21. • EPILOGUE •


4 years later

'Jax get your butt down here this minute young man, or we are going to be late.' I shouted upstairs, as I checked my watch noticing we only had an hour left before boarding time. It would take the cab at least 15 minutes to get us to the airport, but I wasn't sure about traffic today. Unlike our little Vacation, other people were on their way to work at this hour.

'Coming Dad!' The boy shouted back and I hurriedly walked to the Kitchen, since Ryu was alone with applesauce. That usually didn't turn out well for me or Jax and the anxiety was a bit scary. I gasped loudly as I watched the toddler tilting the plastic bowl atop his high chair.

'Dada,' his face twisted and he rose his hands, begging for me to come pick him up.

'Oh no don't-.' I cried as Ryu toppled the bowl over, giggled up at me. He ended up spilling the remainder of his applesauce all over his clean shirt and his high-seat. It was my fault for giving him too much, but I spoiled him terribly and now I had to pay the price. 'Great,' I drawled heavily.

I hurried over to his blue highchair and hoisted him up from it. He huddled up to my chest, spreading apple sauce all over me. I grimaced, as the sticky substance started seeping through my oddly thing shirt. But Ryu only giggled up at me, unaware that we now both had to change our shirts. He peered up at me with curiosity. Through dark eyes with a light smile on his face. My heart filled with joy, much like the first day I'd met him.

Adopting him was no easy task, but I was persistent that day when I'd seen him. I was visiting the Oakland Ridge Foster Home, in hopes of adopting my perfect Child. I had no intentions of paying a surrogate, and the adoption process was much better than waiting nine months through hell and a powdered house. Having to deal with a Woman in pain. For it just scared me as much as their menstrual cycles did.

I had become seasoned in my Job, and I was beginning to feel loneliness haunt me. I avoided relationships and dating, so I was left alone in my large Apartment. It was time for me to start my own generation, even if it meant adopting. And I found the perfect Kids that same day, when his ball rolled to my feet. He had crawled up to me, and I hurriedly picked him up. Loving the toddler instantly, for he was the cutest thing. His Brother was always there, and I couldn't ever separate them. So I ended up a Father of two healthy, broken boys who needed a Home.

The adoption Agency gave me a hard time, with me being a single Man. But I was able to convince them that Ryu would be in constant care, and would be offered complete support. Of course Mrs. West helped convince them that I would be doing a good job. I had a surprise waiting for them, but I just had to wait until after I've survived three days of that Teacher's Reunion.

The Chicago Institute had a program for the Teachers that were parents. A daycare program, right on the compound and adjacent to the Teachers Administration Block. Enabling parents to have constant watch over their Children. They had programs for other situations too, but I wouldn't dare leave Ryu and Jax in the care of anyone else but Carlisle. Of course they could have stayed with Mrs. West, but she was too busy getting the Foster Home Renovated along with Carlisle. I may or may not have did more than just adopt two Boys from Oakland Ridge Foster Home. Carlisle was helping me with my plans, for the next few years. And I was bursting in anticipation for it to all come to pass.

'Oh you just know how to calm me down with those beady little eyes of yours don't you?' I cooed and Ryu giggled loudly as he buried his forehead into my chest, nudging me playfully.

'Come on, we have to get you cleaned up. We need to hurry and leave this place.' I posed, and although he could barely understand me, he jumped in excitement.

Though I knew what could possibly meet me there, I just couldn't let it bother me too much. This was a Teacher's Reunion, and it was a must that I attended. I wanted to attend, so Russell Adams could eat his own heart out. Because I was not about to miss it just because he could possibly be there. Maybe I would be lucky enough for him to be ashamed, and not show his face after what he did.

'Daddy you bring Scrawbewwy milk?' Ryu's little slurred voice followed and I smiled, placing him down. He clung to my legs as I began shifting through the overhead cupboards to find a new washcloth to clean him up.

'Yes giggles,' I answered using his nickname and he jumped excitedly. I chose a green washcloth from the neatly stacked cupboard and dampened it with water from the Kitchen sink.

I hurriedly cleaned removed Ryu's shirt, though it wasn't exactly easy since he kept shuffling. He was bright and bubbly not long after and I got him cleaned, and ready to go. The tickets were easy to find, because I'd arranged everything the night before. We had an early flight, and I'm pretty sure I would have to handle Ryu freaking out. This was his first ever Plane Ride, and I didn't want it to be a bad experience for him. So my head had to be in the game at all times.

'I don't think he likes that nickname.' Jax drawled walking into the kitchen, but I shot daggers at my older son. He was growing up to be such a handsome boy, and with proper care and love he was turning out to be a fine young man too.

After one year of being their father, things had fallen in line and were looking quite normal. Jax was now 14, going on 15 and Ryu quickly touching the big Four in 9 months.

'And I don't like that shirt,' I added seriously and Jax scoffed, as he pinched at the side of his stylish brown Blazer. It didn't match his skin tone or other garments, and I kept wondering why I let him keep it but I guess it was because he liked it. His jeans and high tops were nice, but the shirt looked odd on him.

'You bought it.' He sing-songed and I rolled my eyes as I hurriedly ripped off my shirt. Because of Ryu, now I had to change it. I liked the shirt I had on, but I guess I just wasn't wearing it.

'Get our luggage ready and packed into the Car, I'll be back down in a bit. And strap your brother into the car-seat please.' I quickly ordered and Jax nodded, picking up Ryu from where I'd left him.

'Ok Pops. Hey giggles let's go get you a shirt and a booger rag.' I heard him coo and Ryu only giggled.

'Yaaahhhhh.' The boy screamed and I turned away from them, to go and get my shirt changed quickly before we lose all the free time we had left to get our butts on the move.

'Isn't he just expressive?' Jax mused and I rose an eyebrow, noticing he held his hand out as if he was in an act at Drama Club.

'And you aren't?' I asked and he scoffed flashing me off.

'It's all in the jazz hands dad, all in the jazz hands.' He joked and I chuckled loudly.

'We need to leave in the next ten minutes. Or we'll miss our Flight, so make it quick.' I pleaded seriously and Jax turned away.

It took me five minutes to find a shirt, that went with my shoes. But I wasn't all too pleased that I had to change, but having Kids would do that to you. I grabbed my phone, and called a Cab. Deciding to just leave my car in the Garage, since I'd chosen not to drive all the way to Massachusetts. Jax would have loved the drive but, it would be too frustrating for Ryu, and I wanted to get a little settled before jumping into the events of the three day Reunion Luau. Also today was when it started, and I'm set to revive some type of Token. The Principal of Costa had put the event together, and I was one of the first to be invited. Then again, we had an early 8:30 flight to Boston and it was just an hour long.

I was hoping not to strike up anything from my past, even though I'd gotten over it and forgave Russell and myself. But something was always said about old fire coal being the easiest to re-ignite with flames. And just the thought of it made me uneasy, but I was a different Man now. Hopefully Russell would see it, but I wouldn't dwell on it too much. I was never going to be enough for him, or maybe adding me to the equation would be too much for Him.


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