Dear Diary, it took about a week to make the arrangements to have Mango’s remains buried by Aunt Keniesha in Storybrook. After the ceremony, in which Mango’s daughters Tia and Grace said no one was to wear funeral clothes, my family stood around gabbing and getting updates on one another.
It was strange to think that the last time I was here, was when Dad brought me to see his twin sister Jilly’s grave. The first thing he did when he got here, was to place flowers where she was buried. Her grave site was on the other side of the mausoleum from where Mango was now resting, so he had some time to himself with his dead sister before everyone bombarded him with hugs.
The first one to get a hold of him was one of his younger sisters, Rachel. Aunt Rachel, to me. The reason I’m explaining who these people are is because it occurred to me that coming generations most likely won’t have a chance to meet these people. I want my heir and the heirs to come later to know what a close and loving family we had. My hope is that the family will still be close even though it will be different than it is now, with new faces.
Aunt Rachel held onto Dad so tightly, I thought he was going to turn as blue as her blouse! But that’s how everyone was that day; and why wouldn’t they be? Whether anyone believed us or not about what Uncle Mango did for us, they knew that my father was no longer ill, on death’s door. And that was reason enough to rejoice and smother dad with hugs.
Of course, he asked if anyone knew where his other little sister, my Aunt Daylynn, was, and he was told that now that she was a well known anthropologist, she was giving a series of lectures all over the world. Dad seemed impressed and if he was at all disappointed, he didn’t show it.
Dad’s cousin Grace expressed her thanks for finding her dad and bringing him to Storybrook for burial. She felt like the family was where they should be now. I suppose it was a sense of closure since she and Tia had gone for so long without knowing whatever became of their father.
Tia joked with Dad about how he was wearing a Storybrook Fireballs ball cap, which I learned later was the big league team that Uncle Mango played for. She told a story then of her son Marvin dressing up for Halloween one year. He had a Fireballs jersey on and a grocery sack over his head. When she asked him what he was supposed to be dressed as, he said, “A Fireballs fan.”
Dad laughed at this and said the team had never been the same, always losing after Uncle Mango was no longer playing for them. She seemed to appreciate this remark.
It was then that she explained that she and her husband Grant had split up. He’d married someone younger than her and they weren’t on very good terms. Meanwhile, Marvin was away in the military and Ramona had gotten “in trouble.”
I took her statement to mean the baby dad was now cooing over was Ramona’s baby and that she’d had her young. Dad knew all about being in a situation like that!
Tia said she was now the babysitter while Ramona worked her way through college. Dad told her it was good that Ramona was in school and maybe she should just watch because Ramona would make something great of herself.
Have I ever mentioned that that’s one of the top things I love about my dad? He has faith in people. I think when he was younger and had lost Jilly, he decided he wasn’t going to need or love anyone. But over the years, he just couldn’t help it.
Moving away from them, I continued my silent observations. I found I really loved hearing my family chat. They were so loud! Smiling to myself, I knew in my heart I wanted a large, loud family.
Near Aunt Rachel, I spotted Ruby and Leonardo. She was kind of just observing things, too, and wearing a really pretty sundress. After this gathering, she was scheduled to go back to university. I was disappointed that she still wouldn’t give me the time of day. Maybe if I had faith in her the way Dad had in me, she would come around one day.
“You’re so quiet today, Blue,” Aunt Rachel said.
Every time I looked at her today, I was a little taken aback by how much she resembled grandma. My heart ached at how much I missed Grandma and Grandpa Capra.
“I’m just enjoying being around everyone,” I said with a small smile.
While Aunt Rachel resembled Grandma, she didn’t look completely like her. She had the red hair and freckles, but she wore a lot more makeup than Grandma ever did and somehow, her face looked a little harsher, even though she was, in fact, very sweet.
Uncle Josh looked exactly the same. He was as laid back as ever with more lines than I remembered on his face, but basically just the same Uncle Josh I remembered.
It was when I regarded my cousins Thea and Phyllis more closely that I wondered if they were the reason Aunt Rachel had such a severe expression. I smiled to myself as I thought about how, when they were little, I thought they were both the devil.
Once I’d said to Ruby, “If satan has sister’s on earth, it’s gotta be them!”
Ruby had, of course, been appalled at such a claim, but after seeing Aunt Rachel, I felt I could safely rest my case.
(FYI: There are rumors I’ve heard recently in Storybrook about Thea’s supposed nose job. She was the one with Uncle Josh’s nose, remember, Diary?)
Yep, this was my family, minus a couple people. In their own ways, they were crazy, loud, fun, and I loved them all.
The entire day, Leela hardly took her eyes off of Dad. I could only assume she was nervous he might relapse, or do too much too soon. But he was regaining his strength by leaps and bounds and it was obvious he was having a terrific time with baby Olivia.
“You are such a cutie-patootie!” he exclaimed as he held her above him and grinned.
“Leo, be careful,” Leela cautioned.
After a while, the crowd began to dwindle and I decided I would pay my respects to Jilly. Kneeling by her grave, I pulled a few weeds from around her headstone and pondered what it would have been like to have a twin.
