The next couple of months passed in relative quiet for the residents of Willow Creek. The burning curiosity bug didn't seem to be as red-hot as it had been earlier, because Catherine Little seemed to the outside world to be a pretty quiet neighbour - even if a little rude on the conversation side of things.
But what the Creekians didn't know was just what Catherine did on those long night shifts. The business she worked for wasn't exactly on the up and up, if you get the drift. The story behind how a quiet young girl from SimCity got mixed up with the likes of them? Well.... it's complicated.
Catherine sighed heavily as she tossed the remainder of her lunch into the garbage. Pay envelopes had been late in arriiving this month, and although she hated to waste what little food she had, the fact of the matter was, everything smelled terrible. "Tonight cannot come soon enough," she muttered under her breath with a glance to her phone lying out on the counter. "I don't know how much more I can take of this lifestyle."
Her phone buzzed just as she was coming out of the shower, and Catherine quickly threw on her pajamas and then ran to grab it.
Hey, babe. Just left SimCity. See you tonight - big news!
'Big news?' Catherine thought with a twinge of concern. The only really big news that ever happened in their line of work meant another move, and probably further than Warren already was. The big boss had been pleased as punch with Warren when he'd landed that huge contact with pull at the Pleasantview City Hall. He'd end up in Takemizu at this rate, which maybe wouldn't be so bad if Catherine got to come with him. But there was no point in worrying about it just now, when she had a doctor's appointment to get to.
Catherine went out for her usual afternoon run, her mind still full of whirling thoughts from the news she had been delivered by the doctor earlier. The sidewalks and pathways around her neighbourhood seemed unusually quiet, and she realized with a start that the "oh-so-secret" dance party in nearby Island Bluffs was going to start any minute.
She quickly ran back to her house, throwing on a pair of jeans with a tank top. Going to a dance party, meet me there?, she tapped into her phone, and hit the send button. Of course Warren would meet her there: Warren had never been a guy to turn down a dance party. Even when they had both been street kids running rampant around SimCity, he'd been known for laying down some sweet tunes.
It really wasn't much of a party, she had to admit, Catherine thought to herself ruefully as she looked around at the makeshift dance floor and DJ booth. There wasn't even a bar.
"Not much of a party, is it?" Warren's amused voice came from behind her as she whirled around in delight. "Hey, babe," he laughed as she flung her arms around him. "It's like you haven't seen me in months or something."
"It has been months, idiot," she scoffed. "What do you say we blow this joint? I want to hear about this spectacular news of yours - and I've got some for you."
"Ah, maybe tomorrow," Warren said, stiffling a yawn. "I just drove the entire length of the trip in one fell swoop. I kind of just want to go to sleep."
Catherine's heart sank at those words, but she shook it off. Of course he was tired: how could he not be, after leaving work, driving for twelve hours with a stopover for a meeting in SimCity, and then taking a half-hour ferry ride down the channel to get to Island Bluffs? "Sure," she finally said. "I don't have to go into work until close to midnight, so let's head out then."
Warren fell into bed almost as soon as they got in, and as Catherine shuffled sadly back into the unlit garage, she started thinking about ways to make herself feel better. Back in SimCity, she would always head out with her load of spray paints and go do some minor tagging - but something told her that would probably be frowned upon by the fine folks of Willow Creek.
But who would ever tell her what to do in her own home?, she thought as she studied the empty garage door. There was a history and a story to be told here, and it was more important than ever that the story be remembered.
Smiling slightly, she uncapped her white base paint and shook it hard.