The holiday was wonderful, three weeks of relaxing and soaking in the culture. Eventually though, it was time to leave.
Arriving back in Twinbrook was kind of welcome, everyone was looking forward to getting home and relaxing after the long days travel. Sat in the front of the minibus with Tom I turned around and looked at my family. Holly was leaning against the window with her nose in her newest book; some scientific journal she had purchased in China. Opposite her Tulip was almost a perfect reflection of her. She was also busily reading her newest purchase, however her’s was the latest copy of her favorite fashion magazine. Poppy, was bobbing her head in time with the music that was emanating from her headphones and Pansy was just looking out the window and watching the scenery pass by.
I finally turned and looked at my oldest child, and only son. Briar had his phone in his lap and was hurriedly tapping away, no doubt texting sunny as he had been doing all the time whilst we were away. “Everyone” I began smiling at them all. Pansy tapped Poppy on the shoulder to bring her out of her Music daze and suddenly I had the rapt attention of the group.
“Remember before we went on holiday I said that there would be another surprise when we got back?” Everyone nodded their heads emphatically so I continued. “Well, Tom and I decided that the house and grounds could do with… revamping. So…” It was at that moment that we rounded the corner towards our new house, and I watched as they gaped in amazement at out new home.
As soon as the car pulled up outside all of the kids rushed out of the car and straight into the house to look around. I thanked the driver and got out, instantly clasping hand with Tom.
After unpacking and putting laundry on, I wandered into our new living room and saw that Tom was reclining on the new settee. I sat down next to him and let my mind drift as I stared absently out of the window.
“Ray, what’s bothering you honey?” Tom asked gently, leaning forward.
“It’s just…” I paused, not knowing exactly what to say. “The kids… they’re… well they’re not kids anymore. I mean I knew they were gonna grow up, but now they’re all of an age where I have to pick the heir or heiress… and I have no idea what I’m going to do” I finished exasperatedly.”Plus, Holly can’t even be considered as heir since she’s not biologically my daughter, and I worried she’ll see this as another rejection.”
“Ray, you’re right. The kids aren’t kids any more, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need you, or are gonna stop needing you any time in the near future”. Tom said, smiling up at me. “And as for choosing who the heir is gonna be, I trust your judgement, so do the kids, and so should you,” he finished. “Holly will understand, she loves you.”
I looked up at my husband, the man I loved, and smiled. “See this is why I keep you around,” I joked to him, smiling.
“Yeah I had a suspicion,” He chuckled, pulling me towards him and planting a kiss on the end of my nose.
I left the living room and went out into the garden, hoping that it would help me think.
Sitting on our new bench by our new pond, I considered each of my children. The cool breeze and relaxing sound of softly moving water calmed my nerves and helped clear my mind.
Suddenly, it came to me: I knew who the heir should be. Now I just had to tell everyone. But first I needed to speak to Holly.
I was brought back to the real world by a noise behind me, I turned to see Holly in the garden we had built adjoining the house. Ah well I thought There’s no time like the present I guess, and with that I made my way towards her.
As I got close to her she turned around, smiling. “Hey Aunt Ray”. I was suddenly feeling nervous, and it much have been apparent because her face was suddenly full of concern.
“Is something wrong?” She asked gently stepping towards me. I took a deep breath and began “Nothing wrong, honey, not really. You were really little when your grandmother died but I’ve told you the story of how she came here right?” I asked. She nodded so I continued.
“Well when all of us kids were old enough she chose which one of us was going to be the heir, and it was me . Well now it’s my turn… but…” I paused not sure how to word what I needed to say. “The thing is that the next heir has to be mine… mine biologically… and”
Holly cut in; ” And I’m not your’s biologically.” she finished for me.
“Well yes..” I began. “But… ” I was cut off again by Holly.
“Aunt Ray, you are my mother as far as I’m concerned, and that’s all I need.” She said smiling at me. ” I knew I was never going to be heir, and that’s never bothered me. I was just happy to have you.”
I couldn’t say anything, I just reached out and enveloped her in a hug whispering “I’m proud to call you my daughter honey.”
“And I’m proud to call you Mum if that’s okay?” She asked
“It’s more than okay, It’s wonderful.” I said smiling
I decided to cook a family dinner and announce my decision afterwards, as I was on my way to the kitchen I saw Tulip walking towards me looking like she had something on her mind.
“You alright darling?” I asked “You look a little under the weather.”
“Well, I’m okay.” She began. “I’ve just been feeling a little nauseous lately,” she paused as if she were thinking.
“It might be some bug, or maybe you ate something that didn’t agree with you?! I suggested.
“I’m pregnant,” she blurted out.
“Pregnant?” I asked, shocked “But how? Well I mean I know how, but when? Who?”
“Well I know when, it was when we were on holiday. As for who…” She trailed off looking awkward.
“Yes?” I asked
“Well, it’s complicated. You see while we were away there were a few guys, and – ”
“Wait a sec,” I said holding up my hand and cutting her off. “A few guys? How many are we talking here?” Tulip looked awkwardly from one side to the other.
“Well I don’t know exactly….”
“Tulip how could you be so stupid?” I asked feeling my voice raise. “You’re a smart girl, you know how these things happen, and I expected better of you”
“You expected better of me?” She said with an edge in her voice. “Oh, well I’m so sorry I wasn’t what you expected,” She almost spat the last word and I felt taken aback by the venom in her voice. “I’m sorry I wasn’t perfect, and don’t worry I wasn’t asking for any thing me and this child will manage with or without you.” She turned slightly as if to leave .
“Wait,” I said.”Tulip, honey, I’m sorry I didn’t mean that like it came out. It was just unexpected is all.” I said smiling gently at her. “But I’m her for you, whatever help you need, okay?”
Tulip was true to her word. That afternoon she applied online as a self employed writer, and began her first book right away.
That evening after dinner I stood up and addressed my family. I had already told Tom who I thought should be heir, now I just had to tell everyone else. “As you all know one of you has to be named as my heir and continue the Legacy that my your grandmother began.” I said looking around at them. “After thinking long and hard about this, I have decided that the heir will be… Poppy” I finished and waited for their responses.
When mum announced my name I was speechless, I figured she would pick one of the older two. After congratulations from Holly and Briar who then excused themselves, I was being hugged on both sided by my parents.
Then Tulip approached me and I was momentarily worried that she had wanted to be heir. But then I noticed that she was smiling at me. “Congrats little sis,” she said “You’ll be awesome!”
“Thanks Tulip, that means a lot,” I said, looking down and not knowing what to say. She gave me a quick hug then went off to continue writing her book.
As Tulip left I searched the room for my twin, and found her standing looking out of the window.
I approached her slowly, suddenly worried again. What if she resented me? I tried to push that thought aside as I stopped next to her. “Pan, you okay?” I asked her.
She turned around and her face was warm and inviting, “I’m fine,” she smiled. “Just waiting to congratulate you. So, congratulations.” She finished still beaming at me.
My face must have looked unsure, because Pansy instantly gathered me into a hug. “I’m really happy for you, and I’m sure you’ll be wonderful!”
After releasing me from the hug and I was left alone.
I was the new heir, and I was really rather excited about it.