Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sinclair Family Season 2

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The Sinclair Family

Gary Sinclair—Adult male fortune sim with Scorpio personality
Lifetime want—earn $100,000

Cameron Sinclair—Adult male romance sim with Aquarius personality
Lifetime want—become professional party guest

Evan Sinclair—Child male sim with Taurus personality

Year 1 Season 2—Winter

It was Sunday morning, and although a lot of sims got Sundays off, there was never a day that the police weren’t needed. It was Gary’s weekend to work, so he woke up and started the rigid routine that he followed every morning. He came downstairs to find Evan playing with his new chess set. That pleased Gary. Playing with the chess set would take his son much further in life than simply watching television for fun. He had taught his son to make wise choices.

“Morning, Evan. I see you are playing with your chess set. Do you like it?” Gary asked while giving his son a morning hug.

“Yeah, Daddy, it’s great. Thanks for buying it for me,” Evan replied. His father had told him that learning logic would be good for him, and Evan took anything his father told him to heart.

Gary patted Evan on the head. He really was a good kid. “So, where’s your Uncle? I’ve got to get going to work.”

“He left for work just a few minutes ago,” Evan said with surprise. His uncle and his father had always coordinated their work schedules so that he didn’t have to stay with a nanny.

“What!” Gary roared. “No, he was supposed to be working nights. Why would he just suddenly change his shift at the gas station without talking to me? He knows he’s responsible for watching you while I’m at work!”

“He . . . he doesn’t work at the gas station anymore,” Evan whispered. He was a little scared of his father’s angry reaction. He knew his dad would never hurt him, but he really didn’t want Gary’s yelling suddenly directed at him.

“What?” Gary bellowed.

“He got a job at a convenience store as a clerk. He works different hours now. Sorry, Sir, I thought he told you,” Evan tried to explain without getting himself into trouble, too.

“Great!” Gary ranted. “Just great. Now what I am supposed to do? I can’t just leave you here alone all day, but I have to go to work. I am up for a promotion, a promotion at a real job that will get us some money, not like your stupid Uncle’s slacker career. How is it going to look if I just don’t show up on the day I’m suppose to get my promotion? We need that money! I am not going to let Cameron’s irresponsibility get in the way of my promotion.”

Evan started crying. He loved his dad and his Uncle Cam. It really upset him to see his dad upset, and it was even worse because at the root of it he was the problem. If he just wasn’t around, his dad could go to work and not have to worry about anything. “I can stay home alone. I’ll be okay.”

“No, you won’t. That’s child neglect, Evan. A police officer certainly can’t commit a crime like that. And besides, I love you, Ev. I’d never do something to endanger you. You come first, then work, even if I do care about work a lot.”

Evan brightened some at his father’s words. Gary was still upset, but at least he knew his dad still loved him.

“I’m going to try and call a Nanny. You’re supposed to arrange these things ahead of time, but I’ve got to try. I’ve got to get to work today!” Gary picked up the phone and called the nanny service. He decided to go ahead and ask her to come around his schedule. He didn’t trust Cameron not to do this again.

Gary was relieved that someone was coming, but then he realized that the carpool had already left. He had to find a way to get to work. He wanted this promotion more than anything. Fate stepped in to help. At that exact moment a rather junky old car with a for sale sign on it drove by. Gary rushed out and offered the owner a handful of cash to let him take the car right away. Now at least he could show up to work late. That wouldn’t look good for his promotion, either, but it was better than not showing up at all. Gary didn’t like the car. He’d been hoping to save up for an expensive one, but it would do to get him places.

Anxious that the nanny hadn’t come yet, he decided to go call the service and be sure that someone was really coming. Maybe they thought he meant starting tomorrow. Gary picked up the phone. “You do know that I need someone right away, don’t you!”

“Of course, Mr. Sinclair. Someone will be right there,” she said.

Gary went to wait by the car. He’d leave the moment the nanny’s car got there. He was shocked to see not one but two nannies appear. Apparently they’d been confused by his calls. But, Gary didn’t have the time to argue over it. He had to get to work.

Evan still felt a little down in the dumps. Not only had he been a burden on his father, but he was sad that he didn’t have his Uncle Cam to play with. He liked the days he got to play with his Uncle. Cameron was always coming up with fun things for them to do. Now he had these two old ladies watching over him. Evan asked if he could invite a friend over, and the nannies let him. He invited over Alyssa Cory, because Daniel Turner was busy with his family.

Alyssa came over and played chess with him. She was really nice to him. Evan discovered that her father hadn’t wanted her either, so they had things in common to talk about, too.

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Evan heard his father’s new car pulling in the drive. Evan ran out to hug him. He was worried that his dad would be in a bad mood still, but he was elated. He got the promotion he wanted, despite showing up to work late.

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Gary was so happy with his promotion that he didn’t even give Cameron too hard a time about not informing him about his schedule change.

The Sinclair brothers decided to throw a party to celebrate Gary’s promotion. They invited Amanda Cory and Daniel and Monty Turner.

Evan was excited to see his friend Daniel again. They started playing cops and robbers. It was really fun.

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Still, Evan could tell that something was off with Daniel. He wasn’t sure what it was. He didn’t think it was him. It just seemed that Daniel wasn’t having as much fun as normal. Evan decided to go talk to Daniel’s Grandpa Monty and make sure that everything was okay with his friend. Grandpa Monty explained that Daniel was a little down in the dumps today. Since it was family time in winter, he was missing his dead parents.

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Evan could relate to this. Sometimes he just really missed having a mom. It wasn’t that he didn’t love his dad or Uncle Cam, but sometimes he just really wanted a mom. He couldn’t imagine what it was like not to have either parent. Evan went and hugged Daniel and told him that if he ever wanted to talk, he would be a good listener. They became best friends in that moment.

Cameron decided to take this opportunity to try to have woohoo with Amanda again. He started making out with her. He realized suddenly that maybe it wasn’t best to make out in front of the kids.

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He took Amanda up to his room and had woohoo with her. She had definitely fallen for him head over heals.

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Alyssa was a little worried when she saw her mom come out of Cameron’s room in her underwear. Evan had told Alyssa what type of sim Cameron was. Cameron had bettered not break her mom’s heart.

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Shortly thereafter Cameron got a phone call from Tara. She wanted to go out on a date. Cameron hesitated. He did REALLY like Amanda, and it was certainly rude to leave his own party, but he’d also really wanted to get Tara into his bed. His mind told him to say no, but his nature took over. He agreed to meet her on a community lot in a few minutes. He took her to a bar, and they had a dream date. He even got to make out with her. Ordinarily he would have invited her home, but he remembered that Amanda was still there, so the woohoo would have to wait for another day.

