Spending time with my kids was usually the best part of my day. After work, hearing Jay play terribly (but always enthusiastically) on his xylophone was more relaxing than it sounds.
Even feeding and burping Finch was an amazing feeling. I'd always known I wanted children, but the actual experience was so much better than I had expected.
With Finch's birthday coming up, I couldn't wait till he would be playing on the floor like Jay.
Jay made me so proud. Not only could he use his little potty, but he could walk to it by himself. Jay was also getting older, though imagining him as a child made my head hurt a little. Are kids really supposed to grow this fast?
There were some tasks, of course, that I, well, didn't enjoy quite so much. Blue never looked happy when she emptied Jay's potty or changed Finch's diaper, but we tried to split the unpleasant tasks pretty evenly, and neither of us complained.
I was happy to see Blue spend more time with Jay. Since the incident with Raven there had been no more out bursts of power, and Blue was finally realizing that the magic could be dealt with. Especially since Finch's big day was approaching, and we could very well have another powerful toddler on our hands...
I woke up early one morning, before the sun had even risen completely, unable to fall back asleep. I went to play chess but gave up quickly, standing up. I was feeling a bit strange.
"Ohhhhh," I groaned, when the labor pains hit me. That would explain the strange feeling.
"Mom!" Raven cried out, running into the room. That was funny; I hadn't even made much noise. How had Raven known? "What's wrong? Are you okay?"
"Raven, it's fine," I said through gritted teeth, hiding another wave of pain. "I'm just going into labor. Can you run and get Dad, so he can take me to the hospital?"
The poor girl still looked scared, but she finally left to get Goodwin.
After an emergency call to the babysitter, Goodwin followed me outside to the car.
"You can do it, Blue," he said, sounding like one of those obnoxious motivational speakers that I'd thankfully never encountered in person. I grinned at his cheesiness. "Last one, remember?"
Oh yes, last one for sure. I loved my kids, but giving birth to them was a big pain. As I walked into the hospital, hopefully for the last time as a patient rather than an employee, I was so excited to hold my youngest child in my arms.
Some hours later, Goodwin and I were walking into the house with our baby girl, Oriole. She did feel like the perfect addition to our home- two boys, two girls, the traditional, happy family. Assuming you could forget about the magical powers and family curse, that is.
All the same, as I snuggled Oriole for the first time in our nursery I was thankful that Goodwin had talked me into having another kid. The house had needed another girl. Even more than that, I loved her instantly.
In light of the birth, I had forgotten that it was Finch's birthday. Without taking time to analyze how I felt about that, I rushed Finch to the cake. Better just get it over with, I reminded myself.
Finch aged up amidst the usual sparkles, and though his hair was still very short, I could tell it was blue. Oh, just wonderful, I thought, but to my surprise I detected only a hint of bitterness. I certainly wasn't about to faint.
I watched Finch smile on the floor, clearly oblivious to the powers he had inherited from his mother's (apparently genetically dominant) hair. Well, if he wasn't worried yet, maybe I shouldn't be either.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Goodwin asked as we ate our celebratory slices of cake. As usual, he had wolfed his down quickly while I still worked on mine.
"You know?" I said. "I think I'm actually fine. And I'm not just saying that either."
Goodwin smiled at me. "This time, I believe you."
As Finch's hair grew in, we had it cut in Goodwin's style. To my surprise, he looked so much like Jay. Another mini-Goodwin for sure. He even had Goodwin's eye color, where Jay had mine.
Goodwin laughed when he saw the resemblance. "They both got your hair," he said. "It's only fair they get my face!"
I laughed along with him. For once, I wasn't worried about my blue-haired kids- instead, I was a bundle of nerves about Raven, who once again seemed to be struggling.
So, Mom's worried about me again, after today. I'll have to hide you extra well tonight, because I think she might come in to my room and try to read you while I'm sleeping. And that would not be good at all.
Yup, today so far is definitely one of the bad days. First, I had The Dream. I have been dead sick of that dumb dream for as long as I can remember. Curious, too, but I never have anyone to ask. I would say I made up a dream friend since Zach stopped talking to me, but The Dream has always been around, and it's the same every time it happens, which is about a few times a week.
First, there's the boy, with his scared face, kind of like the one I see in the mirror on a testing day or when Kasey is teasing me again. He has my nose, too.
Sometimes I think he's Mom or Dad's brother, but Mom and Dad say they have none. I've never even met any grandparents. I guess they're all gone. Mostly I think I made up someone who looked just like me, because Mom and Dad don't, and it's hard when Jay and Finch are so much like them, even as toddlers.
Anyway, this boy has a mom too. And she's always yelling at him, real mean stuff, asking why he can't do anything, saying he's useless.
Then she says something about "seeing" and wanting to know where his "visions" are. I don't know what she's talking about, but it makes me glad Mom and Dad are never so terrible.
