In the early 2000s, Jennifer and John Burb moved away to the City to seek their fortune. Their daughter, Lucy, was born there in 2007.
It is now 2015. Daniel and Mary-Sue Pleasant had been married for fifteen years. For most of this time, Daniel had kept the effects of his Romance aspiration in check, or at least discreet enough to be undetected.
Now in his mid-late 40s, Daniel had already retired from being a football player. His current position is Assistant Coach at Simley Town FC.
Jeff and Diane Pleasant had passed away, so Mary-Sue’s parents, Herb and Coral Oldie, were the only grandparents left for Daniel’s fifteen-year-old twin daughters, Angela and Lilith.
Pleasant Family Home, 6pm.
Daniel is watching TV in the living room.
Mary-Sue and Angela are cooking in the kitchen.
Loud alternative metal music from Lilith’s room upstairs.
The doorbell rings. Daniel opens the door.
Daniel: Hey Jen, John, Lucy… good to see you!
Jennifer: Hey Dan, it’s good to see you again.
John: Hi, Daniel.
Lucy: Hello, Uncle Daniel.
Suddenly the music from upstairs gets louder.
Daniel: (yelling) Lilith, come down for dinner!!
Three of you, please take a seat at the dinner table, while I get that girl down. (walks upstairs)
As the Burbs sit down, Lucy discreetly taps her feet under the table, to the sound of Lilith’s music.
Lucy: I think I smell fish…
Angela comes out with a huge steaming plate of fish.
John: That looks tasty!
Mary-Sue follows, with vegetables and rice.
Mary-Sue: Angela cooked this all herself. Daniel caught the fish in the nearby lake this afternoon.
Daniel comes down with Lilith, the latter feeling sullen, but trying to put on a nonchalant face.
Lucy: Hello Lilith!
Lilith: Hi Aunt Jen, Uncle John and Lucy.
Jennifer: Hello Lilith, how are you doing?
Angela: Lilith got an F for History…
Lilith: Shut up, Angela. OK, I guess… I heard you and Uncle John will be playing in the PVCS match.
Jennifer: Yeah, it’s a childhood dream coming true for me, when I used to want to be a footballer. John’s excited too.
Daniel: It’s a pity that Mary-Sue and Angela are not interested.
Jennifer: True, when I was a kid, I had multiple posters in my room, dreaming of becoming a professional footballer one day. It feels surreal now.
Angela: Everybody has their own tastes. I’m in love with ballet, but don’t care much about football.
Mary-Sue: I’ve been terribly busy. They’re looking for a new party leader, so I have to make a good impression.
Lilith sighs silently. “So he’s stuck with just me,” she says inside her head, careful not to let it out.
Jennifer: Lilith, I’m happy that you are playing. Are you interested in football yourself?
Lilith: Yeah, just a bit. It’s good to try something new.
Lucy: I want to play!!!!!!!
Jennifer: You can watch us. You can be a spectator at any age.
Mary-Sue: Lucy, you can come to our house to watch the match on TV, as nobody can take care of you in the audience at the stadium.
John & Jennifer: Thank you, Mary-Sue.
Lucy: Thank you, Aunt Mary-Sue.
John: When you’re older, Lucy, you may get a trial at Simley Town FC.
Jennifer: Yeah, Lucy, you’re lucky that the Sims Football Association opened up the leagues to girls around 2000.
Daniel nods. He wonders if Lucy would still be interested when she hits 12-13.
Lucy: Angela and Lilith are so lucky to be old enough to play in the match this year.
Lilith: As she mentioned earlier, the problem with Angela is… football takes time away from her darling BALLET.
Angela: No, homework! You should try that too for once!
Mary-Sue: Shut up, both of you!
John: The fish is delicious! Daniel, I heard you caught it yourself.
Daniel: Yeah, thanks. It’s hard to get a quiet afternoon at the lake these days.
Jennifer: So, Daniel. How are things going at Simley?
Daniel: The preparations for the PVCS match are taking away most of my quiet time after the Simley Town season.
John: Pity that Simley finished 4th in the Regional League.
