When Brittany returned, relieved that her exam was over, Alvin kissed her tenderly and asked, "Would this be a good time to propose to you?"
"Oh--absolutely not!" replied Brittany, horrified. "I want a really romantic proposal, where we're relaxed, and dressed really nicely, and everything. I want it to be perfect!"
Alvin took this in stride. Brittany had always been "wrapped a little too tight"--as their friends often remarked--but Alvin figured she would calm down as soon as they had a decent place to live and found jobs. "The economy is so bad, though," Brit worried aloud. "Who knows if either of us will find any work at all!"
The couple rented a unit in Boothbay Apartments, which was on the outskirts of the city and reasonably priced.
Brittany wanted to be downtown so that she would be near her workplace, once she had one.
Alvin, who loved learning, wanted to be a teacher but, because there wouldn't be any education jobs available until the fall, he took a gaming job for the summer. Alvin was very good with computers, though it wasn't his passion. But he figured the fact that he had some decent-paying job would allow Brittany to relax a bit.
Brittany wanted a Natural Sciences job, but there were none available.
"Calm down, hon'," Alvin pleaded. "I'm working, and this place isn't very expensive, so you just take your time and find something that makes you happy."
Yulia, who had also moved into Boothbay Apartments, suggested to Brit that she take an analyst job at the SCIA at least for the time being (math majors were in high demand in the Intelligence field).
Yulia's own plan was to live by herself for a year, till Derek finished college. Though Rebecka had offered to get Yulia an apartment in the same expensive building where her brother Yuri would be living, Yulia preferred to rent a small, cheaper place, and save as much money as she could till she and Derek could afford a nice home together.
Her apartment was on the ground floor, and her front door was a few feet away from the hot tub, which made it easy to keep up with her friends, and to socialize with the other tenants in the building.
'Save money, and make money,' Yulia said to herself. 'That's my motto for this year.'
From her mother, she had borrowed the two twin beds that she and Yuri had used as children.
When she did buy furniture, though, she chose well-made items that she would have for a long time.
Yulia had found a job as an intern at a hospital downtown and, till the job started, she made money by doing financial consulting, day-trading in the stock market, and running the beach venue she had bought junior year. She had left college with about $31,000, and, after buying herself some essentials, selling the treasure chest she had found on one of her vacations,
and asking a genie twice for wealth--she had gotten a magic lamp from her mother as a reward for graduating summa cum laude--
Yulia had available cash equal to:
She had also asked the genie for peace of mind, since her mother had advised her that being in a platinum mood really helped one make lots of money.
Chloe and Kevin had also moved into the building.
They had rented a 2-bedroom unit with a generous kitchen next to Yulia on the first floor, with the pool a few short steps away.
Kevin had taken a civil service exam for the police force and was awaiting his test results. In the meantime, he took a job for a local lawyer, doing investigatory work and other tasks.
Chloe, who was waiting for a good kitchen job to open up, was temporarily working in an ad agency's art department as a food stylist, a job suggested to her by Orlando. She worked from 2:00 - 9:00 p.m., so she made sure to prepare some food ahead of time and leave it in the fridge for Kevin, who would get home at 5:00 p.m.
Kevin usually headed for the hot tub after work, to hang out with his friends.
"How's your job with the lawyer going?" Alvin asked him late one afternoon.
"Pretty well," answered Kevin. "I serve subpoenas, go along to the jail when the lawyer has to meet with a client, do a little research--I figure it'll all be useful when I finally get onto the police force. And I'm making some good contacts." He addressed Brittany. "Hey, have you seen Meadow and Orlando and the kids? I haven't seen them since Ophelia was baptized."
"Oh, they're around," said Brittany.
The baptism had taken place the Saturday before graduation.
Meadow and Orlando had asked Calista to be Ophelia's godmother.
After the ceremony, Calista cradled her goddaughter in her arms. 'I'm going to have a baby, too, and very soon!' she whispered to Ophelia. 'So you'll have a little friend to grow up with!'
Brittany continued. "Orlando's working, but Meadow and the kids are here pretty much all the time. They mostly hang out on the other side of the building, though, where Marcus can play on the playground equipment."
"I think Meadow's got her hands full with the new baby," Brit said, "and with trying to get their apartment in order."
Though Meadow and Orlando had initially planned to stay with Marcus in their small, off-campus rental house for at least a few more months after graduation, that plan became unworkable once they welcomed baby Ophelia into their family--the house was just too cramped for a couple with two children, one of them an active toddler. But since Orlando had quickly found a good-paying art job as a fashion photographer,
and since the couple had cashed in the airline tickets they had purchased for Twikkii Island, they had enough money to rent a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit in Boothbay Apartments, where they could be near their friends.
Both Meadow and Orlando delighted in their newly adopted baby daughter.
Orlando worked only 4 days a week, and was able to give Meadow a lot of help with the kids on his days off. He even spent some time schmoozing the landlord, hoping for a reduced rent.
On days he did have to go to work, he at least always managed to give Ophelia a bottle before he left.
Meadow was usually able to get in a quick morning swim while Orlando tended to the children. "How're you liking your food stylist job, Chloe?" she asked her friend one morning. "Orlando says everyone at the ad agency really likes your work."
"I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would," Chloe responded. "Of course I'd rather have a cooking job, but at least this is an opportunity to focus on my plating skills, which will really come in handy once I get a real kitchen job." Chloe explained to Meadow that "plating" was the art of arranging food on the dish. "It impresses diners, and reviewers, too. Hey, have you seen Calista and Randy's new apartment yet?"
"I'm going by to visit tomorrow," Meadow answered, "on Orlando's day off."
"Randy says Calista's had a lot of morning sickness, poor girl. I hope she feels okay for their wedding this weekend."
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next week, as we catch up with Randy and Calista in the days leading up to their wedding.
Oh, and since Yulia is a Fortune Sim, this is the start of her own Million Dollar Challenge. She doesn't have any points yet.