Some Students Are Streetwise; Others Are Out Of Touch Reality…
Some images are slightly NSFW
Autumn, Year 6
Magnus is 53, Angelo is 52, Marie is 50, Romina is 47, Ethan is 27, Hollie is 27, Michael is 21, Anna is 20, Cadmium is 20, Caiden is 20, Phoebe is 20, Catarina is 19, Quinn is 19, Emilio is 18, Christopher is 18, Saffron is 18, Jason is 18, Indigo is 16, Rose is 11
Emilio sighed as he cuddled Basil close. He was getting ready to leave for University soon and it felt bittersweet. One the one hand, he couldn’t wait to get away from Alex and the stress he’d caused him lately but similarly, he’d miss Tara, Che and of course, Basil the hamster.
He hugged his parents goodbye as he got ready to leave the following day. He’d miss his Mum, although not his Dad so much. Magnus had been giving the whole family grief lately and he wouldn’t be sorry to leave that atmosphere behind.
Across the road, Catarina was getting ready to leave, too. She hugged each parent in turn and as she did so, she could feel Angelo’s disapproval. He’d been initially supportive but had then spent the rest of the summer trying to convince her to stay at home.
Saffron and Cadmium’s excitement over university was a more muted affair. With family life at the Casson household still struggling over the arrival of their baby brother, the girls decided not to make a big fuss over their leaving for Britechester.
They doubted their parents would notice, anyway.
Finally, the group arrived at their dorm in the heart of UBrite’s campus. Emilio got straight to work, putting posters up and getting his half of the room decorated. He was very excited.
Christopher dropped in with a surprise visit. Emilio was gutted that his best friend wouldn’t be attending the University of Britechester with him but would instead be going to Foxbury; UBrite’s biggest rival.
He chuckled when he saw Christopher looking lovestruck as he sat with Catarina at the table. The two flirted back and forth for a while as Emilio watched on, from a distance.
Saffron was surprised by Indigo’s visit, shortly after she arrived herself.
“Indy, what are you doing here?” She frowned as she took in his uniform. “Shouldn’t you be at school?”
He shrugged. “I’ve skivved off for the day. I hate school. And with Mum and Dad fighting at home, I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to you and Caddy.”
Saffron hugged her brother and for a while, they watched videos on his phone. She felt bad about leaving Indigo with the family. Eve could be incredibly scatty and Bill had been losing his temper more quickly recently. With Rose entering middle school this year, the family life had got decidedly more hectic and stressful.
Caddy, meanwhile, was in the common room, chatting and flirting with another of the students in the dorm, Jason Hooper. She was surprised by the ease with which they got along and chemistry between them was great. She’d been out to her new job in retail and it was refreshing to have a handsome man talking to her the minute she got back.
Later, she changed and grabbed herself a drink. She was pleasantly surprised by the compliments raining down upon her from Jason. She felt that this might have the potential to go somewhere.
Moreover, she was delighted that Jason was talking to her and not to Saffron. She didn’t know why, but guys seemed to be constantly attracted to Saffy and not her.
A slow song came on the stereo and Jason offered his hand for Caddy to dance.
“Oh, I don’t really dance,” she said, blushing.
“Now that’s a shame,” Jason said, grinning. “Maybe you could stretch a dance for me?”
Once again, Caddy was flattered that Jason was flirting with her and stood up to join him for a dance.
She could hardly believe it when the flirtation took a different turn and she found herself inviting him into her dorm room. It was peculiar; she’d never really been warned against casual flings yet she’d always decided they wouldn’t be for her. She wanted to find The One and settle down with him. However, everything had seemed to slot so easily into place with Jason and she didn’t see any harm in going with the flow and seeing where it went.
That night, while Caddy was in her dorm room with Jason, Saffy found herself dreaming about Christopher. She’d had a crush on him from the moment they’d met at school but ever since their group trip to the Spice Festival earlier in the year, Saffy had been unable to think of anyone else. Now, her dreams were filled with Christopher. So far, she’d dreamt of a date with him, a wedding, even a future family and careers. Everything seemed so perfect and yet, while she knew he had a crush on her, nothing had happened about it.
