Episode Nine « The Caliente Affairs

Act 5: Mother or Lover?

Later on, Cassandra sat down to eat with Dirk. She hoped she might be able to make him see that using his dad’s money for a wedding would benefit her future family more. “So, has your dad shared with you his plans for the big fortune he’s about to make?”

“He sure has. Man, I never thought I’d be able to get through college without keeping my part-time job or something like that. Heck, I might even be able to rent a place of my own.” Dirk imagined.
Cassandra’s bitterness was scratching away inside, eager to be let out. But she calmly replied, “that would be fantastic. And you seem to be handling the pressure really well.”
Dirk’s happiness was cut short, just as Cassandra had hoped. “Pressure?”

“Oh, well, I know that if I were in your position, having all of my father’s money put into my education, I’d crack knowing that I could easily end up flunking or something. I mean, University is hard work. But I’m sure you don’t have to worry about that, you’re a bright kid.” Cassandra said, trying to sound genuinely supportive of Darren’s wishes. She saw Dirk suddenly realising that not everything about this was as great as he first thought.
“Well, I want to see what it’s like in the dorms anyway. And I’m sure they’ve got lots of ways to help you get good grades. You know, like study groups and the library. College has changed a lot since you were there.” Dirk said as Cassandra choked on her food in astonishment. “Er, I didn’t mean that you were old or anything. Just that, we’ve got stuff like the net and mobile phones now.”
“For your information, had I not dropped out to look after my father and brother, I would’ve been getting ready to take my masters!” Cassandra told Dirk, who was turning red again. “The establishment might have changed but the teaching standards are just as high as they’ve always been…”

“…Maybe even more so.” Cassandra told Dirk. “You just have to remember that there’s no pressure for you to do well. Even though all of your father’s money is going into your education – you can’t think about that. Just have fun.” Cassandra finished off her plan, hoping to have at least moved her wedding back up to Winter. Admiring her work, she imagined a beautiful Valentine’s Day ceremony would be on the cards now.
“Cassandra, you’re going to put the boy off of College if you keep going on about it.” Darren said, as he came downstairs. Cassandra hadn’t realised he had been in earshot of their conversation.
“I hadn’t finished, Darren. In fact, I was waiting for you to come and share your own great memories about College.” Cassandra said.
“Was it really that great?” Dirk asked his dad.
“You know, that’s where I met your mother and fell in love?” Darren cast a soft glance at his son and Dirk smiled, before Cassandra cut the moment short.
And that’s where you fell in love with Art!” Cassandra laughed, as Dirk half smiled and continued to listen to the two of them share their memories over dinner.

Despite his initial feelings, the more he found out about Cassandra, the more he began to understand what his dad loved about her. He had always been reluctant to let Cassandra in, but now he had, he wasn’t sure if he ever wanted her to leave. Dirk had always been suspicious of the Goth’s, but now he realised that what seemed like suspicion was really just envy. He envied their expensive lifestyle, and to him, it seemed like they were so perfect – as if they weren’t human. But with Cassandra sharing more about her life with Dirk – and Alex practically coming out to him, he saw that they were just as normal as everyone else in town.

And he saw how happy Cassandra made his dad. He’d even managed to mention Dirk’s mother, Darleen, without getting sad. In fact, Dirk now understood how he could fall in love with another woman yet still hold a place in his heart for his deceased wife.

As he thought about his mother, he silently prayed for her to help him accept Cassandra like his father had. The pinging noise of an Instant Message pop-up on his computer distracted Dirk from his thoughts and he went over to see who was contacting him.

It was Orlando, so Dirk sat down for a chat with his friend.

*Did U talk 2 that dudes girl?*
*All sorted! She was upset but didnt blame me*
*U feeling better then?*
*Loads. thanks 4 checking up on me - Ur advice was gr8*
*I know!*
*Ure gonna do gr8 in college*
*Speaking of college im inviting U 2a party 2nite - A COLLEGE PARTY*

Dirk had never been to a college party and wondered how on earth Orlando had managed to get himself invited.

