“Well, here we are,” Hallie said when they got out of the taxi. “Should be that apartment building over there.”
“Check you out, booking the best pad in Windenburg,” Vito nodded approvingly. “Looks pretty swanky.”
“It’s mean to have good views,” Hallie shrugged. “But more importantly, the festival lot is less than a 5 minute walk.”
“So, I’ll get lots of sleep then,” Vito teased her.
Hallie smirked. “Didn’t think you were planning on doing that much sleeping while you’re here anyway.”
Vito laughed. “Let’s go check it out.”
The loft apartment they rented was spread across the top two floors, and its windows definitely seemed to take advantage of the building’s position in Windenurg.
“I’ve gotta say it, I’m impressed.” Vito looked around the place.
“There’s meant to be a rooftop terrace too.” Hallie told him.
“Sweet! Race you there!”
Hallie giggled as she saw him dash upstairs.
“Woah, look at that.” Vito greeted her upstairs when she caught up with him.
“There’s the Harbour Quarter Festival lot, they seem to be pretty much done with all the lighting,” Hallie observed.
“Cool,” Vito attempted to show interest in the festival. “I bet you can see pretty much all of Windenburg from here. So epic. Maybe I can bring Louis here and show him the view, you know, if things go well.”
“Not getting ahead of yourself at all, are you?” Hallie rolled her eyes. “You do know you need to get him to even talk to you at all first…”
“I guess. One step at a time, huh?”
“So what is your plan, Vito?” Hallie asked cautiously. “Do you even know where he lives these days? Have an address or a phone number?”
“I figured I’d find him one way or another,” he shrugged. “I can stop by his parents’ house, they’re bound to know where he lives, right?”
“I’m sure they’re dying to share that information with the guy who broke their son’s heart,” Hallie shook her head. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to say it like that. It’s just… it’s a great gesture, coming here for him, but I don’t think you’ve really thought it through…”
Vito didn’t seem phased by her comment.
“Well, I do have a bit of a plan, actually,” he informed her with a smile. “When I saw him, the other day, there was still something there. I know it. And I know he must have felt it too. So I want to go to the Bluffs, where it all started. It’s where we first got together… if I’m right, and he did feel something, he’ll turn up there eventually. And if he does… well, then I know I have a chance.”
Hallie gave him a concerned look. “That’s not exactly a solid plan.”
“It’s the only one I’ve got, ok? I’ll go there every day if I have to. It will work out. It has to.”
Hallie sighed. Sounded like a disaster in the making to her, if anything was to even transpire from the gamble. But she didn’t say that. There wasn’t any point in stating the obvious.
“I’m not sure if it will go the way you imagine,” she said instead, “but I do hope it does. I do want you to be happy Vito. Both of you.”
Vito smiled. “Thank you. Speaking of being happy… what about you, Hals? What are you going to do? I mean, the world seems to be yours now, with all those gigs and fans and whatnot, but…”
Hallie looked away. “But what?”
Vito studied her face. “Well, I think it’s no secret I don’t have the best observation skills. But we’ve spent the last 24 hours together travelling here. It doesn’t take a mind-reader to see that you’re not happy. What are you going to do to change that? How will we make you happy?”
Hallie was perplexed by all this attention coming from Vito. Did she really seem so miserable, if even he out of all people noticed?
She looked across the horizon, wishing she could fly into it. Turning into a cloud, and float about happily. But up here, on the terrace, she could almost pretend she was a cloud, detached from the world. It just took a bit of imagination.
“I don’t know, Vito,” she said finally. “But this view seems like a pretty good place to start.”
The Harbour Quarter Festival awakened the sleepy pier, with crowds flocking to the place. Hallie was loving both the atmosphere and the setting.
She swung her head to the beat, jumping up and down occasionally in the booth at the back of the stage. Perhaps another reason why she was enjoying herself so much was because she wasn’t necessarily the centre of attention this time around.
She was actually performing with an up-and-coming punk rock band, The Neon Sirens. Hallie had remixed a song of theirs in the past, and the band fell in love with it so much they’d asked her to do a remastered version of their last album.
Being from opposite ends of the world, most of their communication had happened online in the past, but when the band’s manager suggested they perform together at the festival, Hallie jumped at the opportunity.
Considering they’d only had a limited amount of time to rehearse, Hallie was surprised by their synergy on stage. And the festival dwellers have definitely noticed it too, the crowd was crazy.
Hallie didn’t want it to end. Luckily for her, this was just the beginning, she had DJing slots throughout the festival, and her and The Neon Sirens did not only open the festival, they were also going to close it at the end of the week.
Pays off to be Windenburg’s sweetheart…
Hallie climbed off the stage with a happy grin. She was in a great mood. Perhaps this time around, she could make an exception and actually stick around after the show. She did want to see the other acts at the festival…
“Holy plumbob, DJ Eillah!” An overly enthusiastic man with a cowboy hat dashed over to her. “I’ve seen you perform earlier, and I’ve been to many of your other gigs, but I thought you’re notorious for disappearing straight after… I’m a huge fan!”
“Oh are you?” Hallie smiled. She never got to interact with the fans much precisely because she had the tendency of taking off as soon as she’d finished her set, and this was a welcome change.
“Yeah,” he nodded eagerly. “You don’t often get many DJs like you…”
“Thank you,” she blushed.
“Besides, most DJs seem to be dudes,” he continued with never-ending enthusiasm.
“There’s plenty of female DJs out there, and great ones,” she told him. “But I love that you’re taking such a stand for gender equality.”
“Yeah, that,” he nodded. “But also, what I meant is that you’re really hot!”
“Well, I mean, there are other female DJ, sure, but you’re by far the hottest. Which I guess makes sense, since your mom seemed really good-looking too from what I’ve seen in those old pictures, but bam, you’re smokin!”
Hallie blinked a couple of times. Suddenly, she was reminded of why she usually didn’t like staying back after performing.
“Do you even actually like my music?” she snapped at the man.
“Well, yeah, I mean… it’s not exactly like you can tell who the DJ is in most cases by the sound, right? But you really stand out when you do gigs, because you’re way prettier than any of the other ones…”
Hallie’s eyes narrowed. “Wow, I can’t even decide if I’m more offended by you saying my music is indistinguishable or by you treating me like a piece of meat.”
“Aww man, I’m really sorry,” the man said quickly. “I really didn’t mean to offend you. You’re amazing! I just thought you should know how beautiful you look, that’s all. I mean, your music is good too, of course!”
Hallie felt awful. Was she really just rude to a fan?
“No, I’m sorry,” she told him. “I jumped into conclusions. It’s just… this is a touchy subject for me. But thank you, for appreciating my performances… and, uh, my looks.” She added begrudgingly.
“Wow, you’re so down-to-earth!” The guy enthused. “How cool! Listen, maybe I’m way out of line, but… would you go out with me? Like, on a date?”
Hallie had no words. Perhaps this festival wasn’t all that different to her previous experiences after all.
Builds & sims featured:
- The Neon Sirens are Munterbacon’s boredom cuties (though regrettably I didn’t stick with having people play the correct instruments, I just went with what seemed to match their clothes…)
- The View was originally made by BombshellBoricua and renovated into the modern loft apartment by Nando
- The open air concert lot was built by Melylevesque0311