Friday, April 15, 2016

Generation Four — Chapter Three: Growing Pains …

        Karly was pregnant again, very shortly after little Joseph was born. Marc was ecstatic and for the most part Karly was happy, but Marc became aware something was wrong. So, grabbing a couple of home-brewed lattes from the nice machine they received as a wedding present from the entire Staff at the Willow Creek Medical Center where they both worked, he sat with her at their little kitchenette table. Karly had fixed a nice breakfast for them of eggs and toast.  “So, when’s the baby due?”
“In a few Sim days,” she said, cautiously sipping at the hot brew.
“Karly,” Marc said, leaning forward. “Is everything all right? Have I done something to upset you?”
“You’re fine. I just don’t want to go back to work. But,”
“Your maternity leave is over. I understand. Why don’t you quit. If you’d be happier staying home and taking care of the children, then that’s what I want, too.”
“Do you really?”
“If you’re not happy, neither am I.” 
“Well, it’s not that I don’t want to work, it’s just that the medical clinic … well, it isn’t my true calling, so to speak. I don’t seem to have that kind of patience with people. Not like you.”
“So, just what is your true calling? Gramps would tell you to find your passion and go with it.”
“Honestly? I would love to cook for people. I’ve loved food my entire life — and stop looking at my waistline, that’s not what I meant. You take things so literally.”
Marc just smiled and shrugged. She was right. “Must be the alien in me.”
“I’ve been keeping tabs on the job market. There’s an opening at a restaurant in town.”
Marc took his cell phone from his pocket and slid it across the table to her. “Make the call.”
“Quit the clinic and put in an application for the restaurant.”
“But I won’t bring in the same pay, not up front. Not for awhile, at least —”
“Trust me, you’ll be happier.”
Karly batted her eyes against the sudden tears, “You’re an angel —”
“No, I’m a Sim-Zzxyzxian.”
“Quit it,” she teased back.  

Very shortly Karly got the job at the restaurant, starting at the very bottom of the field, as a dishwasher. She was okay with that, having dreams of owning her own establishment one day, she wanted to know all the ins and outs of the industry. Although the only food she would be handling up front was the uneaten portions the patrons left on their foul plates, she still had to study and take a test to obtain her Food Handler’s certificate. After what she’d seen at the clinic, she gladly wore gloves. The shift was hard, starting at nine in the evening and going to one in the morning, but, while at work, she worked on her relationships with her co-workers, studied the masters and worked very hard. Exhausted, she was very happy as Marc had promised.
The time flew by and Karly gave birth to twin boys, Jameson and Josiah. Not expecting more than one baby, she was surprised and pleased to finally make use of that beautiful alien bassinet. Very shortly, since she had just started there, she went back to work. Marc’s sisters and his ghostly great-grandfather would often wander up to the third floor to visit the little family and to help out. Marc was making his way forward as an R. N., soon to be a full-fledged doctor, he hoped, leaving him exhausted at times. He needed the extra sets of helping hands. Two babies at once was hard to manage. How did his father do it? He admired Nathaniel, all the more.  

Marc’s birthday drew near and slipped by very quietly. The girls didn’t make a big deal over it, so he decided neither would he. After all, he was now a full adult. Time he behaved like one, too, he decided. The most he did for himself, was an evening at the local Spa. He sure needed it and felt like a new person before he went home again. 
With the advent of their birthday came an unexpected announcement from the girls.
“Just so nobody is caught off-guard,” Janeille began.
“And think this is happening in any way because of any event or conversation or —” Megan added. “For any reason whatsoever than the fact we wish to be on our own.”
“This sounds like an announcement,” Erik said, as the family was grouped around Marc’s little table.

Janeille placed a hand on, or rather through, Erik’s shoulder. “We’re moving out.”
“Oh,” Karly said. “I’ll miss you both so much.”
“No, you won’t,” Megan laughed. “We’re underfoot here. Besides, it’s high time, don’t you think. I mean, thirty Sim days in one house. Come on, it’s time for a change.”
“That’s how old the three of us are,” Marc said, taking Karly’s hand. “Been here since birth. Hope you don’t mind if I take your room,” he said to his sisters.
“Not our room anymore, once we move out, little brother. The house is yours. You’re the heir, after all. Do with it what you like, but don’t sell it without giving us a fair shout-out.”
The girls didn’t take very long at all to pack up and move out. Seems they had already placed a deposit on a small house on the other side of town.  A nice little one bed, one bath, very close to the community garden, he realized. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about them going hungry. 
At first the place at Oakensted seemed lonely. Empty. But Marc got up one morning when he had two days off of work and began the process of moving his little family to the second floor. He transformed a room that started out as a dance room, to his office. He made the girls’ old room, a nursery for the twins and gave Joseph his old bedroom. He was glad, now, the original room had never been redecorated. The baby print on the walls was a nice touch. Marc couldn’t get over just how big Joseph was already. Where did the time go? The boy was all set to begin school. He sold Nathaniel’s bed and he and Karly took the new Master bedroom with the adjacent master bath for their own. Now, he felt like this was his place. 

     Joseph showed the creative talent that ran through the entire Cantrell family. He spent time at his little artist’s desk and created picture after picture after picture. Karly, being the loving mother she was, wanted to plaster the walls with her firstborn’s artwork. There just was no way, so they were kept in Joseph’s inventory. Maybe one day, when the boy was an established artist, his beginnings could be published into a nice book. Marc, shook his head, he was getting way ahead of himself. 'Michelangelo' was still just a tyke. 

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