*How did U score that invite?*
*Dont ask just read. Meet me @ the woodland park @ 11*
*Dude were talking COLLEGE GIRLS - 2 single n attractive guys like us would be nuts 2 turn this down. Its just what U need after all that gay crap was forced on 2U*
*LOL! What would college girls want with teens?*
*Were not goin2 say were teens dumbass! RU meeting me or what?*

Dirk turned to look at his dad and realised he’d said that he wanted the three of them to spend some time together. He couldn’t believe it, but he wanted to spend time with his Dad and Cassandra. Besides, he knew that Orlando would end up getting drunk and thrown out – or do something even worse!

*Cant, U go n have fun though*
*WHAT! Ure not coming*
*Dad n Cass want to spend time with me - Dad sold some paintings n were having a party 2*
*OOO Cassies there, can I cum 2 urs instead!*
*Dude ure sick, go try ure luck with the college girls - adios*

Not wanting to feel more guilty, Dirk logged off. Besides, he thought, it would take Orlando at least an hour to get ready!

When he sat up, Darren was stood right behind him. “Don’t sneak up on me like that!”
“You’re not going to a college party.” Darren told his son. Dirk frowned that his dad had been reading the conversation over his shoulder. Then it hit him, what if he’d seen Orlando’s message about ‘gay crap‘. Panicking, Dirk tried to ease his dad’s accusing mind.
“I already said no. Don’t you trust me?”
“Well, you do do things that make me wonder if I can trust you. But I’m sorry for accusing you, I’m glad you made the right decision.” Dirk wanted to quickly rush off to bed but Darren stopped him. “I was wondering if you minded that I don’t plan to put all of the money I made from selling my paintings towards your education?” Darren admitted.
“No, it’s fine. I kind of feel better than way anyway. Why, what did you want to spend the rest of the money on?” Darren hesitated but Dirk understood what, or who it was he wanted to spend the money on.

“It’s okay, I think you and Cassandra should save some for the wedding too.” Darren smiled, for the first time seeing that his son was beginning to accept his relationship.
“You do not know how happy I am to hear you say that.” Darren hugged his son, making Dirk laughed.
“Cut the emotional stuff dad, or else you’ll have none left for her.” Dirk joked, hinting at Cassandra waiting upstairs.
“Hey now, just because Cassandra stays over, it doesn’t mean…” Dirk stopped his dad.
“Dad, it’s okay, I’m not a kid. I know what goes on and I’m fine with it. Besides, I think Cassandra is great, and you should be really proud of yourself.” As Dirk walked into his bedroom, Darren called to him.
“I am proud… of you.” Darren smiled and went upstairs to sleep with his future wife.

If he were honest, Dirk was glad he didn’t have to go that party. He was tired. And, as he collapsed on top of his bed, he found himself falling to sleep. But before he could rest, nature was calling. Half asleep, it wasn’t until he was in the bathroom that Dirk realised he’d gone all the way upstairs. That’s weird, he thought to himself. Pausing in front of the toilet, Dirk suddenly realised he wasn’t alone.

Stepping out of the shower, a naked body shocked Dirk from his drowsy state. He was wide awake now, and could see everything. Dirk knew he should feel ashamed… but he just couldn’t look away from her fantastic body.

Her smooth, tanned skin was now wet from the shower, and looked even more astounding than yesterday. As Cassandra stood in front of Dirk, he realised she wasn’t paying attention to him. It was as if he wasn’t even in the room. But suddenly, she walked towards him, and Dirk could feel himself growing closer to her. She opened her mouth, and Dirk opened his. But to his surprise, all she did was stand there making a noise… a ringing noise.

Dirk sleepily awoke and realised it had only been another one of his hormonal dreams. As he reached over to turn off the alarm, he got the shock of his life and saw Cassandra standing at his door.
“I was just about to switch it off, you must have set it last night without thinking.” Cassandra entered his room and Dirk pulled at his blankets, so as not to highlight any revealing… bulges. As Cassandra reached towards him, Dirk panicked she would be able to tell what he had been dreaming about, but she simply switched off the alarm clock that was on his bedside table. “You don’t have to get up yet, go back to sleep if you want.” She smiled and turned around to leave. Well, Dirk thought, he wouldn’t say no to just a few more minutes!

But, as he lay in bed, he wondered if it was sick to dream that way about his future step-mother. Quickly falling back to sleep, he realised that if he had learnt anything from these past event, it was that dreams were only pretend, he didn’t really desire Cassandra that way.

…Or did he?