mother quickly came into view, her face stern. “Guys, you know I don’t mind you being up here, but I’m trying to get some work done, and it’s really hard to concentrate with all this yelling.”

“Sorry, Mom.”

“Yeah, sorry, Mrs. Rosebrook.” Oliver added apologetically.

Emberlynn… Or Ember, if you want.” She corrected the little boy gently. “And is everything okay with you guys? You sounded pretty upset…”

Asher forced a smile. “We were just joking around. It’s fine.” He assured her.

Emberlynn did not look entirely convinced, but seemed to decide not to press the issue. “Alright, well if you guys can keep the peace for like one more hour, Dad and I can take you guys out for some pizza before we drop Ollie off.” She offered.

Both boys’ eyes lit up. “Thanks, Mrs. Ro– Ember!”

Asher couldn’t help but laugh at Oliver’s enthusiasm. He knew that one of the things his friend loved most about hanging out at his house was the chance to go out in public without having to dodge paparazzi or Oliver’s mother forcing them to wear some kind of ridiculous disguise (as much as he and Asher loved to pretend they were undercover spies whenever Callie took them out for ice cream).

The promise of pizza helped the two friends to temporarily forget their dispute. But later that evening at the restaurant, when his parents were both occupied by his sisters, Asher turned toward Ollie, his expression serious. “So… Lily’s really gonna ask me out?”

“I think so.” Oliver replied softly. He looked guilty again, just as he had before. “But that doesn’t mean you have to say yes, right?”

Asher nodded slowly. “Yeah… I guess not.” But what if he said no and she like, cried or something? Or didn’t wanna be his friend anymore? He tried not to think about it. “And you never know — my project might end up sucking so bad, she won’t even wanna ask me out…” And just like that, his worry and anxiety about the science fair slowly began sneaking up on him yet again. The prospect of his project being a total failure was even worse than the thought of Lily asking him out!

“Aw, don’t say that!” His friend smiled brightly at him. “You’re so good at stuff like that, Ash. It’s gonna be awesome.”

He felt a pleasant warmth in his chest at Oliver’s words. “You really think so?”

Oliver shook his head. “I know so!”

Asher raised an eyebrow skeptically. “Uh-huh. Just like how you ‘knew’ I like Lily?”

“Wait, you like who?!” Penelope cried from across the table.

Asher glared angrily at his sister. “Nobody, dummy!”

Elaina clapped her hands eagerly. “Dummy! Dummy!”

“ASHER!” His parents cried in unison.

Beside him, Oliver failed to suppress his giggles at this series of outbursts from the Rosebrooks.

“Sorry.” Asher muttered an insincere apology to his parents and rolled his eyes as he took another bite of his pizza, feeling irritated but grateful, at least, that he had something to distract him.

After all, being annoyed and embarrassed by his family was a hell of a lot easier than worrying about his impending doom at the hands of Lily and the judges at the science fair.

18 thoughts on “9.4: LIKE-Like

  1. Omg…these kids are ADORABLE!

    Ollie!!! Selling out your best bro is not a cool thing to do! But I love their cute friendship. And uh oh…I have a feeling Asher is going to go along with Lily and things are going to EXPLODE. And it won’t be the science experiment. HEE!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awww glad you’re liking these kiddos! ❤️

      And you’re right, there’s a big potential for disaster with Lily! 😱 Poor Ollie thought he was helping! Whoops… 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That was soooo so cute! I remember the days of LIKE – like. Poor Asher though. I felt sorry for him. He’s not going to say no to her because he’s afraid of hurting her feelings. Maybe he’ll decide he LIKE – likes her after all. 😂😂😂😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehe yes, the good old days of cooties and LIKE-liking people 😂

      You could be right about Asher… he doesn’t wanna disappoint his friend! Even if he really isn’t into the idea of being her boyfriend… 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can definitely relate to Asher here. This is the sort of thing that used to happen to me all the time in elementary school. I have a feeling that whatever ends up happening Lily’s not going to end up very happy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you can relate! Elementary school is such a weird time in our lives isn’t it? Haha and so confusing too. Man… I kinda miss those simple days though!

      Let’s hope things work out okay for Asher and Lily, one way or another 😬 If he does turn her down, hopefully they can still be friends!

      Like

  4. Oh poor Asher! I see a disaster looming as preteen and teenaged girls are a tornado of emotions and can run hot to cold in minutes. To top it off he’s worried about his science experiments. I love how real this is I see it every time I encourage a student they will be fine during a presentation. I also see his sister giving him a tough time about Lily. These are cute sims kids! I can’t wait to see what happens

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks! I’m glad you think they’re cute! Poor Asher is so worked up about this project. It’s funny what kids will let themselves stress out over!

      Hopefully things with both the science fair AND Lily will go okay!

      Like

  5. Emberlynn’s hair is giving me major flashbacks to Jocelyne! (She was my favorite heir, but shhhhh… don’t want to awaken any of that Rosebrook jealousy 😂)

    Oh, the troubles of childhood. This chapter cracked me up! It’s like a comedy of errors, Rosebrook-style! Ollie told Lily that Ash likes her back, so now poor Asher is going to pretend to like her so he doesn’t hurt her feelings, which will majorly backfire… can’t wait to watch it all crash and burn! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too late, you’ve awakened the wrath of all the other Rosebrooks combined! 😱😈 Look out! Hehe (No but seriously Joce was one of my faves too!)

      This was a fun little situation to set up! Kids can be so funny sometimes! We’ll see next chapter how things go… It’s actually the last childhood chapter, so whatever happens, we at least won’t have to see too much of the fallout before we jump ahead hehe 😈

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gah!I adore this. Everyone is so cute I feel like I’m watching some Disney spin-off version of ashes to ashes lol.Their interactions are so cute thought.

    Oh-Oh Asher, be really careful when talking to Lily. Ugh. This is not gonna be good. If adult people already have a hard time saying the right thing, let alone a child. I don’t think Lily is gonna cry, she’s most likely gonna be like ”ok” and just be friendzoned until Oliver has to (yet again) tell Asher that Lily still likes him.

    Also can we just take a moment at how gorgeous the new rosbrook house/view is??? And to think it all started with a men and his tent in Germany lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! It’s true though — compared to how things usually go in this story, this gen is totally Disney so far 😂

      Hopefully Asher won’t say anything bad when letting Lily down 😬🤞🏻 We shall see…

      And you’re right! That view is so incredible! They’ve come a LONG way since that tent back in Germany, huh? 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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