2.15 Achieving Greatness
November 7, 2010 § 1 Comment
Monte’s habit of skipping school was getting worse. Though he had promised himself on his birthday that he would try and be more serious about it, he just couldn’t be bothered to go to school everyday. Normally he would get on the bus and walk around the school grounds before the bell rang, but instead of going to his first class, he would head downtown. He wandered into the consignment store, run by his uncle Simon, almost every day. But Simon never told anyone that his nephew was skipping; the habit had gotten to the point where everyone had given up, and no one cared for Monte’s grades anymore.
One evening, Monte came home later than Charles and Madeleine. Strapped to the top of his taxi was something magnificent: A time machine. He wasn’t sure if it worked, or what the consequences were, but it was very cool. He set it up in the playground in the backyard where no one went anymore, and on the rare occasion he went to school, he boasted about his time machine to anyone who would listen.
The time machine actually did work, and Monte took many trips to the past. He wanted to see how things could have been, if events had played out differently, but the Keeper of Time always stopped him. Monte would tell others about his adventures, though no one would believe him. To his family’s displeasure, Monte was earning his reputation as the town crazy. But despite his insane actions and unlikely tales, nobody in town cared enough.
Brant had begun to feel very ill. He was not a very active man, but he would come home from the end of the day tired and sore. Soon, he went from fishing five days a week to two days a week, if he was lucky. He usually went to bed at 5:00 in the evening and woke up late in the morning, but it wasn’t enough. The whole family was becoming concerned, and his doctor even suggested that instead of fishing, he spend a few days meditating.
Sitting out on the bluffs behind his home with the sea breeze gently ruffling his hair, Brant found the meditation to be very helpful. After a few days spent meditating instead of fishing, he wasn’t as tired or sore, but he found that he had to spend at least several hours a day meditating before he could be almost normal again. But that meant less time fishing, and if he wanted to spend time with his family, he had to get up early to meditate in the morning while they were gone.
Madeleine just could not stop thinking about Duncan Preston, the boy who always teased her. Like most of the the other girls in her grade, she couldn’t help but feel drawn to him and his mischievous ways. She liked the way he looked at her, and the attention she got from him. She no longer went on dates with other boys, fearing that Duncan might give up on keeping them away from her. Every night, she dreamed of being in his arms.
Sometimes, Madeleine went to places that she knew he went to. While some said that she was taking this crush too far by almost stalking him, she argued that it was because she was such a hopeless romantic. But Duncan didn’t seem to mind; he would pass her as he went to leave and give her a mischievous wink. One Saturday afternoon, Madeleine went to the park, knowing that he spent a lot of time there. She sat on the swings all afternoon, waiting for him. When Duncan finally showed up, she expected that she would just be watching him from a distance like she usually did, but this time he actually approached her. She was surprised, and quickly stood up as he addressed her. She didn’t know what she expected him to say, but he showered her with compliments, which was the last thing she expected him to do. She smiled and laughed and blushed, and in her heart she knew she would always want this boy. He had her wrapped completely around his finger.
He took her out to dinner that night, and she was surprised that she had fun. Duncan, the boy who was inexcusably mean to her as a child, was all smiles and laughter that evening. Her natural, hopeless romantic self wanted to give in to this sudden kindness completely, but the small, logical part of her brain was wary of some sort of trick. Madeleine was confused, but she had such strong feelings for him.
When the time came for Charles to become a young adult, Brant was full of pride, not just in his son, who was a handsome, well-liked boy with valuable skills, but in himself for living long enough to see it. Charles had his party at the park after work one day, where he had had his childhood birthday party. It wasn’t a huge bash like the townsfolk had expected, but everyone who showed up had a blast. Charles gained the heavy sleeper trait, and decided to join the army. Cora and Brant were surprised with his decision, and asked him more than once if he was sure that that was what he wanted. Charles explained that he wanted to defend the innocent and poor, and his country. He understood the consequences, and decided that it was a risk he was willing to take if it meant he was doing something for the greater good. As he left to apply the next morning, his parents watched with pride.