Maybe it just wasn’t time.
The following morning, Emilio was playing cards with the other guys from the building, Michael, Kevin and Jason. It had been surprisingly easy to fit in and while he missed having Christopher around, he was already on great terms with the other guys.
He went for a run around the campus, since it was such a gorgeous day. He’d heard there would be a meet-up for the UBrite football team and he was keen to see if he could get in. He loved sports; he’d played basketball for several years for his senior school.
He met with the captain of the team, Caiden, and the two talked for a while. After showing off some basic skills, Emilio was welcomed onto the team.
Caiden called one of the other team members, Phoebe, over.
“We have girls on the team?” Emilio said with some surprise.
“Well, yeah. Why not?” Caiden shrugged. “We don’t have separate teams for guys and girls. Foxbury don’t either, so it’s quite fair. The girls are just as good as us guys and it’s refreshing to have new ideas and suggestions.”
Emilio smiled as Phoebe introduced herself. There was a quick spark of something as they talked but for a while, Emilio ignored it. Life was complicated enough as it was. He just wanted to relax and practice some kicks with his new teammates.
That evening, the group set off for Muse to celebrate their first step towards independence. Catarina was delighted when she bumped into her older sister, Anna, at the club. Anna was a good role model for Catarina and she always wanted to be just like her sister.
Emilio cringed a little at the scene. Nightclubs weren’t really his thing and instead, he opted to watch from a corner. Caddy was dancing with Jason and Saffy, after a few drinks, was up on the counter.
He was surprised to see his brother Jared’s close friend, Ethan at the nightclub. He was even more surprised to see Ethan dancing with his ex-wife, Hollie.
Caddy and Jason’s relationship was going from strength to strength and Caddy found herself wanting something a little more.
Jason was equally smitten with Jason and wanted stability in their fledgling relationship. Caddy couldn’t believe it; how many other people could snag a boyfriend in their first term at University?
Meanwhile, Catarina was on the balcony, enjoying some fresh air when her phone rang. It was Romina, letting her know she’d sent her some money. Catarina smiled. Her family really were lovely and she was lucky they were supportive; at least, her mother was.
Saffy was pleasantly surprised when Indigo arrived again for a visit, bringing Rose with him.
“Saffy, it’s insane at home,” Indigo complained as Rose hugged her older sister tight. Saffy was stunned; Rose wasn’t normally one for physical affection.
“Mum and Dad are fighting all the time,” Rose added. “It’s driving us crazy.”
Saffy felt another twinge of guilt. Eve and Bill hadn’t always been the best parents, although they meant well. Eve was just so scatty and the arrival of baby Forest hadn’t really helped the situation at home much. Before leaving for Uni, Saffy and Indigo between them had been effectively running the household, with Caddy showing all the signs of being as dreamy and irresponsible as Eve.
Saffy promised to try talking to both their parents as soon as she could, to make life easier for her siblings at home.
Indigo sauntered onto the balcony and was surprised to find Caddy and Jason kissing out there. He felt a sense of dread; if Caddy was anywhere near as bad as Eve, and everyone had reason to suspect she was, he somehow felt her career as a Vet was going to slowly disappear. With a boyfriend on the horizon, it was highly unlikely that Caddy wouldn’t do the same thing their parents had just done.
That afternoon, Emilio’s mouth began to really bother him. The pain was driving him crazy so he booked an emergency dentist appointment and, to his irritation, discovered he needed his wisdom teeth out. Not how he envisioned starting the new stage of his life.
He managed to get the procedure done quite soon and, while there were no complications, the effect of the anesthetic was making him feel really odd.
Caddy hadn’t been feeling too clever herself of late and was horrified when she finally discovered why.
