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South Port Business College – Jack Bucklin (27 years), Grace McCarthy, Violet Adele, Reed Welsh, and Janelle Ying (20 years), Emma McCarthy (19 years)
Benjamin Andersen (22 years)
“Congratulations, you finally got your own place.” Grace patted Benjamin on the shoulder.
“About time, man.” His buddy, Chris added. “Now you’re a man.”
“Says the man who lives in his parent’s garage.”
Benjamin moved to South Port into a small one bedroom apartment, to celebrate the move, he invited his girlfriend, Grace, her sister, Emma, and his old time friend, Chris. It was just a small gathering, they ordered Chinese food, watched a baseball game on tv, and just hung out.
“First investment is a garbage can.” Emma called over her shoulder.
“Why bother, when the garbage is right outside my door?” Benjamin laughed.
“Men.” She rolled her eyes.
“Yeah.” Chris had followed her outside.
“You are a man.”
“Right.” Chris nodded his head. “Men can be such pigs.” He laughed. Then she laughed with him. “So I hear you’re a violinist and photographer, is that right?”
“What’s it to you?” She crossed her arms across her chest, though she had a smile at the corner of her lips.
“Just thinking someone creative like you, probably never learned how to toss a football… it’s a shame really.” He was looking at his toes, and twirling his foot in the dirt idly.
She punched his arm playfully, “I can too toss a football.”
“Not bad.” He admitted after a couple of tosses. “Not bad at all.”
Emma got the feeling he wasn’t just referring to her skills with tossing a football.
In the middle of the night, Emma awoke to use the restroom, grateful that this time she had a robe. Idly thinking about Benjamin’s friend, Chris, and thinking a bag of cookies might be a good midnight snack, when she heard soft whispers and a groan.
She slowed to peek around the corner, two sets of naked legs on the communal sofa. She changed her mind on using the restroom, and headed for the bag of cookies. She wasn’t surprised to see Violet-Adele alone at the poker table, dealing cards out, and just mindlessly passing the time.
“Mind dealing me in?”
“Sure thing.” Violet-Adele began to expertly deal out the cards.
“You will not believe what I just saw! Janelle and Jack on the sofa upstairs! So gross!” Emma giggled.
“Not Jack, I saw him go to bed myself about two hours ago, and he hasn’t left the room.” She gestured to the door behind Emma. “So who is the question.”
Before they finished their current game, they heard someone on the stairs, they focused on their cards extra hard as they waited to see who Janelle’s secret lover was.
“Nice night, ladies.” The mystery man said, clicking his tongue at them as he passed them by.
Both girls huddled over giggling after he left, the harder they tried to be quiet, the louder they laughed.
“That was quick.” Emma laughed, covering her face.
Classes were awkward for the entire group after the break up of Violet-Adele and Reed, matters got worse when they had slept together at Rebecca’s party in April. It was apparent to everyone that Reed was still in love with Violet-Adele, while she had clearly moved on.
After the party, she had approached him while he was alone, to apologize for her behavior. She didn’t know what had gotten into her, but that she was firm in her decision to call it quits. He smiled at her, as if he knew something she didn’t, then invited her to play pool with him. .
She even started eating dinners by herself, late at night. Otherwise he would sit at her table, even if there wasn’t a space, he’d pull a chair up, or in one instant he just stood behind her eating his macaroni. Professor Jack spoke with him about boundaries, and the girls had all spoken to him too. He’d always respond that he was giving Vi her space, but it was just a matter of time. She ate her cold spaghetti, and stabbed a meatball vehemently. “Giving me space!” She fumed.
“What’s that?” She was startled by his familiar voice coming up behind her.
He grabbed himself a plate of cold spaghetti and took a seat across from her. “I’ve been busy studying, still a badge shy of graduation.”
“Heh.” She muttered, as she stuffed the remaining bites in her mouth, and left the table.
Even in class he was obtuse and made everyone uncomfortable.
“I can’t wait til we can have a baby.” He said loudly during their business class, “To see you swollen with our child. That will be a glorious day.” He held his hands up in the air, and blew a kiss.
“You’re such a puke.” Grace spat at him, then left the computer lab.
“Big date tonight?” Emma asked her sister Grace who had changed her dress twice now.
“Ugh, I don’t know what to wear, we are going to The Red Mill.” Grace flopped onto the torn leather chair.
“Proposal?” Janelle raised her eyebrows.
“Don’t even say that, I’m so not ready for that.” Grace put her hands over her face. “What if it is though? I need to look perfect.”
“Borrow my black lace dress.” Emma volunteered, “It’d be perfect for The Red Mill, and definitely proposal worthy.” Grace flew out of her chair and headed to Emma’s dorm room. “And tell Lorelei hi for me if she’s working tonight.”
Benjamin arrived right on time, baring a dozen red roses. Emma squealed from the corner, certain her sister was coming home with a ring on her finger that night.
The Red Mill was crowded, and while Benjamin had reserved a table, it seemed that everyone else had done the same. They were given the table right next to the front door and the steps. Every time someone came in, a damp breeze would come in and give Grace chills. To add to it, Justin Seavey was their server, and they were told there were no open spaces in Lorelei’s section.
Grace gazed into his deep brown eyes, as he lifted his glass for a toast.
“I need you cause I love you, Grace.” He toasted, and she felt the tickle of the champagne down her throat.
He reached out to hold her hand, his skin soft and warm on her chilled one. His dark eyes gazing at her with softness, “I don’t want anyone but you.” His voice was thick and seemed almost pleading to her. “Someday I want to marry you, and have a family.” He smiled, but it seemed sad to her, which was causing her to grow more alarmed.
“Someday.” She whispered, and looked down at her plate.
