Chapter 10

The Next Generation

Welcome to the 10th chapter, and the first chapter in our second generation. And also welcome to the new residents in Foxbury student housing!

Cora has gotten into Physics, so she can fulfil her dream of becoming a great scientist.

Her best friend Aidan Martin is studying Language and Literature. He wasn’t able to get into the distinguished degree at Britechester so he’s at Foxbury as well. Aidan’s adoptive parents are Alice Martin and Nina Caliente-Martin. He wants to become a sci-fi author.

Cora’s only other friend and former barista colleague, Zane Fyres-Munch, son of Morgan Fyres and Wolfgang Munch, is also at Foxbury. He wants to become a lawyer.

Cora was the shy nerd in school, but at university, she can finally blossom. Her braces are off, she has good friends, and being brainy is suddenly cool.

She has also managed to introduce Zane and Aidan to each other, and all three of them are getting along great.

“How about this one: How do llamas think the world will end? Llamageddon!”

Okay, maybe Cora will never be truly cool, but at least her friends don’t mind.

Cora needs to stay in shape, as one of her scholarships depends on her being on the football team. Luckily, she has inherited Don’s love of fitness.

Zane is a very neat perfectionist and a stickler for rules, the perfect lawyer, really. But he looks pretty adorable so people underestimate how vicious he can be.

Aidan is a loner, and very into anything sci-fi. He has been making up strange new worlds and writing stories ever since he was a child.

“Dude, could you, like, get out of the way?”

The trio also spends a lot of time in the library, studying and writing term papers. Everything is going great, until…

“Hey Aidan, can I join you guys? My laptop died on me.”

“Oh hey, Layla, of course! Cora, Zane, this is Layla, she has the room next to mine.”

“Thanks Aidan. You three always hang out together, so I never really got a chance to talk to any of you, well, except Aidan.”

“Nice to meet you, Layla. Funny how Aidan hasn’t mentioned you at all. I thought he was too shy to meet new people, but there he goes, making new friends behind our backs.”

“Stop it, Cora! You’re making me sound like an ass.”

“Hey, it’s fine. University is new for all of us. And you must be Zane? Aidan has told me a bit about you both.”

“Has he, now? Did he remember to tell you that Zane wants to be a professional liar?”

“That’s an… interesting choice of occupation, Zane?”

“It’s lawyer, Cora. We can’t all go to space, some of us needs to stay back on Earth and handle rich people’s divorces.”

One afternoon, Cora is standing on the dormitory terrace, looking towards the San Myshuno skyline.

“It would be so cool to live there. I know my mom used to have an apartment there, before she moved to Willow Creek with dad.”

Cora gets her boys and drags them to the Foxbury Commons for dinner. Layla isn’t invited. Cora feels that both of her friends are a bit too interested in the new girl, and she doesn’t like it. And that brings out her bitchy side.

“Cafeteria lobster, Zane? Seriously?”

“Hey, we pay tuition to go here, I’m not settling for a salad!”

“Ignore her, Zane, let’s go play ping pong!”

Aidan and Zane are quickly becoming best friends. Which is probably good, Cora is a bit of a hot-head and sometimes they need to have each other’s back.

Cora gives up on her friends and meets up with her football team instead to practice. She doesn’t need Zane and Aidan, they can go hang out with stupid Layla if they want. Cora has plenty of new friends to hang out with.

I don’t know who this absolute unit is, but I love him.

Back home, Aidan is taking a break from his studies to write another short story. His fish Teddy looks on.

Cora is busy with football. The coach makes the team run laps around campus.

“Yeah, and there’s Stuart, just walking, we’ll never win if he doesn’t pick up the pace!”

It seems like Layla and Zane are getting along a little too well. Aidan isn’t thrilled – he finds Layla quite attractive and would have liked a chance. But he knows he doesn’t have Zane’s easy charm.

Staying outside the library doesn’t help much when the doors are see-though, you guys!

Cora is feeling alone. Her teammates are nice, but they’re not her best friends. She’s not sure why there’s so much tension in their group, but she suspects that it has something to do with Layla.

“Hi Aidan! I’ve missed… I mean, I was just studying, no big deal.. What’s up?”

“Nothing, Cora. I think Zane and Layla are dating, though…”

“Cool, cool. Look, I hurt my arm at practice!”

