Returning to Darling college, Summer felt more relaxed than before. Even her dorm was better, the building, the same floor, much better view from the window. And even the same roommate. Getting the dorm organised this year was much easier, they had developed a status quo before that only needed one adaptation, a few more blankets thrown over the sofa for when it got colder.
This year it felt like she was less on show, less staring, people had gotten used to the Darling at Darling college. While she was still nervous, she couldn’t shake the feeling of still being caked in sugar, no matter what she tried. She had this niggling thought that everyone else could tell she felt like she had bathed in icing.
Cassandra was just her usual self, brash and determined. Though seeing the lack of change to how they had set up their space before she relaxed a bit. This year she was less willing to let Summer try to blend into the background. This year Cassandra was determined to be a part of the campus floor party. She even went as far to set up a theme.
Cassandra had set the conversational tone in the room. Summer had given up hiding in her room, choosing to lock it and head for a little walk. She stumbled upon a fellow Storm and Fire cohort. He was planted in the middle of a group of girls, attempting to be dangerously charming. Summer just laughed and walked past William Alexander. She couldn’t help but think she had punched his card right; he is exactly what she had expected. She pretended not to notice him calling her over as she made her way to explore another dorm.
A few rooms later and she had the displeasure of walking into Jamie. It had seemed that the girls had been avidly avoiding him since Cassandra had made it clear to everyone what he was like. He stood awkwardly now, somewhat apologetic in front of her. Summer refused to pay attention and walked off making a mental note to tell Cassandra.
From one room to another Summer wondered until she returned to her dorm to find someone fast asleep on her sofa. “He won’t budge, said he wanted to see you.” Cassandra was bored of the mystery.
“Who is it?”
“I don’t know, he said he knows you though.”
Summer walked over to the sofa to find a sleeping William curled up in a ball. Summer sighed and shrugged, poking him tentatively. He snored and swatted her hand away.
The next morning Summer woke early, the curled bundle of William still present on the sofa, still in a deep sleep. She pulled the blanket off of him and opened the windows to a cool breeze. Half hour later he admitted defeat and sat up, bleary eyed. Summer stood and closed the windows. “I hear you wanted to talk to me?”
“Apparently insistent, told my roommate you wouldn’t leave. Then fell asleep.”
“Oh, I er, I was drunk it was probably just the jungle juice talking.”
“I thought as much, I’ll see you around.” Summer offered him a bottle of water as he left massaging his temples.
Campus life was fun, easy to get back into the rhythm of. The incredible loads of work being heaped upon them each day. The welcome back event for the Storm and Fire was nothing short of beautiful. Although Summer left early, her priority was the ever growing mountains of work. With a looming visit from the grandparents she knew she was on borrowed time. Especially as her lack of social life had not escaped their notice.
“Ellie did you not tell them about Simon?” The phone remained silent for a moment.
“I tried, but do you remember what happened last time?”
“I know, but aren’t you both getting pretty serious?”
“Yes. I know. What I want to know is how did they find out about you being single and unwilling to mingle?”
“Ha ha, funny. I don’t know, it’s not exactly a secret what happened last year, and what with Jamie still going… there’s too much work to do, I don’t have time to deal with them trying to control my love life, or lack thereof.” Summer grimaced on her side of the phone, not wanting to deal with the situation.
“Summer just make sure the dorm is ready, nice and spotless. We don’t need to give them a reason to interfere now.”
“They are already.”
“I know, but I am telling them about Simon the first chance I get.”
“Good. If they are mad at you they won’t be so mad at me for being a single pringle and avoiding the whole complication of a relationship. Not that Simon is a complication…” Summer winced, she hadn’t meant to word it like that.
“Don’t worry I know what you mean. He’s not he’s great, even puts up with me reading the transcript sometimes.”
“Oh how is it going? Just don’t tell me how it ends.”
“It’s good, well you know, it’s getting there, but the closer I am to the end the less I want to finish it, I like the characters they feel familiar and safe.”
“Like we know them? Like they are already part of our lives?”
“Ellie, I have to go, but let me know what happens when you tell them, and keep me up to date on what happens with your inspection?”
“Sure thing, see you soon” The phone call ended. The silence filled the room, allowing Summer a moment to sigh in peace before having to rush around.
For those of you wanting to get your hands on the ending… here is the pre-order link for Darling Daughters! Releasing 22nd August 2018