A baby had not been on the cards for her near future; she wasn’t even certain about her distant future. But to be having a baby now, when she was in her very first term at University, something that had taken her two years to finally accomplish.
She wondered what Jason was going to say. Then she wondered what her family were going to say.
Everything had suddenly become very complicated and stressful.
She sat down heavily on the sofa and clutched her stomach. How could this be happening to her? It was bad enough her mother giving birth at the very end of the summer. Now Caddy was in the very same position! People had always joked about how she was like Eve; she’d just never expected it to be this much.
She set off for class in a state of nervous tension. Her career as a vet was rapidly disappearing and she wondered what to do. She was struggling with the idea of having the baby but already, she couldn’t think of getting rid of it. The very thought of her future now was making her head spin.
To try and relax, she went off to the leisure centre with Saffy. Her sister didn’t know yet about the baby and Caddy wasn’t sure when she ought to say something. She needed to relax a bit first and a decent massage might just do the trick.
While Caddy was upstairs, agonising over her future, Saffy was in reception, listening to one of the dormmates, Quinn, chat her up. As much as she was keen on Christopher, she enjoyed a little harmless flirting.
After a few days, the group set off for a friendly bowling game in Willow Creek. By now, everyone had noticed that Caddy wasn’t herself and Saffy in particular was determined to work out what the problem was.
Finally, Caddy told Saffy and Emilio about the baby.
“Seriously?” Saffy’s eyes widened. “Oh Caddy.”
“You guys have been together for what, five minutes?” Emilio was stunned. “Are you okay?”
“I don’t know,” Caddy said, miserably.
“Does Jason know yet?” Saffy asked. When Caddy shook her head, Saffy bit her lip. “You should tell him, Caddy. He’s got a right to know.”
“I know,” Caddy nodded. She felt the tears escape her eyes and roll down her cheeks.
“Why don’t you go out for dinner with him?” Emilio suggested. “If he’s angry, he might reign it in a bit if it’s in public.”
“We’re here if you need us,” Saffy said, soothingly. “But Emilio’s right, you need to tell Jason and soon!”
“I know,” Caddy said again. “I will, I’ll talk to him and I’ll tell him over dinner. Tonight, I promise.”
“Good luck,” Emilio and Saffy murmured.
She left the bowling alley and pulled her phone out. Her heart pounding, she found Jason’s number on her phone and, with trembling fingers, pressed the button.
His phone rang a couple of times before she heard his voice on the other end.
They met a little later that evening at The Tudor Tavern in Windenburg. Jason could tell instantly that things weren’t okay with Caddy and he was concerned.
He never expected the announcement she had.
He was equally crushed to discover they were having a baby. In a strange way, Caddy felt a little better as she wrung her hands. If Jason wasn’t keen, she knew he’d be more likely to support her if she did decide to get rid of the baby, although she was 99% certain she wasn’t going to do that.
Neither of them felt like eating after that.
“Listen, Caddy,” Jason said after a long silence. “I’m not angry. These things happen, they happen all the time to people everywhere. And after all, it takes two; this is every bit as much my responsibility as yours.” He took a deep breath. “Whatever you decide to do, Caddy, I’ll support you.”
“What?” Caddy’s eyes were wide with astonishment. “You will?”
Jason nodded. “I will. If you want to get rid of the baby, then I’ll support you. But if you want to keep it, that’s okay too.”
Caddy had no words as she kissed him.
They stepped out into the cool, night air. The nerves she’d been feeling earlier had melted away already.
“I think I want to keep the baby,” Caddy said after a while. “I know neither of us want this, and we’re probably not ready. But I think that, with time, we might come round to the idea. It might not be so bad.”
Jason smiled. “Then I’m with you all the way. I know it’s not going to be easy, Caddy. Neither of our families will be very pleased, I shouldn’t think. But I’ll do everything I can to help make it easier.”
Caddy nodded and they continued on their journey home. Suddenly, the burden felt a little bit lighter.