Hunter loved to cook, and he often got up a little bit early so he could have breakfast fresh and waiting when everyone else woke up. He was just flipping the last pancake when Forest followed the smell down from their bedroom.
“Lime pancakes?” he said. “That’s an interesting choice.”
Hunter shrugged. “It’s what was ripe in the garden. With a bit of cinnamon and some extra sugar, I think it works pretty well.”
“I’ll follow your food instincts anywhere,” Forest said.
“Well, if it isn’t the early risers,” Charles said from behind, grinning.
“Dad!” Forest and Hunters said in unison.
“I don’t think we’re going to stay for breakfast this morning,” Charles said. “Your mom and I were up talking last night. We’re going to take a vacation.”
“A vacation?” Hunter said. “Just the two of you? That sounds like a great idea, but who is going to look after the house?”
“We think the three of you are responsible enough to keep the house from burning down while we’re gone.”
“Us?” Forest choked. “Responsible?”
“I suppose you could prove us wrong,” Charles said, “but you’re going to be grown up and responsible for yourselves soon enough. We expect all walls standing and nobody in jail when we get back.”
And with that, Charles and Veronica loaded up their luggage and were gone by the time the sun was rising.
“Can you believe this?” Sky asked. “They’re just handing us the house keys and leaving?”
“I guess they really trust us,” Forest said. “And I don’t see why not. I could use the extra quiet around here to get some reading done. A great introduction to General Relativity just came in at the library, and I want to check it out before someone else gets it first.”
They all gathered up their lime pancakes and sat down to breakfast. It seemed strangely quiet without Mom and Dad.
“You know what I think?” Sky said. “We should throw a party.”
“A party!” Hunter cried. “You have go to be kidding! You want to be the kind of kid who trashes the place when the parents are gone? Mom and Dad would never trust us again.”
“It doesn’t have to be THAT kind of party,” Sky slobbered around her pancakes. She really was gross when she ate. Hunter and Forest tried not to look.
“So what kind of party?” Hunter asked.
“It can be a nice party. We’ll invite over people we like from school and hang out in the basement. Nothing would have to get trashed, and we can clean up so the house is spotless when everyone leaves. Mom and Dad wouldn’t need to know. It would be a great chance to get to know more kids our age in– gakk!”
Sky choked on her food. Served her right.
“It sounds all well and good, but you know it’ll never work out that way,” Hunter said.
Sky grinned. “We won’t know unless we try.”
Forest sighed. “You guys can do what you like. I’ll find someplace else to be. Parties aren’t my thing.”
Well, it was hard to stop Sky when she knew what she wanted, so sure enough, there was a party at the Sample house that evening.
And, well, she’d only invited a few kids from her class, but well… the word got out. And those kids invited their friends, who invited their friends. And it turned out a lot bigger than she had in mind.
Leah Mai was one of the first people to arrive, and her face lit up when she saw Sky’s musical instrument collection in the basement. “I didn’t know you had a piano! I used to take lessons, but I haven’t played in years. Do you mind if I give it a try?”
It’s not like Sky would ever turn down a chance to make music. “Sure!” she said. “Mind if I join in?”
“I don’t know how to play with other people,” Leah said shyly.
“That’s ok,” Sky said. “I’ll just follow along.”
“Hey!” Garry Crumplebottom cried when he saw Sky and Leah start playing. “Don’t leave me out!”
And thus the great Sample teen party got off to a very musical start.
Meanwhile, Forest decided to find someplace quiet to wait the party out. On a whim, he ended up at Dad’s academy. He’d been meaning to get Dad to show him some pointers, since it was never a bad thing to be able to defend yourself. Dad wasn’t here, but he could learn a lot from watching people practice.
And then he saw her.
Forest could never say afterward exactly what happened, but once he looked at her face, he couldn’t look away. She was captivating.
And she was looking at him too. “Uh, hi,” he said. “I’m Forest Sample.”
“Hi!” she said brightly. “I’m Ali Mentary. Well, Ali Mentary-Hodgins now. My mom just got remarried, and she wants us kids to change our names. She’s kind of obsessed about it.”
“I’m, uh, sorry to hear that?” Forest said. Inside, he was beating himself for sounding like such an idiot.
“It’s OK. My folks have been divorced a long time. I’m happy to see Mom happy. I just keep forgetting about the name. Did you say your name is Sample? Does your dad own this place? I hear he’s pretty amazing. What’s he like?”
“He’s, uh, I — I have to go pee!”
He’d met the girl of his dreams, but for Forest Sample it was a nightmare.
Another guy at the party, Adam Bookabet, turned out to know a little bit about the drums, and now the party was really getting its groove on.
