Friday November 12th, 2080: Late Night
“Grandpa?” Lori’s little voice called out. Randy was jarred back to reality. Apparently he was dozing off. “Kids, your great grandfather is very tired, apparently. Perhaps you should all go to sleep and we can continue this story in the morning?” At this time Randy was used to being called grandpa by his grandchildren as well as his great grand children. He figured since it was easier to say grandpa, then they could just keep calling him that. He looked over at Kolleen, who appeared concerned. She had her tiny hands wrapped up over his big right one. He took in a deep breath, feeling his lungs struggling to hold a good amount of air.
“Your great grandma is right kids. I’m very exhausted and I could use some rest. “By God, it’s nearly midnight! Kol?” he asked. “Hmm?” she replied. Randy waved his free arm around at the kids. “Can you please escort these fine children to their rooms? I will douse the fire and be waiting in our own.” “Of course.” she replied. “Come on kids, to the bedrooms.” All the kids started to complain about not being tired, or that this was an unfair decision. When Randy stood up, he propped most of his weight on the walking cane.
Very quickly, he dumped some dirt over the fire, smothering the flames. Once he was happy enough about the security of the fire, he left the room. Outside of the study room was a long hallway, which stretched on for a while. There was a thin red carpet tacked in the very center of this hall, ending at the opposite side. All along the right hand side were an array of plants and windows, something that Kolleen picked up as she got older. Every few feet there was a round, dug out section where a bench was placed. The walls were red as well, all leading up to the cathedral-like ceiling. Patrick Rodriguez was very religious, as was the rest of the family. There was a painting on the ceiling of Jesus and his disciples. Past this painting was that of the Heaven’s lights, breaking through a thick cloud.
The very last painting was just like the Sistine Chapel, where God’s and Adam’s fingers were touching. “The Creation of Adam is such a magnificent painting.” Randy said as he walked down the hallway. The left side was all dug out so a bunch of bookshelves could sit. The hall was more of a peaceful study hall, which lead up to the living/study room. It took Randy nearly five minutes to reach the end of this hallway, and by then his chest was aching as it did before. He cursed, clutching his chest tightly for a few brief seconds. When he felt the pain subside, he decided to make his way up the stairs. The room at the end of the hall was just one big circular room, with a windowed door to the right and a tall white staircase on the left.
Past the staircase, down another long hall was the kitchen/dining room. When Randy took the first couple steps he stopped to look at some photographs on the wall. It was like a family tree starting with a very old set of couples. One was of a tall man with a thick beard standing next to a woman with very bright eyes. There was a golden line that started at its base, connecting with another that went to the photo to its left. This was of a different couple, this time it was a short light haired man with a taller, dark haired woman. The line went down a bit and curved to the left which connected to another photo.
These photos were a bit more updated as the new generation of Rodriguez family photos went on. This next picture was of his grandpa, Patrick with his wife Paula. Patrick was tall and built as always. Under his nose was a very thin, black mustache. Paula was also tall, but she was beautiful. Her eyes were dark, hair was light and skin was a dark color as well. Randy kept ascending the stairs, watching the gold line connect to another picture, which was in color this time. It was of his father and mother, both of which looked so happy.
His heart ached as he remembered her. “I miss ya Mom.” He whispered, kissing his fingers and placing it on her face. He did the same for his father as well, saluting him following this action. It was now his turn to see his part of the family tree. He was half way up the stairs now, stopping again to catch his breath. He leaned against the railing, wiping his forehead with his arm sleeve. He hated being old, he had to deal with chest pains, aching joints and bones, memory loss. It was all a part of growing up and it took him until he saw his own grand children to realize he was getting old. And when his grandchildren had children then he really knew he was over the hill.
The next picture was of Randy and Kolleen, both of them were in their mid twenties, smiling brightly at the camera. Kolleen already had their kids, since each of them held a baby in one arm. Of course his family went on, with their golden line stretching over to another set of photos. Before Randy got a chance to look at it, Kolleen reappeared at the top of the stairs.
“Randy! Why didn’t you wait for me to help you?” she exclaimed, nearly running down the stairs. She quickly put his free arm around her neck and helped him the rest of the way upstairs. There was a big rectangular hall, which branched off to four separate bedrooms with one giant door at the very end. The twins slept separately on the right leaving Charlie to the first room and Lori in the second on the left. Above them was a similar ceiling that matched the study hall downstairs.
This time however, there were black rafters that connected to each other every few feet, which reminded Randy of a church. The walls were a red, which contrasted greatly with the darkened doors. The only way the upstairs was lit up was by a few hanging chandeliers. “Let’s start walking, shall we?” Kolleen asked, helping him across the floor. “I can do it myself you know? You don’t have to worry about me.” Randy assured her. “I know that. I just don’t want you to get hurt. I know your heart.” They were a quarter of the way across the hall, when Kolleen spoke up.
“Do you remember when Lorie said she was having twins?” Randy nodded in return. “Yeah, you nearly flipped your lid.” He replied. She snickered at him, shaking her head. “Not as nearly as you though. You damn near killed her fiancé.” They were now half way across the room. Kolleen began to get worries since Randy’s breathing was becoming raspier and labored. “What about when Robert announced his wife was pregnant? You know that Ellie, our granddaughter had the twins. Robert Sr. had married Laura Lang giving us Robert Jr. My God, we’re getting old, aren’t we Ran-Ran?” she asked.
“Indeed we are, Kol. I can’t believe how old we are! Great grandparents… It’s ridiculous!” They were three quarters of the way there now. “I’ll go open the door for you.” She said. “Don’t worry too much about me. I still have some fire left in this tired, old body.” Kolleen patted his back and slowly inched over to the master bedroom. When she opened the door, she quickly ran back and helped him inside. “There we are Ran-Ran, you’re doing great.” Their room was the biggest one in the entire house. A king sized bed, with red sheets and blanket stood at the opposite side. There was a heart shaped rug in the middle of the room and to the right was another fireplace made of cobblestone.
Kolleen helped Randy to the left side of the bed and sat him down before taking off his moccasins. Once she was sure that he was alright, she quickly shut the curtains on the windows and hurried to her side. Randy whipped the blanket over his legs and pulled it up over his chest. He couldn’t get over the immaculate splendor that was his wife. She saw him watching and slid gracefully into bed. The two of them looked at each other just smiling as hard as a person could. “Goodnight, Kol.” Randy said, leaning his face over to her. She leaned in as well, kissing him passionately. “Goodnight, Ran-Ran.” She turned off her bedside light which he did in turn with his. As he lay there, he waited until Kolleen was lightly snoring. When he was sure she was, he clutched his chest, closing his eyes tight from the small pain that welled inside it. Eventually he felt his brain nod off to sleep, with his hand still clutching his shirt.