In an effort to re-assure Alex and Eleanor, he told them that he would have tried to allow for this lifestyle in any career he would have ever undertaken. He was truly sincere in this statement, and he used his body language to convey this message. Looking across the kitchen, Adam looked to his wife for the strength to continue in this discussion. She sat in the chair next to Adam, draping her right arm on his left shoulder. The tight squeeze of her hand told him that she was there to provide him with all of the strength he would need. Looking at both of her young ones, Anita reminded them that it was their family duty to sacrifice and allow for their father’s happiness to be attained with all of the sacrifices made for their own. Alex and Eleanor looked to one another and then nodded in agreement to their parents’ wishes. Knowing her own fragile mental constitution, Eleanor agreed to this family decision; however, the seeds of uncertainty and unhappiness began to be sown in the fertile pastures of her mind. Not wanting to shake the proverbial boat, she put on the brave face that her mom would expect of her daughter. She looked to her family which was now in unity albeit incomplete. The happiness that radiated from her father’s eyes was something she would not dare to destroy even at her own detriment. Pulling herself into the discussion again, Eleanor started suggesting a few places that she would not mind moving to with the advantages gained by being there. The seed of uncertainty cracked with the beginnings of the initial growth shooting through the hairline crack.
Adam and Anita set about deciding the venue for dinner with the supposition of total and complete agreement on the course of action for their family. This was done without ascertaining the effect on their young, fragile daughter, who had left the kitchen for the family room to watch some television. Alex was completely excited at the prospect of another adventure before stepping into his path to adulthood. A sullen reddish-blond haired girl sat and watched as her family started vigorously discussing all of the possibilities that this would provide for them. With a large sigh, Eleanor fought back a few tears which started trickling down her rosy red cheeks.
DiNozo’s became the unanimous choice between all members of the family. It had been a considerably long time since the nearby Italian restaurant had been visited by the Krewl family. This was largely due to expensive nature of all of the dishes on the menu. With a truly good reason to celebrate, any expense would be worth it in Adam’s mind. When they sent the children to get dressed up, Anita pulled Adam to her which he would not fight. For fifteen minutes, the couple would dance a slow waltz staring into one another’s eyes until the children would return back fully prepared. As they glanced up, the first sight that would com before them was that of Eleanor dressed with a great deal of elegance. Her hair pulled back into a bun, she had worn the beige dress that she had recently gone to a school dance in. The rosy red hue on her cheeks made her look at least three years older, much different than the fifteen-year-old that wore khaki pants and jeans on a regular occasion. Before they could tell her how beautiful she looked, Alex came busting around the corner dressed in his Sunday best. As they began to leave the house, Adam slowed his pace sensing something amiss that had gone unrecognized. He stood in the doorway looking back into the kitchen trying to figure out what was triggering his intuition. Hearing a honk from the green Kia Sportage in the driveway, Adam could see a sense of urgency on his wife’s face as he could see that Alex and Eleanor had started arguing again. Shutting and locking the door, he turned his attention to the job ahead of stopping the ensuing argument within the SUV.
Once he got into the vehicle, he turned to the children and demanded to know what the problem was. The issue was very juvenile and pertained to who would use the family laptop first when they returned. Laughing internally, Adam suggested that they compete for it by answering a rhetorical question. “What question?” they demanded. “How is happiness measured?” Adam implored his children curious to what answers he would receive. They both looked at him perplexed and demanding to know what kind of question that was. “Answer it carefully,” Adam guided them. Alex responded with a response that happiness was measured by the way someone observes your personality. Adam nodded to the answer, giving it the requisite amount of consideration. He looked to his quiet daughter and asked for her answer. Meekly, Eleanor looked to her father and said that happiness was measured by what one surrounds themselves with as in belongings and lifestyle. Looking curiously into his daughter’s eyes, Adam could sense a little bit of a troubled heart within her chest. “One cannot measure happiness by superficial or monetary gain, but only by self-reflection and evaluating one’s effect on others’,” Adam clarified to his children. He could see a good amount of hurt in his daughter’s eyes as these words escaped him. He realized that Anita would need to help him with talking to his daughter in order to not alienate the child that he loved so much. Oblivious, Alex demanded to know who was closest to the answer in order to reap the reward. Wanting to circumvent his daughter’s pain, Adam decided to allow his daughter the first opportunity at the laptop.
