“You are not the victim of the world, but rather the master of your own destiny. It is your choices and decisions that determine your destiny.”― Roy T. Bennett
“Moving?! AGAIN?! And you two just decided without even asking Aria-Grace and me first? Tell me you are mutherfuckin’ kidding me right now! What kinda monkey-ass bullshit is that now again!?” Nick’s voice got louder and louder, nearly tipping over for anger.
“NICHOLAS DECLAN CAMERON!!” Vivien halted her son’s outburst.
“Son, get a hold of yourself! You sound more and more like your grandpa Blaine – and that is NOT a compliment! Do you really kiss your poor mother with that nasty mouth of yours, Nick?!” Liam grumbled.
“Kiss her? Not gonna as much as shake either of you guys’ hand ever again, if you keep pulling this dumbass shit! Mom, dad, I literally just finally emptied my last box from the last move, you remember, the one not even three months ago into this house?! Please tell me we are at least moving to Tartosa, Italy this time!” Nick ranted.
“Oh, HELL DAFUQ NO!” his sister protested, shaking her head.
“ARIA-GRACE! We do not need a female version of your grandfather now too!” Liam attempted to silence their youngest. Naturally, it did not work.
“Dad, I don’t want to move AT ALL – let alone to a foreign country, away from all my friends, just because my brother’s crush moved there! Just no!”
“Adrianna isn’t my crush, she is my girlfriend, big difference! I love her, and she didn’t ‘move’ there, she was dragged there by her fucked-in-the-head father AGAINST HER WILL! Kinda like us. ALL ABOARD, the Cameron gypsy wagon rolls again – contents: us four dildos here grinning from atop our boxed-up crap! AGAIN! Why don’t we just leave all our shit in boxes and live in box fortresses from here on out?! Fuck me sideways!” Nick roared, first at his sister, then his parents.
“NICHOLAS, ENOUGH WITH THE CURSING NOW! And NOBODY is moving to Italy here!” Liam yelled across the table, earning himself a glare by his 16-year-old son, who then pouted.
“Nick is right about something though, we really are the gypsies of the Cameron family. Can we be done with the constant moving then, please, at least until I am off to college? I am really tired of boxing and unboxing everything I own every few weeks. Seriously, another move after this one and I am not even gonna unpack ever again.” 12-year-old Aria-Grace sided with her older brother.
“You going off to college is the best news I heard in a long time!” her father sighed.
“Yeah, thanks dad. You too!” Aria-Grace clapped back, while Vivien punched his upper arm, glaring at him, shaking her head.
“I didn’t mean it like that. I meant that at least we won’t have to wrestle her into getting a degree.” Liam defended himself.
“I am getting mine from whatever university is in Tartosa!” Nick piped up, still pouty.
“There are NO universities in Tartosa! And quit the bratty toddler thing, Nick. You are too old for that and it doesn’t suit you. Your mother and I – and your sister – agreed we will be going back there for a week in summer, then you’ll get all the time to see Adrianna to your heart’s content, and I am sure we can arrange something for you guys to see each other later this year around your 17th birthday. Maybe not right on the day, since you were born on Christmas day, but maybe a winter trip overseas. Can that not be enough for now? Not our fault the old Auditore wanted to move back to his birthplace. His daughter, his rules.” Liam explained as patient as he could muster.
“Can’t we sue him, dad? For … being an unfit parent, cruelty to minors, abduction, something?! Make a court give her back, she can live with us, in my room. She doesn’t eat much, can go to school with me, and we go to uni together after graduation. I am sure one of her older siblings that still live in THIS country can foot her bill, if you guys can’t find it in your hearts, despite the fact we all know we are loaded, even though you guys like to make all of us slum it, to teach us the value of shit, or whatever, as if Aria-Grace and I were brain-amputated or something. Addy didn’t want to move abroad and still doesn’t. She cries every time we Skype. Uprooting someone just because he sorted his junk into his pants the wrong way that day just isn’t right!”
“Nick – for the last time – knock it off with the crudeness! You help me enough at the law firm to know nothing you listed is legally enforceable. He is her father, she’s a minor, he is well within his rights, whether or not you like it, or she likes it, and I am sure he thinks he is doing the right thing for her and that sister. Whatever her name was.” Liam ranted back at his son.