Jennifer: According to the newspaper, the club’s finances aren’t going well either.
Daniel: Three years in the Regional League really takes a toll on a football club. Lack of signings, lack of motivation. We desperately need some fresh blood on the team.
John: Maybe ask Mortimer Goth if he wants to make a donation so you can sign Simnaldinho.
Daniel: (lightheartedly) Very funny…. will Simaldinho want to play in such a low-rated club?
Jennifer: Simley Town is a club with a great history, but was just unlucky in recent years. Better idea… YOU should become the new manager!
Daniel: We gotta wait for Ferguson to retire.
Jennifer: Coach Ferguson’s old methods don’t seem to be working for the club anymore. He should pass the baton on to someone like you, who understands the club, as you’ve been in Simley your entire career.
Anyway, Daniel, let me know whenever Simley Town needs a new jersey designer. I’ve just branched out into designing sportswear.
John: I know jersey designs, especially for the home outfit, only have small changes from year to year, but maybe Jen can bring some refreshing touches into the Simley Town kit.
Daniel: Sure, it’ll be easier to get you this design contract if I get to be manager.
Jennifer: It’ll be great if you really become the new manager. You can promote youngsters, make good signings. Maybe there is some talent at the upcoming match. Anyone promising so far?
Daniel: Yeah, we’re looking at the teens of three ‘hoods here. Two of them have eyes on my daughters, but there’s no fringin way i’ll ever let that Dustin Broke into Simley Town.
Angela: Why not?
Daniel: I saw him talking in the alleyway with Gordon King, the local crime lord. Dirk Dreamer is a much nicer boy, Angie. Why don’t you date him instead?
Angela: Because my ugly sister is dating him.
Lilith: Hey, Dirk is MINE!! Shut up, Angela. You look like me, but only with uglier makeup.
Mary-Sue: That’s enough, Lilith. No shouting at the table. We have guests.
John: OK, so any other new talents?
Daniel: On the Veronaville side, the youngster Puck Summerdream seems promising.
Jennifer: Summer…dream. That name sounds familiar. Has his family lived in Pleasantview before?
Daniel: I don’t think so, Jen.
Jennifer: Oh, I’m sorry. We haven’t been living here for many years, you know.
Daniel: It’s nice that you decided to come back from the City.
Angela: I really missed you guys.
Mary-Sue: Would anyone like a dessert? Lilith, you can’t have any because of your antics, and your bad grades.
Lilith: (rolling her eyes) Who cares?
Mary-Sue: Angela, sweetie, would you serve the gelatin you prepared this afternoon?
As Angela gets up, Lilith motions to Lucy.
They head outside to the yard.
Lucy: Lilith, what band was that? The music sounds cool!
Lilith: (surprised) it’s Simvanescence . I’m surprised you like it, Lucy.
Lucy: Sometimes I think you’re cooler than Angela. Your music, and that you’re playing in the PVCS match, but not her. I think she’s too girly sometimes…
Lilith: Haha. Angela is a goody-two-shoes loser who only knows how to do homework, ballet, and smooch with Dustin Broke.
Here, have this… (Lilith hands Lucy a candy bar) But don’t start eating it until you’ve left the house.
Lucy: Thanks. But do you really like football, Lilith?
Lilith: Actually, not really. But I’m doing this to please Dad. He’s only put me on the substitutes bench.
Lucy: (cheerfully) Don’t worry. He’s SURE to substitute you in later in the match.
Lilith: (sighs) Maybe. But don’t be disappointed if he doesn’t…
How will Daniel react to the 2015 Match?
How will his experiences with Simley Town FC change after managing Team PVCS and meeting Team STM?
Find out in the [next chapter]…
GOALS OF DANIEL PLEASANT – Chapters
1. The Wannabe
2. Juvenile Match
3. His Biggest Fan
4. An Oldie But a Goodie
5. Pleasant-Burb Family Dinner 2015
6. Team Dynamics
7. The Trap — most “familiar” Pleasant family scenario
8. The Purge
9. A New Leaf
11. Pecking Order