Everyone is sat around the table talking about their day. Andy is getting bread out to cool and Gervais is making a salad. It is a happy group. Blue is about to get the veggie lasagnas out the oven when Mike calls, at the same time Randolf gets a call.
“Put on the TV.” Blue and Randolf say at the same time.
Blue turns the oven down and follows everyone into the other room.
They all stare at the local news station and Blue gets flashbacks to the car crash freshman year and doesn’t immediately take in what is happening.
“Oh my god it is hamburger girl.” Gervais says and Blue snaps out of his daze.
The police are holding a press conference about the arson attacks and one of those who has been charged is the homophobic girl from freshman year.
“You know her?” Randolf asks when it is over.
“Yeah, she made our lives hell when we started school.” Andy says.
“So what the report says about her being mad at being turned down for a job isn’t true?” Randolf asks.
“I never interviewed her, but she is a little familiar.” Heidi says.
“I don’t believe I saw her for anything.” Cheryl says.
“No way have I been in a room with her since school. But that isn’t the point is it? Even if we had and turned her down we didn’t deserve this.” Blue says.
“She is the girl who did all those hateful things? Nearly pushed you out of school?” Clara asks. Clara arrived with Cheryl for dinner and Blue didn’t want to turn her away. He’s actually glad she’s here for this.
‘”What did she do?” Heidi asks.
“Lead a hate campaign to get the gay guys evicted from the safe floor. Threw a hamburger into Blue’s dinner. Graffitied our door with homophobic slurs. It sucked.” Robin says.
“And now she’s burned down our businesses. How are she and Jett connected? Why use Lana’s name for the apartment?” Blue asks.
“Can I be completely clear, the being turned down for a job is false and she has harassed you in the past?” Randolf asks and the guys all nod.
“I can’t believe you guys went through that.” Ollie says quietly.
“Did you file a police report? Did she get expelled?” Randolf asks.
“No and I think it was suggested she leave rather than anything formal.” Blue says.
“My mom has all the newspaper cuttings. We could probably find the articles online.” Robin says.
“Why would someone throw a hamburger at Blue? That is so mean and wasteful.” Ocean says.
“Lets go eat dinner. I zoned out a bit during the news, was it just her and Jett?” Blue asks.
“No it was her wealthy husband bankrolling it due to her upset. I don’t know how they found Jett,” Randolf says.
“So they planned it and tried to implicate our whole family, even Lana and Paul?” Blue asks.
“Seems that way. I will just make one call.” Randolf says.
“He’s been his old self again since this case. I hate to say I have benefitted from your misfortune but it has been wonderful to see him so happy to get up in the morning. He’ll be making some changes going forward for sure.” Lilian, Randolfs wife says.
“He is more than welcome to do a clinic at the women’s center and there are shelters he could volunteer at,” Clara says.
“I will be following that up.” Randolf says sitting down.
“Hey, its funny its veggie lasagna tonight.” Blue grins.
“Watch out for flying meat.” Andy says and the suite guys smile.
“Funny how curious I was about your eating and now I rarely eat fast food.” Robin smiles.
Mike arrives as they are serving and pulls up a chair.
“I’m sorry we should have invited you.” Blue says as he gets out an extra plate.
“It is awkward now Cheryl and I are broken up. And we oldies don’t expect you young one to include us always. I just wanted to check you were okay.” Mike says.
“You are always welcome.” Blue grins.
“I can’t believe you guys put on such a spread. Randolf told me of your restaurant plans. I am sure you will do well.” Lilian says.
“How did the school interview go?” Gervais asks trying to change the subject so Blue, Bea and Chris can digest the new information.
“I didn’t like it. The uniform was gross and it felt bitchy. I think I want to go to the small mixed school. No big sports but they have lots of clubs and no uniform and it felt really cool. Also it’s a through school so it is more like home, kids of all ages.” Katelyn says.
“Are academics good?” Andy asks.
“Yes and they have small class sizes so a course is never cancelled due to lack of take up.” Katelyn says.
“Can I go too? I want to go back to school I am sick of gymnastics ALL. THE. TIME.” Ocean says suddenly.
“For real or just because Spence and Will are gone?” Blue asks snapping back in.
