I came home veritably glowing, so happy I could nearly cry. It had taken five years and six months, but, now, here I was, a Champion Gamer. I could go no higher at Rainy Day Entertainment. Finally, I had achieved that coveted promotion. Often in life, once a goal is attained, you find out you don’t really care as much as you expected to. This was not one of those times; I wanted to shout and dance and cry from the sheer joy of it.
Suddenly, Shirley sprang to my mind. She had always been as passionate about her career at the hospital as I was about mine. I wondered if she was a surgeon yet or even Chief of Staff. My fingers actually itched to grab my phone and call her, but I gave myself a swift mental kick. What was I doing, thinking about her? It had been over two years since our break-up. I probably never crossed her mind anymore.
Thinking that success must make me nostalgic, I took my cellphone from my pocket and dialed Huy’s number. This was news I needed to share with my official-unofficial fiancé.
“Hey, babe,” I said excitedly when he picked up. “Can you come over? I’ve got some great news!”
“Really? I’ll be over in a flash.” I could hear the responding excitement in his voice, which was not surprising. He had to know exactly what would make me so enthused.
As I sat in my kitchen-living-dining room, I realized this would be one of the last times I sat in this room. It was finally the time to build the house of my dreams and the first step would be bulldozing this little house completely. I’d actually grown rather fond of this house and had some nice memories here, but I’d be glad to see it go; saying goodbye to it meant getting on to the next phase in my life. Even if the idea of marriage did almost send me running for Oasis Springs.
When Huy arrived, he knocked briefly and came in (something he had started doing last year and also something I wasn’t thrilled about). He beamed at me. “So? What’s the news?”
I grinned broadly, jumped to my feet and threw my arms around his neck. “Kiss your Champion Gamer.”
He pulled me into a passionate kiss and whirled me around. “That’s fantastic, baby! I’m so proud of you.” He kissed me again and carried me into the bedroom, hearing no complaints from me.
After we celebrated in bed, we sat down on the edge. “So,” Huy started, “when do you want to have the wedding? Do you think we could get it all planned in a month or so?”
“Yeah, I guess it was.”
He smiled and looked around the room. “I’ve got to say, I’ll be glad to see the last of this dump. With all the money you’ve got saved, we can buy a fabulous house in Willow Creek and – “
“Wait, stop, go back. Did you just say we were going to move? To Willow Creek?”
“Of course. We can’t move in with my siblings. The house is too small as it is. And we need a place that’s ours.”
I got to my feet, looking at him like I was seeing a stranger. “Huy, I’ve told you a hundred times, I’m building a house here. That’s why I bought this property. You think I liked living in a sardine can? There isn’t a piece of land like this in Willow Creek or Oasis Springs.”
He huffed. “Camille, don’t you think we need a place that we bought? A place that’s ours?”
“You mean a place Shirley hasn’t been.” Nevermind the part about “us” buying it. I was the one with over a hundred thousand simoleons to my name.
He glared at me. “You said it, I didn’t.” He raised his hands up in defeat. “But fine, if you like this land so much, we’ll build something on it. I’ve heard of a great architect. He trained with the guy who built my parent’s house.”
I rolled my eyes and dropped back onto the bed. “Your parents had a plantation house.”
“That’s what I want. A big traditional plantation house with porches and balconies that wrap around. Don’t you think that would be great here?”
“Uh, maybe if we were in 1840. But since we’re not, I’m going to build something modern. You know, contemporary.”
He angrily stood up and pointed a finger at me. “You’re going to build it, huh? We’re getting married, Camille. It isn’t about what just you want anymore.”
I wanted to yell back at him, but instead I forced myself to take a deep breath and say evenly, “Huy, I want to marry you. I really do. But I will not compromise on this. This is the home I have wanted to build since I was a teenager. This is the home for which I have saved every penny for the last five and a half years. This isn’t just about what you want either.”
He glared and stalked from the room, throwing over his shoulder. “You’re such a selfish bitch, Camille.”
I stared after him, hearing the front door slam. I couldn’t believe the fight we had just had. Never once in all of our time together did Huy say he wanted a plantation house. I knew for certain that I had told him on several occasions what I wanted out of this property; why was he bringing this up now, when we were ready to build?
I didn’t see or hear from Huy for a week. By the time he showed up at my door, I had already hired a contractor. I was busy packing up everything I didn’t want thrown out when he knocked softly and stepped through the front door.
“Camille?” He said softly.
I looked over my shoulder at him and continued packing. “So he returns.”
“I’m sorry for the fight. I shouldn’t have reacted like I did. And I shouldn’t have avoided you for so long. I needed some space to clear my head.” He walked over to me and took my hands. “If a modern house is what you want, that’s fine with me. I really admire the loyalty you have to yourself and what you want.” A wry smile curved his lips. “Even when it frustrates me.”
I smiled softly and wrapped my arms around him. “I probably could’ve handled it better, too. The important thing is that we’re on the same page now.”
“We are.” He nodded firmly. “Our house is going to be the best in Newcrest.”
“You’re damn right it will.”