“Definitely.” He leaned forward and tilted her chin up to his face. “I promise.” She smiled without it reaching her eyes. “Promise. I just want to enjoy this stage a while longer. I want us to get the opportunity to do our own thing, while we date, mind you. “He smiled again, urging her to understand, “I want you to travel if you want, or take the job opportunity of a lifetime, or live with your best friend. Whatever is waiting just over the horizon.” He watched her for a moment, searching her face. “Talk to me?” His voice gentle.
She laughed a little, mostly at herself and not him. “I don’t want to get engaged ether.” She laughed a little louder now. “Emma and Janelle put it in my head you were going to pop the question, and it’s been gnawing me all evening.” She saw his expression falter, and she quickly held up her hand, “Not like that. I mean, I do want to marry you, desperately, just not yet.”
His expression relaxed, relief covering his face. “I love you Grace McCarthy, and someday, I’m going to make you Mrs. Andersen.”
Grace spent most of her free time at Benjamin’s apartment, she was fast approaching the end of her college life, and yet she wasn’t sad. When she started her final year, she was quite melancholy at the idea of leaving these good times behind her, but the final semester hadn’t been the same. Everything had seemed less fun, and more claustrophobic, with Violet-Adele’s miscarriage and break up, and Reed’s uncomfortable demeanor. It made the college feel like a one room house, there wasn’t a safe haven to escape, and Grace needed that. She realized, she needed Benjamin, and she was happy to wait for marriage, but there was something she didn’t want to wait on.
They were going over reasons on why they should, one last time. “We’re best friends too.” Grace added to the list.
His warm hands went around her back, and he pulled her close.
“Is this what you want?” He whispered.
She nodded weakly.
After the first time, she decided to spend the night more often. They both figured why not, since she was making it to her classes on time and nothing could stop her graduation at this point.
“No sorry Benjamin isn’t here.” She hung up the phone.
“Really not here?” He came up behind her, and leaned in for a kiss.
“Owe.” He cried out, holding his face.
She laughed, “Sorry, I didn’t know you were going to kiss me.” She kissed him twice for good measure, and he went to grab leftover food.
“I’m getting out of shape just slouching with you every night.” She complained, stretching her legs that felt stiff.
“Don’t look a bit out of shape to me. Here, come closer so I can inspect you better.”
“Just perfect.” He kissed her lips, “perfect here too,” he moved to her neck. “Absolutely perfect.”
Graduation Day arrived at last, Reed spent the past two nights studying to even earn his graduation, while the others were well ahead of their schedule. Dark clouds covered the sky, letting out heavy rain drops. It hadn’t stopped raining in days, and this was going to spoil graduation pictures. Professor Jack Bucklin was dressed in his finest suit, and began the commencement at the Little Theater next door.
“One day you will wake up and realize that you are adults. That there is no more steps to take into adulthood, even though you still feel the same as you always have.” He began, his voice deep and his accent lay thick on each word.
“You will pass the age you remember your parents at when you were a child, and think how they seemed more grown up to you than you are.”
“You will think you don’t know enough. Then realize that many of life’s decisions can’t be taught, but learned, and that’s just what your parent’s did. And one day you are going to realize,”
“That you are in charge. And it’s scary as heck.”
Notes: Quite a long update, I got it all photographed, and had the time, so here it is. I’m almost finished with this round, just a few last minute things to pull together in the summer months, births, and all that good stuff, then onto the next round! 😀
Some graduation portraits –
Janelle, Grace, Violet-Adele, and Reed
Violet-Adele with her parents, Mandy and George McCarthy (George absolutely adores his youngest daughter, the graduation was bittersweet for this one, his last baby is finally an adult. It was very sweet.)
Grace with her parents, Finn and Nicole McCarthy
Benjamin and Grace
Now into the psyche of Violet-Adele and Reed, one last time. Quick recap, she didn’t roll wants for him, EVER. I took that as a sign (and they are only two bolts) that she wasn’t serious about him. He however, constantly has wants for her, despite that he has higher boltage out there.
Violet-Adele cares more about bringing Hector Cruz back to life who she met and went on a date with. But were not friends yet.
While Reed keeps this want, it never goes away… until graduation day. At the ceremony he literally rolls this.
Absolutely clueless, I tell you. He was constantly following after her, and talking about the baby.
Graduation plans – Janelle and Reed were both townies I brought in to fill up my college, and as they didn’t marry any of my residents they will be getting a place to stay, and probably a business, and that will be it. Unless a resident falls for them. I think Reed will have a robot shop, cause I don’t want to run one, and he seems to enjoy it. Janelle may end up with Traver Kalson (the guy leaving her sofa) they have super high chemistry, maybe have a kid, and living happily ever after.
Violet-Adele is going to Paris as an intern. She can’t wait to get away for awhile, find herself, and have no chance of running into Reed. She was quite emotional this last semester, I imagine from the loss still, she would cry even though she wasn’t in the red. So she’s getting away. And I saw some kick butt Paris lots lately and they don’t fit into Millwood/South Port. 😉
Grace – Going out on her own. She and Benjamin will not be living together, and she’ll be finding an apartment in South Port as well. I considered her living with her folks in Millwood, but I think she’s ready to break free and start her journey into adulthood. As for her relationship with Benjamin, they were a 3 bolt, but suddenly this round fell to 2 bolts, then back to 3! What a roller coaster. So they are waiting to tie the knot, and neither of them have rolled wants to the contrary, so they seem happy with that idea.
Graduation speech inspired from here.
This was my first group to go through the Business College, and I had a lot of fun with them. A little bittersweet for me to actually graduate these guys! For my BC they have to have all the skills required of a 4 year degree plus 4 business badges to graduate (SPBC doesn’t care about fishing!). Reed was the only one having a hard go at it.