[bc] viii. universities, books and roommates

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11 years after Indie and Harry's ten year

"Adam, come down here!" Tina yelled from the kitchen as she sorted through the mail and found numerous envelopes from the universities he had applied to. She set them all to the side as she waited for him to come down from his bedroom on the second floor.

"Hey," he stopped in front of the fridge, grabbing a can of coke from the middle shelf. "What's up?"

"These came for you," she grabbed the stack and held them out to him.

"Oh, sweet, thank you," he grabbed it from her about to leave the kitchen to run upstairs and lock himself back into his room.

"Whoa, where do you think you're going?" She grabbed his arm before he could pass her. "I expect you to open those in front of me, mister."

"Okay, I will," he nodded. "I just don't plan to open them right now."

"You aren't eager to know?" She asked. "When I got my acceptance letters I could barely contain myself from ripping into them." She searched her son's face before sighing in his direction. "What's wrong, Adam?"

"Nothing," he pretended and tried to untangle himself from his mother's grasp. "Seriously, mom. I am fine."

"No, you aren't," she frowned. "Come on, sit down. Tell me what's wrong."

"It's nothing, really," he sighed and ran his hands over his face. "What if I don't get accepted anywhere? Or what if I do and I can't decide? I applied to almost ten schools to cover all my corners and it still hasn't eased my anxiety about all of this. I just, I wish I had another year to grow up a little more before I have to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life."

"If you're feeling this way, a gap year has always been an option. You could save up the beginning of the year and then travel. I don't want you to feel like you need to go to school right this second," Tina explained.

"No, it's not that," he shook his head. "I want to go to school I'm just afraid of failure."

"You don't need to be. It's a part of life and if you fail? So what? Then you get up and try again," she encouraged. "You're lucky, Adam. You are young and you have a world of options."

"It's terrifying," he swallowed and looked at his feet.

"Maybe but that's okay. You want to know what's great about going to university? You have time to learn but, more importantly you find the people that are going to impact your life the most and make it worth wild."

"You loved your university experience, didn't you?" He asked her.

"How could I not? I mean, without my university experience I never would have met Indie or River. I didn't have many friends before then, just Clark and I was lucky to have him but Rhode Island changed our lives. I'm proud of my experience and I think you will be too."

"What was it like when you met Auntie Indie?" He asked. "She was your roommate, wasn't she?"

"She was a bit of a whack job," Tina teased. "I loved her to death through. Have I really never told you this story?"

"What story?" Stella asked as she wandered in, holding the phone to her ear and the speaker of it away from her mouth. She grabbed a can from the fridge and stepped in front of the sink, setting the can down on the surface as she opened it.

"How she met Indie," Adam explained.

Stella hummed, "Didn't she ruin the books in the library there? That's why she always gives dad a new book with a drawing it, isn't it?"

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