We’re Going To Party All Night

When Jared And Andrea Have Something To Celebrate, They Want Everyone To Celebrate With Them!

Summer, Year 4
The sun was shining brightly through the windows as Riccardo finished breakfast. It was almost time to pack up the last of their belongings; it was moving day! Andrea was sending the last messages out to the utility companies before the removal van arrived to collect their things. Riccardo felt excited; even though he wouldn’t live with them permanently, it was still lovely to see his older brother progressing and moving into his first proper house.

The air felt cleaner as they arrived, with all their belongings, outside their new home in Evergreen Harbour. Jared leaned over and kissed Andrea as Riccardo took a deep breath, feeling his lungs feel with the fresher air already. He had a good feeling about this move. There was an excitement building and it carried them along with it.

The following morning, Riccardo set off for a run. He and Jared had set themselves goals to keep up their fitness during the summer months and Riccardo liked to be up and about early to breathe in the fresh morning air. There was something special about the town as Riccardo jogged merrily down the road. Elliott had been singing its praises since he’d moved in with his brother, Ryan, at the start of the summer. Riccardo could imagine what this part of the town could look like, once it was tidied up a bit.

“Padre?” Jared looked surprised later that morning to see his father standing at the door. “This was unexpected!”
“I’m sorry. Your mother suggested we visit today. I said to wait until you were more settled.” Magnus frowned crossly.
“Well it is lovely to see you,” Jared replied cautiously. “I mean, we are having the house warming party tomorrow but-”
“Your mother feels this is more personal. Of course we’ll be at the party but that’s what she felt.” Magnus snapped.
Jared sighed as he let his father in and watched his mother come round the corner, having inspected the front garden. Andrea wasn’t going to be very happy about this.

“Madre, what are you doing here?” Riccardo asked. “The party’s not until tomorrow!”
“I wanted to see you all in a more personal environment,” Marie explained. “The party’s a lovely idea but I’d rather see you and the new house privately first.”
Riccardo felt himself wince slightly. He couldn’t be certain but part of him was convinced his mother was checking up on Andrea and her ability to run a house. “Andrea can cope, you know. She’s a very sensible woman, Madre.”
Marie shook her head. “I never said anything to the contrary, did I?”
“Well no.” But Riccardo could almost feel her wanting to.

“Oh Riccardo!” Suddenly Marie’s eyes filled up with tears.
“Madre? Madre, what’s wrong?” Riccardo panicked. “Shall I-”
“No.” Marie wiped her eyes. “Oh Riccardo. We had dinner with Zoe and Rohan the other night.”
Riccardo felt a sense of doom. “Oh no. Why did you do that?”
“Well Zoe thought it would be a good idea, since your father wasn’t overly…warm towards him when you visited us last.” Marie began. She sighed before continuing. “Oh Riccardo, it was a disaster. Your father was so rude and intrusive. I’ll be astounded if Rohan ever wants to meet with us again. I didn’t help much. I should have bailed him out more but your father was in such a bad mood, I just didn’t want to make him worse!”
“Oh god.” Riccardo closed his eyes. Zoe was never going to forgive Magnus if he’d ruined her first real relationship.

“-and your mother was no help at all!” Magnus’ frown deepened. “She spent the entire evening trying to pacify me. My questions were perfectly reasonable!”
“Padre, you act like you’ve never met him before. Riccardo’s known Rohan since they were at school together. He’s been over to the house hundreds of times. Why the fuss now?” Jared shook his head in disbelief.
“Because he’s not a friend any more, is he? He’s Zoe’s boyfriend now.” Magnus spat.
“May I ask a question?” Andrea tipped her head slightly to one side. “You didn’t treat me like this when you first met me. You and Marie were nothing but lovely but you’d never met me before! If you were okay with me, why is there such a problem with Rohan?”
Magnus sighed. “Because Zoe is my eldest daughter.”
“Nonsense.” Jared said, irritably. “Padre, she’ll be leaving for University soon. You must stop babying her! She’s eighteen years old; hardly a child any more. She is fine and you really must try and let this one go!”
Magnus shook his head and muttered something unintelligible. At that moment, there was a loud rap on the door.
“I’ll go,” Andrea offered. Anything to escape the atmosphere closing in on the little house.

