Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gen 4: Chapter One

Our move to Starlight Shores went pretty smooth. The house Granddaddy helped us to pick out is nestled near the coast and a short two blocks from central downtown. It's in the district of a top ranked school and within walking distance to a small park. Both very important for Rachel. And the monthly mortgage amount is VERY reasonable for two people just starting out too.

Charissa: Wow, Mr. Julio must have had to pay a small fortune to have someone decorate it up like this.
Dameon: I hope not. I already feel indebted to Granddaddy for co-signing our loan for this place.
I look around in awe. The house is done up nice, with homey little touches that make you want to prop your feet up and stay awhile.

Dameon: Well, I am pretty sure you can change anything you'd like around here if it doesn't suit you.
Charissa: No, no. I didn't mean it like that. I was just saying its nice, Dameon. Really, I would be happy to sleep in a tent as long as I was with with you.
It still blows my mind when she tells me things like that. It almost doesn't feel real to have someone so utterly devoted to me.

Charissa: Hey, since we don't have much to unpack, lets do it later. We can head to the park I saw on our way in. I'll bring my camera and take some scenery shots.
Dameon: If you give me a few minutes, I would like to change.
Charissa: For what? You look fine in that.
The smirk on my face should have been warning enough.

She laughed! I surely thought she would be impressed with my clever use of bright coloring for my outfit. I guess it wasn't very suave. But at least it garnishes attention at the park. I am shocked to find my great-aunt's family here. As well as my own Aunt Mimi. But she was very rude and ignored me so I guess her feelings for my father have been passed on to me.

With a deep breathe to calm my jittery nerves, I slide out my magic want to begin.
Dameon: Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Leon: Hi, Dameon.
I sigh in frustration. Leon is my half-first cousin, once removed, and somewhat slow. I smile to acknowledge him and carry on.
Dameon: I would like to take you on a trip to the world of mystery and wonder...

Despite Leon's constant barrage of questions and exclamations, I was able to work through some of my better tricks.
Dameon: And now, I will bid you adieu with this fine bouquet of flowers.
I lift my hand high and watch as the flowers pop out of my sleeve at the exact moment the powder pack explodes. Nailed It! I also hear the distinct sound of Rissa's camera clicking. Did she catch it?
Leon: That's a good one, Dameon. Here, have a dollar cuz Momma says that is what I suppose to do.

Five dollars was not much but I hope for a better reception in the town square. For now, I am happy enough to have performed publicly for the first time. I turn at the edge of the street and look back at Rissa as she pushes Rachel in the stroller.
Dameon: Come on, Pokey, I'd like to get home sometime tonight.
Charissa: Keep your ridiculous shirt on, we're making good time. Aren't we Rach?
Right before we enter the house a thought wiggles its way into the forefront of my brain. What would Rissa look like pushing our children in a stroller...

I had thought to get married in Riverview with her father's blessing. But Charissa refused me. She saw no point in getting married just so we could move in together. I watched her start dinner as I fed Rachel a bottle.
Dameon: I still want to marry you, Rissa. When are you going to let me.
Her hand slows in the process of spreading mustard.
Charissa: I already told you my answer, Dameon Montoya, and don't be trying to work your charms on me. I will not sign a paper that says you are in charge of me. No way, uh uh. I am my own woman.

We go back and forth on the subject. I know she is committed to me but I still can't shake this feeling that living with her without a ring on her finger is wrong. I burp Rach then walk into her room to lay her down for the night.
Dameon: I'll wear her down, you'll see, Rach.

Charissa is so opposite of most women. She refuses to marry me yet feels it is her place to cook, clean, and be the main care-giver for Rachel. I almost expect some Women's Lib activist to come and kick her ass for messing up their hard work.
Charissa: Stop staring at my butt, Dameon.

Dameon: Caught red handed.
I reach out and squeeze her butt which makes her start to giggle.
Dameon: What say you we conserve water ... by showering together?

Dameon: I guess I need to look into getting a larger water tank. I am freezing!
Charissa: Maybe we should have only washed up instead of ... frolicking. 
I pull her into my arms. Her body is warm despite us using all the hot water during our shower fun.