Realizing it had gotten really quiet, I came back to this side of the cemetery to say goodbye to the last of my relatives, promising them I’d keep in touch. Ruby said she’d already told our parents goodbye and that she would take Leonardo back to the house where he, Leela, Dad and I were going to spend the night before returning to Winchester.
Turning back to Leela and Dad, I kept my distance for a few minutes. They were kissing and I didn’t want to spoil their moment.
As I came closer, I tried to step quietly. Even after all they’d been through, they still seemed to be so in love. It made my heart glad to know Dad was all right now and that he’d found the love of his life.
The next few weeks back in Winchester passed quickly. Dad was doing really well and his hair had even regained its luster, growing out a little. (I will never stop teasing him about the white I see, though!)
Things with Elliott and Audrey-Ann had really been heating up and Audrey-Ann even confided in me that she was expecting. Elliott had wanted me to speak to Agathe about Audrey-Ann staying on the island for good. I wasn’t sure what I could do about it, but I decided certain events had opened a door for me to bring it up.
What events? Why, Diary, I’m so glad you asked. You see, while I was away paying my respects to Uncle Mango, Agathe and her beau Nicholas Wyatt got married! What a sneaky, sneaky pair!
Really, I’m obviously glad because almost as soon as they reconciled, Agathe seemed like a different person. I did appreciate her before Nicholas’ timely return. However, now, she was more relaxed, she and Dax were getting along and she didn’t seem to rule with as much of an iron fist.
On the day I approached her about Elliott and Audrey-Ann, she refused at first to listen, saying that she had already given the matter great thought and it just wasn’t going to work out. It was then, that I brought up a few things…. like how we didn’t know anything her mother had said was one hundred percent accurate and there are two sides to every story. Besides, why shouldn’t we believe Audrey-Ann? Elliott does and he’s no fool. I also mentioned that if her romance with Nicholas could work out after all this time, why couldn’t Elliott’s? And lastly, I put the frosting on the cake by telling her about how Audrey-Ann and Elliott were expecting the St. Cyr heir and what if said heir was the next leader of the community?
This final thing was all it took to change Agathe’s mind. That evening, she accepted Audrey-Ann with open arms and the next thing I knew, she was officiating their marriage right then and there!
My life could not have been more blissfully happy. I had my family, I was on the island I’d grown to love and I was getting to know my brother.
“You know,” Leonardo said as he cast his line into the water while we were fishing, “the only bad thing about momma is that she doesn’t fish.”
“Oh I don’t know,” Dad said, staring out at the water, “she’s good at other things.”
“What things?” the little boy asked, his nose wrinkled up as he tried to think of something.
“She cooks the fish up, doesn’t she?”
“Yeah, she cooks good.”
“Well,” Dad corrected him and I raised an eyebrow. Since when had he become the grammar police?
“Well,” Leonardo repeated.
“Hey, look!” I shouted as I held up a huge tuna. “I caught the first one!”
“Let me guess,” Dad said with a grin, “you’re going to throw it back.”
“You know it!” I said brightly as I put the fish back in the water and made sure he swam away all right. I couldn’t stand the thought of killing the poor thing… or anything for that matter.
“Awwww man,” Leonardo groaned loudly, “I got a stupid Tragic Clownfish.”
“Hey, those are cool,” I enthused.
“They’re not good eating,” he frowned.
“Well, let him go and next time you’ll catch a good one,” I said.
Dad spoke then, and even though I was standing behind him, I could almost hear tears of joy in his voice. “I love you two, you know. It could only be more perfect if Ruby was here, too. You guys are the best kids ever.”
In unison, Leonardo and I shouted that we loved him, too.
Finally, he caught a fish, holding it up so we could see. After looking at me for a moment, he sighed and let it go, making sure it swam away.
“I think we’re going to be hungry tonight,” he said.
“Oh, I doubt that,” I smiled.
“L-Cap, stay here and fish, I want to talk to Blue for a minute.”
“Sure, Dad,” he answered, his eyes on his fishing line.
Dad and I stepped a few feet away before he spoke.
“All I wanted to say was that I’m totally not cool with what you did, but I love you, forgive you and I think we should put it behind us. Everything has turned out and that’s all that matters.”
Taking his hand, I said, “Daddy, I love you so much. I can’t tell you enough how much I’m going to try to never hurt you or anyone again.”
He smiled slightly, apparently seeing that I was completely sincere. “I know you won’t.”
Suddenly, he pulled me into his arms, kissed my cheek and said, “No matter what happens or if we’re together or separated… you’re still my sweet little girl and you always will be.”
I held onto him tightly and closed my eyes, squeezing tears out, “I love you so much, Daddy.”
The next day, really early in the morning, I went with Matthieu to the rundown farm he had his eye on. He wanted me to see it, I guess, because he said he wasn’t sure yet if he was going to buy it or not.
I know it’s a huge decision to make, but what I didn’t understand was why he was so keen to see what I thought. It wasn’t as if I was the one who was going to be living there.
From the road, it looked pretty bad, I had to admit it. But the absolute ruin of it didn’t completely strike me until I saw the front of the house.
