Book 2: Starting Over; Chapter 14: The Romanized Alilays

Antonio Allay, upon coming of age, decided that his own small home was a more appealing option than staying in a large home with five siblings. So he changed his surname to Alilay to distinguish himself, and he moved out.

On the trek to the Plebeian area of Rome, he came across Orella Nanu, who felt the same way he did. He proposed that they start their new home together, and she agreed.

“Now the only thing left to do is figure out how we’re going to make a living,” Antonio said, once their new house was completed. It was rather small in total ground covered, but it rose three stories into the air.

“How about a career of entertainment?”

Antonio and Orella turned to see their Emperor Domino approaching them.

“Excuse me?” Antonio asked.

“I’ve learned about this,” Emperor Domino said. “In a society where there’s an upper class with a bunch of free time, they like to be entertained. In fact, they’ll pay a good amount for good entertainment. And what’s more fun to watch than an extremely active game?”

Readers might recognize Emperor Domino’s offer as a job in the athletic field.

“That makes sense,” Antonio said hesitantly. “All eyes would be on me?”

That sounded appealing. But would he really be able to support himself on it? Something so impractical was a little hard for his still-Neanderthal instincts towards survival to imagine.

“Antonio, you’re a smart kid; I like you,” Emperor Domino said. “I can lend you some books on games called football and baseball and basketball. If you can turn any of those games into one-man shows that my family and yours enjoy watching, I’ll set it up so you can get paid for it.”

“Thanks, Your Highness,” Antonio said, foregoing a bow in favor of a good old-fashioned handshake.

Emperor Domino looked a bit taken aback by the physical contact, but he didn’t say anything about it. He did, however, make a mental note to wash his hands well when he got back to his palace.

“Is there anything I can help with in the community, you think?” Orella asked.

Emperor Domino looked at her with barely concealed disgust. “Maybe. But first, you’re going to have to get smarter. An old woman like you might not make it to the right level of education before you become an adult and had better start popping out babies.”

“Excuse me!” Orella spluttered. She still had a few years before she was officially an adult. And more than her age, how dare he insult her intelligence? She was every bit as good as the two boys she was facing!

Also, Orella had never realized that a woman’s difficult job of bearing and raising kids could be made to sound so shallow. She actually had to remind herself that motherhood was a very important occupation; Sims would cease to exist if people stopped having kids.

“You’re excused,” Emperor Domino said as he turned to go. “Good luck; you’ll need it.”

“Well I never!” was all Orella could think to say after he had left.

Antonio stood awkwardly to the side before thinking of something to say. “If it makes a difference at all, I think he’s wrong about you.”

“You bet he’s wrong about me!”

“So you think you’ll be able to change his mind?”

“Absolutely!”

Once Orella had calmed down, though, she realized that maybe a job in the community wasn’t her cup of tea, after all. She didn’t believe that all she was good for was bearing kids, but she did come to realize that Antonio would probably be a better man if she supported him from the background.

All of Antonio’s time was eaten up in studying and working out. Someone needed to keep the house clean and cook meals.

Additionally, Orella realized that she could even further Antonio’s occupation advancement if she did some advertising for him. So she went out into the community and talked with people, dropping a good word for Antonio every so often.

Once, she succeeding in her self-appointed task with Emperor Domino’s mother, getting the esteemed lady interested in Antonio’s ambition. That very evening, Antonio returned home from the community with the news that the Emperor’s entire family was now supporting him in his efforts.

“You made that happen, didn’t you?” he asked, grinning widely.

She nodded, beaming back.

“You are fantastic!” Antonio cried, catching her around the waist and spinning her around in the air. “How can you be so good to me?”

Orella blushed as she was set back on her feet. “You’ll think it’s silly.”

Even though Antonio had set her down, he didn’t let her go. “Have I ever said or done anything to make you think I ever consider anything about you silly?”

“It will just strengthen the Emperor’s low opinion of me,” Orella amended her claim.

“Are you in love with him?”

“No!” Orella protested, horrified.

“Please tell me you’re in love with me,” Antonio whispered.

Orella blushed more deeply red. “Why?”

“Because I’m in love with you.”

“Really?”

“Have I ever lied to you?”

“I’m in love with you, too.”

Antonio grinned, pulled her closer, and kissed her, which she returned enthusiastically.

Who cared what Emperor Domino thought! Antonio thought Orella was priceless and irreplaceable, and that was more than enough for her.

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