The Summer Draws To A Close And The Soon-To-Be University Students Are Getting Their Act Together!
Summer, Year 3
“I’m just reminding you, Elliott. Your education is important.” Admiral William sighed wearily. “If you don’t get a good education, you won’t get anywhere in life.”
“If you mean the military again, Dad-” Elliott started but his father cut him off.
“I don’t mean the military. I mean for anything, Elliott. A good education will open many doors for you, my son. Just you remember that. Now, what are you planning on studying?”
Elliott winced. “I was thinking Fine Art, or something.”
“NO!” William slammed his fist down on the table. “For goodness sake Elliott, what is the matter with you?”
“Look Dad, it’s my life!” Elliott stood up abruptly. “I’ll live it my way!”
Elliott slammed the door and sighed. He hopped on the first bus and sighed again. The bus wound it’s way towards Del Sol Valley and Elliott watched the landscape change. He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and was surprised to see a text from Luna, asking to meet up.
He quickly texted back, to let her know where he was going and she agreed to meet him. It surprised him; he thought she was keen on his brother? They’d been to the opera together during the music festival last weekend.
Finally, the bus ground to a halt and Elliott jumped off and sauntered, as casually as possible, over to one of the benches. Luna was already there so he grinned self consciously and sat next to her.
Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go according to plan. But then it wouldn’t when a guy admits he’d fancied the girl for a long time, only for her to pointedly ask more about his brother.
Elliott wished the ground would open up and swallow him.
The following day, Elliott set off to visit Foxbury. His dream was actually UBrite for their Fine Arts course but he wasn’t sure he’d get in on the programme. So he was setting his sights on Foxbury. He filled out his application form and chatted to one of the lecturers. By the time the sun was starting to set, he was feeling decidedly more optimistic about his career and future. The last hurdle was seeing if he could persuade his father to actually pay for his tuition.
He jotted down a few details before heading to the train station. He was hoping he could talk his father round later and find out what was happening with money. After all, if his father wasn’t going to pay for the tuition, Elliott was going to need to apply for some student loans.
“Dad, I’m glad I caught you,” Elliott began but his father, once again, cut him off.
“I will not discuss your studies. If you want to study something stupid and waste your education, that’s up to you.”
“Dad, look. I really love my music and-”
“I don’t want to hear about it!” William glared at his son. “Why can’t you be more like Ryan? He’s sensible, he worked hard at University and he’s gained a lot of respect in the military. Why do you have to be so different?”
“I’ve heard enough.” William stalked out of the room.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart.” Maggie shook her head. “You won’t change his mind. You know what he’s like.”
Elliott did know what he was like. All too well.
“What’s your Dad like for going on about your future?” Rosie was talking to her friend, Malcolm, later that day. She hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the arguments Elliott and her Dad had been having lately over his University course and she was wondering if all Dad’s were like it.
Malcolm shrugged. “He’s not so bad. It’s my Mum mostly that’s difficult about that sort of stuff.”
“Oh yeah. She’d quite bossy, isn’t she?”
“Mmm.” Malcolm nodded absently. “You look really pretty today, Rosie.”
“Oh!” Rosie blushed. “Erm, thank you!”
“William?” Maggie stood nervously in the doorway on the den. She hadn’t expected to find her husband in there; the den was usually where the teens hung out and he tended only to pass through on the way to his study. It was early and he wasn’t even dressed yet, which was unusual. “Are you okay?”
“What?” William look up, irritably. “Yes, I’m fine. Have you seen this nonsense?” He gestured towards the television. “One of the children left this on. It looks like nonsense.”
“Never mind that. William, I need to talk to you.”
“If this is about Elliott’s university rubbish, the answer is no. I will not pay for him to go to a perfectly good University and study stupidity. He can sort that out himself.”
“It’s not about Elliott.”
“I’m not supporting Christopher with that basketball nonsense. Or Rosie with her music festivals. What’s the matter with them all anyway? Why can’t they be more like Ryan and be sensible and not flighty?”
“WILLIAM! It’s not about the children!” Maggie sighed irritably.
“Oh. Well what’s the matter then?”
“William.” Maggie swallowed and blinked. “William, I’m pregnant.”
For the first time in a long time, William had nothing to say.
Elliott had disappeared out early that morning, after his mother’s bombshell announcement. Needing to get out of the house and away from his father, he’d called round to see Riccardo. The two guys had become quite good friends over the last few weeks, since they were both applying for University positions.
He felt quite envious of Riccardo. His family were big and loving and there was never a dull moment. They lived in sunny Oasis Springs and it seemed like it was permanently a proper summer; not the stormy washout Brindleton Bay had experienced this year. He watched from the sidelines as the De Luca family took turns on the water slide.
“You should be a lifeguard, not working in a coffee shop,” he said, laughing as Riccardo ran up to the slide. “That’s quite a Baywatch run you’ve got there!”
“Come on, we’ll get out of the house for a bit.” Riccardo threw come clothes on and the two guys jogged over to a secluded bench. “I asked Rohan to meet us. He’s applying for Uni this year too, so I thought we could maybe support each other.”
“Cool.” Elliott followed him and the guys saw Rohan sitting by himself.
Riccardo oversaw the introductions. The guys settled down and chatted for a while about the difficulties they were facing. Rohan was going to be taking out a loan too, since his grandparents couldn’t afford to pay tuition for him.
Meanwhile, Christopher and Rosie had gone back to the Sport Court. Christopher and Emilio were practicing for their hopeful return to the basketball team at school and Rosie was hanging out with Cassandra and drooling over Emilio.
“Are you sure we can’t persuade you to join in?” Christopher asked. “It’ll be a lot of fun!”
“You are joking? Me, play basketball? I don’t think so!” Rosie look horrified. “Chris, I really want to talk to you about Mum. Don’t you think it’s weird?”
“What, that she’d having another baby? Yeah, it’s weird. Happy? We’ve talked about it.” Christopher shrugged. “Come on, Emilio!”
Rosie gave up.