“What the hell?” Mason rolled over. He shielded his eyes from the harsh rays of light entering the room. “Is it morning already?” He groaned.
“Not quite!” A voice cheerfully rang out.
“Please…not again…” Mason rolled back over and shut his eyes, hoping the figure would go away.
“Geez, my sister was right. You’re a grump!” The voice cried out.
“Leave me alone. I already relived my parent’s death. What more do you want from me?” He mumbled, face buried in his pillow.
“I want to show you something. Not necessarily from the past, that’s not really my thing. I don’t like showing sad things, I’m more of a happy person! I promise you that what I want to show you will be worth your while.” When Mason didn’t turn over, she waltzed over to him and pulled the covers off.
“Could you at least pick another form?” Mason rubbed his eyes.
“What happened Mason? Are you attracted to this look? Hehe, could you imagine if Athena had worn this on your wedding night? You would have gotten to unwrap the present–“
“Shut up!” Mason threw a pillow at her. “It’s dishonorable to talk about the dead. Leave Athena out of this.”
“I can’t. Not today. Do you know why? Do ya? Well, I’ll tell ya! I’m going to take you through an alternate dimension. It’s one that depicts what could have happened if everything was different. My sister was telling me about how you were hung up on what could have been. It’s been bugging you right? Well, I’m going to show you exactly that. Unfortunately for you, if your parents never died you would have never met Athena and then you’d be married to some boring lady. That’s no fun! So, I’m going to show you a time in which Athena chose you over Levi. You still have Caleb and…well you’ll see. Let’s go!” She snapped her fingers and Mason was once again in a new scene just like the night before except now, it didn’t seem familiar.”
“In this time, Caleb isn’t a rockstar. He was never bullied, in fact he was a pretty popular kid. You were at every school function and boy scout meeting. here, Caleb absolutely adores you. He knows you as his father and not some guy who tried to kill his brother. Levi is still in the guardians but they’ve abandoned their plan of saving the future through the Grays. Caleb and Star met accidentally, but still fell in love. How cute huh? True love prevails I guess.” ‘Athena’ crossed her arms over her chest.
“So what you’re telling me is that…in this time, I have a family?” Mason chose his words carefully.
“Yupp. Theres your son Caleb at the wheel next to his stunning wife Star, who didn’t die because the guardians didn’t see a threat anymore. Behind them is the pretty pinkette. Cassandra and the darling little girl Elsa. Such a picture perfect family. Look at them, they’re all so beautiful!”
“I always hated the guardians for killing her. She was perfect for Caleb, she calmed his crazy emotions. So, this is what it would be like…they’re so full of spirit,” Mason said.
“Yeah, look at those reindeer ears on your granddaughter, oh and Caleb’s ugly Christmas sweater. You can see who took after who. I love watching these guys, they’re so cute. Just listen to them!” ‘Athena’ squealed.
“Cassandra, help your sister buckle up,” Caleb said as he clicked in his own belt.
“I got it!” Elsa swatted her sister’s hand away.
“We’d be moving already if you would just let me help you,” Cassandra sighed.
“Just a little more,” Elsa pushed down on the buckle until she heard a click. “Got it! Told ya!” She stuck her tongue out at her sister.
“We’re all good now?” Caleb looked at them from the rearview mirror. Cassandra nodded and Elsa gave a thumbs up.
“Are all the presents in the car? Even your grandfather’s?” Star asked.
“Yep! I have Grandpa Mason’s gift right here. I hope he likes it, we worked so hard on it!” She looked down at the family painting. Caleb painted one section and passed it to Star who added on. When she was done she gave it to Cassandra who worked on it and then let Elsa finish it. What was supposed to be a winter wonderland turned out to be a barnyard Christmas. Goes to show that things don’t always turn out how you expect, but it doesn’t make it any worse than what you planned.
“They did that for me?” Mason thought aloud.
“Wait until you see the whole family together!” ‘Athena’ exclaimed.
“Grandma!” Cassandra squealed and ran over to her.
“Oh my, how you’ve grown.” Athena took a step back to admire her genes.
“You always say that!” Cassandra laughed.
“It’s true. Every time I see you, you’ve practically skyrocketed. You look so beautiful, I bet all the boys are drooling over you.”
“Yeah, they are but dad always scares them away! The last guy that asked me out had to personally get my dad’s permission and he still said no!” Cassandra pushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
“Caleb is just being protective of his daughter. He loves you so much and he doesn’t want to give you away to just anyone. You’re special and deserve the best.” Athena smiled.
“Yeah I know. I just wish he’d back off just a little bit and stop scaring every guy off,” Cassandra sighed.
“Tell ya what, Princess. I’ll talk to him for you.”
“You’d do that, for real? Grandma you’re the best!” Cassandra hugged her again.
“Where’s my little Elsa?” Athena asked.
“Over here, mom.” Caleb waved his arms.
“Dad, no!” Elsa shrunk back in fear. She had been trying her hardest to be unseen by her grandmother.
“Elsa you are so gorgeous. You look like a little Candy Cane!” Athena gushed.
“Thanks grandma…” Elsa mumbled.
Athena leaned in and grabbed Elsa’s cheek, “You get cuter every time I see you. You’re absolutely precious!”
Elsa groaned as her grandmother pinched her tiny cheeks. She loved her grandmother but she just wished she would refrain from the cheek pinching. It hurt…a lot.
“Hello Mason, Happy Holidays.” Star smiled brightly.
“How many times do I have to tell you that you can call me dad,” Older Mason chuckled.
“Haha right, sorry. Merry Christmas Dad.” Mason pulled her in for a brief hug.
“The kids are looking great. How are your parents?” Older Mason asked.
