Kayden had been spending most of his time painting.
It was finally the day of gift giving. Athena and Levi decided to give the kids their gifts before company arrived. They got Caleb a guitar so he could get a head start on his singing career. They got Noah a stereo because he was constantly blasting music while he did his homework. Kayden got the newest gaming console and Daisy got her own mini oven that she could bake with. As a finishing touch, Athena decided to hang Kayden’s first painting behind the tree.
Caleb and Daisy were hasty with opening their presents. They loved their gifts! The little chef in Daisy was in heaven and Caleb wasn’t the only one enjoying the guitar.
Levi decided to let Noah off the hook because it was a holiday. What was Athena thinking anyway? He was positive that Noah did the right thing.
Jamie was the first guest to arrive. Noah wasn’t too pleased about it.
“What are you doing here!?” Noah exclaimed.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately and I’m really sorry that I was acting so immature. I’m not going to oust you or your brother. Prom is coming up so you guys should enjoy it. I mean, I did when I was in high school still.”
“Really?” He paused for a moment. “Are you going to lay off the new girl?”
“What!? OF course not. She doesn’t belong here. I know I’m the older one here and I should be mature about all of this, but honestly I can’t let her kind come in and take over. Like, where the heck is Lucky Palms anyway!?”
“What is that supposed to mean? There isn’t a kind. She is a human being just like you and me. You don’t even know her,” Noah protested.
“Aww is wittle Noah in wuv wif the new girl?” Jamie teased.
That was when Corrine’s voice broke through the crowd. “Hey Noah!”
“Well Jamie, enjoy the party. I’ve got to go.” He wanted to say something much worse but he couldn’t bring himself to do it on a holiday that was about spreading cheer.
“Hey, thanks for coming! Is your dad here?” Noah smiled.
“Oh, he couldn’t make it. He had something to do down at the science facility. He told me to tell you guys happy holidays though!” Corrine said.
“Tell him the next time he’s down there to look out for my mom. Her name is Athena she’s been working there for awhile.”
“What does she do there?” Corrine asked.
“She does research on plants and stuff like that.”
“Thats cool! My dad is doing research on Aliens. He’s convinced they’re real. He thought Lunar Lakes was inhabited by aliens. Imagine his surprise when we landed and he saw civilization.”
Inside Athena confronted Malissa. “Hello Malissa, funny seeing you here.”
“Hi Mrs. Gray. I’m sorry for coming unannounced but I wanted to thank Caleb and tell him that I got accepted to University with a partial scholarship.”
“Thats really great. I’ll be sure to tell him that you came, but I think it’s best if you just go now. Caleb has his friends over now so he can’t come down and talk to you.”
“Right. I’m sorry. Maybe I’ll come back another time to see him. Happy Holidays Mrs. Gray.”
“You too sweetheart.”
Upstairs Caleb was confronted by Elliot.
“It’s been awhile hasn’t it?” Elliot frowned.
“Yeah.” Caleb shrugged. “I’ve been busy.”
“I haven’t made any effort either.” He sighed. “I guess I was just upset that you’d blown off everyone at Noah’s birthday party. I decided to let it go because you were with your friends but I hope that they’re worthy enough to be put ahead of your own family.”
They both stood up. “I thought I had finally made a real friend. She was a little older than me and she cared about what I had to say. She said she’d rather hang out with me than her other guy friends because I was more mature. Turns out she doesn’t want to be seen with me out of our little tutoring sessions. I asked her to prom and she told me it’d basically ruin her reputation. I don’t know what I did to make everyone hate me other than be myself. Am I that much of a horrible person that no one can stand to be seen around me on their own accord?”
“A girl who cares about what other people think of her isn’t someone you need to be around. She’ll toss anyone aside to have all eyes on her. Not every girl is like that. Your mother isn’t, Erin isn’t and I’m sure Daisy won’t be like that either. You can’t give up hope in humanity just yet. There are people who care Caleb. You just haven’t found them yet. Once you do, you’ll realize that they’re worth the wait. I promise.”
“I’m sorry Uncle Elliot for pushing you away.”
He grinned. “It’s alright. I’ve been through everything you’re feeling right now. I hope you can make it to the wedding because I proposed!”