Dameon: I love you.
Charissa: I love you, too.
My kiss isn't driven by passion and lust like it had been in the shower. This kiss is motivated by tenderness and ... feelings I can't quite describe. We lay down on the bed and I begin to touch her slowly, gently. No rushing this time. No selfish need to reach my own fulfillment. Nothing but being in her arms and watching her reactions to my touch.

This night had been special. It wasn't the first time we had sex. But I truly believe it was the first time, for me anyway, to have made love...


Dameon: Four a.m. is not an acceptable time to eat, Rach.
I swayed back and forth as I fed Rachel her bottle. Rissa and I have set up a schedule of sorts so we can take turns with this early feeding. By the time I finished feeding and burping Rachel, changing her diaper, and putting her back to sleep, it was nearing five in the morning. I figure I would get an early start to my day.

I wander into the kitchen to check on Rascal but get sidetracked by Rissa's picture. I still can't believe she blew it up and framed it. I'm torn between delight and embarrassment. Either way, it makes me smile to remember that day in the park.

Dameon: Good morning, Rascal. Did you sleep ok? Huh? Come here, Boy. Come here.
I let him jump up and lick my face for morning kisses. I walk to the front door to unlock it and let Rascal do his business. I try to cover my yawn as I watch him in the front yard doing his thang. I laugh at him as I watch him come back in as if he has been crowned prince.

I pour some Iams into his food bowl then head to the kitchen to figure out what I want for breakfast. I poke around in the fridge to find a box of pancake batter. I snag that, the milk, and two eggs to get things started. Just as the first batch is finishing, I hear Rissa stirring around in the bedroom. 

After breakfast, I change into some sweats. Magicians are always being scrutinized by the public so appearance is important. I try to work out at least three times a week with the occasional three mile jog thrown in now and again.

Rascal is a noisy little guy and tends to bark the whole time I am trying to do chin ups.
Dameon: Shut ... up .... Rascal. I make ... this ... look good.

I usually like to hit the town square just before noon. You get a lot of people out and about for the lunch rush as well as some of the tourists who drop big change in the early evenings before the dinner hour. But today was going to be different. Today I had an appointment with Beth, the proprietor of the large park stage. I was going to get my first paying gig.
Dameon: So, what do you think? Do I get a spot or what?
My heart was pounding with excitement! This could be it, the next step in my career. I watched Beth as she considered.
Beth: Dameon, I really like your act and I know you draw quite a crowd in the square. But, well, my Memorial Day Weekend is full.
My chest felt like a rock had fallen on it. I couldn't breathe. No, this can't be happening!
Beth: Buuut...
Oh Lord, there's a "but". Amen!
Beth: I do have a small show that could use a filler act the following weekend.
Dameon: I'll do it!

Dameon: And then she pulled out this "buuuut" and I knew right then I was getting a gig.
Charissa: Dameon, that is so awesome! This is big. I mean, you got your first gig today and I ... I sold my first painting.
Dameon: You did? Why didn't you tell me when I first walked in?!
Charissa: I couldn't get a word in with all the talking you were doing. 

We both laughed at the situation. Then she put her arms around me and we just stood there, holding on to one another.


Dameon: Turn. Turn! TURN!
Charissa: I really think you should TURN this off. You are getting way too serious about this game.
I figured she was right but take the time to save my game anyway.

Charissa: I can't believe today is Rachel's birthday. It seems like we were just moving in.
Dameon: I know. Time is flying by. 
Rascal saunters over to the couch and jumps right into my lap.

Dameon: Well, hey there Rascal. So glad you could join us for such a joyous celebration.

Charissa: Dameon, I wish you would cave and just give me a baby.

Dameon: I wish you would just let me marry you.
Although we have both adopted a playful attitude towards this subject, its one that we both take very seriously. I begin to rub Rascal's fur and carry on like she hadn't brought it up.
Dameon: Are you ready to see Rachel blow out some candles, Rascal? I know I am.
I abruptly stand, eliciting a surprised bark from Rascal. Gently, I take Rachel out of Rissa's hands, effectively ending the marriage/child debate.

