While Gavin got ready to head off to work the next day, Kenya decided to work from home. Cristian was still asleep because he worked nights Being a critic for the local newspaper afforded Keyna the opportunity to work from home. She could do it every shift if she wanted, but she’d never done it before. She was given the assignment of checking out some local buskers and hitting the food stalls. While she was trying one particularly tasty dish she’d never heard of, she ran into Akira Kibo, her grandson’s friend.
“Hi Akira,” said Kenya. “What brings you out here? I’d expect you to be at work, during the day, on a weekday.”
“Hi, Mrs. Ralston,” said Akira. “Actually, my career is in programming, so I don’t head to work for a couple of hours, and I love being in the Spice Market neighborhood.”
“Ah, that makes sense,” said Kenya. “Well, I’d love to stay at chat, but I’ve got to head over to Uptown and see if they’ve managed to get anything better than a cupcake stall. It’s for my next article for work.”
“Ha! Good luck with that,” said Akira. “I never really get the impression that neighborhood is big on multiculturalism, but I make it work.”
“You know, you’re such a nice boy,” said Kenya. “Gavin has made a lot of nice friends since we moved here, but I think you’re his only good friend in San Myshuno. It’d be nice if he had more reasons to just stay here in the city.”
“I hear you, Mrs. Ralston,” said Akira. “And I think Gavin is a great friend. We… well, we get along very well. I love spending time with him.”
“I can tell,” said Kenya. “I know he gave you a key to our apartment and told you to stop by anytime. All three of us are fine with that, you know. We moved to San Myshuno to give Gavin a chance to be himself, something that would’ve been much harder back in the Caribbean. Now, I try to stay out of the business of young people living their life, but I thought you should know that.”
“I really appreciate you saying that,” said Akira. “You’re a wonderful grandmother. Gavin says all the time how he hopes he’ll find a way to repay you for bringing him here, giving him opportunities he didn’t have back home. That’s why so many people come to the city, myself included. I was just telling him the other day that although I come from a country with so much technology, the career competition is so stiff, but here, I’m excelling in my Programming Career.”
“And Gavin is off to a great start as a politician,” said Kenya. “I’m hoping he won’t have to make compromises to his morals to reach the top. I think that by surrounding himself with good people, he’ll be alright. But Akira, you know I wasn’t just talking about careers, right? You know what? It’s fine, like I said, I stay out of the business of young people living their life. Well, I’m off to Uptown, you enjoy the rest of your day, Akira.”
“You too, Mrs. Ralston.”
After finishing her work for the day, Kenya found Gavin back at home, researching Creator-knows-what on the computer.
“Gavin! I had the most wonderful day today,” said Kenya, “I love working from home. I’ve never used option before. Why don’t you work from home more?”
“I prefer being in the office with the people,” said Gavin. “But maybe once I get a bit higher in my career, it’ll become more important to work from home and spend more time in the neighborhood.”
“So…,” said Kenya, “I saw your friend Akira down in the Spice Market. He was just going on a stroll before work. We had the nicest chat.”
The smile fell from Gavin’s face. “What did you say to him?”
“Oh, nothing. We just chatted, and I said you and he have a lot in common. You’re both–”
“We’re both what?! This doesn’t sound good,” said Gavin.
“Let me finish, you’ll see it’s not so bad,” said Kenya. “You’re both immigrants who chose San Myshuno to move to because of the opportunities it affords. You both can do almost anything in your career, and you can be exactly who you are with no one telling you to stop. That’s all we said, I promise.”
Gavin looked at her and smiled. “I love you, but please stop having deep conversations with my friends.”
“I actually have something important to discuss with you,” said Gavin. “I talked to Pops while you were gone, and he’s okay with it, but I wanted to talk to you before I go.”
“Before you go! Where are you going now? Always leaving…” said Kenya.
Gavin explained that he was heading to Forgotten Hollow with his friends from the club. Kenya was worried because of all she’d heard about the place. Gavin explained what happened to Laurel, leaving out what almost happened to him. He didn’t want her to feel unsafe in her own home, but he needed her to understand that this had to be done. She relented after he explained that everyone agreed after they considered Carmen’s new baby and how she was raising the baby alone in Willow Creek.
As Gavin went jogging the next morning, he thought about how his grandparents were sometimes so okay with things you wouldn’t expect grandparents to be okay with. But sometimes they worried very deeply.
Then he realized, pretty much any Sim in their right mind would be concerned about their family member off on a vampire hunting expedition. Well, technically it was a garlic hunting expedition. It might still be dangerous though.
Gavin ran into Laurel, also out for a jog. She explained that she went for jogs everywhere. She would get in her car, drive to Willow Creek, drive to San Myshuno, even drive out to Windenburg, and just go for a run. The different environments were something she craved while working out.
A few days later, the camping supplies had been purchased, Carmen’s baby was born: a beautiful boy named Rodrigo. Hugo was doing great with the baby, so they were ready to go. Luca Holloway had been brought up to speed and was happy join the expedition. They gathered in Forgotten Hollow as the sun was setting.
They setup the tents and started a fire. They sat around the fire looking at each other. Each was filled with varying emotions, unsure of what to expect in the coming days.