Will and Daisy came for a visit not long after the twins birthday. He had hoped to get there before the party but he'd gotten caught up with some gigs he couldn't get out of.
"Please Uncle Will!" Eowyn was nearly begging.
"I'll only be here for a week but sure, I'll teach you what I can. What you really need is a real teacher though." Will said.
"I know." she said sulkily. She looked over at me pitifully - we'd been down this road before, she wanted piano lessons and there just wasn't anyone available on the island. She'd even gone so far as to start researching private music schools off the island but she was only fourteen and we were not ready to let her go yet.
That's how it happened that she convinced Will to give her lessons the whole time he was there. She barely let him out of her sight the entire week of his visit and music floated through the house from the moment we all woke up until we all went to bed at night.
"She's very talented Ez." Will told me one night over some nectar. All the kids had already gone to bed since they had school in the morning so Will finally had a break from his pupil. "You should consider those schools."
"She's fourteen Will." I protested.
"And some of the students at schools like that have been their since they were six! She's gotten the talent...she's certainly got the drive...she just lacks proper instruction." he said. "Just think about it, talk it over with Isaiah."
Isaiah and I were still pretty awkward with each other since he'd gotten home. He told me about the book tour and some of the engagements his agent had him do and I told him about things he'd missed at home - then it was like we'd run out of things to talk about. Really we just weren't talking about the most obvious thing.
Will had been gone for a couple weeks when Isaiah interrupted a drawing I was working on. "Would you like to go out with me?"
"You mean like on a date?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.
"Yeah, like a date." he said with a smile. That weekend we went out to a couple clubs together. At our first stop, the bartender was showing off for Isaiah once she realized who he was.
She wasn't quite as interested in showing off for me but the drinks were still good anyway.
The first club we went to closed early - well by club standards anyway. I was surprised to hear the last call and then be shooed out of the club so early in the evening. Thankfully there was a second club across the street that was open for a couple more hours so we made our way over to Station 59. It was modeled after an old firehouse.
We barely made it to the dance floor before I spotted the photographer. At first he was trying to be discreet but all the people ruining his shot of Isaiah made him bolder. Isaiah just sighed and then ignored him.
It wasn't a perfect evening but it went a long way to making things better between us. The whole thing almost felt like a new birth to our relationship. And now everything was out in the open. And with him being home, things settled back into a bit of normal...well normal with a side of paparazzi now and then.
Isaiah went back to his regular work and it seemed to help as well. He'd never sought the fame that had come since that simple Key Ceremony at City Hall. He just wanted to take care of the ghosts. He always tried to convince them to move on peacefully but most of the time they were too angry or too stubborn to listen. a few hundred years of death will do that you I guess. So a lot of them had to be banished.
Theodin's birthday rolled around and once again I was faced with the prospect of my "last baby" growing up. I'd thought that had been true with the twins but Theodin had surprised me - I could only hope I didn't get the same surprise again this time.
Faromir - who doted on his baby brother all the time - got the privilege of taking him to the cake to help him blow out his candles. Theodin loved his big brother and couldn't be happier with who's arms he was in that special day.
As part of his birthday, we'd moved the cribs out his room and all the "baby toys" while he was at school the next day. Isaiah and Dad picked out a bed that fit the theme of the room but suddenly it was no longer a room for a baby but for that of a big boy. He loved his new bed and spent hours playing in his room and I'm pretty sure jumping on his bed but I let it slide for the night. He crashed, exhausted from everything around eight that night.
My parents were getting older - not that they looked it or anything - it simply was a fact. They'd been going strong for a long time and they've started to slow down some. Mom used to be able to zip through all her daily gardening in the morning but now the kids were getting home from school and she was sometimes still working out there. I'd tried to help her a few times but I knew nothing about gardening I think I did more harm than good. I was ready to suggest she prune the garden a bit, making it less of a burden, when I looked out the kitchen window one morning and saw Faromir out there with her. The school bus was due to arrive at any moment but based on the amount of dirt on his face, I was sure he'd been out there for a couple hours with her at least.
After that I noticed he set his alarm extra early every morning to go out and help until he had to leave for school. On the weekends he still woke up early and stayed out there until the job was done. They were quite a pair those two, he would listen patiently as she would teach him the finer points of gardening and tell her stories. He was such a kind soul.
"The owner of Station 59 would like me to come down for some publicity - I guess she saw the paparazzi there last time and is hoping to get a little attention for her club. Want to come with me?" Isaiah asked just before he started kissing my neck.
"Yeah like I can resist when you do that." I said with a laugh. He smiled at me and I knew it had all been part of his plan.
Unlike the bartender at Elysium that seemed to have some skill with the blow torch, the one at Station 59 was clumsy and I cringed as the blow torch came close to Isaiah. I stepped over to another bartender to order my own drink - I had a feeling I was going to need it tonight.
I may have had more than one...or four...drinks. Isaiah tried to grab my pants leg as I climbed onto the counter. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" he asked, looking up at me as I stood somewhat unstable on the counter. "Ez?"
You know that movie "Coyote Ugly"? I may have seen it a couple times too many. A Coyote I was not! But that didn't stop me from making a fool out of myself that night. "Come on Babe!" I called to Isaiah, motioning him forward with my finger.
"Oh no...I'm not getting up there!" he said with a laugh. "Besides, I like the view from down here." he teased. Except somehow he did end up dancing on the counter with me...I'm still a little fuzzy on the how really.
