In his old age Angelo was a very grounded person. He had lived long past his wife and even though he missed her dearly he found happiness again within his grandchildren. He even took up exercising again! Of course since he was so old, and he didn’t want to strain himself, he started doing yoga instead of lifting weights. Although it was a new fad in the younger generation it made him very relaxed. Plus it was helping those extra pounds come off from all that cake he had been eating.
Since Angelo was caught up in the yoga fad he decided to research how to give massages also. Even though he watched the kids a lot, Gretchen was still stressed because she had to balance work and family life. So Angelo decided to try and help her relax with a nice Swedish massage.
Angelo: So I heard you and Damen fixed things.
Gretchen: Yea we did, it’s been way better than it has ever been between us to tell you the truth. It’s funny because it took something so bad for him to realize what he had here, with us.
Angelo nodded his head in agreement,
Angelo: I remember when he was a spiteful little boy and you and the kids have changed him so much. Sunny would probably faint from how he’s been acting.
Gretchen leaned up from the table and looked up to find Angelo with a grim smile on his face with his eyes etched with sadness.
Gretchen: I know you miss her Angelo. I’m sure if I would have known her I would be missing her too right now.
Angelo: It’s just so hard...I’ve lived so long. I’ve lived almost a whole nother lifetime. I just want to get back to her…
Gretchen felt bad for Angelo and decided he needed a little bit more adult company. He was always with the kids and with her and Damen always at work they never really got to spend time with him. So Gretchen in an effort to pep up Angelos spirits she asked him if he could teach her how to do yoga.
Gretchen: Like this?
Angelo: Nonono, don’t bend your legs sweetheart, you have to reach down with your legs straight and touch your toes!
Gretchen: *mumbles* I can’t believe an old man is more flexible than me…
Angelo: Just because I’m old doesn’t mean my hearing is completely gone missy!
With everyone busy with each other Celine took it upon herself to further the minds pursuits. Every other day she would go out searching for collectibles to pick up and take home to show everyone. Maybe it was because she was a geek but she got such a confident boost when her brothers eyes would shimmer when she showed them her latest finds or how her Dad would ruffle her hair and place it in the Collectible Room. All she knew was that she loved finding things and making them.
Celine looked up into the sky and took a break from trying to dig into the current rock she was messing with.
Celine: Who knows, maybe I’ll make cool things to show more people when I grow up!
Damen had been searching all around the house from Celine. It was time for dinner and she was late coming home, again. He just was about to check the sitting room when he saw his Dad sitting in front of the fire with a sad look on his face.
Damen: Hey Dad, what’s up? You look like someone killed your goldfish.
Angelo: No son..it’s just that I’m getting so old, it just seems like I’ll never be able to pass on.
Damen: Well now that you mention it, it is kind of funny considering my next birthday is coming up in like 3 days! HA! Wouldn’t it be hilarious if you lived to see me turn into an old man like you?!
Angelo grimaced and shook his head,
Angelo: It’s not funny son, I’ve waited a long time to be with your mother and it seems like the Reaper just does not want to take me to her...I don’t want to see my first son grow old. I want to be able to die in my time!
Damen was shocked to hear that his Dad actually wanted to die. He always thought he was happy and content living with him, Gretchen and the kids. Nervously he put an arm around his father and sighed,
Damen: You’ll be with Mom soon, Dad. Don’t think about it too much okay? We still love you and want you here with us, so just try and get your mind off of it okay?
Angelo nodded his head in silent agreement. He couldn’t help that he was sad that he had lived without the love of his life almost a whole nother life span.
Celine had snuck back into the house without anyone seeing her. She knew her Mom would leave something out for her in the kitchen to eat, so after she got her bowl of Chili she went on a mission.
Gretchen jumped back and squealed,
Gretchen: SWEET CREATOR. Oh gosh it’s just you sweetie, don’t scare Mommy like that okay?
Celine: Sorry Mommy I just had a question.
Gretchen got back to work on upgrading the bathroom sink and looked at her daughter's reflection in the mirror with an eyebrow raised.
Gretchen: Oh really now? What is it?
Celine: So I was doing some research on the computer and I looked up what a legacy was and it said that there is this thing called an heir?
Celine: So...can I be the heir?
Gretchen almost jammed her finger she was so surprised. She wasn’t expecting to have this kind of conversation with her children until they were teenagers.
Gretchen: Uh..well sweet pea, see our legacy isn’t exactly like that. OUR legacy rules are that when you turn into a teenager you have to write a speech saying why you would be a great heir, and then the community votes on who they like the most.
Celine stood in silence as her small forehead scrunched together in concentration,
Celine: Buuuut I remember you telling me stories from when you were little and how you were in a legacy but your brother got chosen.
Gretchen: Well all legacies are different hunny, it all depends on what the founder fills out in the paperwork.
Gretchen sighed and took her daughter out into the hallway. Gently she touched her daughter's shoulders and made her look her in the eyes,
Gretchen: Listen Celine, I’ll explain all of this in greater detail when the time has come. But as of right now you’re still a little kid and you need to go be doing little kid things, alright?
Celine looked up coyly and her Mom and smiled slyly,
Celine: Soooo does this mean I can be heir?
Gretchen burst out laughing and squeezed Celine with a hug,
Gretchen: It all depends sugar.
The next morning Celine was up and dressed before anyone else and went into her brothers room to wake up Myles so they could play chess together.
Celine: So guess what Mommy told me about yesterday?
Myles: If the monster in the closet is real?!
Celine: No silly! She told me about being the Heir!
