Sunday, September 26, 2010

2.21 Hayden's Coming of Age

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Since Jesse grew up and was free to crawl and roam around the house, Hayden had a new playmate. It also made made her feel special to actually be someone's big sister.

But having a little brother also build up her sense of responsibility, even though she doesn't realize that yet.

To her, it's just 'taking care' of Jesse while having fun together.


Although the Vanglorious were only a family of four, yet the frequent visits from the godmother and the rich uncle already gave the feel of what a big close knit family is like.

Martha seems to be okay lately. And although she still can't remember the kids names, she just went with 'my little darling', and it works all the time.

This is how they spent most of their casual weekends together; Family Meal.

But then during one of the weekends where Martha came by, she suddenly had a fever, and knowing that she had nobody at home with her, Ashton had her stay in their guest room so she can care for her until Martha recovers.

A few days went by...

Ashton remembers it very well; it was a Tuesday night. She was teaching Jesse to walk. And they were in the living hall.

Jesse was doing pretty well although he had some clumsy stumbles, but not once Ashton let him fall. She was always quick to catch him.

And while they were having fun, something went wrong in the guest room.

Even though Martha was fast asleep, her reflexes wasn't. She was tossing in bed with fever while at the same time, her body would freeze in a certain manner.

And Hayden who was sleeping in the other room, had heard Martha calling her name, went to check on her. She later realized Martha was not only sleep talking, but also strangely standing and lying down repetitively.

Terrified of what's happening, Hayden immediately ran to tell her parents.

After seeing it for themselves, Ashton got over emotional and didn't know what to do or what's going to happen next. She suspected it was Parkinson's disease as she had seen her relatives behaving the same way before.

She was too young to understand how serious it was back then, and now she have seen it again, it looked worse than she had imagined.

Connor assured her that everything will be fine and that they'll take Martha to the hospital first thing in the morning.

She would have thought about that, but in her worried condition, plus a messed up head full of flashbacks, she couldn't.

And having the calm Connor to comfort her was such a relief.

"Oh, Connor," she held him. "What would I do without you..."


Hayden is turning 16 soon.

And in Vanglorious tradition, that would mean the Coming of Age; that the children of Vanglorious would rightfully take their place and responsibility in the society.

Ashton always dreaded the memory that her Coming of Age celebration held on Thelma was the final one. But now that she had took a step forward in bringing up a family and having her own kids, she was very glad to continue the tradition.

"So, Kiddo, with your sweet sixteen coming and all," Cyclone had came by to meet Hayden one day. "What do you want for your present?"

"What, my rich uncle had ran out of ideas now?" she teased. He always gets them presents and usually he would just leave it as a surprise. "Uncle Cyclone, you always know what to get for me."

"Well then, you're not exactly that young to have doll houses now, would we?" he reasoned. "Honestly, I have ran out of ideas by now. No kidding!"

Somehow, he was obviously being serious about his question. He had heard from Ashton how important the Coming of Age tradition was, and he wanted to get Hayden something better and meaningful.

"Isn't there something you want?" he asked again. "Name it, I'll definitely get them for you. Money back guarantee. No questions asked."

"How about teaching me how to play chess?" instead of asking for things, she asked for tutoring favor. The whole family had known how Cyclone is really good in chess. He's a ranked chess player after all.

"The boys in my class call it a boys game," she explained. "They'd never let the girls touch the class's chess set unless we can beat them."

"Consider it done, kiddo," he held a thumb up after a brief moment of monologue thoughts. Hayden skipped joyfully.


Even while taking medications, Martha's age was a factor to what makes her conditions worse as the days passed to weeks and months.

Her doctor had confirmed she's having Parkinson's, in addition to Alzheimer, but other than that, they can only hope for the best.

So far, Martha is coping well too but her condition is still something to be worried about.


It was a week before Hayden's birthday when Cyclone asked Connor if Jared was finally going to come.

"Don't even mention about him," Connor briefly shot a glare at Cyclone. "He made it really clear a few years ago that he'll never step into this house or meet any of us for that matter."

