Chapter 17 Sun, Sand, Surf, & Zeru

The family soon began to settle into life on Elysium Island. In some ways, things were not very different from their lives in Misty Creek. The children still went to school everyday, although the island’s school was very small. The children had an easy time settling in and making new friends. Apparently, the story about their old house burning down had spread throughout the school, and everyone was eager to hear the story first hand from the Bastida-Ray kids.

Bas I2 6 Bas I2 7 New SchoolLily found a part-time job at the local library, and Adriano began teaching classes at the nearby medical school. With such a light work load, and no garden to fill up their time, Lily and Adriano found themselves with a great deal of extra time to just relax and enjoy the pleasures of life. Adriano took to experimenting with local cuisine in the kitchen. Lily began to spend time shopping in the local shops, and styling her hair like the local women.

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Lily and Violeta enjoy a vegetarian garlic-ginger stir-fry dish which Adriano prepared.

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Lily tries to recapture some of her youthful beauty.

Bas I4 relax 1 Bas I2 11 And then there was the beach – the beach! Before moving to the island, the family had only traveled to the seashore once, and thought it the most wonderful sight they had ever seen. But now, they had stunning views of the ocean from every part of their home, from every place they traveled around town. In the mornings, they often enjoyed taking a dip in the warm, shallow waters of the ocean. And in the evenings, there was nothing like relaxing on the soft, white sand as the coppery sun slowly sank below the horizon.

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Michael wades in the ocean from the family’s priBas I4 relax 11vate beach.

Bas I4 relax 2Bas I4 Relax 3Life was like a paradise…at least for a while. Then late one night, the doorbell rang.

Everyone else was sound asleep. But Adriano, for some unknown reason, was awake even before he heard the doorbell. Quickly, he rushed downstairs to answer the door, thinking that one of their new neighbors may be in urgent need of a doctor’s care. He did not, however, expect to find the visitor who awaited him.

“Hello, Brother,” said the stranger.

Bas I2 2 The Visitor

A mysterious stranger awaited at the door.

Adriano rubbed his eyes. “Zeru! Is it really you?” Adriano had not seen his brother since they were boys.

Zeru nodded. “I have traveled a great distance to see you, brother.” Adriano, afraid that his family would see his strange relative, stepped outside. He and Zeru spent the next hour talking about their lives on separate planets. Zeru was a physician, too, just like Adriano. He had a wife – well, several wives, as was the custom on their planet, and children.

Bas I2 The Visitor Zeru

“Zeru, is that really you?” Adriano greeted his estranged brother.

Bas I2 brothers “You must find the courage to tell your family about your past,” Zeru

told Adriano. “They deserve to know who you are. And who they are.”

“I will try, brother,” Adriano promised as his brother boarded his spacecraft and flew off into the star-studded sky. “I will try.” Bas I2 4 Bas I2 5

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Chapter 16: The House on Elysium Island

Adriano and Lily gave the matter a great deal of thought. The family could choose to stay and rebuild in Misty Creek, close to friends and acquaintances who had known them for many years. But the truth was, after so many years of soggy weather and misty skies, the entire family was leaning toward a change in climate. And so, after collecting the insurance money for their burned-down home, Adriano and Lily bought a very modern, sunny, 3-story house on Elysium Island.

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The amazing and beautiful new home on Elysium Island

The house was spacious and filled with light. The kitchen was huge, and filled with shiny, high-tech appliances. Bas New home 2Bas Island new home 3 Bas Island new home 4 But the most astonishing thing of all was the view.

“It’s breathtaking!” gasped Lily when she looked out of the wide kitchen windows. Right there in the backyard, the family had a pristine, sandy beach that sloped down to the sparkling blue sea.

“It’s like we died and went to heaven,” said Sofia in agreement. “I can’t wait to paint a picture of the landscape.”

Outside the house was even more amazing than the inside. Everywhere they looked, there was blue sky, blue waves, white sand, and green palm trees swaying in the breeze.

“And look! There’s even a trampoline!” cried Violeta, bouncing up and down and laughing. “This is the best house ever!

“It sure is,” said Michael. “Thanks for burning down our old house, sis.”

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“Wheeeeee!” cries Violeta.

They had brought with them their adopted horse, Pip, who had grown to become a very special friend for Felicity. Now that the weather was so clear and perfect every day, she took Pip for regular walks and runs all around Elysium Island, often not returning home until silvery stars were twinkling in the night sky.

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Felicity becomes great friends with the family’s horse, Pip.

Bas Island new home 11Adriano and Lily discovered the simple pleasure of taking long walks together around town. The island town was so beautiful, and relaxed, and filled with interesting people and plants and wildlife. Sometimes it was nice to find a bench to sit upon and just enjoy the moment. Bas Island New Home 7

One evening, after Adriano finished his work at the hospital, he and Lily met up to talk a walk around a nearby park. There was another couple in the park – a Bas Island new home 9lesbian couple who were also out for a casual stroll. Suddenly, one of the women was overcome by intense pains. She doubled over, and her partner cried out for help. Luckily, Adriano was there to step in and offer assistance. And luckily, the pains seemed to be caused by nothing more than severe indigestion.

