Life With The Cassons Is A Tense Affair…
Winter, Year 6
Eve is 50, Jason is 21, Cadmium is 20, Indigo is 16, Tara is 15 and Rose is 11
Caddy closed her eyes as another wave of nausea hit her. She’d just come back from the hospital with the results of her ultrasound. To her astonishment, she was having twins; two boys. She still hadn’t come to terms with even being pregnant yet, only to discover she was preparing for not just one baby but two.
She knew she was lucky that Jason was being so supportive. Lots of men in his situation would have run for the hills so she appreciated the fact that he was one of the good guys. However, it didn’t alter the fact that her dreams of becoming a vet were rapidly disappearing.
Her parents weren’t much help either. Her mother was too dreamy most of the time and her father was increasingly absent. Although lately, her mother had seemed very tense.
The atmosphere at home had definitely been frosty. Indigo had, as usual, found himself doing more and more around the house as his parents did less and less. He’d been helping Rose settle in her new school and, between him and Jason, the housework was finally beginning to ease after Saffron had gone away to University.
The source of all the tension in the house wasn’t Caddy and her pregnancy; it was Indigo’s relationship with Tara De Luca.
The young couple had only been together for three months and Indigo had been surprised when his family had raised so many objections. It had all blown up after their first date and Indigo had ended up in a row with Bill. He’d grown tired of watching Caddy get away with being irresponsible when he was always expected to be the sensible one. He’d grown increasingly tired of it.
Finally, he had something good going for him in his life and both his parents had been giving him grief for it.
With Eve spending more time painting in the shed, Indigo had taken to inviting Tara over after school to hang out and the two were often larking around on the sofa. He couldn’t understand why his parents didn’t like Tara; she was lively and fun and they always had a laugh together. She was the first person who could make him laugh on his worst days. There was something special there – something he couldn’t put his finger on.
Typically, Eve walked into the room just as Indigo had pulled Tara close to kiss her. She was furious; she didn’t want that girl anywhere near Indigo and here she was, brazenly sitting with her son in her lounge.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Even shrieked. The teens jumped at the sound of her voice. “Get out!”
Startled, Indigo whispered goodbyes to Tara, who hastily left the room. Taking a deep breath, Indigo prepared for yet another battle.
“What’s your problem with Tara?” Indigo started as he sat at the table with Eve. “You’re always having a go, every time she visits. And every time I go out with her.”
“You’re far too young to be considering a serious relationship. You have responsibilities at home!”
“So does Caddy but that doesn’t worry her,” Indigo snapped back.
“She’s pregnant. Leave her alone.” Eve warned but Indigo was already shaking his head.
“And how do you think she got like that? She’s too much like you, that’s the problem.”
“Indigo!” Eve winced slightly at the weight of her eldest son’s words. “Don’t you dare speak to me like that!”
“You talk to me however you like. It’s one rule for Caddy and one for the rest. Even Rose gets away with more than I do! She doesn’t lift a finger either; it’s always me and Jason doing all the work around here, now that Saffy’s gone. You don’t bother, Caddy and Rose don’t bother and Dad’s never home. That’s all you’re worried about,” Indigo said, suddenly realising his mother’s problem. “You’re worried you might actually have to do some housework for a change.”
Jason wondered into the room when he heard shouting. “Is everything okay?”
“Just fine.” Eve gave Indigo a look and stood up. “Indigo and I are just having a small difference of opinion over that…girl he’s been spending time with.” She turned and left the room, heading back towards the tiny shed at the bottom of the garden.
Jason sat down in Eve’s vacated seat. “Tara?”
Indigo nodded. “They give me so much grief over Tara. She hasn’t done anything to hurt them.”
“I know.” Jason sighed. “I think your parents are more upset over this pregnancy than they realised, truthfully.”
“So…it’s not about me and Tara?” Indigo asked, feeling confused.
“I think the situation with you and Tara has made them realise that you are technically running this household. With Saffron gone, you’re doing the bulk of the housework. You’ve already taught me how to cook and do laundry,” Jason said, laughing. “I think it might have just dawned on them that Caddy and I having twins is going to put a big strain on the family. They might have also realised that in a couple of years, you’ll also be gone and who will that leave to do the cooking and cleaning?”
“So that’s my fault?”
“No, it’s not. Just a bad time, really. It might have also made your parents realise that their relationship isn’t as perfect as they probably once thought. That’s partly why they’re both running away from it all.” He patted Indigo’s hand. “Look, I’ll try and get Caddy to talk to your Mum later. Try not to worry or take it too personally.”
Indigo appreciated Jason’s chat and he did feel a little better, although not enough to really make a difference.
His mood lifted the minute he found Tara sitting in his bedroom. “I wasn’t expecting you here,” he said, sitting next to her on the bed.
“I know.” She smiled. “Jason suggested I wait up here. I was getting ready to leave but he said you might need me after your Mum finished yelling at you.” She bit her lip. “I’m sorry for the trouble I’m causing you though.”
“You’re not,” Indigo said, taking her hands in his. “Mum’s problem is just that; Mum’s problem. Not yours.”
“I hate the thought of you getting intro trouble because of me, Indy,” she said, sadly.
Instead of answering, Indigo pulled her close. “Don’t say anything else,” he said. “I love you, Tara.”
Before she had the chance to reply, he kissed her.