The College Diaries of Castor Nova

(Warning from the editor: Castor's prose runs away with him sometimes. He's young, and he's read far too many old books.)

My name is Castor Nova. I've always known that it was my destiny to plumb the deepest secrets of the universe, or this system that we call "the universe". And at first I was naive enough to think that the old Urele Oresha Cham fraternity, founded at Sim State University by my great-Uncle Silas, would be the best place to begin my studies.

Silliness at the frat house But, as it turned out, it was a silly place. This is Ashley Pitts, one of the frat brothers, being pranked by a cow.

Constantly distracted by purile frat parties and the unwanted attentions of the Tri-Var Girls from the sorority across the road (all of whom somehow developed fawning crushes on me), I felt the long wasted minutes stretching behind me like road-kill. Then I met Allegra.

She was deep and dark, her mind and tongue sharp as twin whips. She saw the world as I did, as a vast and perhaps ugly mystery to be penetrated and understood. And she saw something in me as well, something that appealed to her and brought out, not so much a warmth, as a dark and alluring heat.

Castor and Allegra between the sheets A dark and alluring heat. This picture from the Bright house.

Although I grew fond, eventually, of my hapless frat brothers, it was only Allegra who ever understood me.

Allegra, drink in hand, urges Castor on with his skilling She kept me focused on the important things.

Castor and Allegra sparking on the frat house balcony And she kept me sane.

She finished her course of study long before I did, and left campus to continue her life; but she returned to visit me more often than I could have hoped for.

Castor goes out to meet Allegra, who is looking elegant by the curb Her dark beauty always took my breath away.

One pleasant side effect of the ripening of my relationship with Allegra was that it put an end to the infatuations of the Tri-Var Girls.

Brittany Upsnot gets a 'caught Castor cheating' memory Brittany upsnot's eyes are opened.

Heather Huffington's turn And Heather's.

Tiffany whatsername catches Castor and Allegra in bed And Tiffany's. As if I were any of her business.

Entirely expectedly, the girls' hearts swung without a moment's hesitation elsewhere, to the nearest available alternatives.

Tiffany and Joshua blissful in that same bed In the same bed, even.

Castor watches Ashely and Brittany making out on the lawn They richly deserve each other.

Heather is, I imagine, off somewhere in the bushes with the postman, or the pizza man.

Even with Allegra's inspiration, my time at college continued to creep glacially past. One afternoon, when I was visiting her at her rooms in town, we had a serious conversation.

Castor and Allegra talk about love "Don't put too much faith in love," she said.

We talked in theoretical terms, but her subtext was clear: I needed to speed up my studies, get through college, and join her, or I might find her gone.

(Editor's note: in particular, this was where I discovered that while a playable character living in the neighborhood can magically cause a non-playable character to graduate from college with the "Move In" interaction (see for instance Randy and Regina), this doesn't work on playable characters. So if Castor was going to come live at Rooms To Let with Allegra, I had to get him through college myself (dropping out would have been entirely out of character). And that meant getting Castor out of the frat house, because it's really boring to play!)

Back on campus, I told my frat brothers that I would be moving out to somewhere with less distractions, so I could focus on learning.

Toby moves into the frat house Fortunately for the venerable frat, we had a new pledge all ready to move in. Toby whatsisname, I think.

Castor goes out to the taxi That same night, I packed my few things and left. I knew I wouldn't miss the place.

Castor arrives at Habitation Hall I moved into a neat efficient dorm on the north side of campus. Habitation Hall; the nice tiny five-student dorm in the standard Uni lot bin.

Castor and some of his dorm-mates in the little cafeteria My new housemates seemed to be an agreeable lot, mostly focused on learning. And/or too poor to party.

Castor at the computer I felt myself more focused from the first day. Castor wrote a lot of theses in this dorm!

Castor and Allegra sparking in his room And Allegra continued to be my sustenance and inspiration.

I was unused to the constant presence of women...

Castor admires a nicely-turned calf but I found the distraction largely pleasant. Castor has two lightning bolts for both Carla here and Chloe (the other blonde; we haven't seen her yet). Poor fellow.

Carla was particularly sympathetic.

Castor and Carla become best friends over macaroni and cheese We quickly became the best of friends.

She was utterly unlike Allegra; light where Allegra was dark, open and generous where Allegra was sharp and demanding. I found the contrast fascinating.

I also found Chloe Gonzaga, a shy pale woman, very attractive.

Doing yoga, Castor moons Chloe, who is oblivious at the chessboard But she was always occupied, and seemed uninterested in me. Okay, so there's no way Castor would actually have included this picture, but I thought it was too amusing to leave out. Juvenile, I know...

After one of my dates with Allegra (which were invariably conducted entirely between the front walk and my bed), I looked out the window just in time to see her sneaking away down the street.

Allegra sneaks off after delivering a piano She left a gift on the porch.

I smiled inwardly at the thought that she felt it necessary to conceal an act of generosity under cover of night. Carla would have felt no such compunction, I thought.

The new piano was very popular.

