Hi there. I guess you’re probably wondering who Dad picked to pass on the family journal to. The family journal has become somewhat of a rite of passage in our family and a special privilege, since only one child from the previous owner can inherit it. It’s also a huge responsibility because when we inherit the journal, we agree to keep writing in it about our family until we pass it on to our own child one day. I’m both honoured and shocked that I was picked to be the one to carry on that responsibility, and with that, I’ll introduce myself officially. My name is Sebastian Sword and I just turned eighteen years old along with my two sisters, Rayne and Ariel. We’re triplets, but you probably already know that from Dad’s entries. Before I get into our young adult lives, there’s a few things I need to recap for you that Dad didn’t mention in his entries.
To start, our beloved dog, Vixen, passed away. It happened the night we all got home from prom. Well… got home from the hospital after prom, anyway. My ex-girlfriend ended up giving birth to our son, Leander, that night. We walked in the door and everyone was crying and Vixen was… just lying there, not moving. We knew what had happened. The old girl had finally reached the end of her days. I know she was much older than all three of us, but that doesn’t make it any easier. She’s been around for our entire lives. It’s so strange thinking about being in this house without Vixen. As hard as it was on us, it hit Dad hardest. Vixen’s been around since he was just a teenager, and she’s the reason he met our mom all those years ago. None of us would ever have been born if it weren’t for Vixen, and now she’s gone.
We decided to bury her with Mom. Dad says Mom loved Vixen and Vixen was really attached to her, too, so we thought it would be best to lay them to rest together. At least Mom and Vixen won’t be lonely. They have each other for company now.
There wasn’t a whole lot of time to mourn her, though, because graduation was coming up and our university aptitude tests had come in for us to take. Rayne and Ariel don’t really want to go to university. Ariel’s not the studious type and Rayne’s a genius, but her passion is music and she’d rather just go pursue that, but Dad’s forcing us all to get a degree, anyway. He insists we’ll have all the time in the world to pursue our interests after university and that a university degree can only help us with whatever we decide to do.
“I don’t want you kids to have to scrape your way up from the bottom like I had to,” he told us. “My parents were too poor to send any of us to university so embrace this opportunity you all have now.” I kind of agree with him, but I don’t know if forcing the girls into it is the best idea. Maybe they’ll like university when they get there, though. I hope they do. I’d hate to see them miserable. My only concern about going to university was being so far away from my son where I couldn’t really fight for custody. Yeah, that battle’s still going on.
“Seb, don’t give up on your dreams for that snake, Nikki,” Rayne advised me. “You’ll get Leander back and when you do, think about the kind of life you want to give him. He’ll benefit more from you getting that fancy medical degree you want so you can get a good job to provide for him, right?” I love my sisters. They always know just what to say to encourage me when I’m not sure what to do. That’s why I still think one of them would have been better suited to being the heir. I thought for sure I was out of the running. I was a teenage father who brought bad publicity to the whole family. Neither of my sisters had ever gotten into serious trouble and they were both really talented, but they insisted they didn’t want the title. Rayne just wanted to sing and not worry about upholding family tradition and Ariel would rather kick a soccer ball around than deal with finances and family image and all of that “boring stuff” as she called it.
Dad was so excited about the three of us going to university, too, how could I say no and crush him? He went out and bought me an expensive anatomical skeleton that moves and everything so I could get a head start. He bought Rayne a brand new customised guitar in the candy style Mom used to be famous for so she could practice her music and he got a top-of-the-line treadmill for Ariel to work out on. There was no way any of us were going to throw that back in his face by refusing to go to university.
I decided to go into Science and Medicine at university so I could become a doctor. After what happened to Mom and seeing Nikki struggle in the delivery room, I want to specialise in obstetrics so I can help stop what happened to Mom from happening to other women. I want to ultimately reform the hospital’s maternity ward to be better and safer. Ariel is of course going into Physical Education. Rayne was really upset that the only thing close to music she could take was Fine Arts. She hates art. I’m not sure how well she’s going to do, but I’ll try to help her as much as I can. I don’t know much about art, but I know how to study. I was president of the Study Club in high school.
It happened to be pouring rain on our birthday so we had to celebrate indoors. Aunt Aqua and Aunt Turquoise were supposed to come with Uncle Hunter and Uncle Talan but Aunt Turquoise and Uncle Talan had to work and Uncle Hunter was worried about Aunt Aqua going out in the rain and getting sick. Oh yeah, I forgot to say… Aunt Aqua’s pregnant! Everyone’s really worried about her and the baby because she’s in her late forties and this is her first baby, but she’s been okay so far. I think Aunt Turquoise is secretly jealous over it. Her baby, Elliot, died in a freak meteor shower years ago and she never really got over it. I don’t blame her. I think I’d lose my mind if I lost Leander. I’m already losing my mind just not being able to see him.
In hindsight, maybe it would have been better to have the party in the rain. It might have helped douse the fire that sparked from the birthday candles. Thankfully, Shanda leapt into action right away and extinguished the flames herself. I was in awe. I have a newfound respect for our butler now. She takes looking after our family really seriously. Ariel was already a little out of joint and the fire didn’t help, but she’s okay now… well, she keeps insisting that she was abducted by aliens in the dead of night while we were all sleeping, which is a little worrying, but otherwise, she’s okay.
“Math?! Why the hell do I need to know any math in Phys Ed?!” Ariel groaned, staring at her aptitude test. “Ugh… ten to the power of… oh, I don’t know any of this junk,” she sighed. She ended up getting a few extra credits in Phys Ed thanks to her athletic skill, but no scholarship. Rayne glared at her test angrily before throwing her hands up with an emphatic “I HATE art!” and locking herself in her room with her guitar. I was the only one who thought the aptitude test was a breeze. Rayne probably could have aced it, too, if she hadn’t been so furious about having to take a program she despises.