Blue reluctantly helps Gervais move before Robin’s family arrive.
“Please come back after. Not just for me but for Ocean too.” Blue says.
“It’s hard Blue. I want to be around ocean more but I didn’t know quite how hard it would be to be around you and Will.” Gervais says.
“I’m sorry.” Blue says.
“I love that you’re happy. I love that he treats you right, well almost, not sure about you being apart at night.” Gervais says.
“It is short term. I’d stay with him but he doesn’t get the sleep he needs.” Blue sighs.
“I can’t even say I’d be better as I’ll be back at school in a couple of months.” Gervais grins.
“You never wanted to take me back. Not really. We were getting close but you always backed off.” Blue says.
“More fool me. We’ll always be friends though. Our stupid falling outs are over.” Gervais says.
“l will hold you to that. We can get planning our birthday party once Robin’s family go.” Blue says.
“We can, both parties. I need you in my life Blue.” Gervais says.
“Same. We just have to work out how.” Blue says with a smile.
They hug and talk for a while longer before Blue heads home to get the house ready. Will gets home to find Blue cleaning and is annoyed.
“You should have got Robin to do this. You’re not a hotel.” Will says.
“Robin’s family have hosted me in the past. I am just returning the favor. It isn’t too much work.” Blue says.
“You do too much for these people.” Will says.
“Look Robin’s mom has done a lot for me and for Gervais. She came through and helped us when Gervais dad died and we were floundering. I owe her big time.” Blue says.
“Gervais owes her, not you.” Will says.
“That is your view not mine. She has been there for me and is someone I can always call on.” Blue says.
“You do too much for everyone and they do not give back. Not really. They are nice to you but they don’t do much for you.” Will says.
“I’m happy right now. I am happy with my friendships and my living situation. I don’t need or want things to change. I feel like you’re trying to change me.” Blue says.
“I am. I love it when you stand up for yourself. I hate seeing people take you for granted. You were meant to get a cleaner and yet you’re still doing almost everything and most the laundry and cooking on top of your workload. It cannot continue.” Will says.
“It’s my house, I need to keep it nice and I love cooking. Cheryl, Andy and Ocean help out with the cooking and Cheryl does her and Ocean’s laundry, she’s just a bit swamped right now to do more. Once the launch is done it’ll be easier.” Blue says.
“There will be the deli launch, then you’ll have the soup launch and then the restaurant. Things are going to be full on for ages. When I see you you’re either doing housework or napping.” Will says.
“Then stop wasting time fighting.” Blue says.
“Don’t take me for granted is what I’m saying. I need more quality time. I know my training wiping me out is as much to blame as you being a martyr. But you can change.” Will says.
“And you could make an effort, you could plan a date, ask me to keep a night free or to meet you from the gym for dinner. Right now it is all on me to organize that stuff.” Blue complains.
“That is fair. I need to be more proactive. I thought you were happy just hanging out and watching a movie. We need to get out and be alone too.” Will agrees and Blue relaxes.
“I do just love watching a movie but we both fall asleep within ten minutes.” Blue laughs.
“We do. For sure we need to get out a little more. Lets do something just us on Sunday. Lets go to another town and have lunch where no one knows us and visit a gallery or something.” Will says.
“That sounds nice. But only if you have the energy.” Blue smiles.
“You deserve my proper attention and I deserve yours.” Will says settling the matter.
Robin’s family arrive and Will’s fears are put to rest as they all pitch in without being asked and are generally cheerful and bubbly to have around. They brought Blue some plants and cookbooks as housewarming and host gifts and Blue is very touched.
“Blue would it be okay if my sisters stay in this evening without mom and dad. The three of us want to have dinner alone to talk through my plans.” Robin asks after a couple of days.
“If they are okay with it.” Blue says.
“They are looking forward to spending some time with you.” Robin grins.
“I guess that involves baking and a lot of sugar.” Blue grins.
“I think popcorn and movies and a night on their phones is what they are after.” Robin grins. They are both partially right. The girls want to bake with Blue and to spend time on their phones messaging friends and unwinding without their parents around.
At dinner Robin is having a harder time.
