The last week of school for the triplets was beyond difficult. Besides that kerfuffle with Tatum leading to the Principal suggesting Nathaniel move Megan to another school, there was the days of Finals. Testing, testing and more testing. And when they weren’t testing, there was the endless rehearsals for the formal graduation ceremonies. Nathaniel kept tabs on how his children were doing. Both of the girls were pulling strong B's, while Marc had A's across the board. He was very proud of all of them, remembering how he teetered on the edge of defeat with so little time to climb out of the scholastic hole he’d dug for himself. Also, with Megan ditching school so often, this was quite a feat for her to pull off. He wondered just what was going on between Tatum and Megan. Seems their association began back in grade school …
The three kids would study together. After numerous conversations with each child, he helped them find their ‘true calling’. Megan had a head for business, taking after her second great-grandfather, who had been a shipping Magnate. Marc had a need to help people, so he talked of becoming a doctor. Janeille, on the other hand was so very undecided. Nathaniel felt her pain as she often flip-flopped over which direction she should take.
Finally, the day of Graduation arrived. The family went to the school stadium to watch their children receive their diplomas. After all of the speeches, the pontificating and the pomp and circumstance of the moment, Nathaniel was glad when it was finally over. He gathered up his children and they went home to have a nice festive meal. There was a rule in the Cantrell household, that all phones were banned from the dinner table. The kids were very excited, and in her excitement, Megan forgot to place hers in the basket on the mantle of the fireplace in the dining room. Of course, it went off. A chime to let her know she had a text message waiting. Unconsciously, she reaching into her pocket and read the text. Then she looked up and caught her father’s less than pleased expression.
“Sorry, Daddy, I just forgot. But can I go?”
“Go where?” he said.
“My friend just invited me to Singles Night at the bar. Can I go? Please, please, please, please, please,” she squealed.
“What about our family celebration?”
“I’m done eating,” she said, quickly wiping her mouth on her napkin, as she was already half out of her chair. “Really, I couldn’t eat another bite.”
Nathaniel was disappointed, but glanced around the table. “Anyone else mind if she goes out?”
Disguising his real thoughts Marc shook his head, “Maybe she can meet some guy and we can marry her off,” he quipped, stabbing at the grilled chicken on his plate. “Get her out of the house.”
“Ha-ha!” Megan said back, walking behind his seat, heading out of the room. “You wish, little brother.”
“Little — what? We’re twins.”
“Don’t forget I was born before you. By eight minutes.”
“Okay by me. Old lady.”
“Well, if she’s old, what does that make me?” Janeille said. “I was born a few hours before the two of you.”
Nathaniel gave the okay and with that Megan rushed out of the front door. “Don’t’ wait up,” she hollered.
“Stay out of the Beam of light!” Nathaniel said back. Now that they were nearly grown, he fully expected the aliens to come claim them. If for nothing more than to give them their ‘assignment’.
“Oh, Daddy, they don’t want me back. It’s like you keep saying, I’m too much trouble!”
Birthdays hit with a vengeance. Nathaniel was an adult one moment and an Elder the next, practically as soon as he blew out the candles. The family had a nice party for him. This time, they utilized that grand room on the second floor. They also had a DJ rig and a dance floor. It was fun and the party went until dawn. Shortly thereafter came the children’s birthday. One by one they blew out candles and presto! A Young Adult emerged. Jaylen also became an elder. Sadly, his birthday slipped by quietly.
Megan was the first to get a job. She knew up front where she was headed and went into Business, just as she’d talked about. Marc, too entered the field of Medicine, starting out as a level three Medical Assistant, to everyone’s surprise. Good grades count for something, after all. Janeille first joined the Detective track, quit, joined the Athletic track, which pleased Jaylen for about a minute. That is until she quickly quit. Finally, she ended up with her first love, after Nathaniel stepped in. Reminded of what his father had told him. “Find your passion,” he told her.
“Well,” she said. “I do love computers and all of that technical stuff. I was even able to hack into a site, once. And I love playing video games.”
“There you go,” Nathaniel said. “Why don’t you become a Tech.”
“A Tech? Oh, a Tech! I could totally do that. Thanks, Daddy!” she kissed his cheek and with a few clicks on her phone landed a job.
Marc’s first day at the Clinic proved challenging in the manner that appealed to his genius. He swabbed a patient’s cheek, but before he tested it, Marc thought it a good idea to perform a practice analysis to get acquainted with the machine. Through this, he discovered an element. Curious, he thought with glee. Then he ran the sample through. What ever it was, it was over his head. He turned to the doctor next to him and passed the patient file over to her.
He saw many patients that day, but although he was exhausted upon his return home, he felt fulfilled. He was going to enjoy this career, he was certain. In the ensuing days he had off, he went to the community garden on the other side of town. There he met a curious woman, who offered him a rare fruit kit to grow. Before he left to go home, he asked her for fertilizer. Then Marc commenced growing a garden. This was very new to him, but as a potential doctor, he felt it incumbent upon him to be the example for his patients. Eating healthy homegrown foods was key. He planted various things: an apple tree, a plantation tree, the Growfruit, some carrots, basil, grapes, strawberries, and spinach. Tending the garden was relaxing. Where he didn’t know stuff, he bought books to read. Great-Gramps was also into gardening, from all of that harvesting he’d do just to help make ends meet each month. Marc could often find him ‘talking’ to the plants.
“Gramps, does that really work?”
“Why, yes, yes it does. Do you not see the aura around each plant? They have feelings, you realize. They need to know we love them, in order for them to do their very best.”
“Oh, you’re encouraging them.”
Marc did a little of this harvesting, too. He found some odd things. Some rather beautiful decorative eggs on stands. These were obviously highly valuable items. In fact, some of them were a tad familiar. He recalled seeing pictures when studying history. Faberge, a well-known and respected jeweler from the last century, or so, had been commissioned to make these for a royal family each Spring holiday season. Was there a thief in the neighborhood? Was this booty being stashed for a time when they could come back and safely collect it? Marc, carefully packed each egg away. Perhaps, that Growfruit woman would have some knowledge of it.