This page covers the first sims - graduates of the first teen generation - who went to live downtown.
After Orlando had picked up the keys for their new house which was situated on a downtown side street he got his phone out and called Gretchen.
When she arrived he showed her around the house, which he had inspected in the meantime. 'So this is our new home', he said when they reached the second floor and a second later Gretchen stepped back and her age transition began.
Orlando watched her with a smile. Even after a few age transitions it remained an astounding experience and he could imagine very well how she was feeling this moment.
A short time later some neighbours came over to greet them. Orlando tried to be sociable but he would have preferred to be alone with Gretchen. They had planned to go to the shops and then celebrate the first day of them living together later in the evening.
After lunch Orlando apologised to his guests for saying goodbye so soon, but that he and Gretchen intended to go to the shops because age transition had left her with hardly more than a track suit to wear. To her surprise Gretchen managed to find the clothes she had worn before in the back of the wardrobe, but they still made the trip to town, getting a mobile for her and some other stuff.
Orlando noticed that there were quite a few pregnant women around. His friend Jerome was about to have his third child with Cassandra. Angel was a former student who he didn't know well but who was a friend of Ben and Dirk and had visited them shortly before they all left university. She and Jerome had shared a dormer and she seemed to be friendly with his wife Cassandra too.
It was all very interesting but Orlando and Gretchen were more concerned about starting their own family and they began trying for it immediately. He didn't even need to ask her about it to understand that a child mattered even more to her than getting married, especially since their wedding could be arranged at short notice.
Gretchen went out a few times to meet some of her new neighbours but usually they liked to spent their day together.
Neither of them had started working yet, but they had a quiet life, which they both enjoyed very much. When Gretchen was moved out of their dormer it had been a terrible shock for Orlando and he was happy that they were living together again.
He even enjoyed doing repairs in the house when she was around and he could comment to her on the discoveries he made among the wires and the solidity of modern technology.
They spent a lot of time in bed and on the sofa too and not only because they pursued their plan for a family. One evening even having visitors could not stop them and they used the next available opportunity to sneak in the bedroom to woohoo with each other.
With such a determined approach it was not surprising when Gretchen began to feel sick.
The wedding was arranged immediately. They couldn't spend much money on it, because they were still without a job, but it didn't stop Gretchen from being a very beautiful bride. When she tried on her dress the night before she was very pleased how well it combined with the way she had arranged her hair.
The next morning their guests arrived. Apart from their friends from university, the postman and Ryan Delarosa who happened to walk by at this moment were invited in as well.
It was a beautiful morning with an air that seemed a little bit fresher and clearer than usual and a very romantic wedding.
Even if Orlando was seeing himself as the ordinary guy from next door, to Gretchen he was the very special sim she wanted to share her life with.
Their friends cheered them when they exchanged the rings and marriage vows and Orlando and Gretchen smiled like the two happy sims they were at this moment.
Gretchen's happiness was only disturbed when she felt sick again. She hoped that none of her friends had noticed it or if they did, mistake it as a reaction to her marriage with Orlando.
They were happy to see their friends and their friends were happy to see them and each other. Since it was such a nice day most of them stayed in the garden after the ceremony to chat. Charlene and Dustin were about to get married as well and obviously in a very romantic mood, but they still separated from each other from time to time to talk to the others.
So everyone had a good time until a fight started between Lauren and Ben. Orlando had been closer to the scene than Gretchen, but didn't observe how it started either. Apparently Dirk had flirted with Lauren or Lauren with him, however, the next moment Ben rushed up to her and started to shout.
Orlando waited at first because he expected Ben to get himself under control again, but when Ben continued to argue with Lauren until she started to cry, he thought it was time to intervene and he walked up to Ben and involved him in a conversation. He didn't want to get his marriage spoilt by his friends fighting with each other.
When Gretchen understood his intention she followed his example and began talking to Lauren. They managed to keep Ben and Lauren separated that way although they kept looking over to the other, both visibly sad.
After a while Charlene was taking over and they could enjoy some more time with each other. Despite the incident with Ben and Lauren it was a great party.
