Carmen was really looking forward to the weekend at Laurel’s new club hangout. The venue was perfect for families. Inside was a large kitchen, perfect for whipping up group meals. There were game tables, and lots of video game options too. The bathrooms were plentiful. There was a small pool on the deck outside, and if you went to the lawn, there was a bar, a slip and slide.
And the piece de resistance was the large outdoor movie screen with lots of seating for everyone. In addition to all this, there was a secret door that led to a large comfortable room just for the members of their club. Carmen had nicknamed it the War Room in her head. She was already imagining everyone’s families wondering where they were when the 5 of them slipped away to have a chat and tell crazy stories about their lives.
There was a small pang though when the word “families” crossed her mind. She had a family, but they were back in Pleasantview and she hadn’t seen them since Christmas/Kwanzaa time. This family consisted of her parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. But it wasn’t lost on her that while she was an aunt several times over, she hadn’t made anyone else an aunt or uncle.
She would be an Adult before she knew it, though her Young Adult days weren’t over yet, but had you asked her when she was still a Teen, she’d be married by now, with maybe more than one child. She’d be known for her famous parties, and she’d be the toast of the art world. She loved her life now, but it hadn’t turned out the way she expected. She didn’t have a husband or children to round up and take to the club’s new hangout spot this weekend.
Carmen thought of the last time she’d run into Dr. Davin Branham–again, and had to listen to him go on and on about his new healthy lifestyle. Carmen had considered following his lead, and had even started eating more salad than cookies and going jogging, but she wasn’t seeing much return for her effort. The thought was not a happy one.
The sad thoughts only lasted for a moment, but it was just enough time to text Laurel and take her up on her offer to be setup on a blind date.
Laurel was happy to set Carmen up. Carmen got a text Wednesday morning from Laurel telling her that her blind date was excited to hear he was being setup with her and would meet her at L’Attente Bistro. Carmen loved the little bistro right across the street from her house. She passed the morning painting, the got ready for her date.
Carmen walked across the street to the bistro, and sat at the bar. She wondered who her date would be. There weren’t a lot of patrons at the bistro this early in the afternoon, so there weren’t a lot of options. She decided to just wait to see who would walk up to her, since her date knew who she was already.
She saw the Jang family having a nice lunch date. Out on the patio, she saw the Holiday family. There was a much older man with wonderful dreadlocks asking for a table. And there was a young man she didn’t know who she thought was approaching her, but her kept walking past.
“Carmen? Hi,” said a familiar voice.
Carmen looked up and saw a face she wasn’t expecting. It was Hugo Villareal. He was one of the first people she met after moving to Willow Creek. He had just aged up to Teen at the time and was also a member of the Upper Crusts.
“Are you here for lunch? I didn’t miss a group text for a club gathering, did I? I hate when that happens,” said Carmen.
“No, you didn’t miss a text,” said Hugo. “I… well Laurel told me to meet you here.”
It took Carmen a moment to put two and two together.
“Wait,” said Carmen, “you’re my date?!”
“I aged up to Young Adult last week,” said Hugo, “and Robyn and Quincy invited me over to hang out at the Epstein house along with Baby Branham and Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis and Wolfgang Munch. You know them right?”
“Yes, I know them,” said Carmen. “Or rather, I know their parents. See, I know the adults in their families.”
“Right,” said Hugo. “Well, I went to high school with all of them. We all graduated with Quincy, so it was a chance to just let off some steam and chill before we buckle down and get jobs and settle down and all that. I had a chance to chat with Laurel, and I think she was really impressed with the Young Adult I’ve become. She can see that I’m ready to leave Teen shenanigans behind, not that I ever got into too many in the first place.”
Carmen seemed to still be waiting for the punch line. She was fond of Hugo, but looking at him with his baby face and seeming inability to grow a mustache, she couldn’t believe this was who Laurel chose to set her up with. She thought of Dr. Davin Branham and wondered what he’d think of her dating one of his son’s friends from high school.
“Here’s the thing Carmen,” said Hugo, breaking through her daydream, “I like you. I have since the moment we met. You’re just so vibrant and full of life and everyone loves you. I’m a bit of a loner myself, and you know how opposites attract? Well, I think that’s what happened to me. I promised myself that if you were still single when I aged up, I would find the courage to ask you out. But then Laurel called me and said you asked her to set you up. I couldn’t believe my luck. I just hope you will give me a chance. You deserve someone who will love you even more than everyone else already does. What do you say?”
Carmen didn’t know what to think. He was young enough to be her… well not son, and he was older than all her nieces and nephews… She decided to go ahead and get a table. What was the harm in having lunch with Hugo? She already knew she’d enjoy a meal with him thanks to the Upper Crusts, so she figured what the hell.