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Cameron almost got caught when Tara dropped off some flowers on his doorstep to thank him for the date, but Amanda thankfully stayed inside the house.

Evan spent some time talking to Amanda, Alyssa’s mom. She was nice and they became friends. Maybe she could be the female figure he missed in his life.

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Alyssa used the time her mother was distracted with Evan to go have a little talk with Cameron.

“I know what you did today,” she said.

“What are you talking about?” he asked.

“Tara, I saw her outside,” she replied.

“Oh,” was all Cameron could say.

“Don’t mess with my mom,” she threatened before walking out the door.

The next day both Sinclair brothers came home with promotions. Gary was blazing his way up the law enforcement career ladder, two promotions in two days. Cameron was getting promotions another way. Tara had pulled some strings and got him a cushy job as a record store clerk. Cameron felt a little guilty about cheating on Amanda, especially after Alyssa’s comments, but he still couldn’t help himself. He had to invite Tara over and thank her properly.

Cameron was now afraid of marrying all three of his current love interests. He asked Gary if he wanted to go to a bar. Maybe meeting someone new would make him stop worrying about marriage, and take his head off the guilt he felt for cheating on all of them.

Cameron didn’t meet anyone he was interested in, and Gary was anxious to get home, so they cut the outing short.

Evan got home from school really excited because he got a B+ in school today and he had won a spelling bee.

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“Good job, Evan,” Gary congratulated his son. “Great improvement today over last week. Now you just have to buckle down a little bit more and you’ll be getting an A+. Remember, it takes As to get good scholarships into college someday.”

Evan ducked his head. He’d been so proud of his accomplishments. He’d been sure his father would be pleased. But, it still wasn’t enough for his dad. He had to do better. As Evan fought the tears of disappointment that were threatening to overcome his guards, Cameron came up and hugged him.

“I’m so proud of you, Evan. You did great,” he whispered into Evan’s ear as he hugged him.

“Thanks, Uncle Cam,” he whispered back as a tear slipped down his cheek. Cameron always understood how he was feeling. At least Uncle Cam was happy with him. That meant something. But, he would have to work harder to please his father.

When they went into the house, Gary announced that he wanted Evan to get into private school. He had a nice enough job now that it might be possible, and Evan’s grades were good enough to qualify.

“Cameron I need you to work on learning to make a great meal for the headmaster when I invite him over. Evan and I will be too busy schmoozing him to cook.”

Cameron agreed. Not that he really cared about cooking or private schools, but he would do it for Evan. It would break Evan’s heart if he were rejected for something that obviously meant so much to his father. He started practicing cooking a nice meal, but managed to catch the stove on fire right away.

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Cameron went out clubbing that night. He awoke with a splitting headache when he heard a knock on his door. A glance at the clock revealed it was only 4 AM.

“Uncle Cam?” Evan stuck his head in the door.

Cameron groaned. He felt like crap, but he knew after one glance at the little boy’s desperate expression that he would not be sending Evan away. “What’s wrong, bud?” he asked as he covered his eyes from the little bit of light that was streaming in from the hallway.

“I forgot to do my homework last night,” he said.

Now Cameron was annoyed. Evan didn’t need his help to do his homework anymore. Still, he’d seen the look on Evan’s face. It was more than that. “So, it’s 4 AM. You have plenty of time to do it before the school bus arrives.”

“I can’t find it,” he whispered.

Cameron looked at the kid. His lip was trembling. He looked like he was going to start crying at any minute.

“Please, can you help me find it? I’ve looked myself, but I can’t find it.”

Cameron started to sit up, but he’d had a little bit too much fun last night. He felt awful and it was ungodly early. “Why don’t you go ask your dad?” Cameron suggested as he let himself fall back to the bed.

A whimper escaped Evan’s throat. He started to cry as he turned around and walked towards the hall. Cameron knew the answer to his own question. He knew what it was like to admit a fault or failure to the oh-so-perfect Gary. Gary wasn’t mean or cruel, not like Cameron’s father had been, but he was a perfectionist. He expected perfection from others as well. Cameron remembered what it was like when he was little boy. Gary had taken care of him, but he’d just expected too much from him. Gary would never hurt anyone, but he could scold horribly. As much as Evan loved his dad and longed for his approval, the scolding he’d get for admitting a mistake like this would break his heart. He’d come to Cameron for help for a reason. As bad as he felt, Cameron couldn’t handle making his little nephew cry.

“Ev, come back,” Cameron called. He pushed himself to a sitting position. “I’ll help you look.”

Evan flung himself into his Uncle’s arms. “Thank you, Uncle Cam!”

“Come on,” Cameron put his arm around him and directed Evan towards the hallway. “Did you look around your desk? That’s normally where you put it. Maybe it just fell down.”

“I looked,” Evan replied, “but maybe we should look again. I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it.”

Cameron and Evan searched all of Evan’s bedroom. They also looked at places Evan might have gone when he first came in the house; like the chess set, television, and refrigerator. They couldn’t find it anywhere.

“I’m going to get a C, I’m going to get a C,” Evan cried. He was becoming hysterical. “Dad’s going to be so disappointed in me, and the headmaster is coming tonight. Dad’s going to . . .”

“Shh, we’re going to find it,” Cameron comforted him. “Let’s go outside to where you get off the bus and retrace your steps,” Cameron suggested.

The outside world was covered in heavy snow, but they went out in their pajamas anyway. “What was the first thing you did when you got off the bus?” Cameron asked.

“I ran up to hug Dad and tell him about my grades and the spelling bee,” Evan said. Talking was difficult around the lump swelling in his throat. “Then he told me that I had to do better.”

Cameron kicked the snow around the spot Evan was standing. Sure enough, there was the homework right there, lying in the snow where Evan had dropped it in disappointment yesterday.

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“Thank you, Uncle Cam,” Evan threw his arms around his Uncle.

Cameron gave him a quickly family kiss. “Go try to dry it off. You’ve got plenty of time to get it done before school. Now,” Cameron yawned, “I’m going back to bed.

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Evan finally got an A at school that day, but not the A+ he had hoped for. His father was proud, but he would have been prouder if it were an A+. The headmaster came over as planned. Cameron decided not to try to make something fancy. He didn’t want to risk a fire like yesterday. He made a simple but well prepared meal. Gary schmoozed the headmaster; although it was difficult making friends with him. He also gave him a home tour. Their home wasn’t impressive like most of the houses of most private school children, but the combined points were good enough to just get Evan into the special school.

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The next day Evan came home and ran up to give his dad a hug. He’d had a great first day of private school. Gary even told Evan how proud he was of him.

