Even though it’s late days of summer, their lives appear to be more busy than ever.
August really tries hard in school, has been for the past year or so because part of him wants to go to Uni. Another part of it has already accepted that he won’t, that there’s no way he’ll raise his grades as much as it takes.
His brother still has time to improve though he’s got the same lousy grades, too.
Juno has taken to tutoring him in various things like chess when she has the time for it – she claims his math skills and logical thinking will improve if he can grasp the basics of chess. He can, though she always beats him. His sister is dead cleaver, however, so it’s hardly a defeat that stings.
They’re very different like that, the three of them. Juno is all about the books and the good grades and the being extremely smart thing. She loves learning stuff. August knows her grades aren’t perfect or anything because she gets bored in school, too, she’s only normal after all. But they’re good enough to get her into Uni without much effort and to top it all she’ll have scholarships to get her through the terms.
Since the bakery started making money, their mums have been saving up for all three of them so Juno will probably have a bit of starting-out-funds once she leaves school for good. He still can’t believe she’ll leave for Uni after New Years, that will make August the oldest kid at home which is just weird.
Atticus is like him, practical and good at pointless household things like cleaning and cooking.
Their mums claim these things are just as valid as being book smart but August can’t help but thinking Juno will have a successful life whereas her brothers will end up working in construction or something similar – hard work, low wage, things that will kill your body and make you retire at fifty. That’s a pretty depressing prospect.
He supposes they could always take over the bakery, though, even if that’s not something he dreams about doing. It seems to be hard work, especially since Martha insists on making all the baked goods herself instead of hiring someone to do it.
At the moment it’s mostly Juno who works in the family business – because she doesn’t need to spend all night trying to make sense of her homework – and she finds it sort of okay, he knows. Not her dream job since she wants to work with higher education, whatever that means.
At least Martha has agreed on hiring one person to help run the place recently and it seems to be a good decision.
While he can see it happening sometime in a distant future – his parents aren’t even fifty yet – August isn’t going to live his life like he’s destined to run the family business. He’s not sure he would mind it terribly if it were to happen and he’d probably be able to make some money from it at least.
Money is important to him, like really important. Not to show off or buy fancy cars but to feel secure, to have those “wide margins” Moe always rants about. August doesn’t want to be a grown up and have a heart attack every time something breaks in his house, he wants to have savings and travel abroad and make sure his kids can afford college. His girlfriend Jean understands completely. Her family is poor by most standards, she’s told him they can’t ever afford a vacation and that her mum have no savings whatsoever.
It’s so weird, though, because his mums don’t like that August hangs out with her in her parts of town, like it’s dangerous there because poor people live there. He can’t see any more danger here than back where he lives, to be honest. It’s just more run-down buildings and dirty streets but that’s not exactly life-threatening.
And Jean tells him her mum doesn’t like her hanging out with him, because he “lacks ambition in life”. Which is unfair and whatever, but he supposes it’s because Jean is such a promising football player. She’ll have a scholarship for Uni just for that and even if she didn’t, her grades would get her in. It’s not like he’s going to tell her not to go, if that’s what her mum thinks.
They’ve been together since they were thirteen which is basically forever and August can imagine waiting for her while she goes away to study and play football. It’s not like they’d be the first to do that either.
Jean tells him she feels the same way and that’s all that matters to him anyway.
When she’s a big star, he’ll go to every game she ever plays, he’s sure of it.
Even if they all have lots of things to do this summer, they do manage to get some lazy days, too.
Martha doesn’t like them going alone to the beach so they visit the public pool where there are lifeguards instead and pretend they don’t find it silly that three teenagers can’t be trusted with something as simple as swimming.
Doesn’t really matter, the public pool isn’t bad and they have plenty of nice snacks so they don’t have to bring anything.
Even with his crappy grades and everything, August is still determined to enjoy what’s left of the summer.
* I really can’t get the boys’ grades up. Don’t know if they’ve bugged out on me or what’s happened because Juno has good grades but these two, nah.