The paparazzi appearance was enough to get Isaiah's head clear and he hopped down from the counter. It's a good thing he did because I stumbled and fell from my own counter then. Thankfully Isaiah was there to catch me and put me back on my feet. "No more dancing on counters?" he said with a playful smile.
I nodded slowly, my head felt like it was spinning with each nod. "Coffee." I slurred and Isaiah laugh. He helped me to a barstool and then ordered me some coffee. I slumped against the bar and shooed him away.
I will never dance on counters again...or at least I will never have the four drinks concocted by an amateur bartender that leads to drunk counter dancing again.
Aragorn's graduation and birthday was just a a couple months away when I got the call. Jean had passed away in a sailing accident of some sort and they'd found my name in his papers. Now that I knew for sure that Aragorn was Jean's son, I felt it was important to tell him. I also knew now that Jean had relations in France and wanted him to at least have a chance to meet something of his father.
I stood by his side as he stared at the gravestone. I couldn't read the emotions crossing his face or tell what he was thinking but I remained by his side until he turned toward me silently and started walking away.
"Aragorn?" I asked, following after him. "Are you alright?"
He spun around so quickly I stumbled back from him. "No I'm not alright! How could I possibly be alright?!" he screamed at me. "This is your fault! It's your fault I never knew my father!"
I couldn't say anything; even if I knew what to say I knew I had to let him get it out so I stood back and let him rant and rave. I let him pour out his emotions the same way he'd pour them into the computer if he had the option right now.
When he finally slowed down and eventually stopped, "I'm sorry Aragorn. I'm sorry you never got a chance to know him and I'm sorry I kept it from you as long as I did. I made a mistake - a lifetime worth of mistakes. And I'm sorry."
All the rage and anger was gone, replaced with a lost little boy. I reached out for him and he fell into my arms, crying softly on my shoulder.
Eventually we made it to Jean's sister's house and I introduced them. Aragorn seemed reluctant to have another Aunt but she couldn't be more thrilled. She went on and on about how he had Jean's nose and pulled out dozens of photo albums. As the day went on, I think Aragorn was almost happy to have met a small piece of his biological father.
At the end of the day, she pulled me aside. "He remembered you in his will - I didn't know why exactly until now..." she handed me a thick legal envelope. "He had a small cottage here, he left it to you, that's part of why you were contacted..."
"A house?!" I sputtered. She nodded and patted my hand before returning to Aragorn's side with more stories and pictures.
Before we left France, we visited the house in question. "This is for you Aragorn...if you want it." I said "When you're older of course." I said quickly before visions of my seventeen year old living in France on his own could fill either of our heads.
"Huh?" Aragorn asked surprised.
"He may have put my name down but I think that's only because he didn't know for sure..." I said. Part of me was guessing at Jean's intentions; mostly though, I could see how much Aragorn seemed to want to know more about this side of his lineage. I wanted to encourage him to follow his dreams and heart - even if that meant all the way to France.
When we returned to Barnacle Bay, I was confronted with another of my children's dreams. Eowyn was playing a slow, sad melody at the piano. Lately it seemed all her pieces had been sad. When she wasn't playing she seemed depressed.
"We have to let her go." I told Isaiah that night. "If she gets in, we have to let her go."
"What? I thought you said she was too young!" Isaiah was no fonder of the idea than I was.
"It's her dream, isn't it our job as parents to help them reach their dreams?" I asked, looking down over the railing to where Eowyn was still playing.
Isaiah frowned. "I suppose so..." he said sadly.
When Aragorn's birthday came around, he made us promise not to have a party or a cake. I was reluctant to agree, we always had cakes for birthdays around here. Instead I opted to make his favorite meal and we would just have a nice, sit down, family dinner.
For the second time, he wasn't home when he said he'd be. I'd finished dinner and was sitting in the living room trying to read while Eowyn played - a happier tune since we'd told her she could apply to her music academies.
"Mom? When will Aragorn be home?" she asked, without stopping.
"I don't know sweetie." I said, looking out the window again.
Eowyn and Faromir went to bed finally. I stayed at the window. Mom and Dad went to bed as well. I stayed by the window.
"Ezri..." Isaiah said quietly. "I don't think..."
"He'll be home." I said stubbornly. I didn't look up to meet his eyes.
"Ez..." he said again, he looked like he was going to say more but stopped. "He's an adult now..." he said softly.
"He'll be home." I said returning my attention to my book to hide the tears in my eyes. Maybe my first born baby had just flown the nest.
He waited until everyone was asleep and then slipped into the house to collect his things. He saw the, now cold, dinner still sitting out and felt a twinge of regret. He grabbed a piece of paper, scribbled his note and folded it. He placed it next to the food.
Mom and Dad,
I love you all but this is not where I belong. I'm sorry for cutting out like this but there are things I need to know; answers I need to find. I hope you understand.
He closed and locked the door quietly behind him and looked back once, second guessing his decision to leave like this.
Then he picked up his duffel bag and left.
Apparently she had a good time? lol
Will came to Theodin's party...and then cheered from the hill, peaking through the fence lol
Bloody paparazzi, they're everywhere!
Apparently he can walk on water too...or at least stand on water.
This guy is (was) the only other teenager in Barnacle Bay at the same time as my three...he came over like every day after school and then would stay until 3-4AM
He didn't really stand a chance :D
French Paparazzi are apparently member of the Unity crew...or maybe just Unity fans lol
Not even safe in France!
New paparazzi on island tried to hit on Inara
Just a look at Aragorn as a YA in decent light :)