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The Way of Our Child



The accident wasn’t her fault. It was both of theirs.

“… I can’t help falling in love with you”, sung Elvis Presley’s husky voice from the radio. It was the 3 rd of January 1962 and the summer heat was out in full force. It was what you would expect to see Cottesloe Beach on a sweltering summers day, people having fun, families and children and the odd group of teenyboppers.

“Throw us the towels Payton” Adrianna said to the brunette haired girl sitting in the back of the car. It was the ideal day for having fun at the beach and that is exactly what Adrianna, Payton and Pepper were planning on doing. And the sun they thought always brought out the hunky boys! The girls grabbed their towels, hats and the keys and set off.

The three girls sauntered down the road, politely acknowledging the horn beeps and “yeah!” comments from teenage boys in their cars. Although the girls said out loud that they didn’t like boys making comments about the way they looked, they secretly relished in it, as any attention from a boy was great they thought. Adrianna was the leader of their group, blond with blue eyes and very slim, she was the bombshell of the group. Adrianna always seemed to have everything going her way it seemed to her friends. She was wealthy, tanned, had all the boys after her attention, was good at school, had heaps of friends and had a great relationship with her parents. Payton and Pepper although bombshells in their own right still felt subordinate to Adrianna.

Payton and Pepper set the girls things down at the foreshore of Cottesloe beach whilst Adrianna went up to order ice cream. It was going to be a girls evening out at the beach. This was meant to be quality best friend bonding time until Adrianna met Jasper. Adrianna wasn’t the type of girl to pick any old guy from the sidewalk, so the two girls assumed that Jasper must be a nice guy. They all sat on the beach and the girls could see that Adrianna and Jasper were really beginning to like each other. They splashed around in the water and play fought for hours until it was 10pm and Adrianna’s mum called asking them to come home.

All Adrianna could talk about that night was Jasper. They had planned to meet again the next night at the same time at the beach considering it as school holidays. Unfortunately Adrianna’s mother was far too lenient with Adrianna and she let her go out even though her friends were not allowed. This was set to be a big mistake.

“Jasper” Adrianna called.

“Addy!” Jasper returned.

They met and they walked down to the beach in flirtatious silence.

“So… how you been?” Jasper asked sheepishly.

“Good. By the way we go to school together. Did you know?”

“Oh yeah I thought I recognised you from school. But I’m in Year 12 and you’re in Year 11. So…”

“Was Jasper trying to tell her something?” Adrianna thought,

“Well yeah but I always thought you were pretty nice on the eyes” she said with a flirty wink.

“Hmmm yeah well you’re not half bad yourself. How ‘bout we go for a swim?” Jasper replied with a laugh. Adrianna really thought that they could be really good together.

No one really knows what happened after their swim apart from Adrianna but she would never tell. They got close she had said, too close.

“Do you really think so?” Payton yelled into the receiver.

“Yep. I am two months late and I have put on weight” Adrianna said beginning to cry.

“Well what should we do? I’m going to come over. I will tell Mum we’re going to study. Be right over. Don’t panic! I’m sure it’s a mistake” and she hang up.

“I sure hope so”, Adrianna whispered into the phone before she placed it back on the hook.

Soon after there was a knock on the door, it was Payton’s knocking signal. Boom, da, da, doom, doom, da, da. Adrianna raced down the stairs and answer the door.

“Who is it honey?” yelled her mother from the reading room.

“Its Payton Mum, we’re going to study”, she yelled back

No reply, it was obviously all right then.

“Ring him,” Payton announced as soon as they were safely in Adrianna’s room.

“Now?”

“Yes now. Or it’s going to be never. I know you too well”

Adrianna picked up the receiver and began to dial decidedly slowly and aloud

“9…2…4… I can’t”

“Do it Addy!” Payton instructed

“9… 2… 4… 3… 7… 1…4… 2”

It began to ring

“Hello Jefferies residence. Annette Jefferies speaking” the voice said

“Oh hello Mrs Jefferies. My name is…” she paused

“Dear are you still there?” she asked concerned

“Yes, sorry bad lime. My name is Adrianna and I go to school with Jasper. Is he home?”

“Of course I will fetch him… Jasper!” she called

“Uh hey?”

“Hey Jasper it’s Addy”

“Addy! It’s so good to hear your voice!”

“You too. Hey can we talk?” she said somewhat hurriedly

“You sound stressed. But yeah of course we can. Let me go to my room.”