Then it fades away, on that boy's big, sad eyes. I hate it, because when I wake up all I want is to find him and be his friend. But it's kinda hard to make friends with a dream boy.
Well, that was how I woke up. So I knew it would be a pretty cruddy day. I had the usual "feelings" too: I knew that the bus would be running exactly 7 minutes late, I knew what hallway Kasey would be walking down so I could go through another one, and I'm pretty sure I knew what would be on the math pop quiz before my teacher even decided which questions to ask.
I don't know what's with me, but just like The Dream, these feelings have been around practically forever. My first memory is of a feeling: seeing Mom and getting worried, knowing she was gonna be upset cause of Jay's hair color. I still don't get that. Jay's hair is that great blue, just like Finch's and Mom's. Better than boring, rusty red.
Well, the feelings don't always work, cause after school Kasey caught up with me anyway. I hate her. Dad says hate is a strong word, but I don't care. Kasey took my only friend from me, and even after that she won't go away.
"Oh, it's freaky Raven again!" She said with a fake smile, and a nasty little giggle. "What are you doing now, talking to a ghost?"
"Ghosts aren't real," I cried.
Kasey's why I don't tell anybody about my "feelings" anymore. Back on the first day of school, I was so scared I started babbling, and I told Kasey she wouldn't be on elementary school honor roll, ever. It was one of my feelings, and they're always true.
She's been bad ever since. But that was okay when Zach was there, joking with me and saying Kasey was nothing.
"Oh, really?" Kasey said cruelly. "I bet you think they are."
She bunched her hands in fists.
"Don't you get it, Raven? Ever since you said I wouldn't get on honor roll my grades have been awful. Mom's grounding me again, you know? And you get As on every test. The teachers just loooove you. But I know better. You're too weird. I think you're doing some weird voodoo stuff and stealing my grades, or something. Just like you stole Zach's-"
I had been staring at Kasey, scared, because sometimes I wonder if that isn't true. I'm definitely not normal. Maybe I am somehow taking stuff away from others. Except if that's it, why can't I make Zach be my friend again...?
When Kasey mentioned Zach's name, I cut her off immediately. By running away. I wouldn't listen to her tell me what I already knew.
I'm looking at the picture on my wall again, and it makes my stomach hurt. I want to get rid of it more than anything, but I need it, so I'll always remember.
I was looking at the picture before too, when I got home. Usually I'd go do homework but I wasn't feeling too well. I sat down on my bed and tried so hard not to cry.
That's when Mom came in.
"Are you okay, sweetie?" she asked. "You look a bit down."
What could I even say? She thought Zach was still my friend. I didn't want her to fuss and worry and call Kasey's parents or something bad like that.
"Go away," I muttered in a choked voice. I could feel tears forming in my eyes.
"Talk to me, Rav," Mom said. "I need to know what's wrong so we can make it better.
"It's Zach," I finally said, getting off my bed. "He doesn't like me anymore."
"I'm sure that's not true!" Mom said. "He's a young boy, I don't know what he said but I'm positive it's not as bad as you think it is. He might not even know you're upset, you should-"
"No!" I cried. "I know it's true. Kasey told him something mean about me, and now he won't talk to me at all, and he only likes Kasey!"
Only part of the truth. I saw the picture again, felt like throwing up. Cause everything Kasey said was true. I was the one who took Zach's picture from his house only cause I liked it. I knew it was bad, but I had to have it. Zach has so many pretty things in his house and we only have a few.
I was the one dumb enough to write in you in the middle of school, where Kasey could look over and read everything I wrote.
"It'll be okay, Rav," Mom said. "You'll see, I bet in a week Zach will forget all about what that Kasey said." Then she pulled out something she must have been carrying. "Here, a present, just for you. I got it earlier, because you've been doing so well at school. I had no clue you'd need cheering up as much as you do now."
I felt even worse than before. Because I knew nothing would be okay, and I definitely didn't deserve a present. I deserved to be locked in my room forever for stealing. Stealing. What a scary word.
It's not like Mom has tons of money to get presents, either.
I pretended to smile. "Thanks so much, Mom! I can't wait to open this!"
Zach still won't take that picture back. And he won't talk to me anymore. And now I'm afraid of the feelings I get, cause they only make people think I'm weird, and it's getting harder not to tell people when I know something bad's going to happen.
Oh, diary, something really, really bad is coming. It's like how I feel before I'm going to throw up, when I know it's on the way and it's just a matter of waiting, and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I don't know what will happen, I don't even think it'll be soon. All I know is that it's just for me.
Mom's present is sitting on my desk. I haven't unwrapped it yet. Maybe later.
Sorry that this update took so long! I had a lot of random pictures to take, so while the story flew pretty fast I had to find time to get back in game and take screenshots. I hope you all enjoyed it, though. The heir vote is quickly approaching. I may be wrong, but I'm anticipating two updates until the vote.
As usual, comments and criticism would be lovely. Thanks for reading!