"Dude, that's sick," Cyclone blurted in disbelief. He always did whenever it comes to Jared. "That's like over 16years! I don't geddit how he could live with that. Why don't he ever change?"

"Why don't you go ask him yourself?" Connor dared him.

"Nah, he hates me hardcore. I'm Derek Wilson Sr.'s kid, rememb - Wh-WHOA!" Cyclone suddenly got excited. "Touchdown!!! LLAMA OWNED!"

As the grownups were concentrating on their football show, Hayden was silently sitting on the dining table, occupied with her precious cookbook.

She was pretty serious about being a Top Chef just like Martha when she grows up. And since she learned from the best, she wanted to be the best too. The cookbook contained countless of recipes by now.

It had become her most valued treasure.

One day, she will be a Celebrated Five-Star Chef. But right now, growing up and soaring on her own wings is what she have to do first.

She wonders how it would be. Whether she could actually soar like a bird.

She's anticipating her Coming of Age party next week. Her mom had mentioned that something special would guide her once she turns sixteen.

She can't imagine what it would be, and she can't wait till the day comes.

She can't wait to grow up.


Apart from her cookbook, Hayden really treasures her little brother too. He has a limited vocab, and can only call her "Hayhay", but that's what makes him cute.

And the sound of his giggles was something Hayden kind of got addicted to. She'll play with him, tickles him, and make faces just to get him burst in series of gurgling laughters.

The way he wants to imitate her and the way he actually peeks were really funny to look at. Jesse is just so adorable.

But because he hasn't mastered the art of Boo in the Peek-a-Boo yet, Jesse will still shriek in surprise whenever Hayden startles him.

And he usually asks for more.


Finally, the awaited day.

Hayden's 16th birthday. The ultimate mark in her life.

The Coming of Age.

A few guests were arriving late but Hayden could not wait a moment longer. She wanted to grow up as soon as possible, so she had her dad lit her candles and there she was, standing in front of it, thinking about her wish.

Well, she knows what to wish for. But she wanted to compose her thoughts and engraved it in her mind. She wanted it to be special.

Meanwhile, Ashton was still in Jesse's room, trying to convince him to see his sister blow her candles. But then Jesse had been crying ever since some of the guests came. He wasn't happy seeing faces of strangers cooing at him.

Ashton was getting a little nervous to miss Hayden's celebration. She knew her daughter had been dying to blow the candles since weeks ago, and now she's going to miss it?

Luckily, Ashton managed to have Jesse distracted with his toys and she was just in time to sing the birthday song together with everyone.

She was so happy to see Hayden's joyful expression when Hayden blew the candles. She felt in her heart that this is what she had been waiting for too.

To continue the Vanglorious tradition.

The moment of transformation, and everybody was cheering. Everybody except... Martha.

She was somehow lost in her own thoughts.

"She's having lesser cakes this time," Connor nudged Ashton when they saw Hayden only had two helpings of cake.

"What happened?" he grinned.

Ashton just pecked her husband's cheek, smiling, as she went back to Jesse.

During the whole party, Hayden was so immersed in the world of grownups. Occupied with talking and laughing along with the older people, and Helmut could see that. He somehow felt ignored. Left out. Not needed. Less special.

He wanted to tell Hayden something that night... but it seems like he had to keep it for himself for now.

But will he ever have the chance to talk to her again?

Helmut will be leaving to an All Boys boarding school next week.

Jesse had a little nibble on Hayden's cake and didn't like the creams; he spitted them out furiously. So Ashton made him his baby food instead.

And at the same moment...

Vingcanti fluttered around Ashton a few times, dimmed and flew away.

Ashton had known this was to happen at last. Just like the stories she heard from her late grandmother, passed down from generations to generations...

"After the Coming of Age, Vingcanti will guide it's chosen heiress."

Though there was actually a time in history
that Vingcanti vanished from the House of Vanglorious...

But that is another story.