The Delicate Problem: The Discussion

I won’t say I was back in the swing of it last night, but I was, sort of.  By sort of, I mean I finished the scene with a fourteen hundred and fifty word run, so after only a handful the night before, I got it going on.  And that was with a lot of running around and stuff, trying to buy things before Snowmageddon descends upon The Burg tonight.

What do we learn in this scene?  Well, we learn that the kids are growing up, and . . . I should just let them talk.

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

“To get to that point, however, we need to establish a bit of a baseline. My question to you both is: were you sexually active before these visions occurred?”

Annie and Kerry glanced at each other before turning back to the adults. Annie shook her head and Kerry gave his answer. “No, we never did anything.”

“Well, there are difference kinds of sexual activity, Kerry.” Coraline sat back and crossed her legs, trying to appear less like the school’s medical officer and more like a friend. “For example, at your age, the most common activity are visual fantasies coupled with self pleasuring, because it’s common for you, as puberty kicks in, to begin exploring your body.” She straightened slightly. “Since your visions, has this happened?”

 

Nurse Coraline, always getting to the bottom of things in a hurry.  Given what she knows, let’s just say she’s not all the surprised by the answer . . .

 

This time there was an extended pause from both children. Kerry finally nodded slowly. “Yeah.”

“Since last week?” Coraline wasn’t surprised to hear this; given how agitated the vision had made him initially, she felt it was only a matter of time before he . . . did something.

“Yeah. This last Wednesday night—” Annie shot him a quick stare. “—after Advanced Spells.”

“And were you imagining anyone . . .” Coraline didn’t want to name name’s—even though she was confident that Kerry only had one person on his mind. “. . . in this room?”

He nodded to his left. “Yeah.”

“I see.” She turned to the girl on his left. “Annie, I noticed the stare you shot Kerry. Any significance there?”

She took a deep breath. “I did the same thing.”

Coraline’s right eyebrow shot into her hairline. “When?”

Annie slowly turned to her soul mate. “The same night.”

Kerry turned his head towards her. “Really?”

“Yes. I started thinking about our visions and our dreams what we discussed with Professor Arrakis the morning before, and . . .” She slowly shrugged. “I couldn’t help myself.”

“Um . . .” A slight smile played out upon Kerry’s face. “I was thinking the same thing.”

 

I know someone once said, “Okay, you kids!  Get a room,” and apparently they did–their own!  Before they start getting their raging hormones, um, raging once more, Deanna steps in:

 

“I’ve noticed this in you both before—” Professor Arrakis’ soft tone interrupted the children’s train of thought before they started wondering about those vision discussions a bit too much. “I’m convinced that if whatever had been blocking Kerry’s knowledge of your shared dreams was absent that first day in Memory’s End, you both would had your shared vision simultaneously.” She looked towards Coraline with a bit of a grin crossing her face. “Though given what happened at the end . . .

“But there was a sameness to your auras that day, and it’s been noticed that you work together so well that more than a few of the instructors feel it’s almost as if you’re working at a level beyond conscious thought.” She slowly leaned back into her chair, much as Coraline had done. “I’m not surprised this happened.”

 

This is something that’s happened at a number of different points, one of which was Kerry thinking about Annie as he met his family in San Francisco, and Annie waking up at the same time and having her first thoughts be of Kerry.  Are those coincidences?  It would seem Deanna doesn’t think so.

It’s during this discussion we discover that the school has a plan in place to keep unwanted pregnancies down, because kids can get a little . . . crazy at these times, and there’s a lot of hiding places around the school for the crazy to get let out.

 

Coraline shook her head. “We hand them out every day—” A sly grin played across her face. “There’s enchantments in the food that work on both the girls and boys.”

Annie didn’t seem surprised, but Kerry found it interesting. “On us both?”

“Yes. The enchantments see to it that your little swimmers—” Coraline pointed at Kerry. “—don’t have the energy to break through an egg. Now, there’s always about a one and a half percent change that the they might, so our back up—” She pointed at Annie. “—is to make certain that the egg only has about a one percent chance of finding a resting place in your uterus. It’s also why if you came here with an irregular cycle, you’ll notice that problem doesn’t exist any longer.”

Annie looked off to the side as if she wasn’t concerned. “I never had that problem.”

Kerry nodded in agreement. “I’ve noticed.”

