Gabe and Genevieve: Chapter 7
After returning from the lake, the family settled into a new routine. Without the constant threat of Patrick looming over their heads, Gabe and Gen felt more at a ease. Nevertheless, Gabe and Gen seemed to just be going through the motions. Gabe was sure Gen was still upset about the council taking so long but Gen didn't talk about it and Gabe didn't push. Everyone celebrated birthdays and time passed.
As time passed, Gabe and Gen grew further apart. They fought more and they tended to avoid being together too much. They didn't talk and that was probably a large part of the problem.
Gabe absorbed himself in his work and drifted farther from the family. He found he was closest to Nimoe and Morgana. When he looked at Mordred, all he could think of was the burden the boy would eventually have to handle and while he loved Elaine, he never bonded with her. Gen meanwhile, left the house often to visit people and to just avoid being around Gabe. They were both blind to some of the finer details in life.
And so it happened that one day Elaine climbed into the pool to swim. But she'd never been taught to swim. No one saw her go outside. No one saw her get into the pool. No one heard her sputtered gasps or splashing as she tried to get back to the side of the pool.
Mordred, who was very close to Elaine, was the one who saw her first. He was distraught and would always be haunted by her death. Gen spent many nights sleeping in her room, missing her baby girl.
For one, brief moment Gabe and Gen sought comfort from each other following her death.
But it didn't last. They blamed each other, they blamed themselves, they were angry and sad and they turned on each other again.
At the funeral, they all stood together as a family.
But that night Gabe and Gen fought more.
Gen sat by Elaine's grave for much of the evening.
And when she left to go to bed, Mordred crawled out of bed and went outside to lay down next to Elaine's grave. He fell asleep...
More time passed. Gabe always managed to convince Gen to stay because of the protection the house offered her and the kids but they existed like indifferent roommates mostly. Gen moved into Elaine's old room for the most part. Nimoe and Morgana found teen love with a pair of brothers - Gabe and Gen didn't seem to notice them staying out late until Morgana was brought home by the cops for being out way past curfew.
For a long time after Elaine's death, Gen would have to stop and cry silently - mourning her daughter and her marriage.
Eventually it was Mordred's birthday. Gen decided to throw a big party to try and make everyone a little happier. She invited the girls' boyfriends, Mordred's friends and other family friends. And everything seemed to be going well. Gabe did his thing, Gen did hers and the kids were having a good time.
But like so many times before, it wasn't to last. Something snapped. It could have been the food or the fact that Gabe didn't make it outside in time to see Mordred blow out his candles or the random balloon that popped but another fight brewed in the middle of the party.
Most of the guests look on awkwardly before excusing themselves either from the room or the party. The kids looked on but weren't really surprised. This was their life.
"That's it Gabe! I'm done! I can't do this anymore!" Gen yelled as the room went silent and everyone looked on. Gabe wanted to argue, he wanted to stop her from leaving. In spite of everything - he still loved her in so much as he wanted her to be safe.
But he didn't stop her this time. He didn't argue. He could tell from her manner and her look that she wouldn't stay this time. Nothing he could say or do would change her mind. So he let her run out of the house and didn't watch as she drove away. But Mordred did.
Mordred blamed his father for everything. He and Gabe fought that night. Morgana and Nimoe looked on but tried to stay out of it.
Gabe buried himself even further into his work, Gen came back while he was at work and the kids were at school to take her stuff. She knew as well as Gabe that the children were safer here then anywhere she went.
Nimoe and Morgana's birthday went by uncelebrated by the family. They grew up into beautiful young women and decided to propose to their high school boyfriends together and get the heck out of town.
And that's what they did. The four of them went to SimVegas and got married there. They sent a couple of snapshots and an announcement back to the house. They call occasionally to check in.
After they left the house it was just Gabe and Mordred in the house. They rarely talked and Gabe trusted Mordred to take care of himself. Mordred didn't want to be bothered with Gabe so the indifference didn't bother him. He went about his teenage years unbothered for the most part. Until he got brought home by the cops...then Gabe noticed him and let him have it!
Mordred "talked" to Elaine the next day. And the next. Gabe had grounded him and then retreated to his office and ignored him so the grounding wasn't particularly useful.
Mordred felt he had to get away. He only had a semester left in high school but he just couldn't deal with his father anymore. He had a vague notion of where his mom had gone and wanted to go be with her. On Saturday night, the last day of his grounding, he went into his father's office.
"Hey Dad...I'm going out." Mordred said. Gabe didn't look up but waved. "So...goodbye?" Mordred continued hoping for some verbal acknowledgment. Gabe nodded and waved again. "Right..." Mordred said to himself and left.
It was well after 4 in the morning when Gabe looked up from his computer and headed for bed.
He changed and was ready for bed when it occurred to him that he'd never heard Mordred come home. He poked his head in Mordred's room and found the bed empty. The dresser drawers were open and also empty. Gabe ran downstairs and outside in a panic. He knew what he'd find...
The SUV was gone. Most of Mordred's stuff was gone. Mordred had run away....
Gabe got on the phone immediately and started calling the regents asking them to look for him. He put in a call to a friend with the police as well.
No one found him.
Mordred sold the SUV quick and cheap so he could rent a small one bedroom house several hours away. He paid everything with cash and no one asked any questions.
When he was rested from the drive, he called a friend and asked him to let his dad know he was okay.
Mordred didn't find his mom but he managed to enroll himself in school by forging her signature and pretending like she lived there. He got a part time job at the bookstore so he would have money to eat. The money from the car sale went mostly toward the rent for the house.
He settled into a routine of going to school, going to work, going home and doing his homework and then crashing for the night. Lather, rinse, repeat. On the weekends he went to the Art Gallery and Library for free entertainment.
When his birthday came around, he celebrated alone - without even a cake.
On the same day, several hours away from him - Gabe did the same thing.