‘Welcome back,’ Catherine greeted us with a smile while Micah ran straight to her. I slowly closed the door behind us.
‘How did it go? Did you have fun, sweetie?’
Before I could answer that, though, Julian came staggering in. He wore nothing other than a jogging pants and looked like he had just ran three laps around the village.
‘Oh look, the guy who used to have the eyes of a dead fish came back to life!’
‘Nice to see you too, old man,’ I grinned.
‘Old man!’ Micah giggled, pointing at her grandfather. Julian made a shocked face.
‘Why you- Wyatt! What have you been teaching her?! I am not old!’
‘Sure you are, love.’
‘Catherine… for even my own wife to say such a thing… I am heartbroken!’ He illustrated those words to the fullest, grabbing his chest and pretending to cry. Micah laughed and even Catherine was smiling amusedly.
‘Fine. I will prove to you all that I’m just as agile as twenty years ago. Try to catch me, Mike!’
‘Yay! Tag!’ Micah cheered and ran after her grandfather, into the backyard.
‘I’m it! I’ll get you, Jullie!’
‘Did you enjoy your trip?’ Catherine asked softly, after the two had disappeared. I gazed at the spot Micah left the house for a long time. Then I started to talk.
‘Thank you, Catherine. For everything. If it wasn’t for you… I never would have had this chance.’
‘You’re welcome,’ she smiled. ‘We’re family, after all.’
‘She’s such a sweet child,’ I continued. ‘I’m sorry to have forced this upon you for so many years.’
‘Not at all! Micah has been a real godsend to us. She helped us make it through this, to keep it together when we were about to become lost. And now she’s saved you, too, hasn’t she?’
‘She has,’ I said. ‘If not for her… and Natalia, I would have stayed lost forever. Micah made me realise that I’m a father again. I’m forever grateful to both you and Julian for taking care of her up until now. But from now on, I’ll raise Micah on my own. I want to raise her to be a kind, caring girl like Natalia. As her father, I owe her that.’
‘I thought you would say that,’ Catherine muttered. ‘It’s good. But we’ll miss Micah a lot. Will you come to visit us often?’
‘Of course!’ I smiled. ‘You’re important for Micah, too, after all. We’ll come back many times, and we’ll go visit Thomas too, if she feels like it.’
She nodded and stretched out her arms, and all of a sudden I was caught up in a warm embrace. It felt so welcoming. This, too, was something I’d missed out on for five years,
‘I’m glad you’re back to your old self, Wyatt. Please have a wonderful life with Micah.’
‘I will. I promise. Thank you so much for all these years, Catherine. For forcing me to come out and be the father I am supposed to be.’
‘You’re welcome, dear.’
‘Would you like to hear about mommy?’
Micah looked up to me in surprise. Then her expression turned into a big smile and she let go of her toy bunny, nodding in excitement.
‘All right. Come over here for a bit.’
Micah nimbly climbed over the couch seats and sat down next to me. Her eyes were round and eager and trusting. They reminded me of her so much. I loved those eyes.
‘All right. Let’s see…’
‘Your mommy was a shy kid. She was scared of people she never met before. Even when we first met, she was afraid to even look me in the eyes.’
‘I think she never even realised how beautiful she was. You have her eyes, Micah. Did you know that? They’re so beautiful, sparkling during the day and even at night. We became a couple throughout high school, and we’d been together ever since.’
My voice faded away. Micah looked at me curiously.
The words got stuck in my throat as I started to remember everything. Every single moment I’d blocked out until this moment.
‘M-mommy was… my… m-my…’
‘Daddy?’ Micah said, surprised. ‘Why are you crying?’
I quickly wiped the tears from my face with the sleeve of my shirt and smiled at her.
‘Don’t worry. I was just remembering mommy for a bit.
Now, where was I…’
I took a small breath and continued to talk.
‘The day before graduation, I bought her a wedding ring. I wanted to do something special to ask mommy to marry me, so I had uncle Tommy take her to our secret spot…’
Natalia… I’ve finally found it. The thing only I am able to protect.
All this time… It was right here.
My legacy’s generation two is over! Please tell me what you think. Are there any points of improvement that I can use for my next generation? Things that seemed out of place? Or just your overall opinion comparing this story to the last – please do tell me! =D I love hearing opinions and advice.
If not, I hope you’ll join me in my third generation’s story in due time. ^^