The last few years had brought a great deal of chaos to the Browning household. Nadia’s bookstore would celebrate its fourth anniversary in May, and it finally seemed to be making a steady income. They weren’t going to retire like a Rockfeller this lifetime, but it was enough.
Kai had started working part-time, mostly the weekends. His Mom didn’t mind if his friends stopped by as long as they weren’t rowdy. Books were a shared passion for Kai and his Mom, and he didn’t mind helping out; it didn’t hurt that it gave him an income to spend on more books.
It seemed that his best bud, Logan was losing interest in comics. This was something that devastated Kai, though he didn’t let it on to anyone. Lately it seemed that Logan was becoming obsessed with getting his first girlfriend, and it didn’t seem to matter who it was.
When Logan found out that Shira Dwyer came by now and again, he begged for a job. Kai told him no without even consulting his Mom. She wouldn’t hire anyone from Jefferson that Kai disapproved of, but she might have been surprised that Kai was against this.
Kai told him he was too young to work there, which was true, though there were ways around it. .
Logan didn’t take it well, then pretty much immediately after, his Mom brought Lizzie Schehl in for an interview. There’d been talk of hiring another part-time student to help with the hours that Kai couldn’t be there, but he didn’t expect it to happen so suddenly.
Lizzie nailed the interview, full of charm, and it didn’t hurt that she was a regular customer of the mechanics and tinkering books. Nadia instantly enjoyed her personality, and Kai had nothing bad to say about Lizzie. She was a whole grade older than him, and they didn’t exactly mingle, but she always seemed nice at school.
She was placed on the cash register to start, which meant the lines backed up quite a bit. Most customers were understanding. Kai didn’t care for the register at all, which was probably why his Mom put her there. She needed the help, and Kai would fuss about it.
Both Kai and his Mom enjoyed being on the floor, helping customers and giving recommendations. It was especially satisfying when a customer came back to give accolades over the book, or in the case of Ginny Pacelli, she came back seeking another recommendation. She was being told to take it easy, and needed something to hold her interest.
Isla came by now and then, she was out in Millwood so it usually involved her Mom bringing her while she shopped. It was nice to have a cappuccino with her. She’d always been more of Logan’s friend, but things got awkward when he thought he liked her. Nothing had happened, but it made Isla feel weird hanging with Logan.
On one hand, Kai wished that all his friends could stay young and not worry about girls and boys. However, he was pretty enamored with Elodie Siew. Like Isla, she also lived out in Millwood, and she didn’t have a parent that bought books to bring her in. It was a happy surprise when she asked her Dad to drop her off while he picked up his prescriptions.
They weren’t dating exactly, as it wasn’t really allowed by ether of their parents. Instead they were friends, who bordered on awkward flirting which sent both of their stomachs aflutter.
Kai liked to think that this way was better. They talked on the phone for a little most nights, he knew about her Dad and her own struggles with it. He also knew how much she missed her older sister, and he liked to think that what they had was better than any boyfriend situation.
That didn’t mean he wasn’t planning to ask her to be his girlfriend as soon as they were freshman next year.
Most of the time though, Kai helped customers, which was an unusually high number of high schoolers recently. Nadia had arranged to give students at Jefferson giftcards as a donation to the high school Language class, each student was to pick out a classic and write a report on it.
Most of the time, Kai kept to his inner circle of friends, but he didn’t hesitate to get in and help his fellow classmates find books.
Unfortunately Chaz came in, and was geeking out over a journal when Shira came in. Kai wasn’t interested in any girl other than Elodie, but he wasn’t blind. Shira was the second prettiest girl in school, so thought Kai, and he didn’t want his bud embarrassing him.
Thankfully neither seemed to take notice of Chaz, which was pretty much how it went at school too.
Luca was working a second shift recently, which meant when it was time to do inventory, the younger girls had to come along.
Thea and Clio loved the bookstore, and spending time with their favorite people didn’t hurt ether.
Mavis did a good job playing with them so the inventory could get done.
When they got home, it was time to divide and conquer. Mavis did the kitty litter while Kai and his Mom got the twins ready for bed.
Nadia was positive that she wouldn’t have been to run a bookstore without the help of her eldest.
The girls loved him, Thea made one last reach for him when he put Clio to bed that night instead of her.
After the long day, the girls fell asleep quickly. They’d always been good sleepers, which was a great blessing when you had two of them.
Once Mavis was tucked in, Nadia went to help Kai with any homework questions. Eighth grade had been unexpectedly harder than seventh, and he’d needed a bit more help than usual.
The craziest times were in the morning, thankfully Luca was home to help with that. It seemed that everyone was loud, hungry, and in some cases, in need of a diaper change. Even the cat misbehaved.
