Sam wasn’t worried about his birthday. Not like last time. In fact, he was kind of eager for it. Eager to be done with school and working at the Cafe. Eager to start training for real.
He’d been offered a job at the gym after he graduated. Basic stuff like cleaning up the locker rooms and processing memberships. But the perks were why he agreed, not only did he get a membership discount but he got a discount on a a personal trainer. But first he had to graduate.
Which of course was just around the corner. And then it was today.
“Are you inviting the entire town?” his dad asked. He was leaving soon to play a gig at the Piano Bar, but he would be back before it was time to blow out the candles.
“Very funny. Even I don’t know half the town like you do.”
“Did,” his father sighed, Sam winced. “There’s only a few of us left now. Hell, I see obits for folks who were born after I moved to town these days.”
“Everyone in town knows you dad, you’re famous.”
“If you like folk music, sure. But the kids these days like pop and techno more. Anyways,” Sam watched his father shake off the solemn mood that had descended. “I’ll be back in time for your candles so don’t burn down the house without me.”
“I won’t.” Sam stared at the monitor after his dad left, not really seeing the screen in front of him. His father seemed to accept that death was just around the corner, but Sam wasn’t sure he was ready to let go. He wasn’t sure he was ready to be fatherless. And Izzy? She still had a few years of school left. How was that even fair to her?
Darn it. And just a few minutes ago he was looking forward to the future. His phone buzzed and he glanced down. Another confirmation.
Well, his father wasn’t dead yet and there was a party to plan for.
It was the usual gang who descended on the Huffmans starting just before 6pm. Eli and Diana, Mykaya and her brothers, Karen and Stefan. Izzy put to practice her research of drinks and made a few virgin versions of the most popular drinks, dim and gusty, lemon fizz.
A blue confetti cake might have seemed juvenile to some, but Sam didn’t need to prove that he was becoming an adult. Time did that just fine and it was his favorite cake.
“What are going to do now?” Was the question on everyone lips. Half his friends were also graduating soon, so if he wasn’t being asked someone else was.
“I’m thinking of comedy, or maybe music like your dad.” Eli said.
“How’s the writing going?” Sam asked Karen. He remembered she started down at the newspaper after graduation.
“I feel like I’m over my head most days, but it’s getting easier,” Karen said a soft smile on her face. She had a nice smile, Sam noticed.
An outcry from across the yard caught their attention. Krysta had arrived. Sam rose to greet her. He hadn’t thought she would show up. They’d only met the once before.
“Thanks for inviting me.” She smiled and Sam could feel the smile warm him from his toes up. “Do you know everyone?”
“No.” She shook her head looking around.
“This is Eli and Maurice,” he said introducing those closest to him.
And then it was time for cake and wishes and time to be an adult. Sam couldn’t wait.
Mr. Gossett was the gym’s top trainer and it was said his students ended up on top. Sam actually wasn’t going to him for training although that was a benefit. But he was studying sports medicine and Mr. Gossett was a wealth of information.
“You coming to book club? We’re meeting at that new coffee shop, Lotsa Java.” Sam asked. Reuben shook his head.
“Nah – I put myself in to teach the yoga class tonight.”
“Next time, then.”
Krysta was waiting outside when he arrived.
“Are we the first?” he asked surprised.
“I’m not sure, I just got here.”
“Let’s head in then, after you,” he said gallantly. He’d been spending more time with Krysta since his birthday. She was easy to talk to together they’d founded a bookclub with their friends. It made for a good excuse to get together.
“Oh, hey Makayla. We didn’t know you were here,” he slid down next to her and grinned. He’d invited Izzy and some of her classmates to the club. Makayla was the only one who joined. Izzy never managed to finish reading the books in time. “You picked a good book this month.”
Today’s book was Undead With Benefits a story about the vampire underbelly of Newcrest by up and coming author Pronterus and Sam had really enjoyed the inner mystery behind the main character’s history. He’d been really surprised by the final reveal.
Afterwards Stefanie and her husband invited Sam over for dinner.
“How’s Rachelle doing?” He asked. He tried to keep tabs on his childhood friends, but Rachelle hadn’t had an easy time of it.
“She’s got an apartment now, and just got a . I think she’s doing okay.” Stefanie smiled.
“Did she ever say who the man was?” Sam asked. He wanted dearly to know who had done that to his friend. But Rachelle hadn’t said at the time and judging from her behavior afterwards, it hadn’t been a good experience.
“No,” Stephanie sighed. “She still refuses to talk about it. The baby is due soon.”
“Oh babe, that smells good,” Maurice said coming up behind his wife.
He was a welcome distraction from their somber conversation. Dinner was delicious and Sam lingered through dessert, basking in their family glow. Stefanie headed upstairs to put the kids to bed and Sam turned to Maurice.
“You’re a lucky man, Maurice,” Sam said with a grin. “Stefanie is a great woman, and your kids.”
“Adorable aren’t they,” Maurice agreed. “Adeline will be starting elementary school soon. But I’ll be grateful when Emilee’s out of diapers.”
“This the end?”
“Probably. Two is plenty. You want this too, don’t you? Got someone in mind?”
Sam through about it. A face flashed through his mind: dark hair, bright eyes. He smiled at the memory.
“Oh, hoho. I know that look. You tell them?”
“Not yet.” Sam hedged he really hadn’t gotten his feeling figured out.
“Don’t take too long. I almost missed out on Stefanie doing that. You gotta let them know.”
Stefanie returned downstairs.
Sam tried to hide his jealousy. It’s not that he wanted Stefanie. She was like a sister to him, like Izzy. But he wanted someone like that. He wanted that life. Settling down and starting his own family.
Author’s Note: This came out way longer than I expected. I had a completely different ending in mind. It’s still on the way, but I guess it’ll have to be in another chapter. I almost split this one in two, but then it would be really short and just the birthday party. I’m playing around with what I call drama!(tm). Aka a baby attempt to add a little drama into our world and still be true to it’s sim-driven nature. Even I was surprised to hear about what happened to Rachelle.
- Lotsa Java Coffee build by Congration
- Behind it is the Steeps Heathcenter (glass building) by Carewren123