"I don't think she's decided anything yet," Regina answered. "I think she's still kind of in shock."
"I haven't known Alice that long," Bill said, "but based on what you've told me, it seems she used to be kind of a basket case. But--except for this latest development--she really seemed to be doing well lately. And she was a total hero saving Derek and Kelly's wedding."
"Yeah," Regina agreed. "I was SO proud of her. Then THIS had to happen."
Bill hesitated. "Umm, I've heard a couple under-the-breath references from you girls to someone called 'That Guy'--who IS he?"
Regina sighed. "Shortly after I 'rescued' Alice that first night at the bar during my soccer team's victory party--which was after Kelly had rescued her many, MANY times--Alice all of a sudden moved into this HUGE nice house in Sims Freeplay Town. With a pool and a hot tub and everything."
She went on. "Alice threw lots of great, loud, booze-fueled parties, but she obviously didn't have a job, so we figured SOMEONE was funding her. But we didn't discover till the day she fled here to Willow Creek that the 'someone' was married--THAT'S who 'That Guy' is."
"Yikes!" Bill said.
"I know," Regina continued. "That was the day his wife found out, and threatened to divorce him and take half his stuff. And he's LOADED--and has a LOT of stuff! So, he dumped Alice and told her she had to vacate the house."
"And she was hysterical," Regina continued, "and got into her car and just hit the highway, having no particular destination in mind. But, since Alice isn't very responsible about vehicle upkeep, the car started making a really loud knocking noise, so she pulled off on the next exit she reached. And the car died right in front of the Blue Velvet Lounge here in Willow Creek."
There was a knock at the door.
Peter occasionally dropped by for breakfast, because he knew Regina and Bill got up early and, since Lou frequently burned the midnight oil with her programming and slept till just before work, Peter often sought out his neighbors' company in the early morning.
"It's Peter," Regina said. "How much--if anything--do we tell him???"
"It's not as though he's not going to figure it out fairly soon on his own," Bill reasoned. "And he and Alice are pretty close."
Peter listened quietly as his friends explained Alice's situation.
"I assume she's not considering an abortion," Peter observed, "because that would ruin her relationship with Kelly." (Kelly was an evangelical Christian who had remained a virgin until marriage, and who had made many personal sacrifices over the previous few years trying to keep Alice on the straight and narrow, to the extent such a thing was humanly possible.)
"How long till Dude comes back?" Peter asked.
"A week from today," Bill answered. "Zoe's band is booked through next weekend."
"I'm guessing the two of you will let Alice and/or Dude stay here as long as they need to," Peter surmised.
"Absolutely!" Regina and Bill said in unison.
"Well, I know you guys aren't hurting for money," Peter said, "but please know that I will help in any way you or Alice need me to--financially or otherwise."
"I think the FIRST thing we need from you is to promise not to tell Lou," Regina pleaded. "At least not until Alice has figured out what she wants to do."
Just at that moment, Alice padded downstairs.
"Hi guys; hey Peter," she said. "So I guess I can't use this bathroom yet?" she asked, regarding the new toilet, hand-crafted by Bill, that was still situated outside the powder room.
She sat down at the table with her friends.
"I was waiting till you got up to start making noise," Bill explained.
"Okay, well, then, I need to use your master bathroom again," Alice said, getting up.
"That's of course fine, honey," Regina assured her.
"So, when are Derek and Kelly coming back from their honeymoon?" Peter asked, after Alice had gone back upstairs.
"This morning," Regina answered. "I think we should tell them, too--at least Kelly, because she's usually such a strong, good influence on Alice."
"Oh!" Regina said, "I just heard the front gate--it must be Derek and Kelly!" She jumped up and went outside.
She came back into the house immediately, and looked at Bill. "Oh my God!" she gasped. "It's not Derek and Kelly--it's 'THAT GUY'!!!"