Adjusting, a story of after-Addergoole

A drabble: Phelen from Addergoole, once he’s in college

After Addergoole, college classwork wasn’t giving Phelen any trouble. Dorm life wasn’t bothering him, either, even with a roommate. He’d never had a room to himself at Addergoole for more than a few weeks, after all.

Dating, on the other hand…

“You don’t really understand girls at all, do you?”

It was Caroline, who he’d been more than a little fond of, and she was glaring at him in that exasperated way that he’d seen way too much of in the last six months.

He considered and discarded several unhelpful answers, all of them honest, including: I do have a daughter, you know.

“Girls here are different from at my last school.” That one was technically accurate, while giving entirely a different impression than the truth. Caroline wasn’t that different from Shiva or Magnolia, for instance, in personality. Just from the girls he’d Kept.

“Well, wherever you came from, take my advice – stop trying to control your dates’ lives. It’s not going to work, and you’re going to end up single and miserable for the rest of your life.”

Some girls like it. He looked hang-dog at her, the way that had sometimes worked on Caroline. “Thanks for the advice. I don’t suppose you’d give it another try?”

“No, no I don’t think I will. Good luck in your life, Phelen.”

“What’s that, number seven?” His roommate wasn’t the most sympathetic guy in the world.


“Man, you bring them home, you seal the deal, and you… blow it up a week later. What the hell?”

“I think,” that he needed a good Keptie. “I need another sort of girl.”

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0 thoughts on “Adjusting, a story of after-Addergoole

    • Aww, but he has it so hard. The mean administration at this school is weirdly anti-predation. … Yeah. Phelen has some more growing up to manage.

      • In his defense, he has almost entirely (Manira was an odd case) Kept girls who /did/ enjoy being Kept – at least one of them sought out another Keeper after him. Also: He wasn’t predating, he was just being immeasurably bossy.

        • Um, well. Crediting it to Addergoole messing him up, as opposed to malice, but… what I got out of the story was that he looked like an inept predator. If he had moved more slowly, or had picked a more insecure target who hadn’t broken off the relationship immediately, he’d be a standard example for an abuser: First seems sweet enough, later gets excessively controlling. I guess if “being immeasurably bossy” is predatory or abusive behaviour on its own, or only part of it, depends a bit on your definition.

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