Day 297 – Folie a Deux – Part 20

Word count: 639

Jenny was keeping the baby. That was a scary thought for Catherine. Her best friend would be giving birth, becoming a mum. It was a thought that Catherine frequently put to the back of her mind. It was a thought that Jenny’s mum had put there too, as she had threatened to kick Jenny out when she broke the news. The tears and the anger had calmed down though and they had patched things up. Jenny’s mum had cleared out their box room to make way for the baby. Jenny herself had started a job in a small shop to help with the costs. Tom was still not speaking to her. After encouragement from Catherine, Jenny had owned up and confessed everything. Tom had apparently left the room quietly and had not spoken to Jenny in weeks. He did try calling Catherine, but neither of them knew what to say. Dave was gone. He had apparently left for some American tour with his cousin. He was not likely to return before the end of the year, but his parents said they would try and support. Dave knows, he just does not care enough to return home.

That was the state that Catherine’s old life was left in the day she got in the car for university. Jenny was already three months gone. Tom had wished her luck. Vicky had given her a hug and returned quickly to her room to argue more with her friends.
The day had finally arrived. Everything of Catherine’s life had been packed away. All her clothes were in suitcases, all her writings and books in boxes. Ahead of them was a three hour drive; a drive that would launch her into a near era of herself. Inside, she felt her stomach twist on itself. She kept on second guessing what the people were going to be like; what the room was going to be like; what the food was going to be like; what the course was going to be like. Her mind was a tangled mess of questions trying to answer themselves.

Her dad was driving her down, just as he had done with Vicky. It was odd, making this journey by themselves. It was like a rite of passage for: no matter what might happen, so long as she was driven to university by her dad, everything was going to be alright because she was now a woman. Somehow that seemed to make sense in her head.

After a few hours of continuous driving they arrive. Cambridge was awash with students, bicycles, tourists and boxes. There was such an exciting buzz around the place; this was the place that Newton was, the place that all those famous people studied at, lay on the lawns to learn at; boated on the waters at. This was where life for everyone changed and now she was going to be part of that history.

They parked inside the carpark and her dad turned towards her before they got out.
“I’m proud of you, you know that?”
“I do, thank you.”
“You’ll be alright, Catherine. I know you’re going to miss home and miss your friends, but you’ll be alright. This place, this place makes people… it makes them who they are. I’m not talking about Cambridge, I’m talking about university. You might meet people today you’re going to know for the rest of your life. But, take things slow. Don’t go down the quick route, you know what I mean?”
Catherine went red; she was being given The Talk.
“Dad, please. I have Jenny as an example.”
“Fair point,” he took her hand and held it tightly, “Good girl.”
They both smiled and opened their doors at the same time. Getting out, her toes peeped through her sandals and touched the fresh dew on the grass.

~ by S.G. Mark on July 30, 2012.

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