Angel Power was no longer a teen in high school. She had graduated and had become a beautiful, independent young woman. She was a good girl who loved art. She was very creative and loved to paint. In high school she had sold her paintings at the flea market. Now Deandre, her high school sweetheart, had set up a vendor’s stall for her there. Selling her paintings was how she was able to provide for herself as she knew she couldn’t live off her inheritance alone. She had sold her parent’s belongings and traded her childhood room in for a more grown up look. The depression of her parent’s death had subsided a bit but she still felt lonely. At least she had Deandre, who practically spent all his nights with her.
“Oh Deandre, I’m so thankful for you. I don’t think I would have made it through this year without you.”
“Of course, Angel. I love you. No one should go through what you did on their own. I’ve been thinking about something. I spend almost all my nights here, I love being with you, we’re adults now. I think I should move in or you can move in with me.” Deandre stumbled over his last sentence, worried he was being too forward.
“Oh yeah! You should definitely move in here. I love your family, but I cannot stand being at your crazy house too long!” Angel laughed. Deandre’s mother and sister used to fight constantly but now they were really close which was somehow even worse than their bickering. Angel believed that since they weren’t tearing into each other anymore, they looked for new victims. It was like being in the crossfire of the mean girls in high school.
“Then that settles it!.”, said Deandre. “I’m moving in!” He was beaming and picked Angel up for a giant hug. “I love you, Angel!”
Deandre’s move was easy. His mother loved Angel saying she was a “sweet girl” and was supportive of their relationship. Her only condition was Deandre get a job so he “wouldn’t be such a slob”. Deandre wasn’t exactly sure what he should do. He didn’t excel in any particular subject like Angel did in high school but he knew a corporate job wasn’t for him. He loved being outdoors and would feel suffocated staring at a computer all day.
“Why don’t you become an athlete?! You were great at PE, you love being outside, and you’re super fit already.” Deandre’s sister suggested. “You’re such a goofball though! I bet they’ll make you the mascot.” Deandre didn’t see anything wrong with being a mascot but he did like the fantasy of becoming a famous athlete. He signed up for a job at the stadium right away.
Deandre and Angel were content in their little paradise together. Both were making money doing things that they loved and their schedules allowed lots of time to be together. Angel hadn’t felt peace like this for a while.
“Deandre.”, Angel said while they were enjoying a taco dinner. “I feel like I can do it now. I was kind of just going through life,just letting things happen and not really experiencing it but now, with you here, I want to. I want to experience life. I want to create life with you!” Angel grabbed Deandre’s hand, “Thank you for breathing life into me again. I miss my parents but I know that they wouldn’t have wanted me to continue being sad.”
Deandre smiled at her and gave her hand a small squeeze. This wasn’t a time for his words, he knew. It was her moment. Angel continued, “I bet they’re out there somewhere..proud of me right now for this moment.”
Demetrius looked at his daughter. He wondered if she felt him there. He reached out. He wanted her to know so desperately that of course he was proud of her. She was so strong and ambitious. She didn’t need him or Tatiana anymore. They could be at peace.
A few weeks later, Deandre took Angel to the very spot where she grabbed his shirt and pulled him onto the jungle gym.
“Angel, you always know what you’re doing and where you’re going and I’ve always loved your drive. I never quite had that but when you grabbed me and made me be an alien, I knew you were good for me. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go until now. I want to be with you. I want to start a family. I know we’re young but I don’t want to wait like your parents. I want to someday play with our grand kids. Angel Power, will you marry me?”
“DEANDRE! Yes! YES! Oh my god, we’re engaged! We’re going to be married!”
The couple had a small but elegant ceremony, inviting high school friends and Deandre’s family members. The vows were beautiful, even Deandre’s mom cried.
“I love you, Angel.”
“I love you more.”
Suddenly, Angel needed to vomit. She rushed to the nearby bathroom. She had been feeling sick the past few weeks but she assumed it was pre-wedding nerves. Now she wasn’t so sure. She called Deandre’s sister.
“Hey, I need you to go to the store and get something for me.”
It was what she had assumed. Of course she would find out on her wedding day! They had only done it once! She remembered they had come home from the park, drunk on love and the recent engagement. “It only takes one time.” chided Deandre’s sister.
Deandre came in looking for his new wife. She had been gone so long. He found her and his sister sitting in the bathroom.
“What’s going on? Everything okay?” Deandre asked.
“Well”, sighed Angel, “it seems like we’re going to be parents much quicker than we assumed.”
Deandre’s sister rolled her eyes. “She’s pregnant, dummy! You’re going to be a dad!”
“Oh my god! Really?!” He looked at Angel. She nodded, her smile as big as her face. Deandre’s smiled matched hers. He picked her up and twirled her around. Then he gave his sister a giant hug. “You’re going to be an aunt!”
Angel went and looked for her new mother-in-law. She knew better than to leave her out of the loop.
“So I know that you’re crazy young and now for some reason your son is like, your age. But…”
“Get to it, Angel.”
“Well, I’m pregnant and you’re going to be a grandma.”
“Wow, I am one young, sexy grandma. That’s pretty sweet.”
“Not usually what newly grandparents focus on, but okay! As long as you’re happy.”
Later that day after the ceremony had died down. Angel went to visit her parents. They had missed her wedding, and now they were missing their first grandchild. It hurt to have them gone. She sobbed while thinking of how unfair it was when Deandre wrapped himself around her.
“They are so happy for you. Remember that they are always here,” Deandre pointed to her heart, “and not there.” He pointed to their plots. Angel nodded her head. She was so lucky to have someone so kind. They stayed there for a little longer, remembering the good times and mourning the world’s loss.
Life continued for the newly wed couple. Angel worked on her paintings and sent them off with Deandre to sell. She practiced yoga while Deandre worked out. He was working hard to prove himself to his coaches but so far, they only thought of him as a water boy. One day he came home and found Angel with a giant set of pliers working on the sink.
“Honey, should you be messing around with tools and heavy sinks so far in your pregnancy?”
“I’m fine, Deandre! I can fix a broken sink. I’ve done it many times! See?”, she turned on the water, “It’s fine. I’m not going to burst because I bend over!” Suddenly her eyes widened. Andrea looked down at the floor.
“Angel, your water just broke.”
“Thanks sweetie.” Angel replied sarcastically.
They rushed to the nearby hospital getting ready for their new arrival. Outside the hospital, Angel had a moment. Deandre knew what she was thinking and took her hand. He gave her a gentle squeeze and a smile. Then he lead her into the hospital. Inside, he was scared and shaking but he knew he needed to be the strong one for them right now.
Deandre checked his wife in and the nurse led them to their delivery room. The machinery was large and very unsettling to Deandre. While Angel was resting and doing her breathing, Deandre let himself have a little panic attack.
“Deandre, come here. I’m okay. The baby’s okay. Let me hold your hand.”
Deandre did as his wife asked. He held her hand and rubbed her forehead. He planted kisses all over her face. The doctor came in and Angel started pushing. Hours later, Deandre and Angel welcomed a little girl, Cassiel Power.
That’s where I’ll leave this chapter. The third generation is here, but they won’t have the struggle that the Founders experienced. How will this shape them? As always, thanks for reading!