Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Know What You Did Last Summer, Part 4

Today was Marcus Thayer Centowski's birthday.

For some reason, the boy was adamant about not having a party.

This surprised his parents, because Marcus had always been the happiest and most sociable child, but Meadow and Orlando figured that their son just wanted to spend his special day with the people he loved most, including his younger adopted sister, Ophelia.

Meadow and Orlando had had a lot of work done on their old farmhouse during the summer. In addition to their new kitchen,

they had had a stone fireplace installed,

and this faced a cozy seating area.

The '40s-era bathroom had been demolished (none of the antiquated plumbing fixtures had been salvageable) and had now become a hallway.

The existing door still led to Marcus's room, in which--in anticipation of his birthday--his mother had just that morning replaced his crib with a twin bed,

and added a small desk and chair.

The new second door in the hallway led to Ophelia's brand-new room (the toddler's crib had previously been set up in an unused corner of the living room), which Meadow had spent a lot of time decorating--

including sewing pink gingham curtains for her young daughter.

Each bedroom led to a new bathroom.

Orlando was now making good money as an artist, which was fortunate since the renovations had been fairly expensive. The farmhouse was 150 years old and, whenever a workman tried to alter any of the existing walls or roof, a part of the structure invariably crumbled or collapsed at least to some extent.

Orlando came home from work just after 6:00 p.m. Meadow met him at the door with a kiss.

"How was your day, honey?" she asked.

"Pretty good," he answered, "but all I've been able to think of was rushing home for Marcus's birthday!"

The couple picked up their toddlers,

and carried them over to the dining table, where Meadow had placed the birthday cake she had baked for their son. Meadow tooted on a noisemaker, and Ophelia looked on in wonder,

as Marcus squealed in delight over his cake,

blew out his candles,

and grew into a child as perfectly as his devoted parents had expected he would.

Marcus ducked into his new bathroom to fix his hair, and quickly rejoined his little sister.

Ophelia gazed up at her big brother. She had not yet learned to talk, but she wondered to herself whether Marcus would consider that he was now too grown up to be still playing with a little kid like her.

"Don't fret, Ophelia," Marcus assured her, sensing her worry. "I'll always be your best friend. Come on, let's sing a nursery rhyme together."

Orlando quietly regarded his son from the dining table, where he and his wife were having some birthday cake.

"'Marcus the Good'," Meadow whispered to her husband, her eyes shining with pride and love, as she used the nickname she and Orlando had recently come up with for their son.

The next morning, Orlando--who had the day off--dressed Ophelia in one of the many outfits that her godmother, Calista Gothier London, had brought the girl from Paris, and resumed teaching the child to talk.

He had let his wife sleep an extra half hour, knowing that she had a demanding day ahead of her.

The end of the summer and beginning of fall comprised the harvest season, and Meadow--who over the past few years had become an excellent gardener, and one whose efforts contributed quite a bit of money to the young family's finances--needed both to pick fruit from her backyard orchard and to work a long day at her farmstand downtown.

While Orlando tended to Ophelia and Meadow tended to her trees,

Marcus quietly occupied himself by drawing at the activity table.

After a while, Orlando gave Ophelia a break from learning to talk, and gave the girl her lunch.

While Ophelia ate,

and while Meadow--after harvesting the orchard--took a much needed shower prior to facing her farmstand customers,

Orlando grabbed himself some leftovers,

and Marcus quietly studied Creativity.

Orlando put Ophelia down for a nap,

and Marcus got himself some lunch,

and cleaned up afterward,

while his mother went out to her community lot.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next time, when we see how Meadow's Farmstand did for the summer, and when Meadow and Orlando finally tell Marcus that Ophelia is adopted.


  1. So glad to see that Meadow and Orlando are doing so well for themselves. Their house is positively lovely with the new decorations, and I'm sure the kids will be the envy of their friends having their own private bathrooms like they do. Look forward to seeing the rest of their story in the next update.

  2. The child and the toddler singing nursery rhymes is TOO CUTE. I will have to try that.

  3. Been stalking this blog forever, and am finally posting a review. When I noticed you were updating again, I decided to reread the blog from the beginning, even though you're doing little recaps. I love how real you make the characters and how when you do renevations, you make it so realistic. It takes time, slowly becoming more and more instead of just the change coming up instantly.

    On a side-note, I'd really like to see Rebecka in a new hairstyle. It seems everyone's had a style change at some point but her, and with the self-confident, strong woman she's become, the ponytail just doesn't seem to suit her very much anymore. Something new would be nice for her.

    Anyway, I'm anxiously looking forward to the next update.

  4. Thanks, all. Nyadeni, you won't be surprised to hear that Meadow and Orlando still haven't done even one thing to improve their own bedroom/bath upstairs--because everything they do is for their children (and because they want another one). And please tune in next time, when they have to break the news to young Marcus that his beloved sister is adopted, because they don't want some mean little kid at school to tell Marcus about Ophelia.

    Thank you, reksims--Marcus was very worried that his little sister might feel left out on his big birthday.

    dessy, nice to hear from you! Yes, Rebecka needs a makeover. (It's funny--so many people hate her, but there are several readers who are interested in her.) All through Uni she was so focused on getting ahead, and since graduation she's been so focused on building her realty company, that she's just slicked back her hair off her face and stuck it in a rubber band. I'm casting about for a new look for Rebecka. Now that she has money, I think she would go for a higher-maintenance look. And--to be perfectly honest--Rebecka does not have a pretty face, so she would want something soft that frames her features to their best advantage.

  5. How did I miss this update? I was reviewing the reading list on my Dashboard at blogger and noticed it. You make everyday mundane tasks readable. Glad to see Marcus is so sweet to his little sister. Also glad to see Meadow and Orlando are going to have another one! They are wonderful parents. Can't wait to see how Meadow did at her summer fruitstand!

  6. Thank you, Wen. (I was wondering where you've been!) The next update will be up later today (now that my Thanksgiving company has left...).

  7. Okay that lil girl looks more and more like her daddy.. *nodnods*
    Marcus is a good kid, growing so fast!
    the house is looking good too