I really like Toby. I was dating this other, evil, guy and thought maybe we could work through our differences, or maybe he could change, but the dates were rather crummy and I kept wanting to dismiss his evil nature. It was a constant battle to stay friends much less build anything more meaningful.
But then I met Toby. He’s pretty carefree, has what he calls an “artistic” temperament, and he’s not sure that he wants to be tied town to an entire legacy. But he’s super smart and cheerful. We dated a bit and I really, really liked him. We played chess in the park mostly. He lost the bet. I told him if I won, he’d have to move in with us. I’m pretty sure he cheated, although I’m still not sure if he did that in hopes he’d win or so that he’d lose.
Toby moved in just before Katrina and Mo had their son, Cocoa. Carmen and Topher doted on their grandson. It was so cute to see Carmen making funny faces to get little Cocoa to laugh.
I kind of wish my mom and dad were around to met their grandkids. I mean, it’s true that some nights they visit and leave painting or puddles behind, but it’s not the same. (And really only Grandpa Cason does the dishes.)
Toby and I made up a second bedroom just below the artist studio. We went with a natural theme and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. It’s been generations since there was an addition to the house.
Toby had Uncle Topher show him around his garden and he started helping out with the plants when he wasn’t working. That’s where they were when the grim finally came. I ran outside, and begged Grim for a few more days with Topher, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He’d already used up a life-potion and Grim was unmoved. At least he got to meet his grandson.
Aunt Carmen retired after reaching the top of her career and stayed home with Cocoa and helped us tend Uncle Topher’s garden, if we all pitch in, it’s not too bad since all the plants are hybrids, but none of us are good enough to do more than one thing at a time.
Aunt Carmen got to meet my first daughter, Galaxy, but she followed Uncle Topher soon after. Again, Grim didn’t listen even though she hadn’t taken any life-extending potions. I tried to convince him to let her stay until the birth of my second, but he refused.
Since Uncle Topher and Aunt Carmen aren’t part of the main branch, we buried them next to Great-Uncle Conan.