Clio was happy to stick with a bottle for breakfast, which wasn’t the best considering she turned three the next month, but Nadia had already forgiven herself. There was only so much she could do with the hours in the day.
The big two made it on the bus almost everyday, and that was an accomplishment.
Nadia had the bookstore open later in the day, which gave her a free morning with Luca and the twins. Usually someone would come over to play and hang out. Thomas and Caitlyn had walked over on this particular day, he’d been sick a few days before and was not allowed at school until 48 hours had passed.
Thomas loved having Tatum do tricks for treats. He was constantly begging his Mom for a pet, any pet! It was all rather ironic to Caitlyn who had done the same thing to her own Dad while growing up. That was how she got her dog Bazooka after they divorced.
Nadia spent time playing with the girls, and helping them in areas they were behind.
After school, Mavis immediately went up to the twins’ bedroom to play by herself.
Luca had the night off and helped Mavis with her homework. She was a good student, so the effort wasn’t exactly necessary, but it was a good way for Luca to see how things were going with her at school and with friends.
Nadia just threw sandwiches together, she was waiting for the time that she felt inspired to cook a real dinner. It seemed ages since she’d had the energy for anything beyond mac and cheese.
They each took turns sitting on the end with the twins, that way one was always available to listen to the older two kids and their day. Luca always delighted in the twins’ dinner behavior, everything was something interesting and fun to play with.
The other end was full of stories about classmates and in the case of Mavis, a new assignment that she was excited about.
Kai was a bit more hesitant in talking, it usually took time before he began to open up. It was a newer teenage behavior, as he had been rather chatty as a youngster.
They had a teacher conference for Mavis after dinner, Kai stayed home to watch all his little sisters and clean up the kitchen.
Mavis had only received accolades from Ms. Miriam, that they hadn’t suspected Mr. McCarthy would have anything else to say about their girl.
Perhaps Luca came on too strong with his praise for his eldest daughter, but Nadia didn’t think he’d even embellished the truth a tiny bit; Mavis really was fantastic.
However, Mr. McCarthy was rather concerned with Mavis’ introverted behavior. He’d spoke with Ms. Miriam and found that while she was friendly toward Evan (his own niece), that it was only due to being around her as toddlers. He felt concerned that she hadn’t made any new friends since starting school.
He went on to suggest that Mavis join a group at school, perhaps choir, art club, or play an instrument. Any of those would help her find a niche, and fellow students with similar interests.
Nadia found herself shocked, and by the time she got home, rather ruffled. Mavis jumped on the sofa to hear all about her good grades, and all the nice remarks from her teacher, that Nadia felt rather numb.
They both knew that she was their shyest child, but she’d always been studious, and loyal to her friends and family. They hadn’t realized that her only friends came from Nadia’s own friends. She’d grown up with Evan and Penelope, and they’d become friends over chewing on crayons.
She didn’t want her daughter to be socially behind or ever feel lonely. Though she didn’t exactly think anything was wrong with her. Luca had taken the teacher’s words though, and gave them to Mavis.
He suggested that she try an instrument, pressing that she couldn’t know how she felt about something until she’d given it an honest go.
Mavis’ entire mood dampened, she didn’t want to feel betrayed by her Dad, but she did. He should know her better than anyone, she didn’t want to play an instrument, she didn’t really like music at all.
She fibbed that she’d think it over, and excused herself to bed. She could hear her Mom disagreeing with her Dad about it all, saying that Mavis was perfectly fine the way she was, but her Dad interjected that he just wanted the best for her.
That evening her Mom came in to comfort her. They’d talked and if Mavis didn’t want to play an instrument, she didn’t have to, but that perhaps one of the other clubs would interest her.
A panicky feeling settled in Mavis’ tummy. She was like her Mom and big brother, she loved books and stories. Why couldn’t they just let her play alone and with her sisters and read?
Notes: Luca was really talking about music with Mavis, and those were her facial responses. She has only one outgoing point, she is one of my shyer sims in the game. In the rebuild, my sims are working to regain their main friendships, and I noticed that Mavis was only friends with her Mom’s friends’ kids… which made me think that a teacher would probably have something to say about it. They usually do. 😉
Luca is in the art career, and he’s currently forging art. I disapprove of this level, and I’m trying to ignore it and get him through. I was hoping to find an edit of the career, but I didn’t have any luck. I think it’s ludicrous that the only way to be a good artist is to go through a phase of criminal activity. pfft. So that’s why Luca wasn’t around much.
Logan is still girl obsessed. I think it’s his family aspiration in overdrive. In the rebuild, him and Kai seem to butt heads a bit more, and I’m blaming it on hormones and girls.
Thanks for reading!