“Bianca, dad. Her little sister’s name is Bianca. There are six siblings total. Vittorio, Giacomo, Giulia, Sandrine, Adrianna and Bianca, in order of age. Not that hard. You may want to make an effort to remember that, seeing how they all will one day be related to you.”
Liam’s and Vivien’s eyes grew wide. GULP!
“Nick, baby, that is a long ways out and …” Vivien tried to diffuse, but Nick cut his mother off.
“Not really. As soon as she and I are 18 my ass is flying over there, and I will marry the shit out of her! Then her stupid old man can go fuck himself with a rusty pole!” Nick explained with much sincerity.
“Nick, watch your language, for the last time now! And no, you will not. At 18 you will be going off to university, to study law, remember? Or is that suddenly no longer current? Now you want some minimum wage job, a wife, maybe a kid or a dozen, at 18? Cos I am gonna tell you now, your mother and I won’t be bankrolling such nonsense! There is plenty of time for wedding plans AFTER you have your degree. After you lived your life a little bit as a young adult and got yourself situated. I know you are upset, but use your brain, kid. There is no need to put a ring on it, once she’s 18 she can live wherever she wants. Hell, you two can even move in together on campus, like your mother and I did. That way, you both can see what that’s like and see if that’s what you want for the rest of your lives.” Liam grumbled.
“Oh! Fine, maybe you got a point, so chill out, dad. You’re right, once we’re both 18 we can just live together, and her dad can’t do shit about it. Works for me. And you betcha me getting a law degree is still current, that is 100% happening, and I am gonna be a fierce lawyer, and then I will prosecute people like Addy’s dad!”
“Enough about that now, Nick. I am glad we agree that nobody is getting married anytime soon. This is giving me a headache!” Vivien sighed.
“Ahem – I got a question though. I’d like to know where we are moving to this time, or is that gonna be some sort of ‘surprise, this is your new home now’? Is it gonna be the next house on the island? There are still a few left we haven’t owned yet. Or are we trying out another neighborhood downtown Windenburg now to switch it up a little?” Aria-Grace interjected.
“Nice touch with the snarkiness, Missy. But no, honey, we are actually moving back to San Myshuno this time, into a nice, big, luxurious penthouse, a different one than before, in the Fashion District. Change is good. For all four of us. You’ll see, both of you.”
“San Myshuno? Change is good? You dump that on us like this and come with platitudes? Seriously mom?” Aria-Grace pushed out her bottom lip, shaking her head in disbelief, while her big brother exploded again.
“Wait a minute! San Myshuno? So, not just another new house, but A NEW SCHOOL AGAIN!? Give me a million breaks! I literally just made friends and have become part of the hierarchy of those country bumpkins here and – BAM – the Camerons play musical chairs with houses again! And now off to a huge school in a huge city? What the what? Do you not remember how rough high school can be for the new kid? YOLO, right, boomers? Your kids’ social lives be damned.” Nick slapped his hands against his face, shaking his head.
“Nick, you forget whom you are talking to. We’re your parents, we made you and we KNOW you. You don’t need to become part of any hierarchies anywhere. You are so charismatic, enigmatic and extroverted, you come, you see, and you are the new boss. So, don’t play the ‘poor me’ route, it won’t wash.” Liam called his son out.
“Seriously Nick, no matter where we travel to, or where we moved, you instantly have some entourage everywhere. And your sister isn’t exactly some shy shrinking violet either, so neither of you give us that. You both will be absolutely fine, not a shadow of a doubt in my mind. Plus, Aria-Grace will soon change to Junior High anyway.” Vivien agreed with her husband.
“I agree with Nick though, this stinks! So, why are we moving THIS time?! Are we like poor now or something? Or more downsizing? Wondering when you two Marie-Kondo Nick and me out of your life, cos we just ‘don’t spark joy’ with you anymore, drop us off at Goodwill with the rest of your stuff, so you can live your best life in luxury hotels somewhere.” complained Aria-Grace.
