Waylon Menon is 46, Viola is 44, and Baine Austin is 17
(Violet Craig is 16)
Baine had no idea what Violet’s problem was these days. She keeps ignoring him and shooting him those side eye glares she can do. He doesn’t have any idea what he’s done to turn her into a drama queen lately.
Lucas Craig just came home from university, and Baine turns to him for some advice. “Tell me college girls aren’t like this,” Baine says. “Violet acts like she’s from a different planet. I have no idea what’s wrong with her.”
“Sorry, kid,” Lucas tells him, “but college girls aren’t any easier to understand.”
Baine’s dad isn’t easy to understand either. Waylon is always on his case about something. Baine has stopped listening these days.
Life with his stepmother isn’t any easier. He really doesn’t have anything to say to her, despite the fact that they’ve lived together for most of his life now.
His dad is working most of the time and his stepmother is ignoring him. Baine can honestly say he doesn’t enjoy going home. Just a couple more months and he’ll be out of there.
And if Violet wants to act witchy for no reason, that’s fine.
There are plenty of other women out there he can turn his attention to.
But he just can’t deal with Violet’s attitude anymore, so one day he finds her around town afterschool. “Okay, what is up with you?”
“What do you mean?” she asks.
“You know what I mean. Why are you acting like I’m some kind of scum? What did I do to you?”
“What did you do?” Violet snaps. “It isn’t what you’ve done, it’s what you will do! You’ll be gone in three months and then you’ll meet some airhead cheerleader or something at PSU and then you’ll buy her this huge diamond and forget all about me.”
“Whoa,” Baine interrupts. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re the one who told me I should go to college!”
“Well, maybe I’ve changed my mind,” Violet says softly. She sighs. “I just keep wondering what will happen to us once you’re gone. There will be other girls around and I can’t expect you not to look at them.”
Baine takes her hand. “Look, I don’t know what will happen to us. But I can tell you I’m definitely not interested in marrying anyone right now, so you don’t have to worry about airhead cheerleaders, okay? Smart cheerleaders on the other hand might be a problem–”
He laughs when she stomps his toe. “Ouch! I’m kidding.”
“Right now, we’ll just enjoy this summer together, okay?” he asks.
She smiles. It’s strange to see tough Violet so worried and vulnerable, but Baine thinks it makes him like her more. Like there are parts of her under the surface he still hasn’t seen yet and would like to.
“Okay,” she agrees. “But no looking at girls while you’re with me or else your toe won’t be the only thing I stomp.”
Baine graduated with a C and earned two scholarships: Apprentice Technology Reward $500 and Distinguished Science Award $500. He’ll begin studying science at PSU in the fall.
The office where Waylon is working is a building I set up to hold the journalism and business offices. It has a secretary’s desk in the front lobby, waiting area outside the business offices, and a cafe and break room. The business offices are downstairs and the journalism offices are on the second floor. There is a third floor, but I haven’t decided what to use that for yet. I’m planning to turn my rabbithole spaces into playable buildings with rabbithole doors, so I hope to get others done soon.