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    Wombat Bill
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The Covids - 34.  Ancestry

ATAR - The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank is the primary criterion for domestic student entry into undergraduate courses in Australian public universities.

 

While Jason and Colleen were away, Daniel and Jenny checked on his mother by phone each day. When, one evening, Daniel decided to call in on his way home, his mother refused to let him in and just yelled at him through the door.

“OK Mum, don’t get upset, I just want to make sure you are well and to see if you need anything.”

“I don’t need anything from you. Just go away and leave me in peace.”

“Very well, but call if you need groceries or anything else. You can call Jenny if you don’t want to talk to me.”

“I can do my own shopping, thank you very much.”

Daniel left, but was still concerned about his mother.

 

“Jenny, I’m concerned that Mum is becoming so belligerent. She hates me so much she won’t let me do anything for her. She wouldn’t even let me in to see her.”

“I’ll give her a call, she seems to be OK with me at present.”

“Maybe leave it until tomorrow. She’ll know I spoke to you about her and might react negatively right now. Let her calm down overnight.”

“You’re probably right; why don’t you open a bottle while I get dinner started.”

“I’ve got an even better idea. Why don’t you change, while I make a restaurant reservation for just the two of us? Chris and Kev can rustle up something for themselves.”

“Great idea, I’ll enjoy having someone else cook for me.”

 

“Bye Mum and Dad, have a great time.” Christine said as her parents left.

“Kevin” she called. When she got no answer she went to his room, knocked and entered without waiting to be invited. As she entered Kevin slammed shut his laptop and turned to Christine. “What’s up Sis?”

“I just want to know what YOU are going to cook for dinner.”

“Am I going to cook dinner; who decided this?”

“Just an idea, but now I want to know what you were watching that you don’t want me to see?”

“What makes you think that?”

“Oh maybe just the way you slammed it shut; porn maybe?”

“No definitely not, far from it.”

“So what is it then?”

“Just some of my own videos.”

“Instead of watching that you really should be focussed on your study; you have exams starting next week. The HSC is very important for your future and you need a good ATAR to get into uni.”

“You’re probably right. Hey I’m glad you mentioned ATAR, because I have my uni application forms here and I have to get them lodged soon, so I can get an offer when the ATAR results are published.”

“Have you decided what you want to study?”

“Well, sort of.”

“You can’t put, sort of, on your application, which uni offers ‘sort of’ as a course?”

“I mean, I want to do something associated with ballet, but ballet school is not a uni course and getting accepted into that is very difficult. I love ballet but I know I’m probably not good enough to get into one of the dance companies. Also I want to get a degree as a fall back if dancing doesn’t become a career for me.”

“You could do an arts degree, there is a wide range of courses covering much of the arts.”

“That sounds great, but what course should I do?”

“That’s one of the benefits of first year arts. You don’t have to pick a major until second year. You can start with a general arts course and investigate the different specialties. Then armed with more knowledge and experience, you can make an informed choice for year two. That’s how I got into journalism. I did general studies year one and when I realised I had an interest in journalism I specialised from year two.””

“That’s brilliant Sis. Can you help me with my application?”

“Sure”

“Now what are you cooking for dinner?”

“Hang on, that was my question.”

“Bugger! I thought it was worth a try.”

“So?”

“How about toasted cheese, ham and tomato sandwiches?”

“Is that all you can manage?”

“On short notice, yeah; what did you have in mind, a baked dinner?”

“Toasted sandwiches will be fine Kev.”

“What goes with toasted sandwiches, red or white?”

“Neither really, especially if Dad finds out you’ve been into his wine without permission.”

“How about a beer then?”

“OK, but just one: I don’t want to be responsible for you getting drunk while Mum and Dad are out.”

“How will they know if I’m in my room by the time they get home?”

“Good point... Hey! I’m not falling for that one.”

“You know, I think I might invite Steve over for dinner, then we can study late and maybe he’ll have to stay over.”

“Dinner’s fine, but a sleepover without asking Mum first?”

“Sis, I’m nearly 18, I don’t think I need permission.”

“Do what you want then, but don’t involve me.”

“And exactly what involvement would you have with Steve’s visit? I don’t fancy a threesome with you.”

“Does everything have to be about sex with you?”

“No, I do have other interests, not that you would be interested, and besides I’ve seen the way you watch that guy from the end of the street when he rides by on his motor bike.”

“I do not.”

“Christine Covid, the other day you were only one step away from lying down on the road to attract his attention.”

“Shut up and cook.”

“Ah, so you don’t deny it.”

“I thought you were going to ring Steve.”

“Changing the subject, very suspicious. Not that I care who you sleep with.”

Christine handed Kevin his phone.

 

They decided on Champagne, as it was their first night out alone since the beginning of the pandemic. “Here’s to life, love and the end of this bloody virus.” toasted Daniel.

“I’ll certainly drink to that.” replied Jenny.

“You know this has been a difficult year for most people but I think we’ve come through it quite well really. We’re all healthy, all still employed, although Jason’s shift are down a bit and I think this country has handled the pandemic very well. Day to day living is almost back to normal, so I’m confident about the future Jenny.”

