Chapter Seventy Four: Wonderful

Rare moments like these, you know – moments of quiet and peace, where you’re holding the one person who means everything to you in your arms – they didn’t come often. I shifted to the left, because my neck and shoulder were starting to cramp up. Laurel, who had been slumbering peacefully moments before, let out a low groan. A yawn tore her lips apart, and her eyes opened sluggishly, looking up at me with contentment. Her legs, which had been wrapped around me, stretched out, her toes reaching towards nothing in particular, and her arms shot up, as she attempted to wake herself up.

It’s a little bit funny – this feeling inside; I’m not one of those who can easily hide.

As she readjusted herself around me, I pushed a strand of her hair back. “Morning, beautiful,” I said, kissing her on the forehead.

She let out a huff of breath, digging her head in the ridge of my collarbone, nesting her face into my neck. “Israel, I have morning breath. I am not pretty.”

So excuse me forgetting, but these things I do; see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue.

I forced the laughter back down my throat, but the smile that wove its way onto my lips proved impossible to hide. I put my hand around her cheek, my fingers stroking her jawline, which had the imprints of a pillow on it still. “Laurel, love, I’ve told you before; you’re always beautiful to me.”

But, as I said, moments with Laurel and only Laurel were few. It didn’t take along before one of the kids started crying. It wasn’t a full out wail, but more of an “I’m lonely right now” type of cry. Laurel groaned again, and I laughed, “Think its Xenon this time?”

Laurel let out a small laugh, “It’s always Xenon. That girl always needs attention.”

“I’ll go get her,” I said, lifting Laurel gently up off me and adjusting her carefully back onto the bed beneath us. Her hands clutched onto my pillow, forming fists around the edges.

“I thought we were going to try and teach her to self soothe,” she remarked.

I shrugged, already at the door and on the way to Xenon’s room. “You know my heart can’t stand to deny my kids something I want.”

“You’re such a softy.”

“But that’s why you love me.”

I heard a laugh come from her, and I walked into Xenon’s room, where a very tired little girl sat in a crib. Her brother, Argon, who just so happened to be her twin, slept peacefully in the next room, undisturbed by the whimpering’s his sister let out.

Xenon, upon seeing me, lit up like a light bulb. Her lip, which had been puckered out with sadness, quickly formed into a grin. Her tears stopped instantly, and she clapped her hands together in delight, her small bunch of green hair bouncing up and down. “Daddy!” she cooed, her voice filled with joy, sounding a lot like the bells of Christmas time.

“Hey, monkey pie,” I grinned, picking her into my arms. “What’s all this crying about, love?”

Anyway the thing is, what I really mean, your’s are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen.

But Xenon wasn’t quite old enough to form and understand language yet, so she simply said the one phrase she knew would make me happy, “I missed woo, Daddy!”

I kept a firm grip around her, balancing her on my hip, “Okay, well, let’s try to go back to sleep, okay?”

She dug her head into my neck, the way Laurel had earlier. “But Daddy, I don’t want to be alone.”

“Sweetie pie…” I began.

She looked up at me, her pink eyes full of innocence, “I wuv woo, Daddy!”

And you can tell everybody, this is your song; it may be quite simple but now that it’s done – I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind.

I kissed her cheek, knowing this was a scheme to get me to stay with her, but knowing that it would also work, “Love ya too, Xe.”


“Fluorine,” I called out. She quickly stopped what she was doing, and positioned herself directly in front of the couch, hiding the fact that she had been doing anything. Except for the fact that she didn’t quite have her breathing under control – she was panting, winded from something unknown. I raised my eyebrow at her, “I thought we agreed we weren’t going to practice on the couch anymore?”

Her lip pouted out, just as it used to do when she was still a baby that I could fit into my arms. Her eyes slanted up to me, showing her guilt. “Sorry, Daddy. It’s just… I want to be perfect for my recital. And everyone else is so much better than me.”

