“All I know is, I can’t wait to join my real friends for karaoke night in a bar in the city or go on a camping trip–”
“But I let you go to dinner with Baby and Gavin–”
“Without having to ask for permission first. And I was the only one at the table with fruit punch instead of nectar.”
“Oh sweetie,” said Laurel, “your time will come. You’re such a beautiful, funny, and vivacious girl. You should be enjoying these teens years, not willing them to be over.”
“I hear you Mom, I really do,” said Robyn, “I promise I’ll try harder. The twins age up soon, right? Well I’m sure the three of us will hang out in that time before my birthday.”
“Great, that’s what I want to hear,” said Laurel.
She smiled as Robyn walked away, finally escaping to the backyard.
Laurel: Good talk, I think she and I really connected.
Robyn: Her teen years went so differently from mine, she’d never understand.
The family spent more time hanging out at home, together and alone, but ultimately Laurel had to release them from Family Weekend so they would work on their Daily Tasks for work and school.
After a bit of yoga in the home gym, Laurel grabbed a plate of chicken saltimbocca for dinner and sat on the couch. She was pleasantly surprised when Bianca joined her.
“You’ve finished your homework already?”
“I sure have! And the extra credit.”
“That’s my girl. So what’s on your mind pumpkin?”
“How did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?”
“Well.. that’s a tough question, you see I’ve had two careers.”
“I sure did. Back when we lived in Bridgeport, before you were born, I worked in an office. But after we moved here, my second career was to be a full time mother.”
“‘Mother’ is a career?”
“It can be, yes,” said Laurel. “But I didn’t plan my life out to be the way it is. I never thought I’d be so lucky to be able to stay home and take care of all of you, let alone in a house as beautiful as this.”
“I do love our house,” said Bianca. “Do you think I’ll be able to have a house as nice as this even if I don’t want to stay home with kids?”
“Yes, I think it’s possible,” said Laurel. “Tell me, what do you want to do when you grow up?”
“I want to be my own boss,” said Bianca. “Daddy tells funny stories when he imitates his boss, but I don’t want to imitate anyone, I’d rather be in charge.”
Laurel smiled and said, “that’s a nice goal. There are two ways to do that. You can either work your way up in a career like athlete or chef or tech guru. Or, you can have your own business like a store or restaurant.”
“I can have my own restaurant? Can I use your recipes?”
“Of course you can, sweetie,” said Laurel, “I promise if you decide to have a restaurant one day, I’ll help you with the recipes. If you’d like, after your birthday, I can start teaching you to cook so you can see if it’s something you’re really interested in.”
“That would be great! I love you.”
“I love you too. Now it’s time for bed, let your sisters know.”
Laurel: She’s so sure of herself, it’s impressive. It’ll be fun to see if she catches the cooking bug like I did.
Bianca: Why be a cook when I can own the restaurant? Mom gives the best advice.
With family weekend finally over, Laurel turned to the last order of business on her to do list. The club hangout was completely renovated and it was time to make sure everything was up to snuff. Once the family was off to school and work in the morning, she headed over. She liked what was there originally, but she was in love with the new facility, bowling alley and all.
The new kitchen was huge and could accommodate feeding an innumerable amount of people. The swimming pools was indoors, but it felt like it could be outside. The outdoor area was so inviting. And the club hangout was in the perfect spot: the sub-basement. They wouldn’t have to worry about people stumbling across their private area, it was well concealed.
Laurel took a look at the areas she expected to spend to most time in: the main TV/game room, the bowling alley, and the Council room.
She sat at the table in the room and soaked it up. It was so vibrant compared to the old room. The plant arc around the room seen through windows made it feel less basement-y. She couldn’t wait for the rest of the club see the room.
She decided not to wait. She called a club meeting, and she met everyone outside.
Because of the impromptu nature of the meeting, not everyone had their beans on them. Laurel told them it was fine, and they would just have another meeting soon to put everything together for the PlantStim challenge. She was more excited for everyone to see and enjoy the new facility.
Laurel led everyone in the front door. She told them they could explore later, but the first stop was the Council room.
The group noticed the space much larger than the last one despite being on the same sized lot. They wanted to check it out, but they dutifully followed Laurel down the first flight of stairs.
They barely got a peek at the bowling alley in the basement, but Luca definitely noticed the bar off to the side. He reminded himself to start there when he explored the rest of the building.
Laurel finally reached the sub-basement. To the untrained eye, it looked like a small dip off with a bathroom, and closet, and a comfy couch with a bookcase nearby.
Laurel showed everyone the bookcase was actually a trick door.
Once the door was opened, there was a small hallway leading to another door. The immediate change in color scheme alerted everyone that they had finally reached the space set aside for just them.
Everyone agreed the club room was nearly perfect.
They gathered in the room, each taking in as much of it as they could.
Laurel: I hope they love it.
Carmen: I love this!
Gavin: This is sweet! I never could’ve come up with this.
Bo: This room is enjoyable, but why do so much to make it look like outside when we could just be outside? Sims…
Luca: This is a lot, like this plum is official. This really just feels like a lot.
Luca watched the club laugh and enjoy the new space, and he felt disconnected from it. He had to change something, and he had to change it now.
Author’s Note: I decided to upload this build to the gallery. Apparently people like it, go figure. It’s in the gallery under the name Counsel Council Building, and you can download it here.
To Be Continued…