“Well said Dan, we seem to get through the rough patches by sticking together as a family.”

“Oh I forgot to tell you that Kevin came out to me a few days back. It took me a bit by surprise though.”

“But we’ve all had our suspicions for some time.”

“Not surprised that he is gay but surprised he told me so. Has he told you?”

“Not directly, but he leaves lots of clues.”

“Now that is what surprises me; that he came out to me first, when he’s always been mummy’s boy.”

“Well maybe it has something to do with finding out about his background. I haven’t noticed anything different about the way he treats me but he does seem somehow closer to you, despite...well... you know. I mean look at that fathers’ day card, clearly he wants to say he loves you and only sees you as his dad.”

“Maybe, and there’s something else he told me. But before that, remember I told you I ran into Steve’s dad on fathers’ day.”

“Yes, you’re not still worried about your looks are you?”

“No not that, it’s what Mike said about Steve. He was concerned about Steve’s regular absence from home and worried where he was all the time. I told him he spends lots of time at our place, studying with Kevin.”

“Well that’s true isn’t it?”

“Sometimes, but I think there’s more than study happening behind closed doors.”

“You mean they’re...?”

“Yes, Kevin pretty much confirmed it.”

“Well, that’s good news really. We’ve known Steve and his family for many years, they’re very respectable and Steve’s always been well behaved and a good friend to Kevin. I’m pleased if their long-term friendship has developed into something more.”

“Another sign of our boy becoming a man, Jen.”

“Yes, and speaking of which, when you had those talks about men’s business, did it cover same sex relationships?”

“Not specifically. Do you think I should talk to him about that?”

“It wouldn’t hurt to mention it and see if he has any questions. You should at least ensure he is aware of the health aspects.”

“You’re right, here I go again, birds and bees, now Adam and Steve. Hey, that didn’t sound right.”

“Ah finally, here comes our entree.”

 

The following morning Jenny was preparing breakfast when Kevin and Steve walked into the kitchen. “Hi Steve, you’re here early for a Saturday.”

“I stayed over, Mrs. C, I hope you don’t mind. We studied so late and just fell asleep.”

“No, don’t mind at all, you know you’re always welcome here. I’ll put on a few more eggs.”

“Thanks, I’m starved. Studying will do that.”

“I’m sure it does Steve. No need to explain to me. You know, contrary to what Kevin believes, I was once a teenager.”

“And a very beautiful one, I’m sure all the boys chased you.”

“Steve...”

“Yes, Mrs C.”

“Just take a bowl and pour yourself some cereal before I start asking embarrassing questions. Oh, by the way do your parents know you’re here?”

“Of course, I cleared it with them before I came over.”

“Before?” Jenny asked with raised eyebrows. “That’s good planning Steve.”

 

Later in the morning Kevin asked Jenny “Mum do you have some laundry that’s not yet folded, I’m out of sox?”

“No Kev, I’m a bit behind with laundry, I’ll get onto it today. In the meantime get some from your fathers sock drawer, he won’t mind. He keeps them in the small chest of drawers under the window.”

Kevin went to his parents’ bedroom and started looking through drawers. The first drawer was full of bras, so he quickly closed that. The second drawer seemed to a bit of a junk drawer with a variety of bits and pieces. Kevin was about to close it when he noticed an envelope from a company called ‘Ancestry’. He looked around to ensure he was not being watched, put the envelope in his pocket and continued looking for sox.

Back in his own room he knelt down to put the envelope in the bottom drawer under his winter jumpers, where he hoped his mother would not go looking. As he heard the door open he turned and saw Steve coming back from his shower, wearing only a towel around his waist.

“What are you doing on your knees?” asked Steve “Praying?”

“Well if I were I think my prayers might be answered.”

“Why, what would you pray for?”

“That your towel might fall off.”

As Kevin’s prayer was answered before his eyes, Steve walked towards him and said “As long as you’re down there, I might as well take advantage of the situation.”

“Then come closer.”

 

Daniel was in his study going over some patient notes when he was interrupted by Jenny. “Dan, I’ve been calling your mother all morning and she doesn’t answer.”

“Maybe she went out or is in the garden and can’t hear the phone from there. Give her a call on her mobile.”

“I have but that’s switched off.”

“I’ve told her a thousand times, a mobile phone only works when it’s turned on. And she forgets to charge it, maybe it’s just flat.”

“I’ll keep trying and if she doesn’t answer by lunch time I’ll go over after lunch.”

“When is Jason back?” asked Daniel.

“They are due back today. I’m sure they’ll check on her as soon as they’re back.”

“Of course, then we shouldn’t worry.”

Copyright © 2020 Wombat Bill; All Rights Reserved.

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Chapter Comments

Yeah she might be fine but they don’t know that there’s a chance Beryl has COVID-19. With that knowledge her not answering the phone doesn’t look good.

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I think Daniel's Mum has either taken a turn for the worse with her Covid, perhaps a slip and fall, or... OMG she's gone to see Elvis in person. 

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I'm thinking there's something seriously wrong with Beryl, especially if she has caught covid. Kevin taking documents that don't belong to him. Those ancestry documents are gonna cause problems.

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