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It was Christmas evening. It would be a family affair, but Cameron did decide to invite Amanda and Alyssa. They were practically part of the family now. Evan became best friends with Amanda. She was around so much; he was starting to think of her as a substitute mom.

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They didn’t have turkey for dinner. Cameron didn’t know how to make one. But, they did have an enjoyable meal nonetheless. They all exchanged presents. Gary gave them all very practical gifts. Cameron gave out fun things.

Evan was so excited when Uncle Cam gave him his present. It was a teddy bear, a purely fun present with no practical value whatsoever. Evan had always wanted a teddy bear to cuddle, but had never dared ask for one. He was nearly in tears when he opened it and saw what was inside.

They all went to bed very content. That night a burglar saw the Christmas tree and presents inside. He decided on a whim to break into the house.

Gary, the practical sim that he was, had a burglar alarm in place. It went off. The police, recognizing the address as one of their colleagues, rushed to the scene. The burglar was quickly apprehended.

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“It’s not a good idea to try and break into a cop’s house,” Cameron told the guy as he walked by.

Season Recap

1. Gary got promoted to Desk Sergeant. Cameron got promoted to Record Store Clerk.

2. Several strong friendships were made.

3. Cameron had woohoo with Amanda and Tara.

4. Evan got into private school.

5. A burglar came to rob the house on Christmas, but he didn’t get anything.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Turner Family Season 2

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The Turner Family

Nicholas Turner—Elder male romance sim with Aries personality
Lifetime want—have 20 simultaneous lovers

Monty Turner—Elder male fortune sim with Sagittarius personality
Lifetime want—own 5 top level businesses

Will Turner—Teen male family sim with Cancer personality
Lifetime want—Graduate 3 children from college

Klaus Turner—Child male sim with Gemini personality

Daniel Turner—Child male sim with Libra personality

Year 1 Season 2—Winter

It was Sunday and the first day of winter. Finally, the poor Turner orphans got a day to just relax. As the outside temperature became cooler, the thoughts of all the Turners turned to family. Well, Grandfather Nicholas was an exception. He still mostly cared about woohoo.

They started the morning off right with a hardy breakfast of cereal that Will had prepared. Not only was the food satisfying, the company was as well. The children really enjoyed having a moment to just casually sit at the breakfast table and talk.

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As Will cleaned up the dishes, Klaus and Daniel began playing cops and robbers together. They didn’t have many toys, but their imaginations were strong, and they truly enjoyed playing together. Even though he was working on cleaning up the house, Will couldn’t help but smile as he heard the sounds of brothers giggling.

Klaus and Daniel asked Will if they could invite their friend Evan Sinclair over. Daniel explained how Evan’s mom had remarried and didn’t want him anymore, so Evan lived with his father and his uncle. They were relatively poor, too, even if they did at least have two adult incomes coming into the house. The reason for their friendship was obvious. They had so much in common. So, of course Will said the boys could invite over their friend.

Hearing his brothers talk about Evan made Will long for a friend. He was friends with his brothers and now Grandpa Monty, but he didn’t really have any friends his own age. He decided to try and call Genesis, a girl who had ridden home with him on the bus before. Will didn’t really like her, but she was at least his own age. He hoped that maybe if he could be friends with her, she would at least introduce him to some more teenagers, and maybe he would find the kind of companionship he was looking for.

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Will wasn’t surprised when she was less than pleasant to him on the phone. Still, his hopes were dashed. He longed for a girlfriend, someone he could have dreams about starting a family with. But, it seemed that he had little chance of finding one. As Will started to feel lonely, he reminded himself that at least he had his brothers. Their friendship meant everything to him.

Will went outside and was surprised to see Grandfather Nicholas of all people having a water balloon fight with Klaus, Daniel, and Evan.

“Isn’t it a little cold out for a water balloon fight?” Will asked. They responded by lobbing a couple of balloons at him.

“That’s freezing!” Will exclaimed, but he couldn’t help laughing. It was pretty fun.

All three boys laughed together as they tried to gang up on Will. “Okay, seriously boys. This is fun, but Klaus you’re going to freeze to death out here dripping wet in your pajamas. At least go in and put on your winter coat, please,” Will directed. It wasn’t any fun to have to be the parent, but he couldn’t let Klaus get sick.

The boys grumbled as they quickly obeyed and went inside. Since they were cold and wet, they decided to just stay inside and play with the toys in their toy box. Still wanting to be close to his brothers, Will just sat in their room and watched them play until eventually he had to make himself go do some more chores around the house.

Grandpa Monty came up and played with the boys before bedtime.

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The day of play had truly brought the whole family together. Even their bonds with Grandfather Nicholas had strengthened. He must have been affected by the winter family bonding bug, because he tucked Klaus and Daniel into bed that night.

That night Will couldn’t sleep. He kept having nightmares about his father. He felt like he could feel his presence, but when Will woke up, of course he was alone. At one point he felt a strange compulsion to look out the window, and he could have sworn that he saw his father. He’d been having nightmares about his father’s drowning a lot lately. Maybe it was just stress. But, whatever the reason, Will just couldn’t sleep peacefully.

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The family awoke the next morning to find the yard covered in puddles and weeds. Will made a quick breakfast for Klaus and Daniel. He noticed that the cereal and milk were getting pretty low; all of their food supplies were running low. They would have to buy groceries before long, but Will knew that they didn’t have the money. He’d been skipping breakfast and dinner himself on school days. The school lunch was enough to keep him alive, and he could save the leftover dinners to feed another meal to his brothers. But even that method was going to stop working before long.

Will wanted to sit with his brothers at the table while they ate, but he knew that he had bettered clean up the yard before those weeds got any worse. He was tired, hungry, and now sore from pulling weeds.

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The school day did not go any better for Will. As soon as a note was passed to him from his homeroom teacher, Will realized that there was someone that cared about his school grades: Mr. Emery, the school counselor. Will grimaced as he looked at the pass that excused him from homeroom to come see the counselor. Still, he couldn’t just ignore the man.

“Crap,” Will whispered to himself as he walked towards the counselor’s office. He hadn’t been doing his homework because it didn’t really affect anyone but himself. He’d put Klaus’ and Daniel’s needs first. He knew the social worker would come take Klaus and Daniel away if they got failing grades in school or if they didn’t eat, but generally the social worker didn’t care about the welfare of teenagers. But, she probably did care about the home situation of a teenager that was raising two children. The fact that he was suddenly failing school might make the counselor scrutinize his home life, and maybe even lead to a visit from the social worker. That was exactly what Will needed.

“Have a seat, Will,” the counselor gestured at his couch when the teen entered his office. “Do you know why I’ve asked you to come talk to me, Will?” the man politely asked.

