As Simcember came to a close, Joseph and I decided to enjoy our little babymoon getaway, courtesy of Sugar Maple Bough. She’s such a good friend. On New Year’s Eve weekend, we headed to the Arts Quarter to stay in a nice little hotel attached to Cabash Gallery. We had a suite on the thirtieth floor, and the hotel staff even left us a complimentary bottle of sparkling cider, since of course, I couldn’t drink nectar.
We changed and headed out to the New Year’s festival. Quite a few friends had come over to the Arts Quarter for the celebration. Cathy Tea was in town, enjoying every moment.
“You have to try the tea,” she remarked. “It’s delicious. Third vendor on the right.”
“I’ll make a point to stop over,” I replied.
“You hardly look pregnant, Lizzie,” Annie exclaimed. “I mean, how far along are you?”
“Hovering around four,” I put my hand across my belly. “My mom said she didn’t show with my kid sister until the seventh month.”
“Ah,” Cathy said. “Babies are a blessing. To cultivate new life is such a wonderful gift.”
A lady in a neon green tank top and plaid skirt brushed past our group.
“Hmmf,” she said. “Who wears crop tops in winter?”
“Ignore her, Annie,” I said. “It’s been so warm lately so I don’t blame you.”
“Who wears knee socks… like… ever?” Cathy hooted after the passerbyer.
“Ooo, I’m starving,” Karleen joined us. “Are the vendors open yet?”
“Karleen, that’s a wild outfit,” I remarked. “Love the tee.”
“Thanks. I’m as cute as pie. Or cuter than pie. Or cute to the pie… three-point-one-four…um… something…” she shrugged. “I didn’t eat lunch. Or breakfast either.”
“What? You skipped the most important meal of the day!” Cathy gasped.
“I was… um… occupied at breakfast…” Karleen giggled. “In a penthouse…with a gorgeous man. Come to think of it. I did have champagne.”
“Were you still in bed at lunchtime?” Annie asked.
“No…I was…” Karleen covered her mouth. “I had a lunch date… but it was more date than lunch. Our picnic fell in the Sound.”
“Oh no!” I said.
“We were making out and jostled the basket,” she smirked.
“Sounds like a full day,” Annie said.
“Oh it was… especially since it was dates with two different guys,” Karleen winked at me.
“No!” I exclaimed. “You aren’t still seeing both of them, are you?”
“Well?” Karleen grinned sheepishly.
“Hey ladies,” John suddenly joined our group. “Are you ready to hit the town?”
“Hi Karleen, fancy meeting you here,” Munter walked up to our group with a plateful of something chocolaty.
Both dates appeared in the same place at the same time. From the look on her face, I gathered neither one of them knew about her casual romantic escapades.
“Hey John, you remember Annie my neighbor right?” I interjected awkwardly, trying to avoid a situation. “And this is my colleague and best selling novelist, Cathy Tea.”
“Oh wow, it’s a pleasure to meet you both,” John remarked.
“Karleen, want to go try the tea? It is delicious,” Munter inquired.
“Oh I was thinking we should get a good spot for the fireworks show, Karleen,” John said.
Karleen winced and shrugged her shoulders.
“We should all get a good spot for the fireworks,” I inserted.
“I don’t want to get in the middle of this,” Cathy said. “I’m outta here.”
“Munter… I hear you have great bartending skills,” Annie said, hoping to redirect one of the guys.
Karleen mouthed a thank-you.
“Hey, it’s that sparkly glass of champagne,” the blonde singer from the karaoke club approached our group.
Annie whirled, flushing deeply. “It’s Genji, right?” she asked.
“Yes, Genji, and you are… Annie?” he said, his eyes widening. “Please introduce me to your friends.”
Genji managed to get the whole group to go and watch his comedic slapstick song. Shy Munter stayed away from Karleen as John eagerly grabbed for her hand. I could see the hurt look on his face, and I wondered how long Karleen was going to keep this up. Lauryn showed up and wanted to see pictures of the latest ultrasound. I managed to have the files on my phone.
