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Whatever They Tell You


Jamie Centowski, Meadow Thayer and Angel Go are 18.
Tosha Go is 22; Vivian Thomason is 23; James and Marla Centowski are 61.

July 2025 - RCT Semester 1.2
RCT previous post


Angel pushed her hair away from her eyes, and studied her reflection in the mirror.

She wasn't used to it around her face like this.  The new hairstyle had been Vivian's idea, part of 'making a new start', as she'd called it.  Angel hadn't really cared one way or the other.  Vivian thought it would look nice, and Angel had to admit she was right, although looking nice didn't quite mean the same thing to her now as it had before.  But she'd gone along with it anyway.  It wasn't like it mattered how she looked, really.

She was getting used to just doing whatever they told her.  Right from when Tosha and Vivian had come back from their weekend away, and found out what had happened with Professor Rusewitz, she'd just let them make the decisions for her.  What else could she do, after the mess she'd gotten into by making them herself?

Angel had stayed at Jamie's house, rather than go back to the dorm alone.  The first night they were back, Tosha and Vivian had stayed talking to his parents, long after they thought that Angel was asleep.  She'd overheard Jamie's dad offering to represent her at no charge.


"She doesn't need a lawyer," said Tosha.  "She hasn't done anything wrong."



"Already he's saying she's a talentless student who tried to seduce him to get a good grade, then cried rape when he wouldn't buy into it," James said.  "She needs a lawyer."

Talentless.  That part was true, even if nothing else was.  Tosha had been right, it was laughable to think that she had any future studying music, and it was laughable that she'd believed anything the professor had told her.   He'd only wanted one thing, and she'd walked right into it. No wonder no one trusted her any more.

So, from Jamie's parents' guest bedroom, she'd listened to them planning her future.


"She needs a fresh start," Vivian said.  "She could transfer to SSU."



Angel liked that idea.  A whole different college, where no one knew here.  She knew that they were all talking about her at Redwood City Tech.  She'd seen the way people looked at her, when they went back to get her things from her dorm room.  They knew she was the one, the girl who'd gotten a popular professor fired after she'd been caught half-naked with him in his office late one night.

"She can't go all the way out there," Tosha said.  "It's too far away, she'd be all on her own... "


"You know I've got a sister her age there," Vivian said.  "Ivy could look out for her... "


"No, I want her here where I can look out for her myself," Tosha replied.  "We've been talking about finding a bigger apartment anyway, she can move in with us."

So she did.  The apartment they found was actually a converted factory, if you could call it converted.  To Angel, it still looked like a factory.


"It's ugly," she said, when they took her to look at it for the first time.  "It has pipes all over the walls."
Vivian shrugged.  "We can paint over them someday and you won't even notice them.  These old places are really fashionable now.  Jamie's mother said so, too, and she should know.  She runs the town planning office."

Fashionable or not, Angel wasn't convinced.  "Oh, hell..." she said, looking into the bathroom.
"What?" asked Tosha.


"Our bathroom has cubicles."
"Great for parties," said Tosha, cheerfully.

Angel had to admit it wasn't too bad, now that they were settled in.  Vivian had amassed a surprising collection of old furniture and ornaments and God-only-knows-what else, the result of a lot of happy hours and probably too many dollars spent in second hand shops and markets over the past few years.


Her parents were only too glad to have it all out of their garage, and the mismatched clutter gave the place a nice, homely look, Angel thought.



It was a good thing she felt better about the way it looked because, now that school was out for the summer, Angel hardly left the place.  Certainly she never went out alone.  She only had to suggest she felt like a walk in the park or an afternoon of shopping, and she instantly had her sister as an escort.


She could have gone out alone now, of course, with both Vivian and Tosha at work, but it wasn't worth it.  The couple of times she'd done it, Angel had been bombarded with so many questions from Tosha about where she'd been, what she'd done and who she'd spoken to, that it was just easier not to bother.

The only place that she'd found that she was allowed to visit alone, was Meadow and Jamie's house.  Even so, she hadn't seen much of them at all over the summer.  Meadow had come down with some kind of nasty summer flu and even when she felt up to visitors, she was afraid of infecting everyone else with it.


Jamie was spending most of his time studying and trying to make more sense of the previous semester's classwork.  His father had been less than impressed when he'd got another C, and he knew he had to do better next semester.


Well, at least he'd passed. Angel had to repeat the semester, which meant that she wasn't even in classes with her friends any more.  She was dreading the start of the semester.  Maybe people would have forgotten what had happened, over the summer, but she doubted it.


She doubted that things were going to get much better at all.

---

The sun was just starting to shine through the curtains, when Jamie leaned over Meadow. "Are you awake?" he asked softly.  She replied with a little grunt.  "Do you feel any better today?" he asked.