It took Coraline only a moment to put their last statements together and arrive at an answer. “Kerry, are you aware of Annie’s cycle?”

“You mean when she gets her period?” He looked at her as he nodded. “Sure. She told me months ago.”

“I figured it was best he knew.” She shrugged. “Better than being perplexed if I were to turn moody.”

He chucked. “Not that you do—”

“Not with you.”

“No.”

 

Being told months ago probably means back in November, after he declared his love, and Annie pulled him aside and said, “Kerry, there are moments when I’ve not a happy witch . . .” and then told him about the Sweet Mystery of Life and how it affects her.  And he doesn’t shy away from letting Nurse Coraline know when Annie gets “her period”:  knowing him, he’s got it marked out on his computer.

This leads Coraline to start talking about what they may want to do if they ever meet up over a summer–not this coming summer, no, I know they won’t, but when they get older–but Annie decides to let something out:

 

“Glad to hear that—I figured you’d remain monogamous even out of school. That leads to those instances in the future when you may find yourself visiting each other during the summer. In that case you’ll likely want to carry a contraceptive with you—”

“We won’t need it.”

Coraline had heard this line before, but hadn’t thought she’d hear it spoken by Annie. “I realize you’ll do your best not to go that far, but abstinence only goes so far—”

“We won’t do anything.” She shook her head. “I know we won’t because our wedding night was our first time.”

“I’m sorry—” Coraline nearly shook her head. “It was your first time?”

“Yes.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I do.” A mask of seriousness descended over Annie’s face. “I felt it, and I know it to be true.”

“I felt it, too.” Kerry leaned forward, keeping his eyes on Coraline. “It was our first time to do—that.”

“How are you so sure?” Coraline didn’t want to doubt them, but she’d been in this position a few too many times in the past, and didn’t want to find these two making a mistake.

“It was like . . . I was nervous, like I knew we were going to do something we’d never done before.”

“Which we hadn’t.” Annie nodded as she reached for Kerry’s hand. “You have to believe us, Nurse Coraline. We didn’t have intercourse before that night.”

Coraline released a breath she’d held for a few seconds. “I don’t want to disagree with you, kids, but I have trouble believing that—”

“I don’t.”

All eyes in the space turned on Deanna as shifted on here chair. “Children, I think we could use a break. Would you mind going down to the first floor break area and wait for me?”

 

“So, first time, huh kids?”  Being a doctor Coraline–despite the nurse title, she really should get over that, but it’s worked for her for eleven years, why change now?–she’s suspicious when kids tell her, “Nuh, uh, we ain’t gonna do that,” because she’s certain she’ll discover a few months later they did.  And she hates to tell Annie she’s wrong, but when it comes to something like this–again, trust me, Kids, I’m a Doctor.

So why did Deanna chase them out of the room?  Because . . .

 

Coraline checked that the lift was gone before facing Deanna. “Okay, I know you know something, so gimme.”

“Tuesday morning, when I spoke with them about their visions, they were able to go into great detail than what you gleamed from Kerry that first time.” Deanna stood and shook the wrinkles out of her long skirt. “If what I’ve heard from them is true, they didn’t just have a vision, they were there—”

“That’s impossible. You can’t be inside a vision.”

“No, but they were so immersed in this one, they may as well have been there.” She almost threw up here hands. “If they say they knew they were virgins on their wedding night, then they were. That’s not an opinion—”

“It just means that they believed what they felt in the vision.” Coraline knew she should be arguing these things with the School Seer, but it was one thing to talk about sex in visions, and sexual behavior in their students in the real world. “That doesn’t make it so.”

“I know.” Deanna lay her hands on the back of her chair and leaned in. “There’s something going on with these two at a level either of us has yet to understand. It really goes beyond these instances where they sync up on certain things.”

Coraline sat on the edge of her chair, thinking. “It’s a bit scary, isn’t it?”

Deanna chucked. “More than you can imagine. It’s kept me up thinking about it on a few occasions.”

“Because these things keep happening with them?”

“No.” This time she snorted. “Because I can’t find any reason why they should.”

 

Is the School Seer not seeing something?  (Say that fast five times.)  Hard to say, but she believes the kids when they tell her they were unsullied that night, and she pulls out the V Word to press home her point.  Coraline’s still having a bit of trouble believing, but at the same time she knows there’s something really off about these two.

