1.10 Stepping Down
July 14, 2010 § 3 Comments
Unfortunately for the Hallovin family, there was another death. But this time it was very close to home. Shortly after Evelyn, Bryce, Rayna, and Cora came back from Egypt, Rayna went to the gym to continue her training. It was then that Jacques Hallovin – Evelyn and Gaston’s father; Audrey, Rayna, Cora, Charlotte, and Simon’s grandfather – passed away. He had been 97 years old, and he had been trying to pump iron with his son at a family trip to the gym. The strain was too much on the old man, though, and the next thing that the Hallovins knew, death had come to collect the soul of the family’s patriarch. Everyone was upset, especially Gaston and Simon. But the families knew that Jacques had lived a full, content life. He had made made things right between him and his daughter again before he had died, and met his two other grandchildren, and his son-in-law. He had carried on the Hallovin name in France, and lived to see his only grandson, the last heir, grow up into a teenager. The man’s life was as fulfilled as it possibly could, and he passed on in peace.
Shortly after Jacques’s death, it was time for everyone’s birthdays. Evelyn’s birthday was the day after Bryce’s and the girls’ birthday the day after her. The Hallovins would celebrate for three days, and then be done with birthdays for a year. It was kind of nice, but kind of stressful at the same time. Especially since Bryce and Evelyn were becoming elders. But after a quick nap, Bryce was ready to be an old man with teenage daughters, barely young women. When he thought of it that way, Bryce was almost afraid to become an elder. Would he be alive when his grandchildren were born? Would he be alive when his grandkids became adults? The latter was unlikely, and the best that he could wish for was to see his grandkids start school.
The next evening, Cora brought a cake, table, and balloons outside for her mother’s birthday. She felt especially close to her after the Egypt trip, and to be honest, Rayna had always been daddy’s little girl anyway. Evelyn appreciated this, and was able to age up without too much fear. She, too, was afraid she wouldn’t see the third generation of Hallovins, but for her the fear was a little more profound, since she wanted to see the next heiress of her legacy. Which reminded her that she had to choose an heiress tomorrow. But that night, she could relax a bit. Evelyn decided to retire, and receive §882 a day. She had been a cat burglar, and she felt too old for it anyway. Bryce could keep his job, as some head editor, but Evelyn felt ridiculous when she put on the tight black suit for the last time.
A large crowd arrived at the Hallovins’ back yard at 5:00 the next evening. It appeared that every guest invited had brought a friend, and the last chess opponents Bryce had invited over stayed for the event, as well as the Hallovins’ maid. Beaming with pleasure, Rayna eagerly blew out her candles. FInally, she was the same age as Sam, who she had always thought of fondly, and Scotty, who had become a young adult shortly after they met at her house and became a romantic interest. Rayna knew that Sam would be a lot older than her, even as a young adult, but he was still her first pick.
Finally, it was time for Cora to step up to bat. She was ready to become a young adult, after many years of angst, jealousy, and self-hatred. Over the years, she had come to appreciate herself a little more, and she had become much less jealous of her sister. Brant Landgraab, her best friend, had supported her for a long time, and soon she would be in his age group.
Unfortunately, a fire broke out. This one was a lot bigger than the previous Hallovin birthday-fire, mainly because it was outdoors. There was so much more fuel: the wooden table, the cake next to it, and the fresh air surrounding it. Thankfully, none of the guests became fuel, and after a few hours of fighting, Maebe Heck, the Hallovin maid, was able to extinguish the flames. From that day on, everyone in town would regard the small girl in the spotted blue dress with a lot of respect. She had saved the lives of many people in town, including some “brave” men who had attended the party.
Though the cakes were destroyed, Cora still managed to successfully become a young woman. And as the guests left, some thrilled by the fire and some absolutely terrified, Evelyn touched her daughters’ shoulders and explained to them the legacy.