I went and crouched in front of her, taking her small hands in mine. I looked her in the eyes, forcing them to lift the weights off their lids and look me back in the eye. “Fluorine, I very much doubt that any other little girl is more prepared than you.”

“But I always forget this step…” she tried to show me, her face crunching up with frustration.

I smiled at her, trying my best to reassure her. Like her mother, Fluorine never gave up. She worked at something until it was finished, and it wasn’t finished until everything about it was perfect. She bit at her lower lip nervously. “Ducky, you’re over-working yourself. Just take a break. Let your brain rest. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You do know, it takes four hours for something to stick in your brain. Try again later tonight, okay?”

She huffed out a sigh, and I took her in my arms to give her a hug. “Will you still give me flowers, even if I mess up?”

I kissed the side of her cheek, “Ducky, you’ve seen me try to dance. Even your ‘mistakes’ look more graceful than me. So of course I’ll still give you flowers.”

“I like the white ones,” she reminded me.

“I know, Ducky. They’re your favorites. Just like your grandmother.”

That I put down in words, how wonderful, life is, now you’re in the world.


“So what do we do next, Daddy?”

I smiled down at my son, who had recently turned five. I patted his head, continuing the preparation for dinner, “Well, Argon, we stir it all together.”

He shook his head, crunching up his face as he took in this information. “And what about after that?”

I added a bit more salt, “Why, we have to keep stirring, I do believe.”

“And after that?” he asked.

I smiled at him, the little guy was too curious for his own good. “Take a wild guess,” I suggested.

I know it’s not much, but, it’s the best I can do.

“Ummm… we keep stirring?”

“Bingo!” I shouted.

My mother, who had been leaning quietly against the kitchen counter, rubbed her arms anxiously. She gave me a smile, “You know, Israel, he looks more and more like you every day.”

There was truth to her words. Argon, unlike his twin sister Xenon, was pretty much a carbon copy of me. Same blue skin, just as my mother, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and the same soft tufts of orange hair that came from my dad. He did, however, inherit Laurel’s pale and striking green eyes, which very much stood out on his features. He was a striking lad, with two left feet, and the coordination of well, a kitchen mop. The kid wasn’t any good at sports, but he had a wild imagination, and liked to know anything and everything.

“Acts like it too. Or so Laurel says.”

My gift is my song and this one’s for you.

My mom smiled, “Yes, I suppose so. Goodness, he reminds me of your father, you know. So full of life.”
I swallowed nervously. Mom was missing Dad more and more lately; we were about to come to his thirty-fifth anniversary of his death. My mother gave me a weak smile, her eyes clouded with sadness for a moment. “You know, sometimes, I feel like I can see Dad.” She used to hate when I would talk about how I could see Dad, but it was only truth – I could. He still appeared regularly in my dreams, always asking about the kids and my siblings, yet somehow avoiding my mother, as if the thought of being separated from her for all this time still made his non-existent heart ache.

“Yeah, I do, too.” She smiled at Argon, who had gone unusually quiet with this talk, and said, “You’re going to have many adventures, aren’t you?”

And you can tell everybody, this is your song; it may be quite simple but now that it’s done – I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind.

Argon smiled, “Yes I am grandma. I’m gonna be a pirate, and a firefighter, and a doctor like you and a cop like daddy and an investigator like mommy and everything in the entire world!”

My mother smiled, “Sounds like you’ve got quite the plans.”

“I do, I do! And nothing – NOTHING – is gonna stand in the way of them.”

That I put down in words, how wonderful, life is, now you’re in the world.

-Lyrics by Ellie Goulding; “Your Song”-

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6 Responses to Chapter Seventy Four: Wonderful

  1. WriterGurl97 says:

    Aweeeee, That was just…asdfghjkl;’ adorable!

  2. sweetribz says:

    Awwwwww the kids are all so adorable!!

  3. Awwwh Argon is like a mini Israel and Xenon is a mini Laurel. But Argon has Laurel’s eyes and Xenon has Israel’s eyes…

  4. FruHurricane says:

    Okay, I love Argon! He’s way too adorable. ❤

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