Myles: Are you talking about what we have to worry about when we’re older? Why would you even care about that right now?
Celine: Well cuz I wanna make this legacy the best it can be!
Myles: Well who says you’re even going to win!
Taken aback by her brothers statement, Celine sat in silence and messed with her fingers,
Celine: Well I mean...I don’t know. I just really hope I do. There’s been so many bad things that have happened in our family because of Daddy and I wanna fix that.
Myles: I...I’m sorry for saying it like that. To be honest I think any of us would make great heirs but if you want it that bad then you might beat us all!
Celine looked up and beamed at her older brother, which caused Myles to sigh inwardly in relief. He hated upsetting his little sister, she got the saddest puppy dog face when she got upset.
Meanwhile outside, Gretchen was cooking up some lunch when Damen came outside to hang out with her. After a few minutes of catching up on what each other had been up to Gretchen decided to bring up the conversation she had had with Celine,
Gretchen: You wanna know what your daughter was talking to me about today?
Damen: Pleaaase don’t tell me it was boys. I can’t handle that right now.
Gretchen: No! She was talking about being the heir.
Damen threw his hands up in the air and smiled,
Damen: Well that’s great! I’m glad she’s showing interest in actually pursuing it! I never wanted it and in this generation it definitely shows. I mean for Creators sake the most I’ve done for this generation was rebuild the house!
Gretchen: Well I guess I could see where it’s a good thing...but I don’t want it to separate the kids and make them resent each other.
Damen sighed and wrapped his arms around Gretchen's waist,
Damen: Listen baby, those kids are as thick as thieves. Nothing could ever separate them. The difference between them and me and my brother is that they all get along! Now stop worrying about all that, I’m starving!
After she finished cooking Gretchen finally was able to sit down and enjoy a meal, and to her surprise Angelo shuffles in right behind her.
Angelo: So I couldn’t help but hear your little conversation with Damen outside.
Gretchen: Huh? Oh yea about Celine? Yea I stopped thinking about it, I think I was stressing to much over it.
Angelo: No no no, I wanted to tell you something. You listen to me okay?
Gretchen nodded her head,
Angelo: Don’t stifle out Celine's passion for becoming the heir. If it was up to me I would change the rules and make it to where we could pick the heir ourselves, but I can’t because those rules were set in stone a long time ago. We need passion like that in our legacy, we haven’t had it yet and by the Creator I haven’t seen someone as intelligent as Celine in a long time. Did you know that girl won first place at the science fair, and makes straight A’s?
Gretchen: Well of course I do, I’m her Mom ya know.
Angelo: I understand that but I’m trying to make a point here. All of your children have the right to become the heir and for all we know they could develop a passion for it just as much as Celine has. All I’m trying to say is please don’t stifle out the flame they have burning in them for this, and don’t push them to do it either. I feel like that’s the reason Damen turned out the way he did...grant it he turned his life around but he’s about to be an old man just like me! We need a strong heir for the next generation. Just remember that okay?
Gretchen sat in silence at all the information she was just given. The look on Angelo's face was so earnest it was almost as if he was trying to give her one last bit of wisdom before..
Gretchen: Are you feeling okay? Is there something you want to talk about?
Angelo sighed and got up from the table. As he passed Gretchen he kissed her on the forehead and squeezed her shoulder,
Angelo: Thank you for everything sweetheart.
Damen walked into the room to tell his Dad how much weight he was able to lift now, he knew that it would impress him. What he wasn’t expecting was to see his Dad waving his arm and calling out to his Mom, his DEAD Mom.
Damen: Dad? Are you sleepwalking?
All the sudden Damen realized what was happening and before he could rush over and grab his Dad, Angelo's legs buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.
Damen: DAD! Dad, what’s happening?!
Angelo looked up from the ground and looked around his room confused. Finally he made eye contact with his son and managed to pull up a weak arm to point at him.
Angelo: Listen to me, I’m dying son. I need you to do me one last favor. I need you to take care of the family you have. Your kids...my grandkids...they’re the future of your family. Don’t lose them like I lost you…
Damen: Dad, Dad you never lost me! I’m right here Dad don’t you see me?!
In a faint whisper Angelos dying words were,
Angelo: I love you all, so much.
Before Damen knew to stop him, Myles had walked into the room calling for his Grandpa and happened to stumble upon the grim scene.
Myles: Grandpa? GRANDPA?! Get up Grandpa what are you doing on the floor?!
Soon, everyone was hearing wailing coming from Angelo's room and slowly people started to filter in. First it was Jax,
Jax: Dad what’s wrong with Grandpa?! Why isn’t he moving?!
Then the rest of the family filtered in. Everyone was wailing and as everyone knows, the sounds of crying and anguish bring the Reaper. As soon as Damen saw him he rushed up to him and started to plead for his father's soul.
Damen: You don’t understand that’s my DAD. My whole family is in here, just give a break I’m begging you!
The Reaper shrugged his shoulders and looked at him with mock concern,
Reaper: You really think I’m going to let him live any longer? He’s out run me long enough! His soul is mine to take!
Damen’s legs started to buckle underneath him and before he fell to the floor he felt a warm arm wrap around him. When he looked up he could see Gretchen yelling something at the Reaper.
Gretchen: You plum! My children are in here! You couldn’t give us one more day with him?! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW.
Power was behind her words, so much so that everyone in the room could see that the Reaper actually was surprised at Gretchen's sudden outburst. Without another word he exited the house. Of course this wouldn’t be the last time that the Belles would be seeing him.
So ends the reign of the second generation. You will be missed more than you know Angelo. At least now you will be with your sunshine.