“Oh, quit being so dramatic, young lady! No downsizing, no Marie Kondo method and we are not poor, the new penthouse is actually quite a lot more expensive than this house, but it’s worth it, being in the city will be easier on daddy, he’s practically in walking distance to his office, and here he’s had so many issues with the ferries running late or getting cancelled. I either have meetings, interviews or performances in San Myshuno or need to get to the airport there. Plus, my dad has asked me to run the Skyline Club for him, and that is literally right next door to our new home. It just makes infinitely more sense. We need to be closer to the action, and if we are all honest for a minute, the four of us are city people through and through, Windenburg is nice to visit, which we will be doing a lot, I mean, it’s only 45 minutes away by car, so you will still see your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins plenty and whatever friends you may have here. There are great schools in San Myshuno and so many things for the four of us to do there, or even for you kids alone or with friends, there is a nice park, a lot of entertainment, restaurants. In fact, one of daddy and my favorite restaurants is just a few minutes by car from our new home.” Vivien tried to lay out as calm as she could.
“Oh great! So, you two are making us move to the city with tons of restaurants just because mom hates cooking and is bored?” Aria-Grace huffed.
“Very funny, Aria-Grace. I know you understood me better than that. I never claimed to be a domestic goddess, but I do all right, neither you or your brother are exactly skipping many meals. So no, like your father and I explained, it’s because it ultimately just makes more sense for all of us as a family, now and in future.”
“You two are too much! This is bullshit! For the family and the future, my ass!” Nick jumped up and ran out
“I agree, it’s dumb! I hate all of it. I just got my room to look perfect and got a good routine down, and now we start all over again. SO STUPID! Nick and I didn’t even get a vote, you guys just decided for us! It SUCKS!” agreed his little sister.
Aria-Grace also jumped up and ran off.
“Ugh – that went fifty shades of sideways. Kill. Me. Now. Please!” Vivien sighed, rubbing her temples.
“Look at the bright side, at least the kids finally agree on something again instead of bickering everything to death. I wish it weren’t that we suck as human beings in general and as parents in particular, but at least something, right?” Liam shrugged, chuckling.
“Are you sure you are okay with this Liam? I know how happy you were to be back home in Windenburg with your family. I get that the daily commuting sucks for you, but you could always work from home a lot more and we stay here.”
“You know my caseload determines my schedule, I have to be in the office most of the time, or I have days in court, which is in San Myshuno too. Working from home is great as long as the kids are in school, once they get home, I can’t focus on anything cos the Nick and Aria-Grace circus is in town. Viv, we talked this to death, weighed all pros and cons, we decided, we ARE moving, and that’s that. The kids will adjust. Neither of us expected them to do cartwheels about the news. To be honest, the move can’t happen fast enough, I was happy to be back in Windenburg … but I am kinda over all this already. Maybe living in Del Sol Valley and San Myshuno for so long has changed me into a city boy.”
“You always were a city boy, baby.” Vivien smiled.
“Ugh, maybe. The real question is, how well can we live with our kids hating on us?”
“They don’t hate on us. They are just little drama-queens. Plus, our son has a serious heartache with Addy being gone. Honestly, Nick being Nick, I seriously expected him to have shaken it off by now. I did not expect him to mope for this long. I was expecting him to have a new girl already, but here we go, still Addy here and there and everywhere. But when he started talking about marriage, I’ll be honest, Liam, I almost had a stroke.”
“Relax babe, I guarantee you that was all bark and no bite. Nick is not the type to tie himself down so young. He’s got this tendency for being dramatic about everything, just like his sister, once he’s at a new school with a LOT of new girls he hasn’t locked lips yet, I promise you, Addy will fade more and more and he’ll remember that he’s a party boy, who likes to chase girls to see how far he can get. I was the same way. And before you even think about that, Nick’s not at risk to chance an unwanted pregnancy, I guarentee it. I don’t know everything, but I know my son, who really is a mini-me. I remember what was going through my mind at his age.” laughed Liam.
Liam would remain right. The move happened, the kids quickly found new friends, and ended up liking the new, luxurious penthouse in the middle of all the action much better. Nick actually ended up in the same classes with his best friend Rohan, who lived San Myshuno as well, both boys started going out again … with girls … and life was good for all again.
His mom running the famous and popular Skyline Club was a major bonus for Nick and shot him instantly to top of the most popular kid in school lists.