Rachel ages beautifully into toddler-hood. It's weird to see my father's features in one so small and angelic.

My insides were in turmoil over the "debate" I had with Rissa. I needed to get some fresh air. I snag Rascal's leash and head off for an early evening walk while Rissa dealt with clean up. I had just snapped Rascal off to tend to his sniffing and peeing when I hear someone come out the door of my neighbors' house.

Brandon: Well, hello. Don't see y'all out and about at this time usually. 
I begin to wonder if I should be creeped out by the fact that my neighbor has our schedules memorized. Shrugging to myself I walk up his steps to shake his hand.
Brandon: My name is Brandon, Brandon Woods. I work at the courthouse near the square. I think I have seen you perform a time or two during my lunch break.

We talked for a bit about this and that. But we soon had to go inside to avoid being carried away by mosquitoes. 
Brandon: Well, it is nice finally getting a chance to talk to you. Can I get you something to drink? Coke? Coffee? Sweet tea?
Dameon: No, I am fine. I can't stay long. I was just out for a bit of fresh air. But thank you. I really should be heading back to the house.

Brandon: Hey, before you go. I want to invite you to the Memorial Day services being held at the cemetery. We have quite a few veterans being honored and well ... it's my first time giving a speech.
I finally realize who my neighbor is! Brandon Woods, the future mayor hopeful.
Dameon: Well, we haven't really made plans but I will keep it in mind.

He proceeded to give me his views on all the hottest political issues. I don't follow politics and felt lost at sea while he rambled on. I did find out he was married and had a daughter in elementary school though. When he finally stopped to take a breathe, I seized my opportunity to make a break for it, promising to stop by again for another chat. I scooped up Rascal into my arms and made a bee line for the house!
I hang up the leash then walk around the house, noticing how quiet it is. The kitchen is clean, Rachel is sleeping, and Charissa was just stepping into the shower. Since I had a few minutes to myself, I fired up the old computer to compose an email to Granddaddy. I wonder if Rissa has a few pics I could add  as well?

Memorial Day Celebration  (Be sure to read both pages of entries!)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gen 3: Chapter Ten

 Miguel: I think she has my eyes. Really.
Bella: Miguel, you can't tell now. All babies have the same eye color when they are born.
I leaned in closer to scrutinize Rachel's little face.
Miguel: And she will have your lips, I can already tell. 

 Bella laughed as I continued to look at this little miracle we had created. Is this little worm really a part of me? 
Bella: I'm sorry I couldn't give you an new heir. Maybe we could try again?
I thought about all the stress and headaches this last pregnancy caused. I shook my head.

 Miguel: Bells, I don't think that is a good idea. I mean, Doc said this one was chancy as it was. I don't want to do anything that would cause me to lose you. We can just push that topic to the side and focus on us for a little while. Kay, Sweetie?
Bella: I know you're just thinking of me but...
She didn't get a chance to finish as the door bell rang. 
Miguel: Probably another of your friends here to see the baby. I'll tell them to shove off so you and  Baby Girl can get some sleep.

 I opened the door with a sheepish grin on my face, ready to nicely tell whoever it was to come back later in the day. My eyes fell on that beautiful blonde hair and that great ass. It wasn't a visitor for Bella that had come to call.

 Miguel: Vicki! What the hell are you doing at my house? Are you freakin' insane?!
Vicki: Hey! Give me just a second to explain. I have things I need to discuss with you, Miguel. But I wanted to wait for Bella to pop out that kid since you seemed so concerned with HER welfare.
Miguel: What things? I can obviously tell you aren't pregnant. You should be close to six months by now.

Vicki: You think I was gonna go through all this just to have a girl and a miserable monthly allowance? You already had one failure and that was with your wife. So when I found out mine was a girl too, I had it taken care of. I just got cleared from my OB. Any time you are ready, we can try for that boy again.
My stomach churned at the thought of having something of mine so ruthlessly destroyed with out my say-so.  