“How can we ever thank you?” asked the women.

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A woman in the park is suddenly overcome by intense abdominal pain.

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Lesbian couple (and their teenage son) expressing their gratitude to Adriano.

“No need,” said Adriano. “Just doing my job.”

Chapter 15 Up in Smoke

Catalina and Dawn playingOf course, nothing can stay the same. Changes happen. Even when everything seems perfect, and life is good, things can change faster than a breath.

Children change, for example. Adriano and Lily’s children were growing so quickly. Already, the twins, Catalina and Dawn, were learning to walk and get into mischief. Felicity would soon become a teenager. Violeta was blossoming into a lovely young lady who enjoyed music. She and her dad often played together on their guitars, and sometimes gave free performances for the public. Michael and Sofia, now both young adults, graduated from Misty Creek High School – with honors! Adriano and Lily were incredibly proud.

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Felicity enjoys the local Easter Festival during her last days of childhood.

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Violeta and Adriano rock out in the town square while neighbors cheer them on.

Bas The Fire 3 (Michael Graduates)

Bas The Fire 9 Michael and Sofia graduate from Misty Creek High School with honors.

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The Bastida-Ray family’s farmhouse after the great remodel. It was featured on several magazine covers and won a contest for Best Rural Remodel of 2013.

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Adriano happily sings in the bathtub of his newly remodeled dream bathroom.

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Lily and Adriano get ready for bed in their designer bedroom.

The family’s little farmhouse was no longer the same, either. The family spent a great deal of time and money remodeling, and adding on, until the house was big enough for a family of eight, and light, bright, and airy. There was even room for a horse, which the Bastida-Ray family adopted from a local farm.

Even Lily and Adriano could not stay the same. As the years raced past, their figures drooped, their skin grew wrinkled, and their hair began to gray. The years of their lives were slipping away, along with their youth.

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Lily’s 50th birthday party

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Adriano ages into a handsome and sexy old man.

“But you are still the most handsome man in the world,” Lily told Adriano. “And the sexiest.”

Most of these changes were good, in their own ways. But sometimes, changes are not so good. One big change was the cause of events that happened one cold winter morning.

Felicity and Violeta were awoken very early by Catalina and Dawn’s noisy cries. The girls let the twins out of their cribs, then decided to go downstairs. It was so chilly in the house, that Violeta thought it would be a good idea to light a fire in the fireplace.

“Hey, come listen to this song!” called Felicity from the family room, where she was practicing for a big piano recital. Violeta remembered her dad’s wise words: Never leave a fire unattended. Still, she thought it wouldn’t hurt to go and listen to her sister for a little while.

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Felicity and Violeta are awoken very early by their twin sisters’ noisy cries

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Violeta lights the fireplace to warm up the house.

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“Hey, come listen to this!” called Felicity from the family room.

Both girls forgot all about the fireplace until sometime later, when the smoke detectors began to wail.

“Oh no!” cried Violeta. She raced into the living room, which was thick with black smoke and blazing from the heat of the fire, which had leaped from the fireplace and was now spreading around the room. Everyone in the family came running to see what was happening.

“Oh my god, call the fire department!” screamed Sofia. Ten minutes later, the fire department arrived, but it was too late. The fire grew so rapidly, that soon their entire home was engulfed in flames. The Bastida-Ray family wept together on the front lawn, watching their beloved home burn to ashes. They were now homeless.

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The fire spread quickly through the living room

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“Call the fire department!” cried Sofia.
The family quickly fled the house and watched as it burned to ashes.

Chapter 14 Adriano and The Rich Life

Adriano Bastida-Ray was a rich man. He was now a highly-esteemed doctor, well-known throughout the medical community. He was also well-known and well-liked by his neighbors.

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The spark never goes out for Adriano and Lily

He was married to the smartest, most talented, kindest, sexiest, funniest, most beautfiul woman in Misty Creek.

He was also the father of four terrific and talented children.

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Violeta practices soccer while Felicity plays with her doll.

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Sofia practices piano (in the newly remodeled family room)

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Lily, and Adriano enjoy lunch with Sofia and Violeta (in the newly remodeled dining room)

That is, until Lily became pregnant again and gave birth to twins – Catalina and Dawn. (Then Adriano was thankful that their family had so much money, because life with six children was very, very expensive).

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bas rich life 15 twins Adriano plays with the baby twins, Catalina and Dawn.

Still, despite all the money, the esteem, the loving wife, and the perfect family, Adriano felt as though something was missing from his life. What it could be, he was not exactly certain. Until one day, while out at the local farmer’s market, he saw something so beautiful, it made his heart skip a beat.

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Adriano sees a gorgeous, cherry-red sports car and suddenly realizes what is missing from his life.

Now he knew just was was missing from his life! Here he was, still driving the same 15 year-old car to work each day. But what he really wanted was a car as sexy as his wife, so to speak. And so, after much shopping around, he finally drove her home.

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bas rich life 15 Adriano’s sweet new ride

Chapter 13 How to Cure the Blues

Bas 84 Jimi died When their faithful German Shepherd, Jimi, died of old age, Adriano and Lily were inconsolable. He had been such a wonderful, loyal dog for so many years. Lily simply could not stop crying over the painful loss.