 "A little... maybe," she said, rolling over to face him.
"You don't look any better," he said.
"Then, why did you ask?!" she turned away from him again.
"Meadow... "
"Sorry," she said, slowly sitting up.  "If it's any consolation, you're right.  I still feel like crap."

"Meadow, you've got to stop putting this off," he said.  "This has gone on too long already, you need to go see a doctor."


"You can't talk about putting things off," she said accusingly.
"Oh, come on... that's completely different," he said.  "You 're taking risks with your health here.  At very least, you're putting up with feeling terrible for longer than you need to."

"So are you," she said, "just in a different way.  We both know you're not going to be happy until you talk to your father.  I don't think - ".  She broke off suddenly, clasping her hand over her mouth as she ran from the room.  Jamie followed her to the bathroom.


"Don't say it," she said, wiping her face on the cloth he handed her, as she stood up.
"I'm concerned about you, that's all."  He could feel her shaking a little as he helped her back to bed.


"I know," she said.  "I'll make an appointment today, I promise.  But you're speaking to your dad today, too."
"Ok, ok..." he said.  He knew she was right, but that wasn't going to make it any easier.

---

Meadow got a late appointment at the all-night medical centre that evening.  While she was out, Jamie finally told his father what was on his mind.
"Dad, I want to change my major."


When James seemed too surprised to reply, he used the opportunity to try to explain.  "Law just doesn't interest me.  That's why my grades have been so bad, half of it goes right over my head, and I'm just not interested enough to put in the time to get it."
"So... what are you interested in?" James asked.
"Literature, Dad."  Jamie said.  "I want to change my major to literature."
"Literature," James repeated.  "What kind of future is there in a literature degree?"
"Dad, come on... I thought of all people you'd see it differently.  Your father was a literature major, he was a writer... "
"Yes, and an exceptionally good one," James said.  "Not everyone can be that successful, not at all.  Your uncle Kyle could tell you a thing or two about that. "


"I know," said Jamie, "but there are other things you can do with a literature degree. Granddad worked as a journalist for years before he became a full time writer.  Uncle Kyle taught high school English... "
"And would you be happy to settle for journalism or teaching English?"
"Happier than I would be as a lawyer."


"I don't suppose this has anything to do with the fact that Meadow is a literature major?"
"No... I mean, not in the way you think, anyway.  I did look at some of her classwork, that's how I know I'd enjoy it.  And I sat in on a few of her lectures - "
"You were struggling to get a C and you wasted time at lectures for classes you aren't even enrolled in?!"
"It wasn't a waste of time, it was a way of finding out what I want!"
"You're too young to know what you want!"


"So what am I supposed to do?  Just forget what I enjoy and do whatever you tell me?"
"This isn't about enjoyment, this is college!  You're not supposed to enjoy it, you're supposed to work for your future, not just follow some whim to - "

"Dad, I've made up my mind.  I'm not trying to ask your permission here.  I'd like to have your approval, but even if I don't, I'm doing this."
"Well, then there's nothing left to say, is there?" James said, getting up to leave.    


Suddenly, irrationally, Jamie wanted to the one to walk out, not his father.  He pushed past him, and half-ran out the door.
---

"A literature degree," James groaned.  "He wants to throw away the opportunity for a good, solid education on a literature degree."


 "Is that so bad?" Marla asked.  "I mean, your own father - "
"Don't start on that one," James said.  "Kyle followed Dad and look where it almost got him."
"I think you're missing the point there," Marla said.


"Which is...?"
"It wasn't about what Kyle did, it was about the fact that he did it just because your father did.  If you're going to use him as your argument, then you should be glad that Jamie's decided to do otherwise."
"Glad?!  How am I supposed to be glad.  Is it so wrong to want at least one of my children to follow me?"


"One of them did," Marla reminded him.  "Cherry's a lawyer, and a good one too."
"Oh, sure, the model daughter!"
"James... "


"Well, come on!  She got pregnant in college, she dumped her husband and kids for some native dancer she met on vacation, she never even comes back here any more."
"Maybe she would, if you didn't make her feel so unwelcome!"
"So now it's my fault?  She made her choices, I can't be responsible for them."


"And now Jamie is making his choices," Marla said.  "And you're going to support him."
"Support him?  Support him to - "
"I mean it, James," Marla said.  "I already miss Cherry, I won't have you drive our son away as well."

----

Jamie raced downstairs as soon as he heard the key turn in the front door.  Appointments often ran late at the medical centre, but even so, Meadow had been gone far too long.  
"Meadow, where have you - " He stopped when he saw the look on her face.  