The musicians weren’t just having fun. Everyone seemed to be loving the live entertainment.
But more than that was going on.
Charles and Veronica didn’t exactly lock their liquor cabinet. Sky was lost in a world of music, and the party was starting to get extra lively before Hunter even realized what was going on.
Hunter knew he should have stopped Jian Wu before he poured his first glass, but Jian was a popular guy at school, and Hunter found him terribly intimidating. And anyway, this was Sky’s party. She said she could handle it. So she should handle it, right?
Hunter escaped his growing sense of dread to go upstairs and pick up the pizza.
When he got back downstairs, he suddenly noticed that his classmate Mizuki Mai looked like she was holding back tears.
He forced down a surge of shyness and tried to catch her eye. “Hey, are you OK?”
Mizuki’s face crumbled. “I’m ok,” she choked out. “It’s just– It’s always like this. Everybody looks at Leah, and I end up in a corner with nobody to talk to.”
Hunter’s heart went out to her. “Hey, I know what it’s like to have trouble with lots of people. Would — would you believe I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to talk to you all night?”
“Really?” Mizuki said. “I mean, you’re so nice. Everyone likes you.”
“I’m sure THAT’s not true,” Hunter said. “Nobody notices me.”
Mizuki forced a smile. “I’m sorry I’m being such a drama queen.”
And so they started talking. And talking. And Hunter forgot to be worried about what happened at the party.
At last the jam session wrapped up. As she set down her guitar, Sky looked around at the crowd and felt a surge of elation. They’d been listening to her! To everyone, but especially to her!
“This was so awesome!” she gushed to Leah Mai. “We sounded great together!”
“I know!” Leah giggled. “I’ve never played that way before! You are so easy to play with.”
“You too,” Sky said. She reached for something else to say, but it died before she could say it. She found herself lost in Leah’s eyes. She was so beautiful.
Right then, things started to get out of hand.
Fion Baerwyn was the first person to really have too much to drink.
Garry wasn’t long after, and he handled it worse.
Hunter hand to take the situation in hand. “All right,” he said. “Party’s over! I think it’s time everyone headed home.”
Especially you, he added silently.
People were starting to get tired, so it didn’t turn out to be that hard to get them out of the house.
When the house was empty, Hunter let out a breath. “I can’t believe we made it through,” he said. “No help from you.”
“Are you kidding?” Sky said. “That was amazing! Didn’t I tell you everything would be fine?”
“You realize we could have gotten in trouble with way more than Mom and Dad,” Hunter said severely. “If someone called the police about the noise, we could have gotten in trouble with the law.”
“But we didn’t,” Sky said. “Everything was fine. Why worry?”
In the end, there wasn’t even that much to clean up. The whole thing HAD turned out just fine. Hunter couldn’t help but think that it was better than Sky deserved, but who knew? Maybe he was the one who worried too much.
So THAT was the most successful teen party I’ve ever seen.
Ok, not that anyone is surprised, but I am a total geek. I got frustrated at how long it was taking me to assemble pictures for posts, so I learned AppleSript to write a little script that would take the pictures I have in an image viewer and create the HTML for them. Right now, that’s speeding me up a lot. We’ll see how fast I stay once the, “Hey, I did a cool geek thing” feeling wears off :).
And it turns out Sky is a lesbian. It turns out that Twallan’s mod didn’t play nice with playable ghosts for the free vacation scenario, and Charles was flagged as a glitch and deleted from the game twice. I ended up playing partway through the first day of highschool three times. At the end of each day, Sky had wishes to learn the signs of three girls. By the end of the third time, she’d wished to learn the signs of all the girls in school at least once, and no guys. That seems pretty clear.
Hunter wished to learn Mizuki Mai’s sign that first day too, but he was too shy to do anything about it on his own. The fact that Mizuki was looking upset at the party was a perfect push to get him to talk to her. Of course, the game doesn’t tell you WHY random sims are looking upset, so I just had to make that part up.
Forest didn’t have any romantic wishes until he met Ali, and that was my first experience with the attraction system. There was no silly popup about getting to “know you better.” Just the moment he introduced himself, they were surrounded by hearts. I honestly thought that, since Ali was cross-pollination sim, that she probably had the “Attractive” reward and that’s why Forest suddenly had this “Attractive Company” moodlet. I still figured it was love at first sight. Then I later found out what the hearts were all about.
And this is bar none the closest I have ever been to caught up. I’m going to put up that advisory heir poll pretty soon. I have enough material for three more posts, one of which is the vacation from Charles and Veronica’s point-of-view. I need to get playing! Who would have ever expected I’d say that?