Dominic does a silly dance to Autumn's piano playing Although some of the antics around it reminded me unpleasantly of the old fraternity house.

Castor gives Carla a friendly back-rub Carla mentioned to me one afternoon that she had had piano lessons as a child.

Carla plays piano; Castor is appreciative, or dancing, or something Her playing was unskilled, but energetic.

Carla hugs Castor (or perhaps vice-versa) When she was done, she spontaneously hugged me.

I enjoyed the soft feeling of her body against mine.

College kids hang out in the twilight Among largely quiet and agreeable companions, my studies were progressing rapidly. A five-person dorm with just one controllable is very nice! Clockwise from top, that's Chloe Gonzaga (no relation to the Townie child by that name), Carla McCullough, whatsisname from back in the frat, Autumn Knight, Dominic Desomething, and of course our own Castor reclining.

In the focused environment of Habitation Hall, the rest of my college career passed at whirlwind speed. The final exam of my senior year was scheduled for 10 pm.

A fire in the kitchen That day did not go well. Just an innocent little "Learn to make omlettes" want...

Castor and Allegra embrace on the sidewalk; Carla on piano in the background But a timely visit from Allegra renewed my spirits completely. Dream Dates really make stuff easy.

I had dinner with my dorm mates, as usual.

Dinner with Carla and Chloe Keeping Allegra in my thoughts amid the immediately-present pulchritude was an agreeable challenge.

Castor runs off into the night When it was time to go, I let my animal eagerness rule my stride.

I passed, of course, with the highest honors.

Castor smooches Allegra, thinking of his honors degree And my dark angel was waiting to congratulate me when I returned. She was dropping off yet another bouquet of roses, I think, but he was able to greet her before she got away; which was nice, because I'd saved a "Make out with Allegra" in his Want panel.

Allegra couldn't stay long, as she and her minions had a mind-control satellite to launch (she has always been interested in knowledge as a tool for domination rather than for its own sake; but we tolerate and even appreciate each other's value systems for all of that).

Alone and still full of energy despite the lateness of the hour, I was glad to see a light coming from under Carla's door. I knocked, and she let me in. Her room smelled of flowers. I told her that I would be leaving in the morning, and she embraced me again.

Another Castor-Carla hug "I'll miss you!" she said. And I believe she meant it sincerely.

And then I was kissing her.

The very first Castor-Carla kiss Or she was kissing me.

Making out; Carla is overwhelmed Her skin was tender and fragrant.

After some awkward attempts at casualness on both of our parts (that it still embarasses me to recall), we were lying on my bed (the only double bed in the dorm) talking about trivia.

Chatting about the movies on Castor's bed Her favorite films are ones I've always thought of with disdain.

I tumbled her backward onto the bed and kissed her again.

Carla smiles a huge smile as she's overwhelmed again She responded enthusiastically.

Some part of me was detached from the scene, standing apart and appreciating the softness of her lips and the sweetness of her breath from a distance. Allegra and I had made no promises to each other beyond the mutual agreement of rational agents. She had had brief but torrid lesbian affairs with two of the infamous Raptors, and I'd found her (detailed, lascivious) descriptions of them arousing and pleasantly disturbing.

But for whatever reason I did not want to imagine lying in bed with Allegra and telling her about this.

And then even that last detached part of me came near, to warm itself by the tender creature in my arms.

Castor and Carla between the sheets

Castor leaves Carla sleeping in his bed I left her sleeping in my bed, and went to call a taxi.

It was the best time to leave.

Castor becomes a full-fledged adult, with confetti and all This part of my life was over. Hey, nice leopard boxers there, Castor!

The sun rose just as the taxi pulled up.

Adult Castor leaves the dorm, thinking about sex I went out, thinking of the past and of the future.

Castor in the taxi waving goodbye to college

As the taxi took me away, I thought of Carla rising and getting out of bed. Would she know at once that I was gone?

Carla alone in her undies, coming out of Castor's (former) room

I arrived at the boarding house where Allegra lived, and where I too now lived, late the next night.

Castor at Rooms to Let It was quiet, out on the north edge of town; no sound but the crickets.

Inside, one lone wakeful resident played a soft tune on the piano.

Castor in the main room at Rooms to Let; Allegra approaching from the distance Then someone opened a door behind me.

Allegra smooches Castor Allegra welcomed me warmly.

On Allegra's bed, discussing skilling "You'll love it here," she said, "it has everything a postgraduate education requires."

And later, between the sheets, she said "And how is Carla?". And then she laughed.

Castor leaves Allegra sleeping in her (their) bed Eventually I left her to her interrupted sleep, and went out into the main room, to start the next phase of my life.

And now I sit, in the main room of Brandi LeTourneau's Rooms to Let, writing the last entry of this College Diary. In the morning I will apply for a position in the local research laboratory. And I see there is an empty easel sitting to one side; perhaps I'll paint a scene with two angels, one dark and one light, about to open a book the size of the universe. Oil, do you think, or acrylic? Definitely not watercolor...