“My grades,” Will whispered to the floor. He was still horribly ashamed of his F, and talking about it wasn’t really something he wanted to do.

“Yes, Will, your grades. They’ve been steadily declining since your parents’ deaths, and I noticed that you’re actually failing now.” He let the statement sit in the air, apparently waiting for Will to volunteer some information.

“Is everything okay at home?” Mr. Emery gently probed.

“Yes! Everything’s fine,” Will quickly responded, his deepest fears confirmed. From the look on the older man’s face, Will knew he had given himself away by responding too quickly. “I’m very happy with my grandfathers and my brothers,” Will tried to explain.

“I did talk to the counselor at the elementary school. She told me that Klaus and Daniel are both doing extremely well.”

“I know,” Will responded with a genuine smile. He was so proud of his brothers’ achievements.

“Klaus is getting an A+ and Daniel is getting a B. They almost always turn in their assignments on time, and they aren’t having any behavior or adjustment problems according to her.”

Will simply nodded at the man.

“So, really Will, things are okay at home, because if they aren’t . . .”

Will didn’t let him finish his sentence. “Everything’s fine!” he exclaimed defensively.

“Then, you tell me, Will. Why are you failing?”

Will could feel his throat closing off with shame and held back tears. He didn’t want to be failing. But, he couldn’t exactly answer Mr. Emery’s question. There was a part of it that he truly didn’t understand. He didn’t know why Klaus had moved on from their parent’s death so quickly or why it just didn’t seem to affect him that much. He supposed it was just the difference in their personalities. Even Daniel had stopped having nightmares, but Will hadn’t. But the fact that he still saw ghostly visions of his father was hardly something he could tell a counselor without risking being labeled crazy.

The other part of why his school performance was lacking was obvious. He was constantly working around the house, doing chores, and helping his brothers. Will rarely had any time to himself at all, much less time for homework. But if anyone knew how many of the adult responsibilities Will was handling instead of his grandfathers, well they’d probably send social services to investigate. He also couldn’t mention that he was exhausted all of the time or that he was starving from only letting himself eat school lunches and no other meals. No, any legitimate answer to the man’s question would definitely lead to a visit from the social worker, and he couldn’t afford to risk losing his brothers.

“I guess I just don’t care for school much,” Will lied. He had loved school before his parents passed away. He’d always dreamed of going to college and then his future children going to the same college someday. But, dreams went away as you grew old enough to see reality. And the reality was that he had to take care of his brothers.

“I don’t believe that, Will,” Mr. Emery said firmly. “I can see it in your eyes. You do care that you’re failing.”

Will quickly looked away. “Look, I did all of my homework this weekend. All of it, okay, so I’m already working on it. My grades are going to improve okay?”

“You’re sure it’s not just that you’re taking on too many responsibilities at home? Maybe you’re just a little tired and could use some extra help. I could have someone from . . .”

“No!” Will exclaimed. “Everything at home is fine. You just said Klaus and Daniel are doing fine. It’s me, okay. I’m just a bad kid. That’s all. But, I’ll promise to do all my homework from now on, okay? So, can I please go back to class now?”

Mr. Emery let him leave, but Will was certain he hadn’t convinced him. He’d have to find a way to make sure they got some more groceries soon and be sure the house was completely picked-up in case a social worker did stop buy to check on things. And he’d have to be sure to always do his homework, no matter how exhausted he was.

Will couldn’t force himself to even look at the report card from school until he stepped off the bus. He didn’t want to risk crying in front of the other students just in case it was still bad.

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Will was heartbroken when he looked. He got a D-. A D-! He’d done all of his homework. What more did the teachers want from him? He thought he had done really well on his history pop quiz and math test, and he was sure he had done his homework properly. Maybe he’d just made some stupid mistakes because he was so tired, hungry, and irritable. After all that work to get all of his homework done, he’d only managed to get a D-, and now he had more homework that they expected him to do! He had to do it, but he felt awful and wasn’t even sure he could force himself to do it right then if he tried.

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Today was Klaus’ 13th birthday, and Will wanted to be sure it was special for him. That only gave him a couple of hours before Klaus and Daniel got home from school to get his homework done, refresh his energy, and try to get out of the depressed mood he was in. Will couldn’t take it anymore. He was so ashamed of himself for getting a D-. But more than that he was overwhelmed with worry that the social worker would come and take his brothers away; that Klaus would have a bad birthday; and that he would pass out sometime tonight before getting Klaus’ birthday, his homework, and the household chores all done.

He made it as far as the living room before he had to let himself sit down and cry. He had to let it out for just a minute. Will covered his eyes with his hand and let the tears fall as he sobbed softly for a few minutes.

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“What’s wrong, Will?” Grandpa Monty asked, responding to the obviously stifled cries.

“No-nothing,” Will quickly responded while dashing the tears away from his eyes.

“Will, I heard you crying when I walked in the door. Something’s wrong. You can talk to me, you know,” Grandpa Monty gently pressed.

Will paused. He did trust Grandpa Monty now. Without him their house would have no income . . . and he had helped Will learn to study. But, Grandpa Monty still wasn’t the family sim type that wanted to listen to the worries of a teenager.

“Things are just hard now,” Will replied.

“School?” Grandpa Monty asked.

Will nodded. “And money, I guess,” he explained. That was something Grandpa Monty could relate to, and honestly things wouldn’t be nearly as bad if they had more money. He could hire someone to help with the household chores, and he could buy groceries and not have to starve himself.

“I know, Will,” Grandpa Monty commiserated. “Money’s tight, but Nich and I are making more money now. Things are starting to ease some.”

Will dared to ask for a favor. “Tonight is Klaus’ thirteenth birthday. Do you think that maybe you could give me the money to buy him a cake? I know it’s a lot to ask for, but thirteen is a really important birthday, and Klaus deserves it.”

“Today is Klaus’ birthday? Why didn’t you tell me before?”

Will just shrugged. He honestly hadn’t thought either of his grandfathers would care.

“Let’s throw him a party,” Grandpa Monty suggested.

“What?” Will asked in surprise.

“Nich and I have the night off from work, and we can afford a cake. People and a cake are all you really need for a party. Let’s make it special for Klaus.”

“Okay,” Will replied. He was very excited about the idea of giving Klaus a party. The excitement was even starting to give him some of his energy back.

“Why don’t you call and invite some people, and I’ll go get the cake?”

Will knew he should invite Evan Sinclair. He was Klaus and Daniel’s closest friend. He also decided to invite Philip Windsor, even though Will didn’t think he’d come since he didn’t know the Turners that well. Just to round out the party he decided to invite Genesis, just for the heck of it, and Grandfather Nicholas’ newest girlfriend, Regina.

