To my dear reader,
Thank you so much for your support and patience! Here is the last Chapter for "Finding the Melody"! I hope you enjoy it. If you wish to read more from me, don't forget to subscribe on to my Author's Alert or look for my original works posted on Fictionpress or Booksie under: UndiscoveredStoryTeller. Hope to hear from you through your comments! Happy reading…
Chapter 21 (Epilogue): Chapter One Rewritten
Evan laid in bed that morning replaying everything that had happened in his head. Hearing his symphony come to life through the Philharmonic… well, it was the perfect end to the new beginning as he was once again challenged to find out who he was.
Hope's question hovered in his head for a long time after that. Evan didn't know who he was when he had to witness Hope enter a group house a few days later. It hurt him to see his angel go through that again, but this time he knew what he wanted to do and his Uncle Marshall helped them do it. That was another chance for him to remember: change was good. Uncle Marshall and Ms. Snow were living above the bar together. His dad was trying to get them to buy a nicer place, like they had, but they both liked it up there. His mother said they were going to get married soon, but Evan didn't know if his Uncle was really in love. He had agreed to take him and Arthur to see Hope every afternoon after school just so he wouldn't have to come home to Ms. Snow. He often said the baby made her crazy.
Evan didn't think Ms. Snow was any crazier than usual. She was their art teacher and still gave almost every lesson barefooted. Elle remarked that her swollen feet fit the pinnipedia clade Mr. Farley discussed in his science class. Back to her antics, Elle made Ms. Snow cry and got a week of contraband detention. She and Ms. Snow worked things out on their own so long as Elle didn't want to be told on, and she usually never wanted that. Her manipulation and antics often dragged him and Arthur along. Luckily, the class was being divided next year when they reached the ninth grade and he and Elle would be separated.
Though Hope was in a lower grade, they had the same lunch and all ate together. They also had a lot of fun in the playground at recess. She started writing stories about four kids who were super heroes. Elle drew them out and Evan was in charge of their theme song. They had a lot of fun with this because each of the characters where based off them. The first installment was them rescuing "Pink"—Hope's character. It was the real story of what happened, without all the flying and laser vision. The kids at school liked them and never even knew it was real. The second installment was their race against the Ice Queen. That was Ms. Lane.
Her recovery was very hard, but not too long. She was sitting at their table by Christmas. Her present was Hope. Mr. Jeffries brought her for a surprise visit. He managed to approve Ms. Snow and Uncle Marshall as her temporary home until Ms. Lane got even better, which she did—with their help, by February. Valentine's Day was the day of their last escape. Elle convinced them of accompanying her to Nick Agostino's concert where he would share the stage with Darling Diamond. It had been postponed until then and Lyla refused to play with him. They had no choice, but to take matters into their own hands.
Only his parents knew exactly what happened between Elle and her parents that day. She didn't go to school for several days and they were all grounded afterwards so they couldn't get it out of her. Elle never spoke of them again. Evan was sure Arthur knew about it because sometimes he and Elle hung out just the two of them. Every time they left him behind, Evan was forced to think about Hope's question. He didn't know who he was, but those nights were still very special because his father was again just for him. Hope had a fairly good time too, because Ms. Lane took her out to dinner while Mr. Jeffries went along with them. Louis wasn't too fond of their play dates so Evan was happy to serve as distraction, even though it bugged him that he couldn't come and Mr. Jeffries could. He was sure his best friend and new sister had a secret they weren't telling, but he was going to find out.
One other good thing about change was that their usually boring holidays were now very colorful. Yes. He admitted it. At first it was good it was just him and his parents, but now he knew better. Though, Thanksgiving was sad and awkward, Mrs. Bridget promised they would get better. By Easter they were used to having dinner at her house, Mr. Jeffries and Ms. Lane included. His favorite time was playing with Crowley. Evan was sure he would enjoy having a new baby in the house because he had so much fun with Averil and Dr. Foreman's son every time they came together. Besides after agreeing to let Elle share in his family, a new baby sounded like fun.
"You're still not dressed?" Louis came into the room, to find his son sitting by the window immersed in his own thoughts. He'd been awake for a while by now, but submerged in his thoughts and memories.