 Miguel: Damn it! You didn't even bother to ask me what I wanted, Vicki!
Vicki: Did you want another girl?
Miguel: Hell no, what would I do with a girl? I need a male heir!
That statement earned me a surprised gasp, but not from Vicki. But from Bella who had come to stand in the door.
Bella: Lies! Everything out of your mouth is lies, Miguel. I can't stand it anymore. I... I hate you!!!
Miguel: Bella!

 Vicki: Shit. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...
I looked at Vicki and I no longer saw the sexy, beautiful girl that had been my mistress for these last few years. I saw a cold, heartless bitch that I never wanted to see again.
Miguel: Eff that! You knew exactly what would happen when you came over here! You were tired of playing second fiddle and thought to take first string. But it ain't happening. I want you to leave and conveniently lose my number, my address... Hell, just completely forget who I am. Do you understand?!
I didn't wait for a reply. I slammed into my house and raced for the stairs.

I reach for our door but its locked. 
Miguel: Bella, open up. Come on, we need to talk. 

I wait but all I can hear are her muffled sobs. My heart feels like its being twisted into a thousand knots. 
Miguel: Bells, come on Sweetheart. Unlock the door, please.
Silence. I can't even hear her crying anymore.

Miguel: Bella?

Suddenly the smell of smoke filters into the hall. I can make out the faint sound of cracking. What is she doing? When my thoughts connect, I start to panic. I begin pounding on the door and throwing my shoulder into it. She must have pushed the dresser in front of the door!
Miguel: Bella! No, don't do this, Baby! Please, let me in!
I am frantic! Where the hell is everyone else? What if this fire spreads?

I continue to pound on the door and cry out to Bella. She never utters another word. Has she taken more pills? Has the smoke already got her? Damn, I should call the fire department!

 Operator: 911, what is your emergency?
Miguel: My wife has locked herself in our bedroom and I can smell smoke. I think she is burning herself inside. I can't get in. The dresser must be in the way! Send a fire truck NOW! Hurry!

 It seemed to take hours before help arrived. I stayed by the door, banging on it until my fists were bloody and raw. When the firefighters arrived, they decided to break through the bedroom window and attack the flames that way. I kept waiting for them to bring Bella out so that the waiting ambulance could bring her to the hospital. When they escorted me into the house I knew something was wrong.

 My stomach threatened to revolt at the stench of our bedroom. I couldn't make my mind comprehend what I was looking at. My sweet Bella! No, this isn't real. None of this is happening! I will wake up and Bella will be sleeping peacefully beside me in our bed.

 I felt my eyes fill and knew I was in shock even as my mind continued to try and deny reality. Feeling betrayed by me, Bella had wanted to hurt me by taking the only thing that was important to me in this world. Herself.


 Maya: Hey there, hey baby. Can you say hi to Grandma? Huh? You gonna talk?
I couldn't bring myself to even look at Rachel any more. I knew I was making the right choice. She needed someone who could care for her better than I. But my family didn't feel the same way.
Maya: I still think you are making a big mistake, Miguel. You know this isn't what Bella would have wanted.

  Just mentioning her name had the tears threatening. I knew I couldn't stay here in this house with all the memories constantly pushing at my mind.
Miguel: What Bella wanted is no longer an issue. Dameon is heir now and his wants are what matter. Rachel will be better off with him than she ever would have been with me. Besides, I just can't stand to watch him carry on the torch. 
Maya: You have to at least speak to him before you leave.
I have ignored him his whole life, I doubted anything I said would matter to him.
Miguel: I will, I guess.
 Mom turns and embraces me. I can hear her voice getting watery.
Maya: You be careful out there, Miguel.
I take a moment to memorize her face. Then I walk out the nursery without a backwards glance at the pink bundle resting in the crib.

Miguel: I haven't ... I mean really, we both know .... Damn!
Why do my words fail me when I need them the most? It made my blood boil to have to admit that I had been a lousy father to Dameon. Although I know he had no part in it, I still blamed him for Kya'a manipulations.

 My frustration mounts in the awkward silence. I react in anger.
Miguel: Just take care of Rachel, alright?! 
Dameon reacts by throwing his hands up as if I had been about to hit him. Fate would have my father walking in at that moment. I could tell he was pissed.

