After a little pep talk from his mother, Roxas was feeling a bit better about the whole Mackenzie situation. Sure, he was still disappointed, but the initial heartbreak had subsided and Roxas felt ready to move on.
As a romantic, Roxas was not inclined to let the grass grow under his feet for long. He was optimistic that the woman of his dreams was out there just waiting for him – all he had to do was find her!
So he traversed the neighborhood on foot, scouring every park, every winding pathway, every community garden he could find.
First he met Scarlett Panero in the park.
Unfortunately, Scarlett was in the middle of her yoga routine and was not much in the mood to chat. But Roxas was not deterred, and tried to engage her in some small talk.
It did not go over well.
On the way home, he ran into Heidi Guy.
Roxas knew Heidi from high school, and immediately stopped to strike up a conversation. But Heidi barely spared him a glance as she passed by.
Roxas had always believed that falling in love would be easy – after all, falling for Mackenzie had been the easiest thing he’d ever done, up until she’d gone and married his cousin. It turned out that finding love was much harder than he’d thought. He’d been rejected three times in a row now, and with each new rejection, Roxas’ optimism waned and his self-confidence faltered. Things were not looking good for Roxas, and as he trudged home despondently, he wondered what was wrong so with him that he’d been turned down so many times. Was it his blue skin? His droopy eyes? Or maybe it was his pointy nose…..
His gaze leveled on the spa across the street, and suddenly he remembered his cousin Martina – how one day she’d walked into a spa an ugly duckling and emerged a beautiful swan…..
It was late and the spa was currently closed, but he stopped to check the spa’s hours on the sign outside. Just for good measure, of course.
Meanwhile, Sylvie had been hard at work building what she could only hope would be a functioning wormhole generator. She’d barely slept since her conversation with Emmeline. Every day she went to work at the lab and used every spare moment for her own personal research. Each night she returned home and worked long into the night, breaking only to use the bathroom or brew another pot of coffee.
Finally, it was done. She stood back and wiped the sweat from her brow. She took a deep breath and pushed the “on” button. Any by some small miracle, the machine whirred to life before her. Sylvie’s eyes flew open in disbelief – it worked! It actually worked!
She whooped and tore off her lab coat, and promptly shot off to find Emmeline. She darted around the front of the house, nearly mowing Roxas down in her path as he returned home from his “girl search.” Sylvie didn’t stop, couldn’t stop, until she reached Emmeline. She burst through the front door, and skidded into the living room.
Sylvie rushed to her aunt’s side.
Sylvie: Aunt Emmeline! Aunt Emmeline! Get up! I’ve done it! The wormhole generator works!
But Emmeline didn’t stir.
Sylvie: Don’t worry! I’ll get help! You’ll be okay, Aunt Emmeline!
Sylvie rushed off, crying for help, fumbling with her phone, fingers trembling as she called for an ambulance.
But it was too late.
The family gathered around as death came to claim her. Enrique wailed unabashedly, unable to gather his strength in the face of this unspeakable loss.
Emmeline stirred briefly, eyes flickering open just in time to catch Sylvie’s gaze.
“Sixam,” she whispered.
And then, in an instant, she was gone.
Emmeline was buried the next day in the graveyard beside her father, Ron.
Rest in peace Emmeline Hasslich, beloved Generation 3 Spare.
Sitting around the kitchen table, the children traded memories of the woman who had raised them all. Life would never be quite the same without Emmeline. They would miss her smile, they agreed, and her laugh. They would remember her generous spirit, and her fierce, unrelenting loyalty.
But for Enrique, there simply was no life without Emmeline. He loved his children but they were grown and had lives of their own now. For years, it had been the anticipation of his wife’s beautiful face and spirited energy that had sparked him into motion each morning.
It turned out that without his wife, Enrique was not long for this world.
So now, as his broken heart gave out, Enrique reached up as if to stroke his wife’s face one final time.
And as the Reaper greeted him, Enrique’s lips turned up at the corners in the slightest of smiles. The next time he woke up, Emmeline would be by his side once more.
Rest in Peace, Enrique.