Klaus was in a great mood when he came home with an A+ report card.
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He was very surprised to find out that he was having a birthday party with both his grandfathers, his brothers, and his friends (Evan and Philip). Will was disappointed that none of the other party invitees wanted to come, but Klaus didn’t even know he’d invited them, so it was okay. Klaus was overwhelmed with joy when he saw the cake. He’d never dreamed of getting something so extravagant compared to their current living situation.

The moment he blew out the candles, Klaus turned into a rather dashing young teen. He’d grown up well, mostly due to his brother’s sacrifices. He was ready to tackle high school and a more grown-up aspiration.
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Klaus decided to talk to Will about picking an adult aspiration. He trusted his brother and knew that he would help him pick something that would truly make him happy, not just what Will wanted. Klaus didn’t really care about children, women, money, or luxury as many other teens did. Since he liked school so much, Klaus chose knowledge as his aspiration. Klaus loved learning, and he wanted to learn everything he could.

Unfortunately after blowing out the candles, the party seemed to go downhill. No one was really sure how it happened or what had caused it, but the party ended up a disaster. It hit Will, Nich, and Monty hard. They had wanted to make this day special for Klaus. Klaus didn’t really seem to care that the party was a disaster, though. He was happy that he’d grown-up well and had chosen a good aspiration.
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After the party, Will was even more exhausted. But, there were things he knew he had to do. First he checked to make sure that Klaus and Daniel were both working on their homework and that they weren’t having any problems. Next, he had to pick-up after the party. Only then was he finally able to work on his own homework, but he knew that it absolutely had to be done.

Nicholas called Regina over for a quick kiss. That was all it took to get him 3 loves at once.
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That night Will couldn’t sleep well again despite how exhausted he was. He tossed and turned for a long time before falling asleep. This night he was worrying about Daniel growing-up well. Nightmares of the social worker coming and taking away his brothers plagued him when he finally did fall asleep.

He woke up after only a few hours sleep, sure that he could feel his father again. Will was beginning to wonder if maybe his father’s spirit was angry with him. He was trying as hard as he could to do the right things, but maybe his father was disappointed in him for doing so bad in school, or for throwing such a lousy party for Klaus. Will told himself that he was being silly, that his father wasn’t really there. There were no such things as ghosts. But, Will wondered when he awoke to find the house and yard covered in water again.

Will made himself get up and make the last of the cereal for Klaus and Daniel. It was so hard. His energy was still almost completely drained from not sleeping, and he was hungry. He wanted some cereal, too. But, there just wasn’t any left for him. Beyond that, Will was actually AFRAID of going to school now. He was worried Mr. Emery would try to talk to him again, and that he’d slip up and say something that would start an investigation by social services. He made himself go anyway, even though he really, really, really didn’t want to.

This school day wasn’t any better for Will. Apparently it is not a good idea to try to go to school without any energy our nourishment. He was sitting in Mr. Binn’s history class and started to drift off in his thoughts as the man droned on and on about dates. Will actually fell asleep in class. He woke up to a hard shake from the teacher.

“Mr. Turner, what do you think you’re doing?” Mr. Binn’s demanded.

“Sorry, Sir,” Will replied quickly as he ducked his head in embarrassment. He really hadn’t meant to fall asleep; he was just exhausted.

“This isn’t preschool, Mr. Turner. There is no nap time. But, perhaps you’d do better if we sent you back to kindergarten.”

The entire class burst out in laughter as Mr. Binn’s continued to tease and lecture poor Will. Will’s cheeks burned with embarrassment. He just wanted to run out of the room, but he didn’t dare. Then he heard some very dreaded words. “Go to the principal’s office, Mr. Turner.”

Will cursed himself as he started to walk to the main office. He couldn’t believe how much he’d just humiliated himself. And this was going to look just great on the counselor’s report on him. Will couldn’t take it. He had to stop in the bathroom for a minute and let himself cry before he could make it to the office. Will tried to calm himself with some deep breaths, but it wasn’t working. He had to push the embarrassment from being ridiculed in front of the entire class out of his head. It was immediately replaced by fear over what punishment the principal would give him. Will started to tremble slightly as he thought about it. But, he couldn’t let himself linger on those thoughts.

Will gripped the sides of the bathroom sink, trying to steady himself. He still felt exhausted and dizzy. He told himself that he had to focus. The most important thing right then was to be sure that no matter what happened, he made it look like everything was okay at home. Will knew that meant he’d get punished worse, but that . . . well it mattered . . . but it wasn’t the priority. Protecting his brothers from the social worker was the priority. He had to pull himself together, and he had to convince the principal that his home life was fine. He’d just misbehaved like a rebellious teenager.

Taking another deep breath, Will splashed some water on his face so that the fact he’d been crying would be less obvious. He mustered some courage and went to sit in the waiting room for the principal.

“Come in, Mr. Turner,” Principal Norrington said after not too long of a wait. He motioned for Will to take a seat in a chair across from his desk. “Mr. Binns just informed me that you were disrupting his classroom and interfering with his ability to teach.”

That was taking it a bit far, Will thought, but he nodded anyway. Will was too afraid to be angry and defiant as he had with the counselor. “I fell asleep in his class, Sir,” Will responded.

Principal Norrington nodded. He wasn’t a cruel man. He wanted to give Will a chance to explain himself. “Anything else you want to tell me? Maybe why you fell asleep?”

“No, Sir,” Will whispered. He was following a recipe to get paddled for sure; he knew it. He had to make everyone believe that his home life was fine, so he had no excuse. Now he was refusing to explain himself to the principal. But, there wasn’t anything he could say that wouldn’t result in something worse than a paddling, like having his brothers taken away by the social worker.

“Mr. Emery seems to think that maybe you’re having problems at home . . .”

“No, Sir,” Will responded immediately. “I . . . I’m just a bad kid, Sir,” he repeated the phrase he’d given the counselor. “I don’t do my homework, and I fall asleep in boring classes. I’ll . . . I’ll take whatever punishment you want to give me . . .”

Principal Norrington sighed. Teenagers that were bad teenagers didn’t admit to it, and they certainly didn’t volunteer to accept their punishment. “Will, if you aren’t able to handle things . . .”

“No,” Will begged. He was actually crying now; he’d promised himself he wouldn’t do that. Yet, the tears were streaming from his eyes just the same. “Please, Sir, I’ll do better. You can punish me now for this, and I’ll never let it happen again. Please, just don’t write down that there’s something wrong at home.”

“Will, I can see what’s going on. I know you don’t want your brothers placed in foster care. I understand that, but . . .”

