Mom and Dad getting older was a great opportunity for three teenagers with romance on their minds. Music was playing, the adults were drinking, and there was lots of dancing.
Leah squealed when Sky asked her to be her girlfriend.
It seemed a foregone conclusion that Forest would be taking Ali to the prom, though nobody was quite sure why.
And Hunter took a deep breath and made himself go talk to Miyuki.
“Um, hi. I was wondering if you ever danced?”
“Not really,” Miyuki said. “I’d be really bad at it anyway.”
“Me too,” Hunter agreed. Then he wasn’t sure where to take the conversation. It was a relief when Dad went to blow out the candles.
Everyone else seemed to have this love thing down.
Mom and Dad couldn’t keep their hands off each other.
And were always sneaking off to strange places to do unspeakable things with each other.
Sky and Leah were so head over heels for each other that they stood out in the rain to tell each other sweet nothings.
Even Forest was composing poetry for Ali. It wasn’t terribly good poetry, but nobody dared tell him that.
Why couldn’t Hunter even manage to start a conversation?
Sky was the only person Hunter could talk to without feeling self-conscious. She never made him feel awkward or foolish. So she was really the only person he could turn to for romantic advice. “You make it look so easy,” he told her. “How do you tell someone that she’s all you think about?”
Sky looked wistful. “I don’t think I do,” she said. “I never know how to tell Leah what I think of her. She just seems to know.”
Romantic, but not terribly helpful for Hunter.
It wasn’t all bad. Far from it. The new program at the Round Table Culinary Institute had finally made learning fun. Hunter had always loved to cook, but this wasn’t just about cooking. It was about the entire food supply, including sustainable agricultural and livestock techniques. Hunter was fascinated.
It combined his love of food and flavors with his love of living things.
Hunter started spending a lot of time in Charles’s garden.
And time he spent with Ghost and Enigma became fresh windows into the world of other animals.
He even had new techniques to persuade Enigma to be less destructive. They didn’t always work, but it was progress.
His parents still helped him with his homework, but now it felt more like a conversation than a battle.
Sometimes he and Sky would just sit at the dinner table and work together in companionable silence.
And to his own surprise, he also started gong to the Monmouth Archives library after school to read about exotic plant and animal species.
He’d made huge progress in his special reading class. Dyslexia was a challenge to live with, but now that he knew its name, he could make progress. He couldn’t describe how liberating it felt to spend hours with his nose buried in a book.
Meanwhile, Charles and Veronica were coming to terms with getting older. Or perhaps they were forcing age to come to terms with them.
Charles started to get a taste for the nightlife.
Veronica was hatching schemes for a new invention.
And now that Sky and Leah were settled into their relationship, there was some time for other friends. She started hanging out a lot with Adam Bookabet after school.
They shared a passion for music.
Sometimes they’d head next door to Honeyduke’s just to grab some jam time at their rehearsal space.
Adam was one heck of a drummer.
But these days he looked really sad and distracted, and he’d become too good a friend for Sky to let that unhappy look pass over his face day after day without saying anything.
“What’s wrong?” she asked after a jam session. “You know you can tell me anything.”
“I thought Ali Mentary-Hodgins and I really had something,” Adam said. “All of a sudden she won’t return my phone calls. She dashes away before I can talk to her after school. And now I hear through the grapevine that she’s going to prom with your brother. I would never do anything on purpose to hurt her. She won’t tell me what’s wrong, and it’s tearing me apart.”
“I’m so sorry,” Sky said. “You’re right. I’ve seen her with Forest a lot recently, but my brother really keeps to himself. I’ll see if I can find out something for you.
Adam gave her a grateful smile. “You’re really the best kind of friend,” he said.
So apparently StoryProgression thinks that Adam Bookabet and Ali Mentary are a match made in heaven. Forest used the voodoo doll to max out his relationship with Ali, but she kept having to leave before he asked her to be his girlfriend, and then SP would pair her off with Adam again immediately. Forest had to break them up like 3 times. I could have turned off Ali’s ability to start new townie relationships, but considering that she’s ensorcelled, it didn’t seem right.
I have reduced the frequency that SP runs most of its scenarios. It does seem a little nuts that it can run 2-3 cycles and send someone on a couple of dates and make them committed SOs within 24 sim-hours.