“You don’t have the experience. It is very well Blue encouraging you and I accept you might want a business but for app but for the rest, no way. It is fine learning on the job and helping Blue’s business but your knowledge will have a lot of holes. You need to be somewhere structured at least for the first couple of years.” Robin’s dad says.
“I thought you’d be supportive. I have been working really hard and doing a great job.” Robin says.
“I don’t doubt that and you’ve clearly hit on an idea that might fly, if it isn’t Out there. But this job is a summer job, and money to support studies. It is giving you great experience and will look terrific on your resume. But it is not what you should be doing next year.” Robin’s mom says.
“What if I can’t get a job with a big firm? What if I do but it’s in California?” Robin asks annoyed and upset that his parents are not being supportive.
“I thought you were going to apply for a masters so you had a fall back if you didn’t get a job. If you get a job in California we will be more than happy to help you out with a couple of months rent and moving costs. Just because you’re graduating doesn’t mean you’ll be on your own. We have budgeted to help you get started.” Robin’s mom says.
“We just think you are thinking too short term. If Blue’s businesses fail you’d be in a mess.” Robin’s dad says.
“There is so much scope for small business support here. I wouldn’t be tied to one company and I can make a go of it and you really can’t stop me. I mean sure you could choose not to support my final year but I hardly think you’d be that mean. You need to see more of my life here, hear about Heidi and her plans.” Robin says.
“It’s all very well to be volunteering and helping other businesses get off the ground and you’re having some good luck with a cheap Place to stay but you will need to earn a decent wage and stand on your own feet. You don’t have the kind of money that Blue, Spence and Gervais do. We’re well off but not in their league. Those three are set for life and yes they include you and pull you along but you will need to work to buy your own home and support a family. We can only help so much.” Robin’s dad says.
“You can’t bank on a beautiful house falling into your lap like Blue’s did. You need to remember your situation isn’t like theirs.” Robin’s mom says gently.
“We love that you’ve found your spark and know what you are interested in. We’re just saying look for a job that can build on that and give you a little security, health benefits. Be adult.” Robin’s dad says. He is so proud that Robin has this drive right now and hates stamping on his dreams but they are both worried that he doesn’t understand the reality of the cost of living and what a small business will make.
“I just can’t believe you don’t believe in me.” Robin says.
“Show me a real business plan and put my mind at rest.” Robin’s dad says and Robin slumps in his chair, knowing he is a long way off proving himself.
“I’ll make more than Andy selling a few veg.” Robin says.
“Andy has long term plans, he has projections based on the current land and is working on them for Abby’s farm. He has factored in the soup, farmers markets and has plans to market to restaurants. He and Blue have done a lot of work together on how to build a nest egg to get their wine business started.
He is also working as hired labor a day or two a week to keep money coming in, however small, as he says it covers his phone bill and keeps him in clothes. He has back up plans and ideas on how to cope with a failed harvest, moles and flooding. I don’t think you even have an outline plan.” Robin’s dad says surprising Robin. He knew Blue and Andy had been working on the business a while but he had no idea they had thorough plans, they seem to just bumble along.
“I’m still working on it. Andy and Blue have had a lot more time. Blue has been here nearly a year.” Robin says.
“We’re not unsupportive. We love the fire you have but we need to help you keep your feet on the ground.” Robin’s mom says.
“I get that. I needed a reality check. I guess with Blue he seems to just do things and they’re a success. I know it takes a lot more than that and he works really hard and has teams of people doing work that I’ve no idea about.” Robin says feeling defeated.
Robin goes back to Blue’s house with his parents after dinner. He really wants to talk to his friend about everything his parents have said and work out his options.
“I get what they’re saying and I can’t offer you what they think you need. I think you could do it though, you’ve picked up a bunch of certificates already and I imagined you planned to do a few more. Look I’ll invite Jeremy and Saul to dinner along with Abby and Gladys. Jeremy might be able to help you out, he went his own way straight from college. If you still want to go for it.” Blue says.
“My dad was right I need a real plan first. You glossed over things a bit.” Robin says.
“I did, but you have to do it all for yourself.” Blue says.
“I know. I might pick Andy’s brain though. I had no idea you two had such detailed plans.” Robin says.
