The next morning…
Julian was upset that he missed Viviana’s birthday. However, he was very glad to see a little someone at the table he had been wanting to meet and sat down to be greeted by her.
“Hi grandpa! I’m Juliette.”
“Juliette! It is so nice to finally meet you. You know…you are a very special little girl. Your parents have been talking about you for a long time!”
“Yeah…I know,” Juliette said and continued eating her leftover gumbo.
Jeannette woke up and joined Juliette for breakfast and was very happy and surprised to see who she was talking to. “Mr. Brady?!” She grabbed a slice of cake and sat down.
“He he, yes…it’s me. You have a very audacious young lady here…”
“Mommy? What’s awwdayshus?”
Brady nicely interrupted to save Jeannette an awkward moment. “I see you’re not pregnant anymore…”
“Yes! We had–”
“I have a little brother,” Juliette shouted.
“Juliette, it’s not nice to interrupt people when they talk,” Jeannette warned. “But, yes, Mr. Brady! We have a son! Julian was so excited.”
Brady was so excited about the news he jolted up from his seat to rejoice. “YES,” he shouted. “That is awesome! Congratulations, you two! Woo! Generation nine has an heir!”
“Yes…we’re so proud,” Jeannette said. “We’ve done our duty.”
“Jonathan, I presume?”
“Yep, he’s Jonathan.”
“Mommy? What’s an air?”
“Umm…someone who inherits something.”
“What’s inherit mean?”
Jeannette had been around this family long enough to know everything there was to know about heirs, inheritances, succession laws, and everything else about legacy life. But, somehow she didn’t feel comfortable speaking to it without Julian. She didn’t feel it was her place. Luckily for her, Brady saw an opportunity to teach his granddaughter something. “Well, Juliette…inherit means to get something that someone has left for you when they die. See, in this family, this house and all the money get passed down from generation to generation. The person who inherits all of this is called an heir. The heir is the first-born son of the family. So, your dad was the heir, and now he has Jonathan!”
Juliette smiled. She enjoyed talking to Brady, but she wasn’t completely listening. “Mommy? I want to be the heir!”
“But, grandpa just said that only boys can be the heir,” Jeannette explained.
“I was born first! I should be the heir,” Juliette yelled.
“I’m sorry, honey. It just doesn’t work that way.”
Juliette pouted for a few minutes. By that time, Emerson had joined the breakfast club and was glad to see Brady as well. He began talking to him as if he never left.
“Hey dad! Are you coming to my birthday party tonight?”
“I don’t know, son, but I hope so. Where I am, the concept of time doesn’t exist, but I’ll do my best.”
Emerson began yammering on about the latest Unicorn episode and how they were fighting against an army of cow plants, but Brady couldn’t hear a word he said. His attention was elsewhere. She walked in to have breakfast as well and stopped in her tracks when she saw him. A tiny smile came across her face as she continued to the table. Brady was speechless and his mouth hung open as he watched her; it was as if he were seeing her for the first time. Her hair was gray and faced wrinkled, but she was still the same young girl he fell in love with a lifetime ago.
“Dad? Dad! Are you listening to me,” Emerson asked.
But, Julian had also come in for breakfast and was overly excited to see his father and interrupted this tender moment.
“DAD!!! Guess what! I have a son!”
“Yes! I was told. Congratulations,” Brady said trying to keep his attention on Viviana. “Doesn’t he just make you so proud, angel?”
“Every day,” Viviana said. She wished she could have just a few moments alone with him, but she didn’t want to deprive everyone from his visit. Who knows when he would be back again. “So…are you going to be able to stick around for a bit, sugar bear?”
“I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s already beginning to get light outside. I think I should have left already.”
“Oh,” she said in disappointment. “Well…visit when you can.” He smiled and nodded.
“So, grandpa…what is it like to be dead?”
Jeannette knew it was a valid, innocent question, but she was a little embarrassed by her outspoken child. Viviana thought it was funny and cute. Everyone else didn’t quite know what to do.
“Why did everyone get quiet,” Juliette asked. “I’m just asking a question, people.”
Julian had three children now, but he was still quite new to parenting and had no idea what to do. Brady looked at his son and remember his first real parenting experience with Callie when they were on vacation. He thought that it was always a bit awkward and difficult in the beginning when the children needed correcting. But just like he found out, he knew that Julian would eventually get over it when he realizes that they need it and it won’t hurt them. Meanwhile, Juliette was going on an on about what she heard about ghosts from some kids in school.
Jeannette whispered to Viviana, “You can help me with her…right?” Viviana smiled and patted her arm.
Finally, Sasha joined everyone for breakfast as Brady’s time to leave had already expired.
“Hi, daddy! You’re here!”
He was so excited to see his youngest little princess who was no longer little. He was mostly excited because he was looking forward to seeing her grow up, but he unfortunately died just minutes before.
“My other princess! Look at you! You’re so beautiful. You haven’t changed a bit!”
“Thank you, daddy.”
“Are you still texting with that boy?”
Sasha laughed and said, “Yes, daddy.” Now that she was older and had been communicating with him for a while, she understood what they were getting at that morning when her parents showed unusual interest in this new communication.
“Good! You should keep doing that. Oh! Sasha! Do you know what I would absolutely love?”
“What’s that, daddy?”
“I would love it if you would come out to the plot sometime and play your beautiful music.”
Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. “That is the best idea! I’ll play for you every day!”
That same night, the Pruetts celebrated a couple more birthdays.