And you may find out what that is if I ever get around to writing the next novel about them.  Trust me:  I will spill.

Next up they get to do something that none of the other A Levels have done yet–

Not that.  Get your minds out of the gutter.

Not that. Get your minds out of the gutter.

–and we’ll see them having a discussion about stuff and things in front of an already-famous witch known to millions.

No, really.  It’s true.

The Delicate Problem: Opening Statements

Today is that magical day when I hop in the car and head back to The Burg.  A day filled with sitting behind the wheel for eleven hours, with a stop here and there to recharge.  Not sure what time I’ll pull back into the apartment, but I’ll kinda sleep in my own bed tonight–probably also need to take something to help me sleep, because I expect traffic to be a little messy going back.

I would say I'd be doing this around Cleavland, but it's more likely I'll start losing my mind around South Bend.

I would say I’d be doing this around Cleveland, but it’s more likely I’ll start losing my mind near South Bend.  And, no:  it doesn’t rock.

Because of a lot of things going on at what seemed like one time I only had about five hundred words written last night.  Only.  After doing over seven hundred in the morning, that’s close to another NaNo goal.  But NaNo is over as of today, and there’s no need to rush to get this done today.  In fact, it’s likely to be a light writing day, if there’s any at all.

In the meantime, what did happen yesterday?

Well, let me show you.  Because I didn’t write that much, and it’s leading into something that is going to affect my kids, so why not just show you?

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Coraline knew she wouldn’t have long to wait for her visitors to arrive. The email she’d send last night said eight-fifteen, and they were running close to that time—and the person who’s volunteered to go pick them up in the Dining Hall was notorious for her punctuality.

She heard the lift arrive, and readied herself for what was coming next. The lift area was really the only permanent private area of the third floor: the rest was a single open area that could be configured however was necessary. Most of the time Coraline used this area for private examinations that she didn’t want others to know about, though they’d used this for emergency sleeping space and twice for a repair space for APs.

Deanna followed Annie and Kerry towards the circle of chairs about eight meters from the lift. Even from this distance it wasn’t hard to see that Kerry was a little anxious about Annie being present—particularly after Coraline had assured him last week that they’d met alone. But it was that meeting last week—and the discussions she had with Deanna in the wake of her conversations with both kids—that convinced her it best they all sit down together and have this chat.

“Hi there.” Coraline motioned towards the chairs. “Take a seat.” She watched carefully to see—yes. Kerry sat to Annie’s right. Never fails. “Okay, so . . . Kerry knows why we’re here, and Annie, the email you received last night explained the matter at hand.”

“I know why Annie’s here.” Kerry still looked a little nervous, but he’d settled down since entering the room.

Annie nodded. “We discussed it this morning before breakfast.”

“So you know this relates back to your visions.” Deanna took the chair across from Annie.

Kerry tried not to look bothered that everyone was going to discuss this matter together. “Yes, we get that.”

“It’s actually more than that—” Coraline sat and leaned forward. “Those visions—and Annie’s rune dream—have put you both in a delicate position of . . . I guess you could say it’s accelerated your sexual knowledge, particularly of each other, a bit more than what normally happens around here. Most of the time kids learn about sex the old fashion way, through stumbling and experimentation, though sometimes they come to me and ask questions before they’re too far along the path—and it’s always my intention to help them before any real damage is done.

“You don’t have that disadvantage any more: you’ve seen just about everything one could do on their wedding night, and I’ll take your word on it—” She pointed at Kerry. “—that you didn’t get to the main event in these visions.”

Annie and Kerry slowly stared at each other, then turned back to Coraline and Deanna, with Annie answering. “No. We didn’t see that.”

“Which is good.” Coraline turned to Deanna, then back to the kids. “We’re going to try and answer questions, and help you out when you find yourself in a situation that might find your willpower starting to falter.”

 

That Coraline:  she gets right down to business.  And it is an interesting position for her to find herself in, because these kids are in a unique position of having not only seen these . . . things, but also having felt the . . . stuff.  And once unseen and felt, you’re not simply gonna say, “Okay, forget all that and just go on with your lives.”  Naw, a little difficult to do anymore.

At least I’ll have plenty of time today to think this scene over.

It’s a bit awkward for me as well.