Another day, another make-out session in the library…

I looked away for a second and then saw the “Zane is about to WooHoo for the first time” pop-up. I guess I had autonomy on for this. And I wasn’t planning on this so Zane had no protection and he hates children…

Eww, guys!? That is a communal shower!

Fun fact: Mr. Stand-in-front-of-TV’s real name is Ulysses.

Layla, I think that guy heard you…

“By the way, Cora, wasn’t Zane gonna join us today?”

“I asked him, but you know what he’s like these days. He only has eyes for Layla.”

“Can’t blame him. I wish I had a girlfriend as well.”

“Aidan… Do you ever wonder, like… what it would be like if we… you know…”

“Honestly, Cora? Yes. But you’re my best friend and I’m afraid I might catch feelings if we ever did.”

“… and would that really be a bad thing?”

I mean, who knows?

“So, Cora… I know this is sudden but do you think you could share a bedroom with me?”

“Yeah, that is sudden… why?”

“Zane and I have been talking about moving away from campus but the apartment he’s looking at only has two bedrooms.”

And so we’ve moved! Zane’s parents are reasonably well off, so with a bit of help from them, and with four people paying rent, there’s just enough money for Zane to get a 2-bedroom apartment in San Myshuno.

Four people? Yes, because Layla is moving in as well. Her and Zane’s relationship has gotten serious. After the pregnancy scare, which luckily turned out to be nothing, they had a serious conversation about their future, especially the fact that Zane hates children.

Cora is happy to have the coffee machine to herself, and Aidan likes having fewer strangers around all the time.

Most of the time, it’s almost like back in the good old days of first semester.

But Layla is also here, and while she’s very nice, Cora isn’t dealing too well with her presence. The girls rarely talk.

To make things worse, Aidan gets along with her very well, and Cora can’t help but wonder if maybe he would have preferred to be with Layla if she hadn’t picked Zane.

“Grrr… Stupid perfect Layla with her beautiful curly hair and her pretty face…”

Poor Aidan. University is already stressful, and now his girlfriend is constantly upset for no real reason. He can’t figure out why.

Aidan’s problem is only made more apparent by Zane and Layla being very happily in love. He loves Cora, but she is… difficult. Sometimes he just wants to disappear into his own fictional world.

“Sorry, Aidan. I didn’t mean to yell at you. I think maybe living with other people is getting to me. We should get our own place after graduation.”

Cora usually gets her way, so Aidan just agrees. He will miss his other friends, though.

Say yes, obviously! It’s about time!

“Zane, don’t take this the wrong way, but I think Aidan and I will be moving out after graduation.”

“I understand. It’s fine, Layla has a full-time job already and I will also be working soon, we can manage the apartment alone. We’ll miss you guys though.”

“Welcome home, honey! I wanted to ask you something. I know it’s a bit soon, but…”

“Will you marry me?”

“And then she said yes and we went to dinner! We’re going to save up for a year or so and then do a destination wedding, maybe Sulani.”

“Grats, man, I’m so happy for you two!”

Cora is getting some sleep after her last football match, because tomorrow is graduation day – but we won’t have time to attend the ceremony, because it’s time to go home…

Noodles! Aww, you’re so old 😦 We won’t be staying for long, though, we have a wedding to go to.

Everyone is here! For some reason, Shawn’s father Duane has chosen to sit in the back with Brie’s half-sister Jodi who is now a teenager.

Johnny has also chosen the back row. Maybe he just doesn’t want people to see him all emotional.

Daddy Don has no such worries and is openly crying.

It’s a beautiful ceremony.

And so Brie is free to change her last name and go live her life outside the influence of the legacy.

Jodi? You can stop throwing rice, your sister and her new husband has left, the wedding is over.

And so is this chapter! Next chapter, our heir Cora and Aidan move into a new home together and get started on their careers, see you then!

8 thoughts on “Chapter 10

  1. I’m rooting for Cora to do some reflecting, process the internalized misogyny that causes her to feel unnecessarily competitive with other women, and figure out why she’s so weird around perfect Layla and her beautiful hair and pretty face.

    Could easily go the route of Cora gaining self-confidence and feeling less insecure about whether her friends like her, but right now I get vibes of the school-aged lesbian who had a crush on another girl and didn’t know how to process that so she slipped a note into her backpack reading GET OUT OF MY SCHOOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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