"I was thinking about my song today…"
"With this racket?" Louis asked making Evan aware of the noise around him.
He was glad they had moved from their small apartment. The walls would have come apart otherwise, between Elle's loud music and Kayleigh's cries.
Keyleigh. Nothing Evan had lived through could have prepared him for her.
"Evan, we need to talk to you about our family." Louis had said. "I'm afraid you'll experience every position from the only child to the middle child in a matter of months."
"You want to adopt Elle?" he had asked. He hadn't even thought of another baby.
"Yes, but there's something else," Lyla smile only made him feel uneasy. "We're gonna have a baby!"
"All of us?" he thought initially and then again after seeing the toll it took on his mom. Lyla left school, just like Mrs. Stevens. She had no energy and everything he or his dad did annoyed her. Somehow Elle flew under the radar. Probably because she enjoyed the weird food combinations and liked being in charge when both their parents were simply spent. Evan wanted to be angry at this new stranger for putting everyone against him—even Elle, with whom he'd begun to enjoy. Everyone was talking about the new baby and while baby Connor seemed okay when they visited Uncle Marshall, Kayleigh was a phenomenon of her own. All the new decorations where for her room, all the new clothes and toys and stuff was for her and Elle took advantage of being a girl to get some stuff out of their crazed parents. There was just nothing for him.
Evan shouldn't have feared Elle would destroy his family. Even before materializing, Kayleigh was wearing his parents thin. Because of her they had—once more—postponed their wedding having decided to move instead. Louis spent more time working on his computer, leaving Evan no choice but to beg Elle for hers. Also, he barely played with him anymore and he had to stoop to playing with Elle, who didn't have the attention span to work on a project for more than an hour. There was a fun side to it too, though. Evan really liked when his father went for takeout at odd hours in the night. It gave him an opportunity to eat with his mother while Louis slept on the couch and Elle was up in her room. In fact, during one of those late night dinners he and Lyla had come up with the name Kayleigh.
She looked very small and peaceful when she came from the hospital that summer afternoon. It seemed like an eternity, but it was in fact a few weeks prior. Evan had sworn to loathe her especially after his father asked both him and Elle to clean up the house and of course, Elle had abandoned him to it. But Kayleigh's cuteness won him over. He'd never been a big brother before. But before she became a big responsibility, she became a huge disturbance. She didn't do much else but cry… all the time… hence Elle dubbing her Waieigh. She got in trouble at first, but soon the nickname caught on and even his parents called her that on occasions. It was an especially easy thing to do after a sleepless night. Much to Evan's annoyance, Kayleigh looked more like Elle than him. She had yellow hair like an angel—though she was far from being one yet.
"Could someone check on Kayleigh, please?" Lyla yelled from her room waking Evan from his thoughts again. He had yet to get ready.
"Evan should do it!" Elle yelled passing by his room and staring, "He still stinks!"
"Not now Elle," Louis said rushing past by her, before returning to see him. "Evan! Wake up and get ready, bud. We got to leave in half an hour!"
"What about Waileigh?" Elle asked. Evan saw that she was all dressed up. Elle hated to break a sweat when she was all dressed up.
"How are you busy, Elle?"
"How are you busy, Louis?"
"I'm looking for the rings…" he whispered.
"You lost them!" Elle was alarmed. "We're leaving in a half hour and you don't have the rings?"
"Just… please, go check on Wai—Kayleigh. Please? Thank you." He turned Elle around and pushed her towards the baby's room.
"I'll help you look, dad." Evan promised while he buttoned up his shirt.
"Thanks, kid." Louis said rushing away somewhere.
Evan didn't know why this wedding was so stressful! Mr. Jeffries and Mrs. Lane's had been nothing like this. Averil let them do it in her lawn, since it was beautiful and green in the beginning of summer. Reverend James said a few words, then a guy in a suit married them and finalized Arthur's and Hope's adoption process. They now belonged to both their guardians, just as he belonged to his parents. Hope and Elle sang a song while Arthur played the guitar for the bride and groom's first dance. Evan would have participated if his classes at Julliard would have allowed. He did however meet the son of a student there who goes to his same school. His name is Kevin and Evan hangs out with Kevin whenever Arthur is off with his friends. It feels good to have made a new friend on his own whom he didn't have to share.
