There’d been so much drama going on that Esmeralda’s birthday crept up on them without much notice.
Here is Esmeralda as a child:
She has the cheerful trait and is already a bit of a wild child.
Here she is on a jaunt to the park in Oasis Springs – she ran off on her own without telling anyone, and got in big trouble with Grainna for walking all the way to a different town without an adult.
But she blew off some steam and made friends with Elisa Goth (Alexander & Cassandra’s younger sister), so she figured it was all worth it in the end.
Meanwhile, the drama continued at home….
Geoffrey: Seraphina, I just wish you would talk to me! I never hear from you anymore, and you never seem to be home when I visit.
Seraphina: I don’t know Dad, why don’t you ask the chosen child? Why don’t you ask Roy or Malcolm – you know, my brothers – the ones who don’t even know i exist!
Geoffrey: I promise, honey, one day I will tell them. It’s just the wrong timing right now. But I love you so much more than you know! I wish you could understand!
Seraphina: All I know is that you’re ashamed of your own daughter. If you don’t want to be seen with me in public, then I don’t want to see you at all!
Seraphina was completely enraged, finally letting out the anger that had been bubbling up in her for so long. It felt good, she realized – good to hurt his feelings as much as he had hurt hers.
Geoffrey was visibly upset, stammering and flailing his arms. And then Seraphina saw it. The look on his face had gone from anger to fear, to confusion. And then, suddenly, he dropped to the ground.
Seraphina: No! What have I done?!
She pleaded with the Reaper, to no avail. Seraphina called for help, and Grainna came running out the door. But it was too late – he was gone.
Seraphina collapsed into tears as Grainna stood by, frozen in shock and grief.
The following days passed in a deafening silence. Clarissa and Esmeralda had not known Geoffrey, but could feel the heaviness his death had left on their home.
Seraphina fell apart. She spent hours in bed, and sobbed in the shower.
Her mother tried to offer some comfort, but Seraphina was inconsolable in her grief.
Seraphina: This is all my fault, Mom. I’ll never forgive myself – I was such a brat, always demanding more from him when he tried so hard to give me everything he could. He loved me – why wasn’t that enough? I broke his heart–I might as well have killed him myself….
Grainna: You can’t blame yourself, sweetheart. You’re just a kid, and you had every right to feel the way you did. If this is anyone’s fault, it’s mine and your father’s. Our impulsivity is what put you in this position in the first place, after all.
Seraphina: I just wished I hadn’t wasted so much time being mad at him. There’s so much I never got to say….so many times I should have said, “I love you,” so many memories we could have made….
Grainna: Me too, sweetheart. Me, too.
Geoffrey was laid to rest the next day. Grainna had struggled with what to do with his remains – sending them back to Oasis Springs would raise too many questions, and there was no way to explain without exposing the secret Geoffrey had spent his whole life protecting.
So in the end, they buried him in the backyard, under a tree Seraphina had planted in his honor.
Grainna closed her eyes and prayed to the Watcher for strength.
With the birth of her third daughter, Grainna had envisioned a new future for herself – one where she was loved not only by her daughters, but also by the man who had – surprisingly-turned out to be the love of her life.
But it was too late now. All these years she’d loved him, and all these years she’d refused to let him love her in return. She’d squandered her chance to tell him, and so now, standing over his grave, Grainna whispered the only words that were ever really important: I love you.