Corrine was the first guest to leave. She had gotten a call from her father and had to meet with him at the science facility. Noah tried to sneak out of the house to walk her out. Despite Levi’s counseling, Athena was still upset with Noah for cutting curfew.
Elliot and Erin had shared the news with the family. Erin was going to become a Gray! Children was another story they’d have to work out. Elliot was all for it but Erin felt like they were too old to be chasing around a little one.
Prom rapidly approached. Despite Caleb’s heartbreak, Noah convinced him to go to the dance. [Mainly because he needed help to sneak him and Corrine in without a ticket] Noah was voted prom king. Nobody knew what happened until he had strolled on stage but by then it was too late because the audience unanimously voted for him in the write in sections. Corrine had asked him to go steady during the dance and he was convinced that he was madly in love with her. Caleb had a dance off with another student. Caleb won. He was a musical genius after all! The other kid wasn’t too thrilled about it and they got in a fight. Noah was ready to pounce, but the teachers were able to dispel the situation before it got too crazy.
“That was awesome!” Noah grinned after it all transpired.
“I’m glad you convinced me to go. Who needs a girl to have fun?”
“Hey! Corrine is the bomb.” Noah said.
“I never said that she wasn’t!” Caleb protested.
The two brothers were extremely close because of prom.
Before Caleb went to bed, Bruce stopped him.
“Hey grandpa, what are you doing up so late?”
“I’ve been up all night trying to perfect the imaginary friend metamorphium potion. I’ve finally done it. My life’s work is complete. I want you to have it. I’m not going to live forever so this will probably be of no use to me. I want you to have it.”
“Grandpa, what are you talking about?” Caleb questioned.
“You’ll know when the time comes. I’m getting tired. Goodnight.” Bruce yawned and left.
Next he went to talk to Noah. “How was prom?”
“I had a blast. Corrine and I are going steady!” Noah beamed.
“Ahh, young love. I remember her from the party. She was a nice girl. I’m glad you had fun. I have to talk to you about something that’s been bothering me though.”
“Whats up?” Noah asked.
“You know that I’m not going to live forever right? I need you to promise to look after the family when I’m gone. Its all up to you, Caleb, Daisy and Kayden to carry on the Gray legacy. I’m not going to live to see the next generation but I am so proud of everything you do.”
“Grandpa…why are you talking like this? You’re perfectly healthy.”
“You have to promise me alright? You never know what time has in store.”
“Alright. I promise. Now go and get some rest.” Noah shook his head and wondered what that was all about. His grandfather was still going strong at his age.
The next morning Noah had woken up to the worst news possible. Levi was the only one up to witness it.
He said that Bruce had left on good terms with death. He had lived a long and prosperous life. Levi had called Elliot and they had mourned on the phone together. Athena was a mess. Just a week earlier her good friend Lars had passed away as well. She tried to hide her pain behind a smile for her family but Levi saw right through it. The twins took it hard as well. No one took it worse than Noah though. Bruce and Noah had been the best of friends.
“Why…why did you have to go?” He sobbed. “You were my best friend.” He had lost not only a grandfather but a best friend. His heart was in shackles.
“Mom…I miss him already.”
“Your grandfather lived a long life. He had no regrets. He’s finally reuniting with his true love. But don’t worry. He will always be with you. Always.”
A few days later Noah had confronted his parents. Levi was just on his way out to work but Noah insisted it couldn’t wait.
“Whats this all about?” Levi asked.
“I’ve decided that I want to go to Smuggsworth Prep School.”
“Thats great!” Athena enthused.
“Are you out of your mind Athena? He’s not leaving this house.”
“He wants to better himself. Whats the problem with that?”
“Elliot is gone, Bruce is gone. We can’t afford to lose anyone else in this household,” Levi said firmly.
“Oh sweetheart. We can’t hold our children back forever. They need to grow up and fly.It hurts me too but we have to let go.“
“You’re a teenager. You don’t know what you want.” Levi said directing his attention to Noah.
“Yes I do. I want to be a doctor like Grandpa. I’ve decided that the only way to get myself in that position is to put myself out there. I have to start taking things seriously. I have no reason to stay back and play anymore. I want this.”
