Meet the Portelas

When anyone asked Marco Portela why he was moving to Annabel Island, he would say, “you can’t argue with those land prices” or “that Dunnavant man knows what he’s doing” or “I’m ready for an adventure”, but those weren’t the real reasons. The real reason why Marco boarded a ship bound for “Dunnavant’s Realm” was so he could forget about his wife.

Marco Portela

She had left him one quiet night while he slept, stopping only to kiss their daughter and whisper “farewell”. When Marco rose the next morning to find his wife missing, he pulled on his boots and stalked out of the house, ready to search the entire city for her, but the voice of his daughter Elena stopped him.

“Mama’s gone,” she said soberly from where she was sitting on the front step. “Go back upstairs, Papa. I’ll fix you some breakfast.”

Within a few days Marco heard that his wife had gone to New York to become an actress, and that she was planning on changing her name to “Lulu Laxton”. As his grocery shop was two doors down from a theater, and he lived across the street from a “Widow Laxton”, he decided it was best to remove himself from these reminders of his wife and start a new life somewhere else (but not before signing the divorce papers she had unceremoniously dumped on his doorstep).

Portela's Market

Marco moved himself and his daughter to Annabel Island, where he built a new grocery shop and called it “Portela’s Market”. Instead of buying a separate lot for his home, he installed a comfortable apartment above the shop and poured the remainder of his money into goods for his market. He offered the freshest eggs outside of a farm, hearty bread and tasty pies which he and his daughter baked themselves, and choice produce imported from the mainland.

While he worked in the shop, his daughter went to school, assisted him with baking, and kept the apartment tidy and cozy. She was an eager girl who went quietly about her work, never saying a word about the woman who had abandoned them.

Elena serves lunch

But some days were harder than others. One day not long after their arrival on the island, Elena came downstairs to find her father standing mournfully over his produce cart.

“Papa, it’s suppertime,” she said, but he continued to stare at the lumpy sacks of fruit.

Marco stares at the cart

Elena sighed and walked over to him, noting the frown hiding under the brim of his hat. “Come on,” she said gently. “I’ll help you take in the cart.”

“No one’s buying anything,” he muttered, looking up. Despite his sad countenance, Elena was relieved — at least he hadn’t been thinking about her mother.

“Give it time, Papa. We haven’t been here that long. More and more people are settling here, and soon they’ll want fresh bread like yours.”

Elena was right. The next day a man named Newell Iverson negotiated with Marco for three loaves of bread.

“My wife is a terrible cook,” said Newell, “and I’m worse, but we need to eat. Unfortunately I only have about five Simoleons to my name. I could work to pay you back, though — I could deliver goods for you, or help you unload at the wharf.” He looked at Marco imploringly. “Three loaves would keep us fed a good long time.”

Newell negotiates for bread

Marco was so excited to have a customer that he could hardly contain himself. “You can have the three loaves, my good man, and I’ll throw in a jar of currant jelly to go with! And I’ll call on you next time I need an errand man. How’s that sound?”

Newell went away a happy customer, promising to repay his debt in whatever way he could.

When Marco related the tale to his daughter that evening, she couldn’t help but laugh. “Papa! How do you expect to make a profit if you give away your goods?” But inwardly she was proud of his generous nature and was glad to see him look lively again.

(continued on Page 2)

13 thoughts on “Meet the Portelas

  1. I love it Jen! Very original, and I love the beach scene! Man, I know you just posted this update..but I already can’t wait till the next one!

  2. Your pictures are so wonderful. You must spend a lot of time making sure the setting is just right. They really help bring the story to life. This was a fabulous update as well, I really like the characters that you’ve managed to introduce so far. It seems like a large group to control. Are you having fun?

  3. Amazing update, I’m completely hooked!
    You’ve done a terrific job making your characters come to life; I can’t wait for the next update.

  4. Awesome job, as usual! The dresses and stories remind me of the Braytons, wich makes this story even more interesting for me. Poor Elena! She should find someone she loves soon. Or maybe se already did, just does not know it yet…
    BTW, I updated as well.

  5. *squeals!* The pictures are just gorgeous. You have this knick for taking shots that look like stills from a movie, I love it!

  6. Wow everyone is updating today with such great posts. and its all because its my birthday haha..maybe not but it sounds good. I loved this post and the beach scene all.I wonder what is wrong with that boy…being all mean to that lovely girl. Haha maybe he likes her and is ashamed or too shy to tell her..maybe not but hey. Hahaha great update Jen.

  7. I don’t think I could keep track of this many families. That’s how the legacy challenge spoils you. You only have to play one family and after a few generations it gets much easier. Wow, though. I can relate to this Elena girl. No matter if I get an A average, school is miserably depressing. Especially when you have to get yourself adjusted to it after vacation. In this story it’s sounding a lot like Cecily’s romance life. She has a crush on a stupid boy, has an inattentive father, as good as dead mother and she’ll probably end up having to adjust to her father’s new wife. Like Cecily only Elena knew her mother and there are a lot of other differences too. I did like reading the Cecily angle, though, so I think I’m going to like this story. Just make sure not to pass out trying to write these amazing stories.

  8. At times like these, any sense of normality is welcome. I had to evacuate due to hurricane Katrina, and I’m staying in another state with old family friends until my family can return (which will be quite a while). It’s really uplifting to read your stories at a time like this. It helps me forget for awhile, which is a priceless thing for certain. I’ll be looking forward to future posts more than ever. Keep up the wonderful work.

  9. Thanks everyone, glad you liked the update! I’m having fun with the RKC but struggling a bit with the best way to tell stories about it. So feedback of any kind is definitely welcome.

    DylanTK, it means a lot to me that my silly stories could help you forget your troubles for a bit, so thanks for that. I left a longer comment over on your blog. Take care!

  10. You know Jen, it doesn’t seem to matter what the plot of the story is, you are great at writing it. This story doesn’t even seem like The Sims, it just seems like a great novel!

    I love your stories, cannot wait to read more! You must be having so much fun playing these families! =)


  11. Jen, this new neighborhood of yours seems to be a great one. So much going on already!
    The Portelas…is that a maxi skin tone as I love their coloring.