Will begged with his eyes for the principal not to finish that sentence. He prayed for Principal Norrington to have some compassion.

“Here’s what I’m going to do, Will. I am not going to punish you this time. I think Mr. Emery is right about your home situation. But, I’m going to give you a chance to fix it. Maybe you need to ask your grandfathers to help out a bit more? In any case, you will not fall asleep in class again, you will not disrupt a class, and you will turn in every homework assignment on time from now on. If it happens again, I will have no choice but to punish you and then call child protective services.”

“Yes, Sir,” Will nodded. “You won’t have any more problems from me.” He was relieved that he’d gotten out of punishment this time and that he was being given a second chance. But, he was worried. He’d pushed himself as hard as he could. He honestly didn’t know if he’d be able to keep his promise of never letting it happen again, and he doubted that either of his grandfathers wanted to help out any more than they already were.

That night Will brought home a C-. It was definitely an improvement over an F. But, he was so completely exhausted when he stepped off the bus. He couldn’t even make it up to his room. He felt a sudden wave of dizziness and passed out on his way to the stairs.
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Will eventually got himself to bed and let himself take a nap. He needed to start taking care of himself. When Grandpa Monty and Grandfather Nicholas returned from work, they asked Will if he wanted to go on a bowling outing. Will knew he should say no and stay home and work on his homework and the chores, but he wanted to spend some time with Klaus now that he was a teenager, so he went. They had a great time at the bowling ally.
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In the cab ride home, Klaus had several things he wanted to discuss with his family. He’d chosen his lifetime want: maxing out 7 skills. He also wanted to discuss the possibility of getting a job. He actually wanted to work. He thought it would be good for his skill building, and he knew the family could use the money.

“I don’t know, Klaus. High school is harder than you think. It’s going to be hard for you to keep up your grades and have a job. I certainly couldn’t do it,” Will expressed his concern.

“Please, Will. I truly want to work. Besides, school’s always been easier for me. You know that. And, you’re always doing the head of household tasks that I don’t do. Let me contribute by having a job,” Klaus tried to convince his brother.

Will sighed. “I’ll say all right for now, because we really could use the money. And, you’re right. You always have been smarter than me. But, if your grades start to slip at all, you have to promise me you’ll quit your job. School is very important; that has to be your top priority.” Klaus agreed to Will’s conditions. Will also remembered to ask Grandfather Nicholas if he could try to catch some fish. Their food supplies were getting dangerously low, and they still didn’t have enough money to buy some groceries.

The boys got back home a little late. Will was still tired, but he knew he had work to do. After picking up a little, he went to his room to sit down to do his homework only to find that Grandfather Nicholas had his date Regina in there. They wanted use of his room for woohoo.

“But, Grandfather Nicholas, I have to do my homework. I have to!” Will pleaded.

“Later,” Grandfather Nicholas said while cuddling his current flame. “You’ve got the only double bed in the house.”

Will was shooed from his own room. It was bad enough that his grandfather was having woohoo with some tramp in his bed, but now he couldn’t even do his homework, either.

Nicholas and Regina had great woohoo. Nicholas was quite pleased with himself.

Will didn’t get to start his homework until 1 AM. This was not a good start to his resolution to get more sleep and get all of his homework done. He finished it though, and finally was able to go to sleep and sleep through the night.
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The following day the Turner family awoke to find the world covered in snow. They all wanted to stay home from school and play, but Will insisted that everyone needed to go to school. They were out of cereal, but they did have some leftover fish that Grandfather Nicholas had caught a few days back. Will served it to the family, and today he actually let himself eat some. They were completely out of groceries now, but starving himself just wasn’t working and was leading to more problems. Hopefully Grandfather Nicholas would catch some more fish before dinnertime.

For once Will felt amazingly well rested and his hunger was satisfied as he got on the bus. He was still afraid of going to school. He was afraid of getting sent the principal’s office again, but at least he didn’t feel like he was going to pass out today.

Finally, Will was having an okay day at school. He couldn’t believe the difference a little bit of protein had made in his alertness. He didn’t feel lightheaded and dizzy anymore, it was easier to focus, his tests and quizzes didn’t seem near as difficult, and he was much less irritable.

That afternoon he turned from his locker and someone walked right into him. Her books and pens went flying everywhere. It had been her fault, but Will quickly bent down to help her retrieve her items. “I’m so sorry,” he apologized to her. As he reached to hand her back her books he finally saw her face. She was beautiful. Her hair was the prettiest blonde, and her skin glistened like it had glitter on it. Even her facial structure appealed to Will. She would be a good sim to have babies with. Will quickly forced those thoughts out of his head. Girls as pretty as her didn’t give guys like him the time of day. He’d learned that the hard way when he’d hit on a girl at the mall one day.

“Thanks,” she said as she took the books from his hand. “And don’t be sorry, that was my fault. I can be such a klutz sometimes,” she smiled at him. As they stood up she introduced herself. “I’m Amaya. Amaya Bachman.”

“Will,” he said, still in awe of her beauty. “Will Turner.”

“Ohh,” she smiled. “You’re the kid that fell asleep in Mr. Binn’s class yesterday!”

Will quickly ducked his head in shame. Any thoughts he had of trying to be friends with her were dashed. She was one of the popular kids, probably friends with the kids that had laughed at him as he got in trouble yesterday. He thought she was probably just trying to get some info out of him, like if he’d been paddled, so they could all laugh at him. It was probably all a set-up. “Yeah,” Will whispered to the floor.

“You do not know how many times I have been so close to doing that myself. I mean the man just drones on and on and on . . . and his voice . . . he could put anyone to sleep, don’t you think?” She was laughing, but it really didn’t sound like she was laughing at Will. It was more like she was laughing at Mr. Binns.

“Yeah,” Will replied.

“And, could he give us more homework? I mean that’s half the reason I’m so tired. How am I supposed to do that much homework and still have a life? No wonder I’m so tired I’m walking into cute guys,” she winked at him.

Will smiled, but couldn’t believe that she was being sincere. Surely she didn’t think that he was cute.

“You know,” she went on. “I’ve thought about trying to paint eyes on top of my eyelids so that he couldn’t tell my eyes were shut.”

Will gave a genuine laugh this time. That was a hilarious idea. “I’ll have to try that sometime,” he smiled.

“Yeah,” she grinned back. They were both feeling the chemistry between them. “So, ummm, see you around?” she asked before leaving.

“Amaya!” he called after her. She turned quickly around. It was almost as if she had been waiting for him to stop her. “Do you . . . do you want to . . . work on the Binn’s homework tonight together? Maybe it won’t be so bad if we have a partner to study with?”

