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.

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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.

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