August is not having the best year, so far.
It’s like his parents are suddenly watching him all the time, waiting for stuff to complain about or things that he does that can be improved. Moe always thinks things can be improved if you just find some creative way to go about it and Martha is just generally obsessed with doing the best you can, always.
August thinks it’s important to take it easy, as well. But whatever.
He wishes he was still a kid like Atticus, sometimes. Well, not that his brother is that much younger but at least he’s still being treated like the baby of the family and everyone always helps him out with everything. So spoiled. August can’t remember being that doted on ever.
Juno is getting more and more weird, too. He often catches her talking to herself in the mirror or trying out different poses, as though she’s practising something. When he teases her about it Moe always jumps to her defence, telling him to mind his own business. Everyone’s so pleased with Juno, it’s like she can’t do anything wrong. She’s so good at helping out with the bakery, too, because she saves money in a jar in her room and every weekend she spends working with their mothers she gets another bill to put in it.
The bakery is finally going well, if Martha’s constant talk is anything to go by. They’re making money, she claims. Tells them they’ll go on a holiday next summer.
About time, really. August is tired of being that kid in the class that has to make up trips for his summer holidays in order not to seem like a freak. They never travel anywhere because they can’t afford it and everyone has to work.
August suspects that Juno is saving money to buy a dress for the winter prom at their high school because she’s been talking about it every day since she found out about it.
Which would also explain why she tries to hang out with Gabriel from their class – she finds him boring, August knows. She’s always found him boring, but he’s always been pretty into her and it seems she’s hoping he’ll ask her to the prom if they spend enough time together.
August can’t imagine bothering with girls if they aren’t Jean. Jean is perfect. She’s like the most perfect person he’s ever met and so pretty he can’t stop looking at her. She’s smart and cool, as well, but it’s like something is magic about her when they try out their prom outfits and she stands in front of him and smiles, asking him if he likes her dress.
There are butterflies all over, and he doesn’t know what to say so he just nods.
Jean’s mum is going to be at the dance along with Martha, so it’s not like they’ll get the chance to even kiss without being watched, but August still looks forward to it. He’ll be going to the prom with the most awesome girl in all of Barchester, which makes him the coolest person ever.
If he’ll be allowed to go, of course. Moe has said that unless he gets at least a C, he can’t do anything after school for the rest of the school year.
Juno is pretty nice about it, actually, and offers to help him out when she’s done with her own homework. She’s good at science and languages (beause of course his sister has got to be all-round clever when he’s such a mess) and even if she gets annoyed with him for complaining, she stays with him until he’s finished his maths assignment.
His grades have always been poor but this year they take a further dive and his parents get an appointment with Alice Henderson, his form teacher.
It’s one of the most embarrassing things August has ever done, being accompanied by Martha to talk about his grades and his effort and how he can improve.
He just wants the meeting to be over, wants to be on the outside with his friends and not think about maths and physics. Who needs maths and physics in the real world, anyway? It’s not like he’s going to win the Nobel prize either way.
But afterwards he has to admit that it’s fairly crappy to have to disappoint Martha and Moe like this. Martha is not mean about it but she’s so worried, he can tell by the way she looks at him, and he doesn’t like her to look at him that way. He wants her to smile, the way she smiles as Juno when she returns home with good marks and encouragement from the teachers.
He decides it might be time to work a little bit harder, after all.
* I hadn’t adjusted my settings for the Inteen when I played this lot and all of a sudden I got a pop-up telling me Jean was pregnant. NO. I may love my drama but no pregnant 12 year-olds in my hood, thank you very much.
* I have the harder grades hack and suddenly I saw that August has dropped to the bottom of the scale. Wtf, August. Come on, your parents can’t afford Uni without scholarships.