The Hasslich house erupted into excitement at the news of Clarissa’s engagement. With the Landgrabb fortune as funding, the wedding would be a fancy and expensive affair. Esmeralda and Seraphina were asked to be bridesmaids, and Malcolm would serve as best man. With Grainna getting older each day, Clarissa and Roy decided to have the wedding as soon as possible, and planned the event for just two weeks out.
For days, the house was bursting with sheer joy.
The girls spent hours on wedding planning:
Geoffrey showed his excitement and support in his own ghostly way.
And the family celebrated as Esmeralda became a young adult.
With the house in such chaos, no one noticed that Seraphina had been unusually quiet and withdrawn.
For Seraphina, the news of her sister’s engagement was not quite as simple as bouquets and color schemes. The old playground chorus seemed to be on permanent repeat in her head:
First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes the baby in the baby carriage…
It wasn’t that Seraphina particularly wanted love or marriage – she truly liked being alone and pouring her energy into her art – but with her younger sister settling down, she could see her own future hurtling toward her at a startling pace. She was only days from her next birthday – from becoming a full-fledged adult – and she hadn’t so much as scouted for potential fathers. Now, with her newly renovated home and her finances in order, Seraphina was ready to make a baby.
She called up an old acquaintance, Maximus Rhodes, and asked him to come by the house. She hadn’t seen him in a long time, and they were by no means friends, but he had red hair and beautiful green eyes, and also happened to me the only male she actually knew.
They chatted on the front porch and at first things were going well.
But every time she tried to flirt, she just seemed to make things awkward.
These pick-up lines I researched on the internet are completely inadequate! (or maybe it’s user error?)
She tried and tried again, to no avail.
She was completely mortified. She tried to recover, but the situation was beyond repair. Seraphina realized she hadn’t the slightest clue how to approach men or create romance – she’d never even been on a date before! How was she supposed to produce an heir when she could barely say hello to a man?
Her embarrassment tripled as she saw her mother coming up the walk on her way home from work. Grainna had always made this look so easy! What if Grainna regretted choosing her as the heir?! The thought of her mother witnessing this epic failure sent a jolt of panic through her. She turned on her heel to flee, desperate to hide from everyone, when she saw that Grainna was trying to get her attention.
Seraphina hesitated, sensing that something was not quite right. And as she watched Grainna gingerly lower herself to the ground, reality suddenly set in. Seraphina ran to her mother’s side, and Clarissa, alerted by the commotion, followed at her heels. Mercifully, Esmeralda was still at school and would be spared these painful last moments.
Grainna: It’s going to be okay, my darlings. My life has been more wonderful than I ever could have asked for. You girls are my dream come true.
Seraphina: Mom! No – don’t give up! I’m calling the hospital – you can’t leave me! I can’t do it without you! You picked the wrong heir!
Grainna: I picked the perfect heir, Seraphina. I know you will make me proud. Now don’t be sad or mourn me long – I’m going to be with Geoffrey and I’ll be happy wherever we wind up. I will never truly leave you – I’ll be by your side always, even if you can’t see me.
Grainna echoed the words Geoffrey had once spoken to her, because she knew now that death was nothing but a new beginning.
Her last words faded into nothingness she took a final look at her daughters – the physical manifestation of her legacy – before allowing her eyes to flutter closed. Perfectly at peace, Grainna relaxed her body and let the Reaper take her away.
Rest in Peace, Grainna.