Looking in his rearview mirror, he could not see any waiver in his sad daughter’s face which troubled his soul deeply. Adam pulled into the restaurant deciding to allow some time to pass for his daughter to come out of her mental funk. Much to their surprise, their family did not have to wait long for a table to be available for them which was very unlike DiNozo’s. To assist in the enjoyment of their dinner once their food was brought out, Adam decided to make the conversation all about what had been going on in his children’s lives. His son quickly took the reins of the conversation telling his parents about the upcoming football game and a lucky young lady he wished to take to the prom. Adam could not keep from glancing across to his daughter, who was very quiet, sullen, and distant. Resisting the urge to go over to her and hugging her close to him in an effort to make her feel better, he could only give her the amount of space that she may require to deal with her emotions. Eleanor truly felt horrible for being unable to be completely happy for her parents; however, her mind was riddled with doubts in regards to a seamless transition for her family. A small flower sprouted from the hair-line crack spreading its poison throughout this new fertile soil.
Adam’s worried eyes did not escape his daughter’s attention as she tried bringing a smile to her face. A forced smile might cause him to believe that she was feeling better and make him stop worrying about her. His eyes brightened up as he saw the small smile spread on her face, making his worry dissipate quite a bit. Sitting up straighter, she started to try to pull herself back together as much as she could. She was a strong enough young woman to pull herself from the petty self-involved obsession of her value of her life. Still quaking emotionally, Eleanor took a deep breath and whispered a small prayer for strength. She slowly began feeling stronger as she began taking small breaths of inner strength to boost her mental state. Her color began to come back to the rosy red hue that had brought so much happiness to her parents. Adam’s chest began burning with happiness as his daughter started to return back to him as if she had been on a long journey. As the dinner neared the end, Alex and Anita took their leave to rush to the bathroom in the back of the restaurant. Being alone with his daughter, Adam walked over to his daughter and pulled her close to his chest. Kissing her softy on the hair of her head, Adam said, “You know how much I love you and how dear you are to me.” Putting her arms around her father, Eleanor looked in her father’s eyes and shook her head yes. She felt the sting of tears welling up in her eyes as she buried her head back into his chest. She knew that she would have to be stronger for her family to be able to make the necessary steps for them to be happy.
Anita looked to her husband as Alex and she exited from the hallway where the bathrooms were. The sight of her husband and daughter embracing filled her with happiness that seemed never-ending. Putting Eleanor between them, they exited the restaurant after paying the bill and leaving the biggest tip she could ever remember giving anyone. The drive home was filled with smiling faces and laughter which caused it to seem rather long and fulfilling. The liveliness of his daughter started to flourish as she incessantly began picking at her brother with him attempting to pretend as if she did not exist. Looking into his wife’s eyes filled with happiness, Adam could not distract himself from the inkling that something was still amiss. Fighting back against it with all his strength, he told himself that if he placed things in the right place and priority then all would be fine. Stealing another glance at his wife, he began to smile and chuckle to himself once again. Within his beautiful daughter, the flower fought against the glorious sunlight and produced its first bud.
They returned home with love in their hearts and food in their bellies, which is typically a recipe for success. As the children left the vehicle, Adam could see the dark circles of sleepiness develop in his children’s eyes. Sending them off to bed with a hug and kiss on the forehead apiece, Anita and Adam made their way to their own bed room to rest for the upcoming journey will take strength and conviction both of which they believed they had in abundance. The night eked on with the loving family unaware of the plans that a shadowy presence had in store for them. A great deal of strength and conviction will be required for the battle laid before them…………