I got up early Sunday evening and made my bed,
and checked my mail. I found that the contact lenses I'd ordered (at Jon's suggestion: "You've got such pretty eyes, Grace--it's a shame to hide them!") had arrived.
I put my hair in a ponytail (also at Jon's suggestion: "You've got such a delicate face, Grace--it's a shame to hide it!") and called up Jon and invited him over. I was excited to show him my new look!
He arrived shortly thereafter--talk about a new look!!!
I was completely unprepared for the old-looking guy who showed up at my front door. "Jon?" I asked. "Is that really you?"
He smiled ruefully. "I told you I was getting old, Grace."
"But you look soooooo different!" I blurted out. He looked so crestfallen at my reaction that there was only one thing to do--
"I'm just surprised, that's all," I stammered by way of explanation. "You're still really handsome."
We went inside, and Jon watched some arts program on TV,
while I made us dinner.
"Grace, the other band members voted me out of Mercy Hellhole," he told me as soon as we sat down to eat.
I was shocked. "Can they do that?" I asked.
"They sure can," he said. "They told me I was 'insufficiently committed'."
"That's terrible!" I cried. "And surely not true!!"
"No, Grace, it's true," he answered. "I think I've been honest with you that I haven't been happy in the band for some time--that it's no longer the kind of music I want to play. Plus, the band's performance schedule is so grueling that I don't have enough time to do anything else." He paused. "Still, it was a shock to be voted out--it made my hair turn gray overnight!"
"You've said that the band owns the house where you live," I said. "Does that mean they kicked you out of the house, too?"
"Unfortunately, yes," he admitted. "Will you let me stay here?"
"Of course, Jon," I assured him. We ate in silence for a few minutes. I really didn't know what else to say.
"I thought I had the rest of my life planned out," he sighed. "All of a sudden, everything's in flux."
I panicked. "Does this mean you feel differently about starting a family right away?"
"No--not at all," he said. "It's just that we won't have a lot of money till I get my musical career going again. My money's unfortunately tied up with the band's finances, and I may have to sue them to get my share."
"Don't you worry about that, Jon," I told him, trying to sound as reassuring as possible. "I make enough money for us to get by for the time being, and I'm positive you'll find work soon."
I asked if he felt like talking more, or going to a movie, but he said he'd just like to take a nap. So, I gave him a kiss and went out fishing.
Fishing is a good way to clear my mind, I've found. Whenever I'm anxious about something, it always helps just to do a long cast, and stare out over the water.
I fished all Sunday night and into Monday morning, and had a pretty successful outing. I sold my catch at the grocery for more than $5,000,
went home to tend my garden and encourage my plants--especially my onion plant, which I was just sure was about to produce a Perfect harvest,
and went to sleep till nearly midnight.
When I got up I sent a Luminorious gem I'd found off to the gemcutter,
and, since I had nothing else to do (Jon was out renewing contacts and trying to line up some gigs), I went to the Sunflower Spa for a facial. (Jon's been teasing me about my eyebrows--he says they look like 'two dead caterpillars'--so I decided to remedy the situation.)
Fortunately, it's a 24-hour spa, because I didn't get there till well after 3:00 a.m.
You know how they say "A watched pot never boils"? Well, once I'd left my garden and was occupied doing something else, my onion plant produced a Perfect harvest, and I satisfied my Lifetime Wish a little after 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, which was Day 38 of my GAC Challenge.
I reviewed the Goals I'd achieved:
Level 10 in each of Cooking, Fishing, and Gardening,
a Perfect Garden,
the Amateur Ichthyologist sub-challenge,
the Menu Maven sub-challenge,
and the Super Green Thumb reward.
My lot, furnished, was worth $30,667,
I had $12, 904 in Household Funds,
I'd also completed the (not required) Botanical Boss sub-challenge,
and I had 71,651 unused Lifetime Happiness points.
So, my final score for the GAC Challenge was 150,882 points!
I called Gardenia immediately to tell her, despite the hour, and she was thrilled for me. "Imagine that!" she said. "You beat my score and found a husband, too!"
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next time, as Grace and Jon start their life together.