Will knew he was taking a risk. She would likely decline his offer, laugh at him, and then go tell all her friends about it. But, he just couldn’t let someone as wonderful as her go without taking the chance. He hoped that by making it about homework, a purely platonic thing, he wouldn’t be setting himself up for too big a fall.

“Yeah,” she agreed to his surprise. “You drive a car or ride a bus?” she asked.

“Bus,” he whispered, suddenly wishing he had some amazing car to woo her with.

“Cool,” she said, apparently not caring. “I’ll meet you outside the buses after school.”

Will almost expected to see a gang of popular kids outside his bus waiting to laugh at him. Amaya was just too good to be true. But, there she was, waiting by herself to get on the bus with him. As they rode the bus to his house, Will found that they had a lot of similar interests. She didn’t seem stuck-up at all, which eased some of his worries about letting her see his house.

It was still snowing as he got off the bus.
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Will daringly asked if she wanted to go up to his room to study. Will went to get his books, but they ended up talking instead of actually studying. Will didn’t care. He’d talk to Amaya about anything.
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She even laughed at his jokes.
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Klaus brought a friend home from school as well. They were looking out the window, watching the snow. Klaus’ friend Orlando announced that it was really starting to come down.
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Amaya said that she wanted to build a snowman, since the snow was actually heavy enough now. They all went outside and Will and Amaya worked on building a snowman while Klaus and Orlando had a snowball fight.
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It got really cold. Amaya was sad that she wasn’t going to finish the snowman, but she had to go inside to warm up. Will stayed out to finish it for her. It really was freezing, and he didn’t even have a proper winter coat, just a sweater and scarf. Still, he didn’t want to seem like a wuss by saying he was cold and quitting. He looked up at the window where Amaya was watching him finish to check for her approval. She clapped and was jumping up and down with excitement.

She rushed over to give him a friendly hug as he walked in the door. “Oh my gosh, you’re freezing!” she exclaimed.

“It was kinda cold out there,” he admitted.

“No, really. You’re skin is blue,” she said. “Let’s get you some hot chocolate. You need to warm up.”

“I don’t . . . I don’t have any,” Will was embarrassed to say. He didn’t want her to know that he didn’t have any food at all in the house. “Well, go take a bath,” she commanded. “That will warm you up. I’ll wait around until you’re done.”

Since he was freezing, Will decided to accept her suggestion.
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Amaya was waiting for him downstairs watching TV when he came down. “You look a little better,” she said. “I can’t believe you stayed out there that long.”

“I wanted to finish it for you,” he explained.

“You nearly froze to death to impress me?” she asked. Will shrugged. “You are a very silly sim, Will Turner.”

He nodded. He wanted to kiss her right then. She was so nice. She was pretty, funny, and sweet. But, Will didn’t want to rush things with her. He liked her so much, he didn’t want to scare her away. He could be content with just being friends with her. He needed a friend, and he didn’t want to lose that.

“Oh my gosh, look at the time!” she said looking down at her watch.
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“I’ve got to go, it’s past my curfew. And, crap, we didn’t even do our assignment. I don’t know about you, but my ‘rents are going to go ballistic if I don’t bring up my grades.” She stopped suddenly, realizing what she’d just said. She was so used to badmouthing parents with her friends, she’d actually forgotten about Will’s situation. “I am SOOO sorry,” she gave him her heartfelt apology.

“It’s okay,” Will shrugged. “I’m used to it. I’m sorry we didn’t get our homework done. I have to do mine tonight. You can . . . you can copy mine in the morning if you want,” he offered.
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After a hug and a goodbye from Amaya, Will forced himself to go upstairs and do his homework. He forgot, though, to check to see if Klaus or Daniel had theirs done. Daniel hadn’t done his. He’d come home and played in the snow instead of doing his homework.
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Daniel woke up early before school and asked Klaus if he would help him with his homework. Klaus loved learning and school. He found that he also loved teaching. He actually had fun explaining things to Daniel.

Unfortunately, they hadn’t allotted enough time to get all of the homework done, and they had to go to school before completing the project. They didn’t have time for breakfast, but it didn’t matter because there was no food in the house. Will was use to going to school hungry, but he was really worried about the impact it would have on his brothers.

Grandfather Nicholas finally listened to Will’s requests to get some more fish, only because he was starving himself. Unfortunately the cold winter temperatures and heavy snow had frozen the lake over. He couldn’t get any fish to eat, no matter how much effort he put into cutting through the ice. Fortunately, Grandpa Monty noticed that a couple of friends had left rather lavish gifts outside the front door. They were rewards from successful outings. Grandpa Monty and Grandfather Nicholas called a cab and took the expensive items to the local pawn shop. They got much more than they were expecting, and they suddenly had the money they needed to buy groceries with money leftover.

Will was nervous when he got off the bus. He hoped that his report card would be good, but he was always apprehensive about looking.
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He took a deep breath and opened the envelope. He was so shocked when he saw the grade there; he had to just stare at it for a minute. He felt like his knees were going to buckle out from under him. He had to be reading it wrong, but no . . . there it was . . . an A+. In his wildest dreams he’d hoped to start getting Bs. He’d never even imagined bringing home an A+.

“Yes,” he whispered to himself. He ran inside still staring at the report card. He was unwilling to take his eyes off the grade, afraid it would somehow magically change. It was a personal triumph, but he had to share it with the man that had given him the start he’d needed. Will’s heart swelled with joy as Grandpa Monty actually cheered for his grade.
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As his life tended to go, the happiness at his own grade came with a price. Daniel came home with a C+ report card. Will berated himself. If’ he’d have helped Daniel with his homework instead of playing with Amaya or instead of doing his own . . . But, Will wouldn’t let himself get too down. A C+ was still passable. He just couldn’t let it get any lower.

Besides, it was now officially Christmas. No one knew why, but school and work were still open on Christmas Day, but the last evening of winter was the time that all Emerald Isle sims celebrated Christmas. Will didn’t think they’d have much of a Christmas dinner since they were so poor, nor did he have the money to buy anyone presents. But, at least they could have some good quality family time.

Grandpa Monty informed Will that they had been able to purchase some groceries, even a turkey. Will was thrilled. They were going to have a decent Christmas dinner after all. He was a little nervous. He’d never made a turkey before, and he didn’t want to waste the food, but he was the best cook in the house, so he had to give it a go.

Amaya called. She was not having a good Christmas with her family. Actually, she’d gotten in a fight with her parents, and wanted to know if she could come over and hang out with Will. Will told her that it would be a family night, and that he had to spend time with his brothers, but that she was welcome to join them if she wanted. Grandpa Monty also got a surprise guest. An old friend of his had come by to visit his mother’s grave on Christmas, and then he decided to stop and say hi to Monty when he heard he was in town. Grandpa Monty invited him to stay for dinner.

