I threw myself into my new job to avoid missing my boys. It worked, at least somewhat. I was too busy working out and trying to get promoted to think about them being so far away too much, but I still missed them. I think Cycl0n3 really missed the boys, too, even though he never said anything. I think he just didn’t want me getting upset, but he threw himself into his work, too, and got a big promotion. I was so proud of him. I went out and bought him a new work desk and office supplies and computer for him. We didn’t have the money to build an office, but I did my best to carve out an office space for him in the living room. He has his diploma proudly displayed above his desk.
Despite his big promotion, I think Cycl0n3 still thought about the boys a lot. He plays chess by himself at the chess table and he always looks so sad… I think he remembers playing chess with Alton when he was little.
I tried to remind myself that even though two of my children were away, I still had two more children still living at home and who needed their parents around. Aqua and Turquoise were growing so fast, I was scared of missing out on all the memories of them as children because I was too busy moping about Alton and Wade being gone. I decided I was going to put the boys to the back of my mind for now, since they were both just fine at school and focus on my two girls. They were both good students and on the honour roll, but they didn’t have anything to occupy themselves outside of school. I enrolled them both in ballet classes, which is a kind of elegant, disciplined dance humans are fond of. Both the girls love music; they had since they were little. The xylophone was their favourite toy. I used to have to settle arguments over it between them.
As I expected they would, Aqua and Turquoise both loved their ballet classes. It was a little sad not seeing them right after school, but at least they weren’t away at boarding school. It was just for a couple hours after their classes finished for the day. They loved to show Cycl0n3 and me the dance routines they were learning and we didn’t hear the end of the subject of the big dance recital they were putting on for all the parents.
“Mom, Dad, you guys HAVE to be there!”
“Yeah, we’ve been practising so hard to show you!”
“You’re going to be there, right? Right?”
Well. How could we possibly not go to this recital after all of that?
The big night finally arrived and everyone piled in the taxi to go see the big show. I might be biased, but I think my girls were the best out of everyone. They looked so natural and at home on the stage, doing what they loved in front of everyone. I don’t think I stopped smiling once through the entire recital. Don’t tell Cycl0n3 this, but I thought I saw a glimmer of tears in his eyes near the end when all the dancers came out and gave the audience one last bow.
“Mom, can we put our trophies up now? Please?” Aqua begged me as soon as we got in the door afterwards. They hadn’t even changed out of their dance costumes, yet. I laughed and hugged them both.
“Tomorrow. It’s late. You should be in bed. Go change into your pyjamas,” I told them. There was some pouting involved, but the two of them reluctantly trudged up the stairs to go get ready for bed. Sometimes, I’m so glad I left the ocean to make a life on the surface. My offspring have so many more opportunities and things to discover here than they would have in the ocean, like boarding school and ballet.
Once the girls were both in bed, Cycl0n3 put his arms around me and pulled me close to him. “We’ve got a pretty good set up here, don’t we?” he asked me softly. I couldn’t help but smile.
“I think so. Four children, a house, good jobs, each other…” I listed all the things we had to be grateful for. It was a far cry from the nothingness I had come from. In a bizarre way, I felt more at home here with my kids and Cycl0n3 on the surface than I ever did in the ocean where I was born and raised. Cycl0n3 stroked my cheek and kissed me just like he used to kiss me all those years ago before any of my children were born and it made me feel weak… in a wonderful way.
After all these years, the spark’s still there.