University, Summer Job & Birthday Plans

“So, you’ve decided then that you’re going to move out at the end of summer?” Gideon asked Chelsey. It was a Saturday afternoon and they were in the conservatory. She had just told him that instead of commuting every week to Oxford, she would just live on the campus. She didn’t mention that she had the option of living with her Uncle Ross because Gideon would have wondered about that.

“Yes. I’m nearly nineteen and thought it would be good for me to start being independent. I have done my research and discovered that Oxford has a large selection of privately-rented houses and flats available.”

“You are aware that living out will be more expensive because the houses are usually rented for the whole year rather than just for the term.”

“Yes. I would still be able to use all the college’s facilities including meals and washing machines.”

“May I make a suggestion?”

“Sure.”

“Why don’t you live on campus for the whole time you’re at Oxford which would be a lot cheaper?”

“I guess I can do that but I want to be able to have my own flat when I graduate.”

“You can earn enough money from summer jobs to get a flat or arrange to share a room with another student after you graduate. Of course, you can always continue to live here until you graduate and find a job.”

“No, I’ve made up my mind to leave here and move to Oxford.”

“Have you discussed this with your mother?”

“Yes, I have and she’s all for it. I think she would be glad to get rid of me.”

“Now, why would you think that, Chelsey?”

Chelsey shrugged. “It’s just a feeling I have. Anyway, look on the bright side, you and she will have the house all to yourselves.”

“It won’t be the same without you. I will miss you terribly.”

Her heart skipped a beat. “I’ll miss you terribly too, Gideon.”

“Don’t look so sad, my Dear. We can telephone or text each other every day if you like.”

She smiled. “We can do both as well as ZOOM each other on the weekends.”

“Yes, we can do that. Thank God for technology.”

“Gideon, thanks for giving me a summer job at Cactus Publishing House.”

“You’re welcome, Chelsey. I was surprised but rather pleased that you wanted to work there instead of at The Era.”

“Mom was insisting that I worked at The Era but I told her that I’m more into books than magazines. So, as an avid reader, Cactus Publishing House is a much better fit for me.”

“Well, I’m very happy that you’re part of our Editorial Department.”

“The people are really nice and friendly. I love proofreading manuscripts and enjoy researching facts and fact-checking.”

“Would you be interested in meeting a writer?”

“Which one?”

“Melinda Ray.”

“She wrote Blinded By The Ashes. I read that in two days. It’s one of the best novels I have ever read. And, I just finished reading her latest, Stranger of the Light.”

“Well, it just so happens that she wants us to publish her next novel.”

“What’s it called?”

Chase With Gold. Kirsten and I are meeting with her and her agent on Monday. Would you like to be a part of the meeting?”

“I’d love to. What do I have to do?”

“Nothing. Just listen and observe.”

“Okay. Do you mind if I ask her for her autograph after the meeting?”

He smiled. “Not at all.”

“Great! I have to remember to bring Blinded and Stranger with me.”

“Your 19th birthday is coming up.”

“Yes. It’s in two weeks.”

“Any plans?”

She shook her head. “Nope.”

“What about going out with your friends? When was the last time you did hung out with them?”

“It has been a while. I’ve been busy during the week and when the weekends come, I just want to crash.”

“You have to do something for your birthday, Chelsey.”

“Do you have any suggestions?”

“How about you and a group of your friends do something fun like going to Ballie Ballerson or Piano Works or bowling or Aeronaut or Electric Shuffle?”

“Hmmm. I’m up for all of these, except Ballie Ballerson. I don’t fancy spending my birthday awakening that inner child and letting loose inside a pit with a million balls. Old Street Records would be great too. They have fun music, pizza, cocktails and live music.”

“It’s your birthday, Chelsey. You do whatever makes you happy. You only turn 19 once.”

“Do you know what will make me happy?” she asked.

“What?”

“What would really make me happy is if you were to join my friends and me.”

“You want me to me there with you and your friends?”

“Yes.”

“As a chaperone?”

“No, we don’t need a chaperone. I want you to hang out with us.”

“Now, how would it look a grown man hanging out with a group of teenagers?”

“It wouldn’t look any way funny and besides, my friends like you. They think you’re cool.”

“They do?”

“Yes, they do and so do I.”

“What about your mother? Don’t you want to do something with her on your birthday?”

“Mom and I can always do something together like go for lunch or to the spa. Gideon, please say that you’ll come out and celebrate my birthday with my friends and me.”

“All right, I’ll come.”

She smiled, looking very pleased. “Great. I promise you, it will be a blast.”

Sources: Oxford Students; Bible Walks; The Balance Careers; Glassdoor; Fantasy Name Generators; Fantasy Name Generators; Design My Night

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