Will’s turkey turned out excellent.
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The whole Turner family, Grandpa Monty’s friend Vince, and Amaya had a wonderful dinner. The food was amazing, and the company was wonderful. It turned out that Vince was the headmaster of a private school on the other side of the island. Klaus was very interested in this. He’d always wanted to go to private school, but knew they didn’t have the money for that kind of thing, but if he was Grandpa Monty’s friend . . . maybe . . . he seemed to be having a good time. Klaus starting schmoozing him about school, trying to feel the man out. He wondered if it might be possible for a kid to go to that school without paying a fortune.

As Klaus continued to talk to the headmaster about options, Will decided it might be okay to spend some time with Amaya. It was Christmas and he was feeling an incredibly strong urge to kiss her, if only they had some mistletoe. But, Will reminded himself that he was not rushing into things with her. He didn’t even know if she liked him that way. They were the best of friends now, but that didn’t mean she wanted to be his girlfriend. He decided to ask her some questions to determine where her heart was.

“Amaya, what do you want?” he asked, trying to make it sound casual even as his heart was thumping.

“I want to flirt,” she said with a smile.

Will’s heart seemed to skip a beat. That’s what he wanted, too. Maybe she did feel that way about him, too. He was inches away from kissing her, but he reminded himself to be cautious. He asked a follow-up question, just to be sure he didn’t mess up and do something she’d really hate.

“What do you fear,” he asked.

“I’m afraid that if I flirt with Klaus, he’ll reject me.”
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“Wha-what?” Will asked in shock, his lip trembling. He awkwardly moved the hand he had started to move toward caressing her face behind his own neck. He felt like his world was crumbling out beneath him. His dreams of a future with Amaya had been what had kept him going recently. He swallowed and tried to make his voice work. “You . . . you like Klaus, my brother?” He hated that his voice cracked as he said the last words.

“Well, yeah, he’s cute,” she smiled. “But, I’m afraid that he won’t be interested in me. He’s smart, right. I mean . . . do you think he’d be interested in me? I only get Cs.”

“Yeah, I’m sure he’d be interested in you,” Will said to the floor. “Anyone would be.”

Amaya looked at him in surprise and then realization flashed across my face. “Oh my God . . .” she said still in shock. “Did you think . . . that we . . .”

“No, no,” Will said, trying to cover his feelings, even though denying his crush on her was breaking his heart.

“Ohhh, you did, didn’t you? Will, oh, don’t be upset,” she tried to comfort her friend.

“It’s . . . it doesn’t matter,” he whispered.

“Listen, I like you. I mean you’re hot, you’re funny, and charming. And, yeah, originally I came over here hoping to just make out with you, but . . . I like you too much. Our personalities and interests match so well, I actually wanted to be your best friend. Not just use you for a quick smooch.”

“You’re a romance sim,” Will finally understood.

“Yeah,” she admitted. “I thought you knew.”

Will shook his head. He was rather embarrassed at his mistake. And, he was starting to feel empty again. He didn’t think he’d ever find the right girl for him. Amaya started to hug him to make him feel better, but he pulled away. It just hurt too much.

“Please don’t hate me, Will. You’re my best friend. I can’t help it that I’m a romance sim. Please, can’t we still be friends? I don’t think I could take it if you didn’t want to be my friend anymore.”

“Of course,” he replied, hugging her back. He did want to maintain their friendship. It was good to have someone to talk to. “Just don’t hit on my brother, okay?” he whispered in her ear. He didn’t think he could take it if they got together.

Grandpa Monty came over with Vince. “Good news,” Vince said. “I’ve been talking to Klaus about your situation. He’s really convinced me that you boys deserve more, and after that lovely meal, I just couldn’t say no. I think that you might be the first children invited to our school with absolutely no points awarded for having a large and lovely home, but I’m certain that I can get all three of you boys a scholarship into my school.”
“Yes!” Klaus exclaimed in the background.

“All three?” Will asked in shock. “No, no just Klaus and Daniel. You . . . you don’t want me in your school. I’ll stay in public school. That’s fine.”

“Will, money isn’t a problem. I can get someone to pay for your bills. And you’re getting an A+. There’s no reason we wouldn’t want you in our school.”

Will was certain that if the headmaster looked at his grade history he would change his mind, but Will didn’t want to bring it up in front of everyone. He was still too embarrassed to admit how bad his grades had been. “Isn’t private school a lot of work? I have to put taking care of the family first. Public school is fine for me.”

“Will, this is a huge secret, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone else this, but private school is actually easier than public school. People just have to pay a lot to get their kids into it, and then they get bonuses for doing so. But the coursework itself is very easy. I’m sure you’d be fine.”

“Easier . . .” Will couldn’t believe it. Easier certainly sounded better. And, he’d be happy to have Mr. Emery off his back. “All right, then, all three of us,” he smiled, but then he looked longingly at Amaya. He wouldn’t be in the same classes as her anymore. Even if she didn’t want to be his girlfriend, he still wanted to be around her as much as possible. He thought he would always love her from afar.

“I’ll have to have my parents look into that,” Amaya chimed in. “Maybe I could bring my grades up long enough to have them pay to get me in.”

The guests left shortly thereafter. But, there was still one surprise left for the evening. Grandpa Monty sat the family down around the tiny Christmas tree that they could afford.

“Grandfather Nicholas and I bought you boys something. We really hope you like it.” He brought out a box and handed it to Klaus. He jumped up and down when he opened the box and saw what was inside. It was a new computer.
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“Grandpa, how could you afford this?” Will asked in shock.

“Don’t you worry about that. You need it for school. It will make the whole family happy and it is money well spent. Merry Christmas, boys.” The whole family shared a group hug. Everyone was so happy.

Before going to bed, Daniel pulled his brother Klaus aside. “Klaus, I miss Mommy and Daddy. Don’t you guys?” he asked quietly.

“Of course I miss Mom and Dad,” Klaus replied. “We all do. But, we have to try to move on and enjoy life, too. It’s okay to take a minute and miss them. I have to do that sometimes. But, then we have to move on with the fun times.”

Before going to bed, Nicholas called Katy over for some woohoo. It had been a wonderful Christmas they would all remember.

Season Recap

1. Klaus became a teen and selected the knowledge aspiration. His lifetime want is to max 7 skills.

2. Will worked his way up from an F to an A+ report card. All the boys got into private school.

3. The family nearly starved to death.

4. Will made best friends with Amaya Bachman.
5. Nicholas has three loves at once and has had woohoo with all three.