Good afternoon, dears! Maude here. I thought I’d take a little break from the Kilman Family saga and fill you in on what the Dobbins family has been up to all this time. As you may recall, Joely and Nick became elders, and Will was campaigning for a position in the Senate.
Nick and Joely were quite proud of Will, and so am I, as a matter of fact. It could have gone badly for him when his father had that affair with Tess Blakemore, but that’s all water under the bridge now, and Will turned out wonderfully. While he was out and about persuading people to vote for him, his parents often discussed the upcoming election and his chances of winning. The race was almost too close to call!
On election night, the family gathered in the living room to watch the votes roll in. Will couldn’t bear to watch — he paced on the porch instead, poking his head through the front door for occasional updates. His daughter Olivia, now a sharp young teenager, was keeping a notebook full of articles and statistics about the Senate race and would yell at the TV as if watching a football game.
When the final votes were counted, they announced that Will Dobbins had won the election. He was going to be SimCity’s next Senator! Olivia jumped up on the coffee table and did a little victory dance until her mom told her to get down. Will heard all of the commotion and came running in.
“You did it, Dad! You did it!” Olivia cried, leaping towards him.
Will was bombarded by hugs from everyone in the family. His father clapped him on the back and said, “I’m proud of you, kid. Let’s celebrate!”
The family discussed the election excitedly over a late-night dinner of macaroni and cheese.
“For awhile I thought that Katy Scoville had this thing in the bag!” said Nick, raising his brows. “She nearly killed you in the debate. And she has much better legs!”
“Oh, Grandpa,” Olivia smirked. “You’re silly.”
Will chuckled. “He’s very silly, Olivia, but he’s old, so we have to humor him. Isn’t that right, Pops?”
“Bah!” Nick said, but the grin never left his face. He was thrilled to have dinner with the whole family for once.
Olivia smiled and turned to her uncle. “So Rory, got anything special planned for tomorrow?”
“Hm?” Rory was communing with his mac and cheese and hadn’t been paying attention.
Olivia merely shook her head. “Never mind.” She shot a knowing look at her grandmother.
The next night was Rory’s birthday. He was finally going to leave those accursed teenage years behind and forge ahead as an adult! He had completely forgotten about this important event, however, and nearly died of surprise when his mom threw him a birthday party, complete with guests and cake.
As Joely carried the cake to the table, Rory surveyed the glowing concoction. “Aw, Mom…it’s nice and all, but I don’t like cake.”
Joely grinned at him. “Shut up and blow out your candles before it melts.”
“O-ho!” Rory said, a smile spreading across his face. “It’s an ice cream cake! My favorite. I hope it wasn’t too tough to make.”
“Nah, I just had to bribe the guys at Dairy Queen. Now make a wish!”
Rory closed his eyes tightly for several seconds, then blew out all of his candles. I was watching him intently from my spot over by the piano, but I couldn’t tell what he was wishing.
Everyone cheered as Rory spun around and grew up. Joely rushed over with a knife to slice the cake, which was getting rather soft.
Nick put his arm around his son’s shoulders. “Now that you’re a man, we need to have a talk. You know, after you have some cake.”
“Uh…OK, Dad.” Rory grinned. “Hey, I’m as tall as you now.”
After the party dispersed, Rory joined his dad out the deck, where he was pouring drinks.
“So what’s this talk you wanted to have?”
Nick handed Rory a drink. “Well, son, I thought I should let you know that I’m kicking you out of the house.”
Rory nearly spit out his drink. “What?”
“I’m kicking you out…to go to college.” Nick chuckled. “Scared you for a second, didn’t I?”
Rory still looked dumbfounded. “College?”
“Yeah, you want to go to college, don’t you? We couldn’t afford it when Will grew up, but we have more money now. And the new college in town needs good students like you.”
Rory stared at his glass. “Uh…wow, Dad. I don’t know what to say.”
“Say ‘thanks, I’ll go!’ What are you afraid of?”
“Nothing, really.” Rory smiled. “I’ll just miss everyone.”
Nick laughed. “You’ll be two miles away! We’ll see each other all the time.”
“That’s true. Well, in that case, let’s have another drink!”
Rory poured drinks this time, and the two of them joked around until dark. When Joely came out to find them, they were juggling bar glasses and having a great old time. Joely watched them for awhile, a contented look on her face.
As the summer went by, Rory prepared for college by getting some new duds, growing his hair and stubble out, and packing up his belongings. He still had some apprehension about leaving his family, but with each day he seemed more and more excited about his new adventure. He had no idea what to expect.
Finally the time came for him to leave. The family stood on the porch to wave good-bye as Nick helped Rory carry his things to the cab.
“Bye, son,” he said, shaking Rory’s hand. “Let us know how it goes with all of those college girls.”
Rory grinned, flushing a little. “OK, Dad. Take good care of everyone.”
“We’ll see you soon, hon!” Joely shouted from the porch. She had already said her goodbyes in the house and was trying not to cry.
Rory looked at his family one more time before sighing wistfully and climbing into the taxi. As it sped off into the sunset, Nick shuffled back towards the house. All of his kids were grown up now. Well, almost all of them…