Carmen woke up in the early afternoon, feeling bittersweet. On the one hand, she was living on her own, so she could sleep as late as she wanted to, and no one would protest. On the other hand, she no longer had the wonderful aromas of her family’s cooking to give her a reason to wake earlier.
She felt the pull of low social, hunger, and fun bars, so she decided to head to the park benches not too far from her front door to address several needs at once.
She arrived at the park to see Bo Blank and Laurel Epstein already sitting there. They didn’t seem to be having the best conversation, and welcomed her presence.
Carmen grabbed a burger and joined them at the table.
“Good afternoon! How is your day treating you?” asked Carmen.
“Tt’s going okay,” replied Laurel with a pointed look at Bo. “But it’s better now that your sunny smile is here.”
Bo, as usual when with more than one adult Sim at a time, said little.
“I just love coming to visit Willow Creek,” said Laurel. “Everything is so green here!”
“Yes, that’s exactly why I love it here. It reminds me of back home in Pleasantview, though that place was bigger and had more businesses,” said Carmen. “But you know what Pleasantview didn’t have? Steamboats! Aren’t they just so romantic and fun? I’d love to have a wedding there.”
“My wedding was so small, I can’t imagine having something that grand, but it’s a lovely dream,” said Laurel. “We could certainly afford it now, but with two brand new babies, there’s no real need to renew our vows. I think our love stands for itself.”
Carmen: Must be nice to have, what is it, four kids? And a loving husband. Sigh, my time will come. Just keep smiling.
As more people arrived, Bo stood as if he was going to leave. Instead he picked up the trash, then sat it back down, then stood there like he was trying to make a decision.
Hugo Villareal came over to the table to speak with Carmen, trying to catch her attention away from Bo’s odd behavior. “Clara will probably call you this evening to come out and hang. I’m hoping she makes it an early night though, I’m trying to set a better example for Max. Can’t stay out too late, you know?”
Carmen nodded her understanding to Hugo as Bo sat back down. He leaned over and
did said something to her, but what, she couldn’t quite recall.
Carmen felt weird. Really weird. Like kinda dazed and confused. The last thing she remembers is Hugo telling her about an outing for the Upper Crusts Club that Clara was planning for the night.
Carmen: Was that really the last thing thing that happened? Why do I feel like I’ve lost part of my memory?
Carmen decided to finally clean up the park area. Most of these people were from other neighborhoods and probably weren’t as invested in keeping her parks clean, at least that’s what their behavior suggested.
She threw out the trash, feeling so odd. And like she had to pee. And pretty hungry too.
Carmen headed home, took care of her low bladder and hygiene bars. Then she braced herself for more cooking.
Carmen: Third times’ the charm right? Or is this the fourth time?
She began stirring her dish, feeling pretty good about it. Stirring wasn’t so hard.
Carmen: Okay… what did I do with that spoon? What is wrong with me this afternoon?!
She decided to add some fresh ingredients. Mama and Nana always used fresh ingredients, and perhaps that is what has been missing this whole time. Carmen added in one whole onion. No need to chop, she figured.
More stirring, always more stirring, no need to pay attention to the stirring.
Carmen carried to food away from the stove, sure she was forgetting something.
Carmen: What do you do to the stove when you’re done cooking? Oh right! Turn it off!
Carmen served up her dish, apprehension building as usual.
Carmen: Maybe I should’ve cut up the onion. But I was just worried I’d cut myself…
Carmen took a deep breath and grabbed a serving. Right as she did, Clara called.
Carmen: Saved by the bell!
“Come on out, I know you love Windenburg,” said Clara.
“Girl, you know I do! Will the whole club be there? That will be… will be… um… yuppers to do!”
“Say what? Are you okay sweetie?” asked Clara. “You sound odd.”
“I know. I don’t know,” said Carmen. “I’ve felt weird ever since I left the park today. Whatever it is seems to be wearing off. The fresh air on the way to Windenburg should help. See you soon!”
Carmen met Clara outside The Narwhal Arms and assured her she was back to normal. Clara smiled in relief, then they headed inside. Carmen had her “dancing shoes” on and headed straight for the dance floor.
Hugo soon joined her on the floor. They, along with several other Sims, including that sexy Dominic Fyres, tore up the dance floor. The DJ was doing a great job, and the party was shaping up to be an epic one.
Once again, Carmen was impressed with Windenburg. She already loved the modern home the Bjergsens lived in. And she also loved the quaint bar she was at with Clara last week. But she really loved the urban flair of this club.
Carmen: Why didn’t I move to Windenburg?? Everything here is wonderful! Oh yeah, because I thought Willow Creek would be the perfect location to raise my non-existent family in.
Carmen let her thoughts go as the moves took over. Several members of the Upper Crusts were there, showing they had interests that went deeper than just amazing food. She was about to say just that to Clara and Hugo when a man caught her eyes.
[Author’s Note: I decided to stop here because this chapter was going to be so long if I didn’t. Don’t worry though, the rest is in a separate post, which I will publish tomorrow.]