“For both. I don’t want to homeschool next year. I want to go to school with Katelyn.” Ocean says.
“If you went to school you would go to the middle school here with Jane.” Cheryl says and everyone realizes the cost implication.
“I could cover tuition.” Clara and Gervais say at once.
“A private school might work with Ocean’s schedule. So he could do both.” Blue says.
“It isn’t for us. I am happy for Ocean to cut back on gymnastics and I am happy for him to go to public school or to home school.” Cheryl says firmly.
“Please mom, I don’t want to go to Jane’s school. It is all football boring, boring and no fun.” Ocean says.
“You know very little about either school. We will start looking if you are serious about going back and I will talk to your coach about dropping back to recreational gymnastics. Though think you are bored right now because you’re not training fully with all the senior squad away.” Cheryl says.
“I want to spend more time with Katelyn and my big brothers. If I go to school then gymnastics I never see anybody.” Ocean complains and sticks out his bottom lip.
“I’m sorry I’ve not had much time for you buddy. I am finishing work tomorrow and so we can hang out loads. You can come and help Andy with me in the garden.” Gervais says.
“Okay.” Ocean grins, easily pleased.
“Thanks.” Cheryl says with a small smile. If Ocean isn’t in gymnastics they can move on up to the lake and she can be with Willow. Even though Roe and Katelyn are here it feels like the right choice. She can easily sell her share of the veggie deli.
“Thank-you so much for dinner. I will be in touch when we hear more. Anyone gets approached by the police for another statement call me before you say anything. Heidi, Cheryl that extends to you.” Randolf says.
“You have such a lovely home and the food was wonderful.” Lillian says.
“Thanks for everything. I feel even more to blame now but hopefully Bea and Chris feel better.” Blue says.
“You’re not to blame. Not at all, Jett, this girl and her husband are. I don’t feel to blame for Jett, I have had far worse breakups with far fewer consequences.” Heidi says.
“Just like I’m not to blame for Jesse.” Gervais says quietly and Blue nods and gets up to see Randolf and Lillian out.
They spend the rest of the evening looking at the school Katelyn likes and catching up while Blue takes Ocean outside to check on the chickens and have a chat.
“I finally remembered where I recognize burger girl from.” Heidi says suddenly.
“Where?” Robin asks.
“One of the early birthday parties. She was there with a friend, maybe her sister, and was complaining and started saying offensive things about Nick.” Heidi says.
“The one I asked to leave?” Ella asks.
“Yeah. I’d totally forgotten, but I am sure it was her.” Heidi says.
“You never told us about that.” Cheryl says.
“We managed it. The mom of the birthday kid thanked us for handling it so sensitively. She didn’t make a fuss when we told her to go. I thought maybe she was glad not to be stuck at a kid’s party. “ Ella says.
“Should we tell Randolf?” Heidi asks.
“Drop him an email. You have his card. I’m worried, really worried that she has some hate organization behind her. That this is all about publicity.” Clara says.
“Jett would never be involved in something like that.” Heidi says.
“He really wouldn’t. He might be a liar and a cheat and a coward but he wouldn’t be caught up in anything like that.” Ella says.
“We just need to let the police do their job.” Mike says.
“It’s mom.” Bea says answering her phone.
Chris stops flirting with Larry and stares at Bea.
“Yes you can come here. No one is going to be mad. We have somewhere you can stay.” Bea says and Cheryl nods reassuringly.
“Mom you can share with me if it comes to it. Just get here, you know where Blue’s house is.” Bea says.
“Is she okay?” Chris asks.
“No. Dad is blaming her for everything. Said she must have lost her credit card or had identity theft and he has emptied their joint account and frozen all their cards.” Bea sighs.
“I can’t believe they still had joint accounts.” Chris says.
“She thought they would sort things out. She has a savings account of her own that he doesn’t know about but no cards for it. She needs a bit of help sorting things out now she understands that the divorce is happening.” Bea says.
“Now the police are on the case and I’m no longer under suspicion I am heading back to the lake. Can someone get Blue so we can work out logistics and boundaries?” Clara says.
“Momma, you have no idea about boundaries.” Blue snorts coming in with Ocean.