“I’ve been planning the vineyard half my life, of course I have plans and the produce has just become a part of that. Andy and I have been working on this separately and together for ages and we’ve been pulling a joint plan together this summer. I’ve been working with Mike and to an extent Tad. Andy has recently been working with Abby as she has so much knowledge it is unreal.” Blue says with a smile.
“I need a real plan. I really want to do it and I guess they have spurred me on to succeed despite what they say.” Robin says.
“You know that you’ve only had the idea for a short while. It is expecting a lot for you to have a full business plan already. I guess I just assumed you’d live here and so have minimal costs but you need to be able to survive alone. They’re right about that.” Blue says.
“Yeah we are planning not to fight but who knows.” Robin grins.
“Talk to Heidi, she can help you with what you need too.” Blue says.
“We’re trying to keep business out of it.” Robin grins.
“Fair enough.” Blue laughs and wiggles his eyebrows.
“I like her but as a really good friend. We’ve not got much chemistry. We’re trying to be good friends.” Robin says.
“Oh. I thought you were properly dating.” Blue says.
“Just isn’t working out that way. That’s okay and it is easier on Gervais for sure.” Robin says.
“I am so worried about him.” Blue says.
“He’s a little depressed but he’s happy at work and making plans for the future. I best get back to him. Thanks for taking care of my sisters.” Robin says.
“They took care of themselves. They’re lovely and there are cookies.” Blue grins.
“I’ll take some back for Gervais.” Robin says with a smile.
“You best be quick before Andy gets back.” Blue grins.
The following day Gervais meets Robin’s mom for lunch near work.
“It is good to see you. But you seem quite down.” Robin’s mom says.
“I am loving work, I made a new friend, I thought he might be more than that but we were working together and now he’s dating Larry anyway. I am feeling a bit lonely. Everyone is pairing up and not just dating they are in serious relationships. I feel a little left behind.” Gervais admits.
“You’re only twenty. You have worked so, so hard and you’re ready now. It won’t happen in an instant. You’re in the right place now, so when you do meet someone you will have a much better chance of success.” Robin’s mom says.
“I know. I never really believed it would be someone other than Blue. I knew each time I pushed him away I was taking a risk but I never believed that he would find someone who loved him as much as I did, or that he would love as much as he loves me. It’s a huge hit to my ego and very hard to process.” Gervais says.
“Blue loves you and he always will. You’re not losing him, not really. Your connection will always be there. But you can have something different with someone new. You always wanted a more equal partner.” Robin’s mom says.
“I know. I guess I can give myself this year to date a little and then start the search properly.” Gervais says.
“I am glad you’re still planning to move here after graduation.” Robin’s mom says.
“I might change my mind. But I can’t really see myself being away from Blue, not really. He’s still my security blanket. And I support him too. He’s had a rough year and if Clara buys a place nearby and brings Bea he will need as many friends as he can get.” Gervais says.
“Clara wouldn’t.” Robin’s mom says shocked
“She would. She can be amazing to everyone but is often batshit insane when it comes to Blue.” Gervais says.
“Those articles were awful. If my two of my three turned on the other I don’t know what I would do. Utterly horrific position for Clara to be in. I guess Blue misses out as usual.” Robin’s mom says.
“I think he and Clara have been doing better than ever. He has learned to stand his ground with Will’s help. But if she brings his siblings here again then I think they will be done.” Gervais says.
“That would be a real shame but sounds sensible. I have seen your dads file. I can confirm he bounced from foster homes to institutions his whole childhood. I don’t think there is any value in you reading the whole thing, I think it would trigger your bad memories.” Robin’s mom says.
“How did you?” Gervais asks, curious but also relieved she has done the hard part for him.
“It’s a long story, and not entirely above board.” Robin’s mom smiles.
“No need to explain. Thank-you for doing it. I think confirming that is good enough for me. I forgave him. I feel bad that maybe my existence stopped him remarrying and fully having the life he wanted.” Gervais says.
“I don’t think it was you, and if it was it wasn’t your fault.” Robin’s mom says.
“I know. I truly believe it now but I still feel badly for him.” Gervais says.
“Good. You really have come a long way.” Robin’s mom says.
“I have. So much is thanks to you. I want you to know that I’ll always be there for Robin. I owe you and your family so much.” Gervais says.
“It was a privilege to help.” Robin’s mom says with a big smile and Gervais believe it.