“And Corrine?” Athena frowned.
“I’ll see her when I get back.”
Noah thought back to the advice his brother had given him. They had come a long way.
“You need to cheer up. Grandpa doesn’t want you to sit and mope here. You have to embrace what you want and go for it. It’s taken me all this time to realize it, but all along we’ve held a great hand in life. Sometimes we’ve been pushed because something or someone wants to see us do better. Grandpa’s passing has just opened a new door for you. Go through that door. It’s what it’s there for. Be that positive force that keeps this family together.”
“What about you?” Noah frowned.
“I’ll be fine thanks to everyone here. I’m never alone. As long as you promise to come back for us.”
“I promise.” That was two promises that he wouldn’t leave unfulfilled.
That night Noah asked Corrine to meet him at the movie theater. It would only be the two of them alone in the small theater if there wasn’t another guy there.
“He’s got really cool hair,” Corrine whispered. “Maybe you guys could trade tips. Green highlights could be a good look for you.”
They could hear the man let out a soft chuckle.
“Shhh! Corrine! He can hear you.” Noah nudged her.
“Sorry, sorry. You have great hair sir!” She said louder.
Noah shrunk back in his seat. What was she doing?
“Thank you.” The man grinned and turned around. Noah caught a glimpse of an unfamiliar face he hadn’t seen around Lunar Lakes before. He would remember the green and black hair anywhere.
After the movie the two embraced. Noah had tears in his eyes. Saying goodbye was going to be harder than he thought. He was already halfway through high school so he wouldn’t be away from her for more than a couple of years.
“The movie wasn’t that sad. Come on now,” Corrine teased.
“Its not that,” Noah choked out. “I’m leaving.”
“Leaving? What do you mean?”
“I’m going to boarding school until I graduate. Then hopefully I’ll be on my way to med school.”
Corrine held her heart. “But…we’ve only just gotten together. What am I saying? I’m being selfish. I love you more than anything in the world Noah. If you want to go to boarding school, I’ll back you up even if I don’t want to see you leave. It’ll only be for a few years right? I’ll wait for you. “
“I can’t ask you to do that. If you meet someone else then go for it. I don’t want you to have to depend on me. It isn’t fair to you.”
“But I want to. I’m going to wait for you and call you everyday. We can make long distance work, I know it! When are you leaving?”
“That soon?” Corrine frowned.
“It was kind of a last minute thing, but I knew it was what I had to do after my grandfather passed away.“
“Oh Noah I’m so sorry!”
When Noah had arrived home, Caleb was practicing with his guitar.
“So, do you think you’ll have written your own song when I get back?” Noah asked.
“I’ll probably have an album,” Caleb joked.
“I’ll be waiting to hear it.”
“Grandpa…I’m…no. We’re going to make you and the Gray family proud. Caleb is practicing his guitar skill and I know he’ll make a kick ass musician. Daisy can’t keep away from the oven. She’s going to be a world class chef one day. Kayden can’t keep his hands off of the paint brush. He’ll be a famous artist in no time. As for me, I’m going to boarding school to work on my logic skill. When I come back I’m going to be a doctor and make the world a better place.”
The next morning Noah had left to boarding school. Levi wasn’t too happy about it but he made Elliot promise to be in touch and always have his cellphone on him. Levi was going to call him as soon as he arrived. Athena thought she was ready to let go but she couldn’t hold back the tears as her son had entered the limousine.
“Call everyday alright!?”
“Of course I will mom! I love you!” Noah shouted through the window.
“I love you too!” She called out as the car drove away. As she watched the car drive away, she knew it was time to talk to the kids about the Gray legacy and how important their roles were in changing the future. She’d have to choose one of the four to entrust the job of saving the future. She already had an heir in mind.
Alrighty, a lot happened in that chapter! The next one is probably not going to be as detailed. I tried to age the twins up so I could get the heir vote up already but the game was being glitchy. Hopefully I’ll have them aged up by tomorrow so I can upload their descriptions and the heir poll! Even though Noah is in boarding school, he will still be a choice! I’m biased and hope my favorite wins, but we’ll see how it goes when I put the poll up tomorrow! Thanks again for reading!