I arrived just in time to see Zach defeat Grimm.
I was more than relieved.
Unfortunately, defeating Grimm gave Zach a renewed sense of…confidence.
“That’s a pretty decent tag.” a mysterious voice said.
Zach spun around, half expecting the police.
Instead, it was a girl…
“Watch my back, and I’ll show you how it’s done.”she said coyly.
“Ok.” Zach said, slightly dumbfounded.
The mystery chic opened her bag, and with a cloud of spray paint, she was finished.
Zach was impressed by her talent.
“God. I’m starving.” she said. “Come on. I know were there is a broken vending machine we can steal some snacks from.”
Zach was still trying to figure out who this chic was.
“No…no…let me get us lunch. Let’s go over to the Bistro across the street.” Zach said.
She looked puzzled, but it had been a while since she scored a decent meal.
They walked across the road.
“Order whatever you want.” Zach said. “My Grandpa worked here for a long time…they still give me a discount.”
She ate her meal slowly, enjoying every bite.
Then they ordered dessert.
“My name is Zach, by the way. I can’t remember if I mentioned it earlier…you kinda surprised me.” he ended in a whisper.
“Why are you being so nice to me?” she snapped.
“Well, you are the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen, and you are ridiculously talented.”
“My name is…Trixie. Trixie Doubloon. Thank you for lunch.” she said.
Then she kissed him.
Trying to stay calm and cool, Zach asked,”So…” he cleared his throat. “So, where do you live?”
She pointed to the hill. “Up there.”
There were only three houses at the top of that hill.
His, The Tuckers and The Altos.
“Huh, me too…” he said. “Can I give you a lift home?”
“Oh…uhhh…sure.” she replied.
“Hope you don’t mind motorcycles.”
“Ok with me.”
The got on Zach’s bike. She put her arms around his waist.
He quickly put his helmet on to hide that he was blushing.
They rode to the hill.
He stopped at the center pond and pointed to the left.
“That’s my house. Where can I take you?”
Her eyes shifted nervously at the other two houses.
“That one.” she said, pointing to the Alto’s.
He walked her to the sidewalk.
“Well, thanks for lunch. Good-bye.” she said quickly.
“Ok then…guess I’ll see you around.”
Zach turned to leave and Trixie quickly jogged behind the Alto’s house, where she hid behind a bush until Zach was home.
That was close. she thought.
The next day at school, Zach looked for Trixie-without any luck.
He was getting off the bus when he saw her at the pond across from the house.
It looked like she was rolling up a tent, but he couldn’t be certain.
“Hey!”he called. “Wanna come in and get a snack?”
She put something by a tree and walked over.
They went inside.
She was oddly fascinated by a painting on the wall.
“Who painted this? This looks like Bianca Bluebeard’s work.”
“Yeah. It is. That’s my mom.”
“Do you have more?” she asked.
They walked into the study.
“Do you know how much these are worth?!” she stated.
Aiden was like me. Always painting.
Yanni on the other hand.
He threw us a bit of a curve ball…
“Hi Grandpa!” I heard him say one night. “Will you read me a bedtime story?”
He hugged the air. “Do you think they would believe me?”
We were playing video games together one morning.
“You know Grandma and Grandpa are really proud of you, right?” he said as he put down his controller.
“How do you know that sweetheart?”
“They told me so.”
Again, on another morning I heard him talking to someone in the living room.
“Hey honey. Who are you talking to?”
I hope this is just a phase.
Zelda and Marshall were still inseparable.
“Will you go to prom with me?” Marshall asked.
“I’d love to.” Zelda replied back.
“You know, “Marshall stated, “One day soon, this farm is going to be mine…Do you like to garden?”
“It’s ok, you don’t have to say anything right now.”
She said her good-byes and jogged home in a state of confusion.
The next day, she started reading gardening books.
Graduation day came for Zach, and although I was worried Trixie was a negative influence, Zach graduated with decent grades.
There was now a teenager sharing my easels.
And Yanni…he spent most of his days in the garden…talking to my dead parents.
“Mom.” he said. “Is it true only one of us gets to stay in this house and carry on the family name?”
“How….how did you know that?”
“Grandpa told me…”
I was speechless.