There was about a minute of silence on Jasper’s line, which felt like twenty minutes on Adrianna’s end.

“You still there?” his voice piped in

“Yep.”

“So, what did you need to talk about?”

“I need to know a few things. Do you love me? And will you ever leave me? It sounds weird I know but please just tell me” and she began to cry

“Addy don’t cry! You know this. I love you so much. You mean everything to me and I would do anything for you and I will never leave your side. EVER” his voice warmed her heart.

“Well good. Thank you. I love you so much. Do you think we could talk more tomorrow. Maybe go down to the beach?” she said in between sobs

“Yes of course. Tomorrow 4pm? Cott beach?”

“Yep. I love you Jasper”

“I love you too. And one day you will be Mrs Adrianna Jefferies, I promise”

The next day was a bit cold which made sitting at Cottesloe Beach slightly unsettling. They sat in their school clothes and as the autumn wind began to blow Jasper put his arm around her.

“You needed to tell me something?” he said

“Hmmm” she replied and snuggled closer into the crook of his arm

“Addy please what is it?” he begged

“I’m…I’m pregnant”

His whole body became tense and he sat there for a moment. After a few minutes Adrianna felt the soft drop of a tear fall into her hair. Jasper was crying. What had she done?

“We will be okay”, he said through sniffles

“Will we?” Adrianna said sadly

“Well there is no other way. I’m going to be a Daddy and your going to be a Mum, so we better face it. I know it’s hard darling”, Jasper said as he pulled her in tighter.

The first step for the expecting parents was telling their parents. Telling Mr and Mr Calprus was the hardest thing of all. They didn’t get angry, they didn’t get sad; they obviously didn’t feel happy they simply walked away. Around about ten minutes later Adrianna and Jasper heard and felt the shrill sobs oh Mrs Calprus in another room to her husband. She was yelling, “how?” “why?” and “not my little girl”. Mr and Mrs Calprus said through red eyes,

“The only thing we can think of is for you to leave for a while Adrianna. Go pack a bag” he uttered between fits of sobs

So that is what they did. They packed a bag and left, left to go and tell Jasper’s parents the news.

Mr and Mrs Jefferies we much more understanding of their situation and they approached it rationally. Saying,

“Now that you two are expecting a child you need to act like grown ups. We will give you a weekly payment of $100.00 for any grocery or needs and you can have free board and still continue your education. You also can both live out in the granny flat out the back.” Mr Jefferies said

“It’s nice darling,” said Mrs Jefferies to Adrianna,” and you can decorate any way you want when you’re not at school. We have old paints in the shed and you and I could go and look for baby necessities and some linen. Kids, you must know we love you very much and yes, what you did was very silly and we are disappointed but we know you love each other and that is all that matters. You have a lot of trust to rebuild”

And that was that. They went out to the granny flat and set up for the night. Most of the night they held each other and cried, simply letting all the emotion go.

Thankfully by Term 4 holidays Adrianna had completed her Year 11 exams with an overall score of 91%, Jasper had finished his Year 12 exams and Christmas was nearing. On the 16 th of December Jasper’s Year 12 results were being released. He was a smart boy and from a wealthy family he would be fine. And yes he was 96% score. He was off to University. What a great start to their family life they both thought with Jasper being home some days to look after the baby, but the struggle was just beginning. The baby was due any day and was born on the 22 nd of December 1962. He was beautiful, blond hair and blue eyes just like his Mum and Dad and he was named, Samuel Cooper Jefferies. Not many people visited the hospital, of course Mr and Mrs Jeffries were constantly there, Payton came every day for one hour, Pepper didn’t come as they weren’t friends when every found out about the baby and Mr and Mrs Calprus visited once. Although scary it was an amazing time for the new, young parents. That Christmas was one to remember.

January 3 rd 1963, Cottesloe Beach

There they were hand in hand, pushing their tiny baby in the stroller up Marine Parade. They no longer cared for the looks or the snide remarks said under people’s breaths. They had only one thing in the world to care about and that was Samuel. They had returned to Cottesloe Beach to commemorate the day they met. The 3 rd of January 1962 they had met at Cottesloe Beach and this is where they returned a year later. As the sun set over the Indian Ocean they glanced over at Samuel fast asleep, breathing in the ocean’s misty air and they sighed, the start of a new beginning. They were home again by the way of their child.

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