It ended with the limousine picking them up. Since the wedding had taken place in the morning, it was still early when they returned.
Most of the remaining afternoon was spent on the living room sofa.
When the sun went down they got dressed again. 'Do you want to dance?', Orlando asked.
He was such a great guy. Gretchen could not imagine a better sim to start a family with.
They danced close for a long time until they decided to officially end the wedding party. There was still some part of the evening to go, but Gretchen was tired out and the ended it quietly.
A short while later Gretchen's pregnancy began to show. Orlando had intended to get a job in science but career was secondary to him and so he started working as a teacher. They still had savings but they would quickly melt away if there was no income.
His concern about her was so sweet and Gretchen often felt the need to tell him how much she loved him.
She was always exhausted and when he wasn't working Orlando used the time while she was asleep to study for his job.
When she woke up he put his books away and was there to look after her comfort. Orlando cooked and cleaned and gave her some loving if that was what she needed.
It's no surprise that Gretchen thought she had the best husband in the world.
She had kept her hair up for some time after the wedding, but eventually she felt it was time for a change and she asked Orlando's advice on it. He had a good eye for it.
After a lot of trying she ended with very plain hair, which was what suited her best.
Since he discovered it at the secret society Orlando had found some sort of hobby in styling. The stylist from the shop never said a word about him using the chair and sometimes when they were out, he offered a new haircut to one of the neighbours.
He was getting good at it and the idea to open a small shop one day never completely left his mind.
The pregnancy tired Gretchen, but since they would have even less chance to see their friends when the baby was there, Orlando decided to invite Ben over one evening, asking him to bring Lilith along if she liked to come too. When Orlando came out to greet them he found them in a close embrace. He still needed to adapt to the fact that she was the one who was with Ben now, but they looked like they were very fond of each other.
There were two reasons why Ben and Lilith were invited by their friends quite often lately: Neither of them was free of curiousity and like the others Orlando wanted to know how Ben was feeling about the sudden turn of events in his life. But the children were an important aspect as well. They were parents already - with the extra difficulty of having to bring up two children at the same time - and it made them more interesting to those of their friends which were about to become such.
It brought up a lot of questions even to a family sim like Orlando who had always aspired to this kind of life and it was good to discuss it with someone who was going through the same experience.
Orlando didn't know at the time that the pair were to gain more experience until he became aware of the strange noises coming from the bathroom. He easily recognised the sound - Gretchen had thrown up often enough recently - and quickly made his guesses.
'Congratulations', Orlando said.
'What about our twins? But you already con..' before she ended the sentence Lilith understood what he meant and laughed. 'Oh, yes. I am sorry about your bathroom, I guess it's not easy to hide my state.'
Orlando had not known Lilith very well until recently. He still couldn't understand why Ben had chosen her and not Lauren, but he liked her well enough. She was much more sensible than he had believed her to be and he had no doubt that she truly loved Ben.
On the last day of her pregnancy Orlando did not move from Gretchen's side.
'I am so tired', he said, 'but I can not bring myself to go to bed. Don't ask me why, I just know that the baby will be born tonight.'
'I thought the same. But there is no point in you staying up any longer because I am tired as well and I am going to bed now.'
Orlando went upstairs and Gretchen was going to follow him after a visit to the bathroom. There, little Joanna Centowski was born around two o' clock at night.
When Gretchen did not join him in the bedroom Orlando understood what was happening and ran back down.
He welcomed his daughter, thinking that she was as beautiful as her mother.
Orlando loved his child dearly, but although he liked to spend time with his daughter, he felt that the household could do with another addition.
He and Gretchen had already talked about pets and when he heard from his friends that there was a really cute dog up for adoption he called the service. A few hours later a little puppy was brought to their house.
Buster was the last remaining puppy from a litter the Cox family had and Lilith and Ben as well as Charlene and Dustin had adopted his brother and one of his sisters respectively.
Gretchen went outside to pick him up. 'What a cute little guy you are! Shall I take you inside and get some food for you?'