And the back.
And the grounds.
With an incredible amount of enthusiasm, he turned to me and said, “What do you think?”
I paused to think about it again, my eyes roaming over the ramshackle buildings again. “Well,” I said slowly, “it could be a lot of fun fixing this place up. But is it safe?”
“Oh yes! Everything is solid as can be, it just needs, you know, lipstick and rouge.”
Just then, a screen fell out of a window and crashed to the ground, making me jump a little. Something told me Matt didn’t know very much about makeup. But I wasn’t going to rain on his parade.
“I think that if you do it, you’ll need help. So, let me be your first volunteer!”
Giving me a swift hug, he lifted me up and swung me around, yelling, “Yippee!”
Laughing and out of breath, I said, “Okay, put me down, we have work to do.”
Later that day, I had just fed the chickens and decided to take a small walk. I was nearing the edge of the property by the hay bales when I heard Dax call for me to wait.
“I need to talk to you,” he said as he caught up.
It was so strange to look into his face and not to see it crisscrossed with scars. He was absolutely beautiful. I know you’re not really supposed to say that about a guy, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind as I gazed into those deep brown eyes of his.
“What is it?” I asked. I wanted to smile but something about the way he was standing there made me uncertain. Why did I feel like something big was about to happen?
“I don’t know how to say this, Blue.”
After a moment, I said, “I guess the best thing is to just say it.”
He stared at his feet for what felt like an eternity and I felt my stomach knot up at his uneasiness. “Well, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking,” he began, finally looking in my eyes again. “While you were gone, I went back to Mango’s cave and I found a letter he left for me.”
“Wow, that must have been something else!”
“Yeah, it was,” he nodded. “In it, Mango wrote about how he had planned to heal your dad if he could. He felt that was his higher purpose. But then he added that he didn’t know if he would have enough strength to heal me, too. My face, I mean.”
Licking my lip, I nodded. Where was he going with this?
“When I was younger and first started getting to know Mango, I told him my dream had been to be a famous painter and make my way doing that.”
“Well, I think that’s a wonderful dream,” I said. I could feel my anxiety waning as excitement took over. “We could convert one of the rooms in the house into a studio for you! Or we could find a nice building with lots of windows and make it into a studio! I do think your art could take you far!”
His face darkened and he shifted his weight uncomfortably. “You don’t understand. Creating my art here – it won’t even get noticed. I’ve always wanted to live in Paris.”
I put a hand to my chest as my heart felt like it was beginning to sink. “Are you – are you leaving, Dax?”
When his eyes met mine, I could see the determination burning in them. “I’m not going to waste what Mango gave me. I’m going to see where my art can take me. If I fail, I fail, but at least I will have tried.”
“That makes sense,” I reasoned. “When will you be back?”
“That’s just it. I don’t know if I’m coming back. I guess it depends on what happens.”
“I’ll come with you,” I volunteered. “I’ve been to Paris a few times and I can show you around.”
There was an awkward pause and then he quietly said, “I guess what I’m saying is, you shouldn’t wait for me. I need a clean break if I’m going to do this.”
A clean break? Stunned, my head reeling, I said, “But I thought you told me all you wanted was a nice family and a quiet life here, in Winchester? You even tried to pledge your love to me! Were you just leading me on to believe you cared for me like that?”
He uneasily shifted his weight again as if he was immensely uncomfortable yet he remained unrelenting in his reasoning. “That’s how I felt when I thought having that kind of life was the best I could expect for myself. Now – now I have more options.”
My cheeks stung and burned as if he had actually slapped me across the face. I tried so hard to hold back the flash of anger and rejection I was feeling. “So, when you were all scarred up and hiding away in a dungeon like basement, I was good enough, but now I’m not?”
He looked at me briefly then averted his dark eyes as if he couldn’t look at me squarely. “Oh, come on, Blue. It isn’t like that.”
“Then how is it exactly? Because it sounds just like what I described!”
Grimacing at the loudness of my voice, he stumbled over his words, “Try to understand. I want to do this alone! I want to see what the world has in store for me!”
There seemed a real finality in that word he yelled… ‘alone.’ I took a deep breath, my hands forming fists at my sides, my nails digging into the tender flesh of my palms. Determined not to cry in front of him, I jutted my chin out defiantly and managed to squeak, “Fine. I wouldn’t want to hold you back from your dream.”
Dax took a wavering step forward as if to give me a hug or to say something more, but I turned my back to him. I still didn’t want him to see how hurt I was.
For a moment, I could still feel him standing behind me, trying to figure out what he should do or say.
And then he was gone.
Dax was gone and might never return.
Author’s Note: I know some of you will be sad/mad about Dax. But if he was to be truly happy, I thought he would need to find out what his true potential was. Here is the good news about it, though! There will be a spin-off story of sorts (entitled “Dax in Paris”) to follow some of his adventures and you will also see him come home to visit in the future. 🙂
Here is a picture of the building Dax lives in now, in Paris:
As always, thank you so much for reading! We are half-way through Generation 3 and I hope you’ve liked it so far. Blue has a lot in her future yet, so stay tuned!