"What is it - what's wrong?" he asked, all but skidding to a halt in front of her.


She didn't reply, but just stood there, so still, staring at him in a way that made his stomach turn with fear.
"Meadow, tell me!"
Instead of answering, she threw herself into his arms.  


He held her tightly until she finally spoke. "I guess the good news is I don't have the flu any more," she said, in a shaky voice.
"But... but that means there's bad news, too, right?"  He took a step back to look at her while he spoke.  "You have to tell me... "
"I don't know if I want to call it bad news... but it's not good, either... I don't know what it is..."
"I don't understand," he said.


"Jamie, I'm pregnant," she said.  "We're going to have a baby." 

----

RCT Semester One Grades:
Meadow Thayer - B
Jamie Centowski - C
Angel Go - D- (academic probation)

----

So, that's academic probation #4, and oops pregnancy #1 (there's a second one, but that's a few posts away).  Meadow got the roach-induced flu after James' new dog knocked over the rubbish can, and she was still ill, even after she had the soup to cure her.  I only realised what was going on, when she vomited and the pacifier came up.

10 comments:

  1. Angel is lucky to have such caring friends. I wonder what this baby may do to further irritate, Jamie's father?

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  2. Wow, so much going on! I feel so sorry for Angel, Tosha needs to loosen up the ropes a bit. The situation has been tragic enough without her adding to it. And I hate to see what's going to happen when she returns to school.......the other school should have been considered a bit more I think. Because even if students aren't talking about her or looking at her, in her head, they will be. And James needs to get a grip as well! Everyone wants what is best for their children, but it's their life and their mistakes to make. Marla is right, he'll only succeed in pushing Jamie away. I'm scared to see what his reaction is going to be to this new baby! I sense lots more drama on the horizon!!

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  3. I knew Meadow was pregnant! And Angel...wow, so much going on.

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  4. Poor Angel. Tosha is well-intentioned, I'm sure but a fresh start on her own might be just what Angel needs. She has to move on with her adult life at some stage.

    I had a feeling Meadow was pregnant! She didn't do too badly with her grades, considering all the morning sickness!

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  5. So sorry for, Angel. Hopefully moving into a new place with friends to help will do a bit of good for her.

    Wow, James is a tough one, he needs to learn to be more accepting of his children's choices so that he doesn't push them away like Marla pointed out to him.

    It's good that Meadow isn't as ill as suspected. I wonder how the family, especially James will take the news?

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  6. Oh man, James is not going to be impressed with this at all! Ugh, I wonder how this is all going to pan out, and how the relationships will recover from this news. I hope things will go better for Angel, and she can get her grades going in the right direction before it's too late.

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  7. Mrs. Stuffy, I don't think this will help Jamie's relationship with his father at all...

    Mizzgin03, that's true, Angel will feel like people are talking about her, no matter what is or isn't really happening.

    I'm writing this and the first thing that went through my head when I realised Meadow was pregnant was, I don't want to be around when James finds out! :)

    Apple Valley, yeah, my students sure know how to fill my updates!

    Carla, Meadow was really motivated to study, with all the assignment/term paper etc wants she rolled, her grade probably would have been even higher without the morning sickness. Or, in her case, all-day-perpetual-sickness... I don't know if it was because she had the flu when she got pregnant and therefore two 'illnesses' at the same time, but I've never had a sim hit with it so bad.

    serin, James means well, but I've always had the impression for some reason that he's the kind of person who wants what's best for others, but on his terms... he wants what he thinks is best. He did it a little with Kyle, too, and he doesn't realise that he's doing more damage than good sometimes.

    maisie, it's going to be hard for Angel to pull her grades up, with everything else she's going through.

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  8. Maybe a fresh start away from everything at RCT is just what Angel needs, at least it's worth a try.

    I hope Meadow and Jamie make it work. And I really hope Jamie's dad supports his son in his choices!

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  9. Good for Jamie, standing up to his dad! If literature is what he wants to do, than that's what he should be doing. He's not going to make a very good lawyer, if he hates it, anyway.

    Poor Angel. I hope people will forget about what happened soon, so that she can move on.

    And Meadow! Pregnant! Oops! That won't help Jamie's father situation one little bit. But I know they'll be able to get through it, together.

    Cute apartment! I love the way you decorated it!

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  10. Tanja, yeah, the other college probably would have been the better option... but she's stuck here for now, and we'll just have to see how it works out.

    coolkat2, you're right, he's never going to be good at something he has no interest in.

    Thanks re the apartment - I really love this ex-factory building! I'll have to figure out where I downloaded it and add it to my CC links... it's unfurnished, and it was fun decorating it on a tight budget.

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Thanks for reading and commenting!