“Don’t tell, Joseph,” I said. “It’s a secret.”
“My lips are sealed,” Lauryn smiled.
Joseph was inside the hotel lobby getting a cup of coffee. He had worked a full day before coming over to the hotel to get checked in. I didn’t blame him for being tired. In fact, I figured he might head to bed early tonight. We didn’t need to stay out late every night of the festival.
“Do you know how this tea machine works?” the lady in neon asked.
“I think you just add the tea leaves to the top,” he replied.
“Great! Tea machines are so modern. I have retro appliances at home. Gotta brew my tea the old-fashioned way,” she added.
“These machines are convenient,” he replied.
“Are you staying at the hotel or are you just here for the festival?” she asked.
“My wife and I are staying here.”
“Smart. If you get too drunk on nectar, you have a place to crash,” she smirked. “Courtney Neon…” she offered her hand.
“Joseph Simself,” he replied, shaking her hand. “But we won’t be getting drunk. My wife’s expecting.”
“Oh congratulations!” Courtney beamed. “Enjoy the festival.”
I was starving, and wondering why Joseph was taking so long. I decided not to wait and order kebabs from the vendor. I needed protein up the wazoo these days to keep up my strength. Steak. Protein. Check. Tomato. Vitamin C. Check. Peppers. Avoid… uh oh! Don’t tell. I love spice.
“Are you still alone?” Lauryn inquired. “I’ll come join you if you don’t mind.”
“Joseph should be here shortly,” I replied.
“I’m right here,” he said, tripping over a crack in the sidewalk.
“Ooo… are you okay?” Lauryn asked.
“What happened?” I turned around in a panic.
“I’m fine,” Joseph said, his cheeks bright red. “It’s nothing.”
Lauryn sat down with her plate of spinach and egg quiche. Joseph devoured a plate of bratwurst and spicy mustard. I was beginning to regret the peppers. I could feel the pain forming in my chest. Heart burn. Nasty side effect of pregnancy.
A bright flash of light startled us as a loud explosion echoed seconds later above our heads. Joseph coughed dramatically.
“Uh… can I talk to you, Lizzie?” Munter appeared at my side.
“Sure…” I said, pushing back my chair. “I’ll be right back.” I laid a hand on Joseph’s shoulder. “Are you okay?”
“I’m… fine…” Joseph wheezed.
“I’ll get him some water,” Lauryn offered.
“Th…ank… you…” Joseph said as he tried to catch his breath.
As fireworks exploded above our heads, Munter and I wandered to the edge of the festival.
“Do you know… I don’t… um… know how to say this… or ask?” Munter began. “…or if I should, but is Karleen seeing John?”
“I think you should ask her,” I said, fiddling with my cap.
“I see the way she looks at him and he looks at her,” Munter swallowed hard. “I just wanted… to… know… if it’s worth my time. I realize you might be biased. John is your cousin. Karleen is your best friend.”
“If you have feelings for her, you should tell her. It might make a difference,” I recommended.
“I haven’t found the time,” he sighed. “I just don’t know if she even wants anything other than…” he trailed off.
“Munter, just talk to her.”
Author’s Note: Hey everyone, thanks for reading. I wanted to add a little clarification. There is no hotel in the Arts Quarter or anywhere in the base game city of San Myshuno. I edited the gallery lot because I thought it would be fun and pretty as a hotel/gallery. Also in my Simworld, the new year’s celebration lasts for days. All the months of the year are twenty-eight days, and then the last day of the year is called Simultima – literally the Last Day. New Year’s celebrations typically last from Simcember 28th through the 2nd of Simuary. You can read more here.
This chapter featured John Schooner and Karleen Corey, my created Sims, CathyTea‘s Cathy Tea, LegacySims2017’s Joseph Simself, MINEZ‘s Lauryn Marks, SoulGal7‘s Courtney Neon, rockannie‘s Annie Rock, and Munter Bacon‘s Munter Bacon.