One evening, Adriano decided to cheer up Lily with a surprise date to The Plunge – a very expensive and trendy swim bar that had just opened on the outskirts of town. Lily gasped when walked through the doors. The entire club was designed around a beautiful see-through swimming pool which sat right in the middle of everything. The community’s wealthiest citizens were enjoying drinks at the bar, munching on sushi, and dancing around in their swimsuits.

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Adriano and Lily try to cheer each other up by drinking and dancing the night away.

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“This is simply amazing!” Lily exclaimed. The two of them forgot about their sadness for awhile as they danced the night away.

After a few drinks, Lily led Adriano over to the elevator. After a quick peek around to make sure no one was watching, the couple slipped inside. As the doors slid shut, and the elevator began to rise, so did the temperature inside the elevator. If any of the other guests overheard Lily and Adriano’s cries of passion over the music, no one mentioned anything after the doors opened and Lily and Adriano emerged from the elevator, red-faced but smiling.

 

Bas 88 Bas 89 Bas 90 Love in an Elevator Bas 91 Love in an Elevator Bas 92 Adriano pulls up his shorts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ch 12 France, Part 2

All in all, the vacation to France was one that the Bastida-Ray family would never forget. Bas France 7During their two weeks, the family ate at many interesting restaurants and visited many historic sites and museums.

Most of their sightseeing was rather uneventful, except for the time when Adriano got separated from the tour group while visiting an old cathedral just outside of Paris. Somehow, he stumbled upon a hidden underground chamber and became trapped in a labyrinth. Despite his cries for help, no one came to his rescue. Luckily, he stumbled across a random pickaxe that just so happened to be lying on the cold, hard floor. After many grueling hours of labor, he managed to break a hole in the wall and escape from the chamber.

Bas 154 Adventure in France Bas 155 Adriano lost in a an underground maze Bas 153 Adventure in France

“Where were you Dad?” asked Michael, upon seeing his father covered in dirt. “You missed the tour of the church.”

Embarrassed, Adriano just shrugged.

Bas Return 8 school

Sadly, the vacation came to an end. All too soon, the family had to return home. It was terribly hard to settle back into school and work.

As family life at last seemed to return to normal, however, Adriano and Lily realized that their son, Michael, had a problem. He was a fine student in school, and mostly a pretty good kid. But he was starting to develop a reputation of being a flirt and a player with the girls in his school. He often had more than one girlfriend at a time, and his flirtatious ways broke a few young hearts.

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Michael talks science with one of his girlfriends, Nicole.

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Michael rejects a girl with a crush on him, telling her that she is too fat for him.

After the parents of one heartbroken girl called, Adriano decided that it was time to have a talk with his son.

“You are not God’s gift to girls,” he scolded. “You need to tone it down. Stop being an asshole, and date one girl at a time!” Michael promised to do better, especially after Adriano threatened to stop teaching him how to drive a car.

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“Stop screwing around with these young girls’ hearts, or I won’t teach you how to drive a car!”

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Chapter 11 Viva la France!

It took some time to acquire passports and arrange for time off from work, but at last the Bastida-Ray family arrived in France, in a charming little village in the French countryside.

“I can’t wait! I want to eat French fries and French bread,” said Violeta, who loved to eat. “And souffl√©, and crepes, and escargot, and quiche…”

“I can’t wait to taste a good bottle of French wine,” said Lily.

“How about we start things off with a nice French kiss?” said Adriano, with a suggestive lift of the eyebrows.

“Da-aad! Don’t say things like that in front of us kids!” Sofia frowned.

Bas 149 Bastida Ray Family in France

There were so many things to see and do in France. It was a little challenging, trying to get around with little knowledge of the French language, but somehow they managed. They tried eating all sorts of French cuisine and delicacies. Michael and Adriano even dared to taste escargot and frogs’ legs, while the rest of the family looked on in horror.

“What’s the big deal?” asked Adriano. “It tastes like fish.”

Michael gave him a puzzled look. “Don’t you mean it tastes like chicken?”

“Meh. Everyone says that,” said Adriano. “Anyway, I like fish better than chicken.”

Later, he and Lily discovered a wonderful old winery, where they washed down the rich French food with expensive French wines. Lily even got to stomp grapes and learn how to make homemade wines.

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Adriano shops for expensive (and delicious) French wines.

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Lily strips to her swimsuit and stomps grapes in the old winery

There was something for everyone in France. Sofia met a cute French boy and spent hours playing chess with him (even though she was not crazy about playing chess).

Bas 150 Playing Chess in France  Bas 151 Fishing in France France Adriano taught the kids how to fish, and they all spent many leisurely hours in the French countryside, catching fish Рand even frogs!

Bas 178 Violeta and Felicity Fishing in France

Felicity catches her first fish. Violeta catches her first frog, which she throws back after her dad threatens to roast it for dinner.

And night after night, when the children had retreated to their hotel room, exhausted from a long day of fun, Adriano and Lily retreated to their own hotel room, where they had even more fun, and more wine, and plenty of French kisses.

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Ooh la la! Vive la France!