With the commission she had earned from selling George and Tosha their new house, Rebecka Louie bought 7 tiny commercial lots downtown. One lot had a small building, which Rebecka planned to use as the office of "Rebecka Realty", which was what she'd decided to call her brand-new company.
She would have liked to call it "Andropova Realty"--since Yuri's family name commanded a lot of respect from the business community--but a marriage proposal from Yuri did not seem to be forthcoming.
Rebecka divided the space into a large portion that would serve as her sales office--which she decorated elegantly--and a smaller portion that housed her bathroom, eating area, and sleeping area--which she didn't bother decorating at all.
'No use spending money on something no one but I am going to see,' she said to herself.
She had bought each of the tiny lots for $1,600, hung the deeds on the wall, and priced each at $9,999.
She worked assiduously on her sales skills all morning,
and--though she wasn't making any sales, and though she annoyed several of her potential customers--she at least managed to get a bronze sales badge.
She was extremely pleased that Yuri's father, Kennedy Cox, dropped by to wish her good luck.
"Thank you so much, Mr. Cox!" she exclaimed. "I'm just sure I can make a ton of money here!!"
"You're a good hard worker, Rebecka," Kennedy observed. "Both my wife and I wish you all the best with your venture."
Energized by Kennedy's encouragement, Rebecka renewed her selling efforts,
and, though she didn't manage to sell any lots on her first day, she at least got Rebecka Realty to Rank 1 by early evening,
and to Rank 2 by the time she closed up shop at 8:30 p.m.
Rebecka would have liked to spend longer at her new venue on its opening day, but she had been invited by Tosha McCarthy to her house for the evening, along with several of Tosha's girlfriends.
Though Rebecka had, as Yuri's date, attended three weddings involving the neighborhood friends, tonight marked the first time that Rebecka had ever been invited on her own, without Yuri, and she was not about to miss the occasion.
Tosha and George hadn't had much time to decorate, so they had asked Randy London (who was currently working as the manager of Kennedy's architectural office) to send over one of the company's interior designers. The designer had suggested, since George and Tosha already owned one 1930s-style sofa, that they buy several other pieces from the same line. The designer also suggested a rug, table, and lamp, so Tosha at least had a comfortable seating area in time for her friends' visit.
All the girls thought Tosha's house was just gorgeous, and complimented Rebecka on finding it.
"Oh," Rebecka said, trying to sound modest, "anyone would know this was a great house."
"No, Rebecka, you should take credit where credit is deserved," urged Tosha. "You've obviously got some sixth sense that helps you figure out what people really want."
Tosha continued. "This is the last house I ever would have picked out on my own, but I just love it. And I had no idea George had some thing for the '30s that would make him go head over heels for this place."
Rebecka was tickled to receive such a compliment, especially in front of the other girls.
"Gee, Rebecka," Meadow asked, "can you find really cheap houses, too? For people who don't have any money?"
"Because," Meadow continued, "unlike George and Tosha, when Orlando and I say 'fixer-upper', we really mean it--we've got two little kids and no money. And I'm not working."
"Of course you're working, Meadow--you have your farmstand," Brittany interrupted, trying to be supportive.
"Yes, but, until my crops come in, we're going to be really strapped," Meadow explained. "And, once Ophelia grows up, our apartment's going to start seeming really small."
"Don't worry, Meadow," Rebecka assured her. "This is a buyer's market--there's a lot of stuff for sale, at really good prices. I'm sure I can find you something."
"Where is Ophelia tonight?" Yulia asked Meadow, who had brought Marcus with her to Tosha's, but not her baby daughter. "Is Orlando at home with her?"
"Oh," Meadow gasped, "Alvin volunteered to babysit!" She burst out laughing.
"Sorry, Brit;" Meadow said to her friend, "I don't mean anything by that, but it was just so funny how enthusiastic he was!"
"Yeah, I'm afraid I'm moving a little too slowly for Alvin in the marriage-and-family department," Brit admitted, "so Ophelia might be his 'surrogate baby'."
Brittany's friends knew not to take this subject any further. Though Brittany loved Alvin, and was happy to share an apartment with him, she was adamant about not getting even engaged until she was settled into her desired career.
"Soooo, Chloe," Tosha said, changing the subject. "Does Kevin know when the results of our civil service exam are coming out?"
"Yes," Chloe answered, "he says they'll be out in a couple of days, and then you two should be able to get positions in the police department. Gee, you'd think your college degrees would be able to get you something there at least for the time being...."
"That's not the way it works, I'm afraid," explained Tosha. "Though I won't be starting on the force the same time as Kevin, obviously, since I'm pregnant." She turned to Calista. "How are you doing? Do you have a paranormal job yet?"
"Not yet," replied Calista, as Marcus played happily at her feet, "but at least I have time to play music, and now that we've moved, I have room to set up my bass and amp."
Tosha was confused. "What do you mean--'since you moved'. Aren't you still in Cornerstone Condominiums?"
"Yes," Calista answered, "but we moved across the hall into your apartment after you and George moved out. In the old place, we had only one bathroom for the four of us, and your apartment has another half-bath."
Calista went on to describe the apartment's layout. "Randy and I moved into your bedroom, and put the computer desk in there,"
"and we set Granddad up in the room you were using as your study, so now he has his own bathroom."
"We put Christopher's crib and changing table in the really small room, but Granddad insisted that Christopher's toys stay in Granddad's room, because he loves watching Christopher play,"
"and Granddad can sometimes take a nap while Christopher amuses himself. The living room's pretty much as it was in our old apartment, but I had to put my dining set back into storage, because the only place there's room to eat is at the kitchen counter. It's worth it, though."
"Well, speaking of children," Meadow said, getting up from the sofa, "Marcus and I have to be getting home to his little sister." Marcus had crawled onto the toddler blanket Meadow had brought, and fallen fast asleep.
"Come on, little man," Meadow said as she lifted her son. "Let's go home and check on Ophelia and Uncle Alvin."
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next week, as we follow the progress of Meadow's farmstand and Rebecka Realty, and Rebecka and Yuri assess the state of their relationship.
While George and Tosha were decorating, George got promoted:
And, while Tosha was entertaining her girlfriends tonight, George got promoted again:
So, his score in the Million Dollar Challenge is 110 (10 points times 6 promotions for him and 5 promotions for Tosha).
And George, in his first day in the new house, got a genie lamp (I guess because he got his Games plaque), which Tosha used to get the couple another $36,000.