Saturday, October 9, 2010

2.23 Feuds

Hey, Heidi.

Sorry that I left out my address.
Didn't think you would give it a thought to write me back.
Now that you did, brace yourself for the most boring phase of my life...
Don't say I didn't warn you.

That was how Helmut's letter began. Hayden just received it a week after her reply was sent to him. She managed to write about her summer and left a question mark about how's it like to be in a boarding school in her first reply.

Reading the rest of his letter, it still surprises her how the menace kid she knew before could ever be as pleasant and somewhat warm hearted as this Helmut in the letter.

She wonders if it's just in correspondence that he's acting pleasant, or does he himself in flesh had actually changed? She had no idea and yet, of course it's something she wouldn't dare asking him straight forward.

Just having that thought itches her brain.

Week after week, she would receive Helmut's quick reply, and it always excites her. Nowadays, it's always Hayden who went out to get the mail whenever it arrives.

She actually put her thoughts about getting a part-time job on hold just so she can stay home and expect the mail.

Besides, she can help babysit her little brother anyway.

As time flies, even in the midst of Jesse's birthday bash, Hayden still could find time to reply Helmut's letter. She could get her thoughts together despite the musics and guests chatters around her.

But of course she would drop what she's doing for the main event. Her little brother won't be little for long, that's for sure.

She could see that her dad is the happiest guy in the room. And her mom can't help but to notice and laugh along with the rest of the room.

"Alright now, here we go~" Ashton announced as she leaned forward, gesturing Jesse at his cake.

And this time, apart from the normal family friend guests being Martha and Cyclone, Ashton had invited her colleague Christopher Steel along; who in fact, had married Nick Alto's daughter and moved in into the Alto household.

Christopher and his wife, Holly, had been their neighbor for weeks. But Holly could not make it to Jesse's party today as she's very pregnant with their first child by now.

Hayden also invited her classmate, Melisa Vincent. A transfer student.

Looking at the candles, Jesse seemed to know what he needs to do without having Ashton doing the blowing candle gimmick. Everyone was quite surprised at how smart he is and cheered loudly.

Jesse enjoyed the cheers, and giggled along with the crowds.

During his moment, Jesse spread his arms like the duck in Ashton's painting. He jumped around as if he was really going to fly.

And by the time he landed, Jesse was doing an air guitar move and a 'Yeehaw!' roar.

When he realized how everyone was staring at him in silent awe, he broke the ice saying, "Cakes, anyone?"

And the party went on.

"Hey, sport!" Connor came up to his son, gesturing his arm. "Give your old man a hug."

"Uh, no, dad," Jesse expressionlessly refused, but shortly suggested, "How 'bout high five?"

"Make that ten," Connor added, and they both did double high fives.

Realizing the way Jesse behaves, he was not only a little mature for his age but also self-conscious. And now that it's clear that he's not a kid that craves parents attention, Connor and Ashton were very proud of him for being somewhat less dependent on them. That he would grow up to be an independent and reliable person they could count on.

So now they can brush away their worries about him when he was still a toddler. There was nothing wrong with Jesse all along. He's turns out to be a handsome kid.

As the other guests were having fun, Ashton got Martha to dance with her as they chatted about old times, reminiscing the good ol' days.

But it wasn't long into their conversation that Martha suddenly became confused and trying to protect herself from Ashton.

"Who are you?!" Martha shrieked as she formed a ball with her fist.

"Martha, what's wrong?" Ashton tried to hold her calm without raising the other family members and guests' attention. "It's me. Ashton. We're at home."

"Home?" she stared at Ashton and went silent for a long moment.

"You must be really tired, Martha," Ashton said in an assuring tone.

The doctors had advised the family to not bombard Martha with heavy memories in a panic mode whenever she had a temporary memory loss. So giving a patient some basic choices or suggestions were the best way to deal with Alzheimer elders.

"You should get some rest," Ashton spoke to her softly, suppressing the old lady's anxiety. "Come on, I'll walk you to your room."

And Martha followed suit without much argument.


After the party ended, right in the middle of the night, Hayden had a Chess match with Cyclone.

"I get chills just seeing you without your shirt," Hayden hinted his inappropriateness. "Want me to run in and get dad's shirt for you?"

"Nah, I'm cool," he refused. Jesse had gotten everyone into a food fight earlier and it seemed to be Cyclone's worst game ever.

He had decided to stay overnight while his clothes were being washed, and his apartment was downtown anyway. It was too late to head home.

"Check," Hayden confidently declared when she placed her Bishop down.

"So... Who's this person I heard you've been getting letters from?" Cyclone asked out of the blue, totally unthreatened by her move. As always.

"Who told you that?" she was somewhat shocked that he knew.

"Let's just say I had a scoop at the post office," he tried to be mysterious about it. "So... Twinbrook, eh? - Check mate."

"WHAT?!" she was totally caught off guard. This was the first time her uncle talked calmly in a less diminishing fashion while beating her in Chess. Again. "How did you - Rrgh, nevermind!"

"A deal's a deal," Cyclone said triumphantly. "You gotta tell me who's this Twinbrook dude you're writing to."

"What?!" Hayden frowned. She wondered how he got all those info. "We never made such deal!"

"Well, since you lost," Cyclone smirked. "Let's just say we did."

"No way!"

"Aww, c'mon, kiddo!"

And as both uncle and niece were arguing over legal deals and genuine info exchange over another Chess match outside; inside the house of Vanglorious...

Jesse slept like a log.

He had a blast on his birthday and had somehow changed his mind that not all grown ups were lame, especially his computer whiz uncle. And as long as Jesse's the one to set the game rules, things would definitely turn out funtastic for everyone.

And right in the master room, Connor and Ashton decided to try and have another child after seeing how both their children had aged up so beautifully. It was actually more exciting and fulfilling than they had imagined it would be when it comes to raising kids.

They both wish to grow the family even bigger now.

So if you ask them, don't they ever get tired of all the baby cries, dirty diapers and sleep deprivation? They'd tell you, 'We'll do it again in a heartbeat!'.

There is no second thoughts about growing the family when it comes to this couple.

Even so, as the family grows... there are certain things that won't last forever...