“Ocean, Katelyn I think it is best that we head home. Cheryl I expect you need to stay?” Roe asks.
“Yes I best and thank-you.” Cheryl says.
“Thanks for a wonderful meal Blue. And Andy and Gervais.” Roe says laughing as Andy puts on a cross face.
“We’ll get going too. Thanks for fitting me in. Always love your lasagna.” Mike says and gives Blue a hug and whispers “You can come to the farm any time if things get too much.”
“Thanks, not going to give up my home.” Blue whispers back and Mike nods.
Everyone says their goodbyes until it is just the guys, Larry, Bea, Clara and Cheryl.
“Andy can we have some of Spence’s wine? I feel like this discussion requires a drink.” Blue says.
“I’ll find something.” Andy says with a smile, worried.
“I am fine for Lana to stay with me and Roe.” Cheryl says.
“I’d rather she was with me. I think we’ll stay at Gladys place and she can come to work with me.” Bea says and Blue relaxes. He doesn’t trust Lana at all.
“What if it is another money scam? I’m not saying dad hasn’t ripped her off, I expect he has. But grandma would help if she asked. Or she and dad could be trying to rip us off by pretending.” Chris says.
“I think we should work on that assumption.” Blue says.
“She won’t need money other than for gas.” Robin says.
“She is also vulnerable, has been the victim of crime and is not in a great place right now. Bea I understand that you think Gladys’s place out of everyone’s way is best but you two light each other’s fuses so easily. You cannot manage her alone. Bring her back tonight, you can stay too. Clara will have to stay here or a hotel for the night, as I don’t want a cat fight in front of Ocean.” Cheryl says.
“I think that’s best. She might find it easier to talk to Roe or Cheryl anyway.” Chris says.
“Are you sure we’re not imposing too much?” Bea asks.
“No, Bea you need to learn when favors are real. This one is real.” Cheryl smiles and Bea nods.
“Thank-you. I know this is a risky situation for all of us. I still think dad had something to do with the fires and if he did I could never entirely rule mom out from knowing. Although I was right she was upset too.” Bea says.
“Just be careful. Call me any time. I have given you the number of her lawyer and the women’s center. Call your therapist if you are feeling unwell.” Clara says.
“What about our weekend plans?” Chris asks annoyed, he knows that Lana coming back will derail things with Blue.
“We can still go, I made the reservation. I am sure someone can mommysit for us.” Blue says taking a drink.
“Momma we should go get your room ready.” Bea says.
“I’m going to get some air.” Blue says refilling his glass and heading outside.
“Guess we best clean up.” Chris sighs and Larry starts clearing things as Gervais slips outside to check on Blue.
“This isn’t like you.” Gervais says.
“I feel so lost. I don’t think anything makes sense. In a way I wish it was Lana and Paul who did it. What is it about us, that makes people hold grudges and want revenge? I try so fucking hard to be good, I am so nice to people and I get fuck all back. Oh I know having this place and having the businesses at all has been amazing luck. But its nothing compared to losing Jesse, the fires, the car crash, that Curtis attacking you, Robin being attacked at school and everything Chris and Bea have done to me. Us 5 have been great friends and a great support but we all attract so much drama and hatred.” Blue says.
“I don’t know. I have done a lot of rotten things, breaking your heart, stringing Jesse along. But nothing so bad as what has happened to me. I don’t think so any way.” Gervais says.
“No and you have worked so hard to be so amazing now. I don’t want to not do things for people any more as it is in my nature and I love it. But it feels fucking futile, I’ll never rack up enough good karma to stop all this shit. Like Chris is shit to so many people and it rarely comes back on him. Me I can’t even hate a girl who tried to break me without fire and destruction. I know I have Will and you and maybe that is so much more than anyone else gets to have.” Blue says.
“I get you. I do. I know nothing is going to snap you out of this. Lets go to bed, grab Robin too and we’ll cuddle all night long. We don’t need to be awake when Lana arrives.” Gervais says.
“Sounds good. God I wish you weren’t going back to school. I wish we had more time just us 5 and Will.” Blue says.
“Me too.” Gervais says and pulls Blue indoors.