“Everything is good, actually. We’re taking the kids to Bridgeport for New Years. They’re excited about it.”
“Is that really me? I should be that old right now?” Mason asked.
“Mhmm. When a traveler gets married and settles down, especially in a time that is not theirs, they relinquish their youth. The internal clock starts to tick once again and you grow older like any normal human being would,” ‘Athena’ explained.
|Ignore that random party guest to the right lol.|
“Hey Uncle Weston,” Cassandra grinned. “Did you bring Mayra with you?”
“You like her more than me, don’t you?” Weston asked.
“Well…” Cassandra laughed.
“Who the heck is that?” Mason asked.
“Your youngest son, Weston. In this reality you’re married to Athena. You’re so attracted to her now, why wouldn’t you be in this fantasy? What I’m saying is that you didn’t stop at Caleb. Weston is your second and last child. He’s an engineer who makes a ton of money working alongside the Lunar Lakes government. Somehow Athena had still managed to oust the isolationist policies and Weston is continuing her work. He’s got a fiance named Mayra, no kids though. It’s a shame. You and Athena produced some pretty gorgeous babies. At least in the real world we still have Caleb.”
Mason furrowed his brows. Watching his child age right before his eyes was heartbreaking. He couldn’t hold Caleb and tell him that he loved him. He could only watch as he grew older and older, soon surpassing Mason’s own age. It was unnatural, but a fate that almost all time travelers had to suffer. This family, was what he wanted. Yes, he was old and would relinquish his (almost) immortality, but wouldn’t that be better than just wandering the world for years trying to make something right?
“Girls, why don’t you pause your game for a minute and eat some Pizza. I ordered your favorite, Pepperoni.” Athena placed plates in front of each girl.
“Thanks grandma,” Cassandra said, taking a large bite out of her pizza.
“Don’t think I’m distracted, I’m coming for your Boardwalk!” Elsa exclaimed.
“Who’s winning?”Caleb asked, sitting down.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Elsa grumbled.
“It’s because I’m older. I know more,” Cassandra said.
“Nuh uh! Dad, it’s because she keeps rolling doubles. No fair!” Elsa cried.
“It’s fair. Dice rolls are random.” Cassandra rolled her eyes.
“Sometimes some people are luckier than others. You can’t get everything right away because then theres nothing to work towards.” Caleb patted her shoulder affectionately. “Next time it’ll be your lucky break.”
“I hope so!” Elsa puffed.
“How about I help you out this game?” Caleb asked.
“Yes, please!” Elsa grinned.
Cassandra sent her dad a smirk. “You still can’t beat me.”
“Don’t be so sure Cassie,” Caleb smirked back.
“Hey! Don’t call me that!”
After dinner, it was time to open presents.
“Don’t look so down Cassandra. You know that your father is the Monopoly champ,” Star said.
“Whatever…” Cassandra mumbled.
“I know what will make you feel better, how about this?” Older Mason passed Cassandra a nicely wrapped box.
“Ahh, omg grandpa! I love it! This is Tim Levesque’s new movie! He’s so gorgeous!” Cassandra gushed.
“Do you know who that is?” ‘Athena’ asked.
“You know damn well that I kept tabs on Caleb,” Mason said. Tim Levesque was Caleb’s best friend and roommate when he was a star.
“So then you must know that because Caleb isn’t a star in this reality, that he didn’t meet Tim. Tim is still a snotty brat. It’s funny how people influence each other, isn’t it?” ‘Athena’ asked.
“Yeah, yeah. I get it.”
“Well, there’s just one more thing that I’d like you to see.” ‘Athena’ snapped her fingers and the time fast forwarded a bit.
“Grandpa, do you want to build a snowman?” Elsa asked.
“I would love to Sweetheart.” Older Mason told her.
“Good. Dad and Cassandra think they can beat us in a snowman building contest!”
“A contest?” Older Mason laughed. “You guys are so competitive.”
“Grandpa, we have to beat them! We have to!” Elsa waved her arms wildly.
Older Mason leaned down to Elsa’s level. “They won’t know what hit them.”
“Come on grandpa. We can do it!” Elsa cheered.
“Maybe we should just let them have it,” Cassandra said as she patted the snow.
Caleb looked at Cassandra and beamed. “I’m so proud of you right now.”
“Winning isn’t everything. I think it’ll be so much better seeing her happy,” Cassandra concluded.
Mason looked around. He was back in his own world. he should have been happy for it to all have gone back to normal, but he wasn’t. He just felt even emptier inside. He had gotten a taste of what his life could have been like, what it should have been like.
“Do you understand why I made you look at that? Sometimes you need to give things up, even if it means damaging your pride in order to make people happy. You need to stop what you’re doing to the Gray family and start living your own life.”
Mason shook his head. “It’s the exact opposite. Those kids, Apollo and Ambrose, are the spawns of Levi’s genes. I can’t let them be happy. My family doesn’t exist and they do.” Mason gave the ghost a look of determination. “Nobody is going to stop me.”
The ghost gave him a sad look but began to fade away anyway. “Looks like my job here is done. I wish I could convince you otherwise but it looks like I won’t be able to. Here’s something that I think you should think about.” She handed him a polaroid picture before disappearing completely.
Mason held in his hand one of the most powerful things he could obtain. This picture was fueling his new hatred towards the Gray family. He was going to fight to turn back the time and change everything back to the way it was supposed to be. He was determined to stop his parents from dying, meeting Athena and having this family that he was sure he was meant to have, no matter who he had to hurt in the process.
Happy Holidays everyone! Sorry I’m a day late. I hope you guys enjoyed your holidays and enjoy your vacations. 🙂