Julio: Back off, Miguel. He has enough on him already. Do you have any idea how hard it is for the rest of the family to exist in this small town with the huge scandal you have brought down on us? Everyone is picking up stakes and I don't blame them. 
I had no idea that my indiscretions and Bella's suicide had affected my relatives. Nor did I think about Dameon having to live here with those rumors always in circulation.
 Miguel: Dad, I give up! I'm gone.
I turned for the door and walked out. I cleared my mind as I walked down the stairs and headed for my old car waiting outside. I could make it to Hidden Springs in just under four hours. There was bound to be a bar where I could find a woman to help me forget.

I watched Miguel leave with mixed emotions. Relief that he was gone, anxiety that he would return and try to find me, anger that he could walk out on another child so easily.
Julio: You need to start packing. The sooner you and Rachel leave, the better the chances are that this scandal won't stick to you.

Granddaddy has always been the one looking out for me. I still remember those first few days after moving in with Miguel and his new wife Bella. I was doing some exploring, really just trying to stay out of Miguel's sight when I found Granddaddy meditating in the attic.
Julio: It helps find your center and keep your mind apart from your troubles. Maybe you would like to try it?
Dameon: Um sure ... if you don't mind taking the time to teach me.
Julio: Time is something I have a lot of. Come, sit next to me and learn to reach your Zen.

From then on, he was like the Dad I always wanted.
Julio: That's good, you are doing a great job. Now let's try for a right turn at the next road, OK?
My hands were sweating on the wheel and my heart was pounding. I was driving! But in the quiet, more than learning to drive was happening.
Dameon: Granddaddy, can I ask you something?
At his slow nod, I quickly blurted out what had been on  my mind.
Dameon: I ... I want to talk to this girl. And she is like the most popular girl in school and I am afraid she will laugh at me. So ... what do I do?
This turned into one of many talks about women, honor, and life.

After the funeral and Bella's third miscarriage, I took my turn at sitting with her. She had always been nice to me, if a little distant. But she had changed so much that it made being around her awkward and uncomfortable. I always felt like she got the short end of the stick by marrying my father.

I was hopeful things would change after we made the move to the new place. But Miguel never changed at all. Leading to Bella's death and Rachel's abandonment. Now it was my turn to try and proceed through life and produce an heir apparent.

 Dameon: I am mostly packed already. I am thinking of leaving first thing in the morning.
Julio: And what of Charissa?
Dameon: I have asked her to meet me at the park tonight after her photography class is over. I know her parents won't like it but I have a feeling she will say yes.
Granddaddy and I talked a bit more on the move. He was providing the seed money for our move. I have dreams of being on stage and figured Starlight Shores would be the most sensible move.

As I rocked Rachel to sleep, I worried if Starlight Shores was the right decision for HER. I wanted to give her the best! The love and stability I had been denied by my own mother and father would be showered all over this girl. And it was my hope that Rissa would be on board with these plans as well.

 We were friends in High School. She was so popular and I guess being nice to the new kid was just part of who she was. She liked to hang out with me on the weekends since she lived right across the street.
Dameon: So have you decided which guy you are going to prom with yet?
Charissa: Well, I know it seems horrible but I don't want to go with any of those guys that have asked me. I was kinda hoping to go with ... you.
 I was over the moon! We both laughed and started making plans to go together.

Charissa: You know, if you want to ditch me that's fine, Dameon. I know things are crazy with your step-mom being in the hospital and all.
Dameon: No. No, I would lever leave you ... alone.
And I was so glad I went. She actually asked ME to go steady. And we shared our first kiss right behind the punch bowl.

Dameon: So you will come with me? Leave everything you know behind, your family, friends, and your job?
Her laughter filled the cool night air.
Charissa: Most definitely. I would never leave you alone, Dameon.
All those years of being neglected and pushed aside by those that were suppose to care for me melted away. Here was someone willing to put ME first. I pulled Rissa into my arms and reached out to tuck a few stray strands of her hair behind her ear.

Dameon: I love you, Charissa.
Charissa: I love you too, Dameon.
My lips met hers in a rush of emotion. We were moving to a new town together, starting a life with my little sister. What will the future hold for us?