"Waileigh needs a diaper change!" Elle yelled from the baby's room.
"I don't need a play by play I need someone to do it." Lyla scoffed walking in her bridal gown from her room to Kayleigh's.
"Hey, we're here!" Dylan yelled opening the door. Evan rolled his eyes when he heard Connor's gurgling. His little cousin would surely wail after he heard Wai—Kayleigh. She wasn't wailing now…but…
"You're still not ready?" Dylan asked him coming to his door. "Where's everyone?"
"Dylan, is Marshall here?" Louis asked desperately.
"Yeah, he's downstairs—Louis you're sweating!" Dylan wailed. "Marshall is waiting for you and Evan downstairs and the limo just got here to take us girls to the venue. Louis it takes us twenty minutes minus traffic just to get there!"
"Well, I can't find the rings! Didn't I give them to Marshall for safe keeping?"
"I don't leave Connor alone with Marshall yet, why would you give him your wedding rings for safekeeping?"
"Dylan is that you?" Lyla asked.
"Wherever you are stay there! Louis is in the middle of the hallway and we don't want him seeing you!"
"I need help though…"
"Here hold him," Dylan handed Connor to Louis.
"He feels a little warm…" Louis said after kissing his nephew's forehead.
"It's fine. Grayson's says he'll probably be an early teeth-er…"
"Grayson said that?" Louis chuckled.
"I could have told you that…" Evan mumbled remembering two nights back at the rehearsal dinner when Connor chewed on his new cellphone.
Ms. Lane…well, Mrs. Jeffries now, had gotten one for each of them after their last escape on Valentine's. Elle and Arthur said they had trackers in it, but neither Hope nor Evan minded the trackers. Besides with Andrea out of work and as a stay-at-home mom, they had bigger problems on their hands. She wasn't especially skilled at it, but spent all her time asking them question and making them study hard.
"Take Connor, I need to keep looking for those rings…" Louis said handing Evan his very heavy baby cousin. Connor immediately grabbed Evan's cheek to bite on, so Evan had to pull him back. "You got him?" Louis asked unaware Evan's face was covered in baby spit.
"It's hot as hell out there," Marshall came in saying. "What on earth is taking you so long?"
"Louis, why are our wedding rings inside Kayleigh's diaper bag?" Lyla asked and immediately after Elle ran out with the box in her hand.
Louis bumped into her.
"That's why…" Marshall said arriving upstairs to the pre-ceremonial chaos.
"Got them!" Louis announced victoriously. "Let's go!"
"Wait! I'm supposed to go with you. What do I do with Connor?" Evan panicked.
"Give him to his mom—he spits everywhere…" Marshall whined.
"What? You can't take a little baby spit?" Louis smiled walking past by him.
Fatherhood hadn't exactly made Marshall flourish, but Louis could tell there was a certain amount of change. Connor and Ms. Snow were softening him to the point where he enjoyed reading bedtime stories with his son. Confession Marshall thought Dylan would have kept to herself, for now the adults teased him for it. To this day, I don't think anyone of them could picture Uncle Marshall reading "Goodnight Moon."
"I'm gonna be asking you the same thing shortly…" Marshall followed Louis downstairs.
Elle took Connor from him, "Go! Look alive, Evan!"
Evan shook out of his thoughts and retelling and joined his uncle and father in the car. It was finally happening: his parents were getting married. It wasn't until he saw his parents together that Evan could find an answer to the question of who he was. He wasn't a hero, like Hope said or a prodigy like Arthur reminded him or an idiot like Elle often remarked. Evan was just the same old kid who couldn't believe he pulled it off and actually found his parents—Even if he found a little more along the way. He wanted a family, the one he heard in the melody that day he decided to follow the moon. Evan had just assumed that the song was over and not that it was continuous, like the never ending playlist in Elle's head.
He had found the melody but realized it just that day, under the summer sun, with his parents ready to embark yet another journey into their happily ever after. And it maybe it was never about him, but about them—all of them, Waileigh included. After all, as Evan or August, he always knew who he was: lost and now finally found.