So much to say about this one, but here’s the photo and story first, in case you want to skip the expo!
The Fourth Third
Dad would call it an inauspicious entryway. A narrow staircase ascended between dirty red walls into darkness above. Clutter covered half the bottom step. It was a long way from the ranch back home.
But if all went well, this was home now, and its occupants like a new family. I make free adults from children, the university motto began. Faye felt so old to be here, and yet so green to be just beginning. The others were all second years – her guides and chaperones.
A light came on and she recognised Grace from zoom calls.
“Our D’Artagnan has arrived!”
I glimpsed at today’s photo on my phone over breakfast this morning and was reminded of the old university theatre where I spent so many hours of my undergraduate years. I don’t know why, it doesn’t look like the theatre, there was something in the feel of the photo. Anyway, the theatre was exactly like that. Inauspicious. Nothing to suggest upon arrival there that it would be the location I would miss more than the rest combined, when I left Cambridge 3 years later. Nothing to suggest it would be where I found my husband, my best friend and so much of myself in the intervening years.
So I started writing that story, but it turned into this story, set in another country, in a residence not a theatre, and with a lead who is definitely not me. Two things remain, however, of me and the theatre. First, the word ‘inauspicious’, which my best friend and I were just using yesterday to reminisce about our arrival there, and second, the fourth third. Like the musketeers, I was, for a while back then, part of a famous three-some, with 4 members.
27 responses to “FF – The Fourth Third”
Reblogged this on Neil MacDonald Author and commented:
I read “make free adults from children” to interpret make free as the verb. It changed the meaning entirely until I realised my mistake
Thanks for the reblog. I see the lack of clarity, but I blame the university I stole the motto from 😉
I liked this so much I even read your extro, which I almost never do.
Hugely enjoyable, jen
High praise indeed! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Such a big step in a person’s life. I feel for those over the last year or so who have missed out on this part of growing up, zoom calls just aren’t the same!
Oooh, it would have been an interesting story to be the start of year 2 having experienced year 1 remotely… hmmm… Oh well, one for another time!
Going to uni must be such a huge step – one I never made.
Perhaps you made the big step in another way – moving out of home without the safety net of a ready-made support system? I can still remember my Dad driving away when he dropped me off the first time. It was a big leap for me, but one I’m very glad I was able to make.
I enjoyed the afterword as much as the story itself. Happy memories for both.
Thanks! I think what comes first matters a lot less than what comes next!
Nice one, interesting footnote too. Not uni, but I did move from away from my home in a rural village to a small room in London when I was 17.
Wow, that must have been quite the change, Keith.
A fun story, taking me back to my own re-entry into the halls of ivy when I was 50. Great fun!
I’m sure that was a great time of change too. Thanks for stopping by
I really enjoyed this story. The moment you conjured up took me right back to my own moment. I’m glad you wrote the extroduction too. It’s a fascinating process discovering how stories take their own direction. Loved it all.
Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed both bits
New beginnings are never easy. Love the motto. I’m not sure college made an adult out of this child. 😉 Good one.
Arguably, adulting is overrated anyway!
Striking out on our own is always difficult, but it’s made easier with the friendships we make along the way. Nice slice of life!
Big step, small steps … life. Lovely! 🙂
What a lovely truism, thank you!
An exciting new beginning!
I absolutely loved this piece!