While she was extremely happy about the birth of her daughter, Gretchen was still exhausted and the care for the baby did not leave her much time to recover. She nearly fell asleep at the table on a few evenings.
First Gretchen did not want to hear any of it, but with some talking Orlando convinced her that it would be good for her if they hired a nanny and went out for a few hours.
Once they were in town Gretchen was glad she had agreed to it. It made a nice change to finish your plate and not be interrupted by a baby that required attention. There were some other activities which were more pleasurable when you did not get disturbed. Although they were both rather shy sims and Gretchen could not say that their love life had suffered during her pregnancy or now, the photo booth was too tempting.
This particular photo booth had recently become very popular among couples again. On the outside it did not look any different and was actually placed in a spot that did not make it the most likely candidate, but if two sims decided on enjoying themselves in public it had become the place of choice regardless. Although Gretchen and Orlando could confirm that inside it looked like any other photo booth, they both understood why everyone liked it so much.
They did not go out much while Joanne was a baby though. Like all parents they did not feel good about leaving her with a nanny and rather spend time with their child. Orlando had only started his job a short time ago and could not take a holiday, but he got up early enough so that he would have a few minutes for his wife and his daughter before he went to work.
Gretchen would have never believed that Orlando could be unfaithful to her, but to his own regret his determination to stay true to his wife faltered sometimes. A few of his townie friends had flirted with him and he had not always rejected them. A real danger that he was going to cheat on her arose when he met Lauren in town one afternoon.
Orlando had not intended to stay in town very long, when he met her at the Lulu Lounge. 'Would you like to relax in the hot tub for a moment?', she asked. It all started very friendly with them talking about Gretchen and the baby. 'You don't look comfortable, what's up?' - 'I don't get much sleep, my whole body is aching.'
Afterwards Lauren had offered him a massage and at this point Orlando knew that he was on a risky path.
They started making out and he was close to woohoo with her, but fortunately responsibility caught up with them and made them stop. Lauren was embarrassed afterwards and told him that she felt very bad for overlooking that he was a married sim, just because she was free again.
Orlando tried to put at least some of the blame for his behaviour on Ben, since he had seen it in a very similar way. That Lauren was available, had completely overshadowed the fact that he was not.
He did not think it was a good idea to stay much longer at the Lulu Lounge and so he slid into his pants, buttoned up his shirt and left.
He was not proud of himself when he returned home to Gretchen and their baby. Faithfulness had a high value for him.
His guilt feelings increased when Gretchen turned out to be pregnant again. Despite their limited funds (actually they had no idea how they could afford to buy a new house, which might soon be necessary), they were both into this and had tried for another child soon after Joanna's birth. He had responsibilities, not only towards Gretchen, but also towards their daughter and their future children. He decided that if his marriage vows were not enough, he would vow to himself never to cheat on her again.
Like the other women, Gretchen was nursing her baby and so the feeding was left to her.
Orlando took his share in the remaining tasks when he was at home. He had a lot of love for Joanna but sometimes wondered how Ben and Lilith managed. It required enough effort to look after one baby.
Although they did not achieve the same coordination and competence as some other young parents they were doing well and after some initial difficulties, Orlando did not need more than 10 minutes to change a diaper.
They already noticed the lack of space and some more disadvantages in the layout of the house, before Joanna grew into a toddler. Orlando felt that Buster was getting a bit neglected outside in the garden. They would have liked to take him inside, but the stairs were an unmanageable obstacle to the little puppy, which would not be able to get out without their help and would invariably pee on the carpet.
Despite being exhausted from her pregnancy and the care for Joanna, Gretchen still found time for him. Until he became a student, Orlando had no experience with regards to love and only discovered after his first time with Gretchen that he really liked to woohoo and liked to do it often too.
While apparently there was a reason after all, why nature had meant it so well with him, it did not make it necessary to seek other women, because those needs were satisfied at home.
After a while he did not think about the incident with Lauren anymore. From time to time he or Gretchen went out on their own, but usually they were staying at home together. The harmony and intimacy he found there was all he needed for his happiness.