“I’m sorry to disturb you but I’m from the Department of Environment. This neighbourhood is committed to an eco-friendly policy and you are in direct violation of it.”
Andrea rubbed her face. “I’m sorry. We only moved in yesterday and it’s been a bit hectic since then.”
“Nevertheless, I have detected that not one of your appliances is eco-friendly. I’m sorry to have to inform you that a fine will be applied to your utility bills until the situation is rectified. Good day to you,” the officer said before handing a piece of paper to Andrea and disappearing through the gate.
Today couldn’t get much worse.

“Look, they’re your bloody relatives, Jared. Why didn’t you tell them it wasn’t convenient?” Andrea asked. She could feel the tears of frustration building up. It was half an hour before their house warming party and they were embroiled in a row about Marie and Magnus. “Your mother was checking up on me! Did you see the way she was looking at the kitchen?”
“I’m sorry, Andrea but I could just tell them to go away. They’d come all the way from Oasis Springs!” Jared snapped.
“We didn’t ask them to! They didn’t even phone first to see if it was okay!” Andrea ran her fingers through her curly hair, teasing out the tangles. “We moved in two days ago, Jared. We’re mostly having this party so our parents can snoop around and satisfy their curiosity.”
“It was your mother’s idea,” Jared retaliated.
“It wasn’t my mother who came all the way out here to criticise my ability to move house!” Andrea replied, angrily. “Are you going to get ready for this party or not?”
“I might not bother.” Jared folded his arms.
“Fine, then don’t.” Andrea turned away to face the mirror. “Your decision, Jared, not mine.”
Jared bit his lip. He and Andrea didn’t normally argue and this felt terrible. Inwardly, he cursed his mother because deep down, he knew Andrea was right.

Putting on a united front, Jared and Andrea went downstairs to find the first of their guests had arrived. Riccardo had been greeting people as they came through the door. It was lovely to see some of their close friends filling up the lounge. Hayley was on her hands and knees looking for a lost bracelet, Isabella was quietly fuming over Hayley’s dismissal of her outfit, Ellie was shooting dangerous looks at the door and Cristina was staring blankly out of the window.
“Oh this will be a riot,” Jared muttered sarcastically.

“Andrea, you look great!” Aaron grinned as he pushed his way into the room.
Andrea flung her arms round her little brother. “Oh I’m so pleased you made it!” She cried.
“You sound stressed already!”
“I am.” Andrea sighed. “Jared and I had a bit of a row earlier. His parents called round unexpectedly yesterday.”
“Ouch. That was a bit inconsiderate,” Aaron replied.
“I’ll say.” Andrea grimaced. “Fancy a drink?”
“Love one!” Aaron followed his sister out to the kitchen.

In the end, the party wasn’t too bad. Jared was awake fairly early the next morning and took himself out for a run before Andrea woke up. He was still angry with his parents but he was angry with himself too, for defending them when he hadn’t even meant to. He knew that their excuses had been pathetic and that they’d overstepped the mark. What bothered him the most was why he’d felt the need to defend them somewhat when Andrea had been cross.
Furthermore, he was frustrated with his father’s attitude to Rohan. He couldn’t make sense of it; Rohan was a quiet, shy person and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Why was Magnus being so silly about this?

Later on, at work, he thought on the topic a bit more. He’d talked to Riccardo about it before he’d left and discovered that both parents had given a slightly different account of the evening. The brothers had agreed the only sensible thing to do would be to phone Zoe and find out from her what had happened.
Thankfully, Andrea had been awake when Jared had returned from his run. They’d apologised to each other for getting angry the previous evening and agreed it must have been the stress of the move that had caused it.

The engagement party the following evening was a bigger success. Aside from Marie stubbornly refusing to get dressed up, the night was fun and nobody had any major arguments.
“Poor Rohan,” Andrea said as she and Jared swayed gently to the music. “He’s pining in the corner, just behind you. He looks so sad!”
“I’m not surprised,” Jared replied. “Zoe’s not looking at him.”
“Who’s she looking at?”
Jared sighed. “She’s staring at Jack.”
Andrea glanced up at Jack Goldsmith at the other side of the room and groaned quietly. He was indeed sending lingering looks towards Zoe.
“I’ll be glad when this week’s over,” Jared remarked and Andrea nodded in agreement.

“I’m glad you decided to sneak out of there,” Lucia murmured seductively. Riccardo had slipped out of the lounge and brought Lucia into the much quieter dining room. “It was getting too crowded.”
“Want to dance?” Riccardo wrapped his arms around her from behind and they began to grind to the music from the lounge.
“Of course I do!” Lucia winked and leaned back to kiss him.
At least something was going right.

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