They laughed and joked over lunch, like they’d done at Upper Crusts club gatherings many times before. Carmen found herself liking this Young Adult version of Hugo Villareal. He had kind eyes and when he started to flirt with her, she couldn’t help but flirt back.
Carmen wasn’t starved for attention, she had so many friends. But what she didn’t have at the moment was a romantic interest. As the lunch progressed, it became clearer that Hugo really was a viable candidate for romance. They finished their meal and she surprised both of them when she asked him to walk her home. It was just across the street, but still, they both knew what that meant.
She hugged him good bye on her front porch, and a hug turned into a kiss, and a kiss turned into making out on the couch, and making out turned into Woohooing in her bed. It was like Carmen’s brain–and doubts–turned off. She just went with what she was feeling without talking so much about it first.
Carmen got the Completely Satisfied moodlet and was impressed. Hugo told her that it was chemistry and she shouldn’t have been surprised. Carmen smiled and tried to decide if she wanted to to yell at or hug Laurel for hooking her up with Hugo.
Her last thoughts as she drifted to sleep were of Hugo, who was barely 2 days into his Young Adult years. Hugo, who’d had a crush on her since 2 days into her Young Adult years. Hugo, who looked at her with something akin to worship. Hugo, who wasn’t married, but who also didn’t have a job yet. Hugo, who was of Spanish descent and would probably appreciate that she’d mastered the pork adobo recipe. All of Carmen’s last thoughts as she drifted off to sleep were of Hugo.
The next day was pretty routine. Carmen headed to work, then came home to work in the garden. But that night, Hugo asked to come back over. He couldn’t get enough of Carmen, and she had to admit the feeling was mutual. They hadn’t even discussed seeing each other again, let alone any relationship status. She tried not to give it a thought as they fell into bed again.
Carmen woke up in the middle of the night feeling nauseous and bloated and knew it could only mean one thing. She woke up Hugo to deliver the news. She was pregnant.
“Oh no! I mean, this is great news, but geez. Not again,” said Hugo.
Carmen was sure she’d heard wrong. “Hugo,” she said as calmly as she could, “what the HELL do you mean, ‘not again’?”
Hugo took a deep breath and tried to explain. “Okay, so I really don’t know how to explain this, and I thought I’d have more time, but–”
“Just get to the point,” said Carmen.
“Okay! So, you know how I told you about wanting to let off steam before settling into my Young Adult life?”
“Yes, I remember,” said Carmen through clenched teeth.
“See, my sister Luna just got married, and the night before they got married, her fiancee Aadhya Gupta was getting cold feet. Well, we’re pretty friendly, so I went to talk to her to make her feel better. One thing led to another and we ended up Woohooing. I think she was worried she was making the wrong decision about marrying a woman. Needless to say, her time with me confirmed she loved the ladies. But her time with me also led to a pregnancy. My sister was furious, but she loves Aadhya. They decided they would still marry. We’ve told our families that nothing untoward happened to cause the pregnancy. They all think I’m a great brother for helping my sister and hew new wife have a baby, one who will be related by blood to us all. And that’s the way Luna and Aadhya want to keep it. I’m only telling you the whole truth because I think we could have something special and I don’t want to lie to you. We can be together Carmen, and we can raise this baby. We can get married!”
“Whoa! Just slow down there,” said Carmen. “You’ve given me a lot to process. Sugar, you need to slow down, you’re doing the most right now to only be a few days into your Young Adult years. I can’t believe I’m having a baby with a man who’s so much younger than me. And I really can’t believe this baby is going to have a sibling the exact same age. And I really really can’t believe that he or she will have to consider that sibling to be a cousin. This is a lot. Well, I’ve decided, I’m definitely going to yell at Laurel, not hug her. Oh, and Hugo, we’re not getting married. I’m not ready for that. I thought I just wanted to settle down and get married and have a family. But not like this. I’m so fond of you kid, but I need a break to process all of this.”
“I’ll give you all the time you need,” said Hugo. “I’m not going anywhere, I promise.”
Carmen found he meant that literally when he sat on the couch to watch TV while she grabbed the food the baby was craving. She thought about the little life she’d built for herself, the one she’d felt eager to move on from just a couple of days ago. Her painting room would have to become a nursery, her garden might become neglected, and so much for going out dancing and random clubs in Windenburg and Willow Creek, but hey, at least she could cook a decent meal for the new family member who’d join her shortly.
Author’s Note: Now, y’all know the Sims 4 Mods can come up with interesting things, right? I’ve got the MCC Mod and love the way they move Sims forward in life. I specifically tagged Hugo for no marriage once he took an interest in Carmen. So you can imagine my surprise when the notifications came up. One night, I found he’d started a pregnancy with Aadhya Gupta. The very next night the notifications came up announcing his sister Luna had married her! I couldn’t create that type of drama if I tried!