The following months after Cassiel’s death were hard on the family. Paolo felt as if his heart was missing. He was going through the motions. He was tired all the time and he had a hard time finding happiness in his old activities.
Zane was a mess. Never having been close with his father, he relied a lot of his mother and sister. He felt as if he wasn’t able to show his mom that he could be successful without his diploma. They hadn’t talked about it much. What if she died thinking he was a failure?
Maverick was too young to understand why everyone was upset. He wasn’t too affected, however, since he loved playing in his room, drawing all kinds of things.
Parker was sad too. She felt like she couldn’t cry or mope too much because she had to be strong for her kids and for Zane. She felt bad he was struggling so much.
Parker felt like just the other day her mother was holding and caring for Maverick. Cassiel sure did love her grandchildren and taking care of little babies.
Nylah was young herself and while she felt sad that her grandmother was gone, she still wanted to play and her teenage sister never wanted to play with her anymore. So she tried to get closer to her new baby brother. She liked to tell him funny stories and make him laugh.
“Man, being a big sister is easy!”, she thought.
Weeks later, Zane was still having a lot of trouble with his loss. He was sobbing constantly under his covers and was having a hard time being able to focus at the house. Everything reminded him of his mother and his sister had a whole family to take care of now. He felt like he was just taking up space. He was old enough to be on his own, maybe it was time he left.
However, looking up apartments made him feel guilty. Could he really just leave his sister like this? What about Pierre, his best friend? He loved being around his nieces and nephew. He couldn’t stay here though. He wasn’t feeling like himself.
“Hey Pierre, I really need to talk to you about something.”
“Can you put the phone down?”
“Sorry. I guess it’s serious?”
“Yeah. I.. I.. I feel like I can’t be here anymore.”
“I don’t know, man! I feel like I’m not myself. I feel like a huge waste around here! I miss my mom a lot. I feel like I’m just making everyone sad and I’m a huge disappointment! What if I seriously messed up?”
“I’m sorry I lost it there. I just.. I just don’t know.”
“Hey man! That’s okay! Look, we love you. We know how much your mother meant to you. You were never a disappointment to her. She loved you and had nothing but respect for you! Don’t beat yourself up about that silly old high school thing. Plus, Parker and I love having you here but I understand if you want to find your own way. I stayed at my sister’s way too long and now, we don’t even have a relationship.”
“So get out there! Go be your own Power! Live a little! I’ll talk to your sister and we’ll help you out in any way.”
“Thanks so much, Pierre.”
Pierre told Parker about the talk the boys had had a couple days ago. Parker went to find her brother.
“Zane! I’m so happy for you!”
“Yes. I’ve been waiting for you to get out of everyone’s shadow. I want you to grow! Let’s start apartment hunting!”
One weekend, after a full day of moving Zane’s stuff out and into his new place, Parker went to find Pierre at his usual spot in the kitchen.
“I wanted to thank you for being so good to my brother. I’m so lucky to have a man that takes care of my family like his own.”
“Of course, Parker. I love your brother. He’s my best friend. I’m kind of going to miss him.”
“I know. By the way, you look super delicious in that chef outfit. You should have your own restaurant! I’m tired of you working so many crazy hours and I know you’re frustrated too.”
“I don’t know, Parker. That’s a really big commitment.”
Pierre watched his children eat his latest dinner dish. He had thought a little about what Parker had said. Why should he have a boss constantly yelling at him? He should be his own boss! He’s going to own a restaurant!
With Uncle Zane gone and Grandpa Paolo working in SimCorp, Olivia found herself babysitting her younger siblings. Let’s just say it didn’t always go smoothly.
“Hey, uhh, Oli Oli? I kind of flooded my room.”
“What?! Maverick how!?”
“I don’t know. I am so sowwy.”
“Oh my god! I’m going to get killed!”
“HAHAHA! Just playing! GOT YOU!”
“Ugh. Why am I here?”
“You should have known that was a joke. What kind of babysitter are you?”
“One that might lose her clients due to murdering her siblings.”
Meanwhile, Pierre and Parker were looking at restaurant venues. They had looked at a couple but felt they were too far away. Their third option was nearby their home but was small.
“What do you think, Pierre?”
“Oh man, Parker. I didn’t realize what goes into owning your own place. There’s staff, licenses, menu creation, building… I just.. I just want to cook without getting yelled at!”
“Look, I’m in on this with you! Don’t be stressed. I’ll help you handle it. You’ll see, this is worth it. I say we make an offer.”
“Oh my god, baby. I can’t believe it. We’re going to own a restaurant!”, Pierre squealed and hugged his wife, giving her a big kiss.
Paolo was still struggling. He felt like everyone had moved on and he was just dragging around. He cleaned and worked but he didn’t do anything else. He was numb. What was the point anymore without his promise to Cassiel?
Paolo missed his wife. He missed his youth. What now for him? How long will he feel lost?