Bree’s birthday came up and Ariana baked a chocolate cake to celebrate. No one was around when she aged up the last time so Ariana wanted to make sure that this time her birthday was celebrated properly.
Everyone was surprised by Bree’s look once she became a teenager. All the extra slices of cake during her childhood took a toll on her appearance. Nevertheless, Ariana thought she was gorgeous. And she was so proud of her.
Bree’s perfectionism as a child paid off. Her teachers sung her praises at every parent-teacher conference about her intelligence and potential. An IQ test determined she had a genius level IQ which made her a star student at school but the downside was that a lot of the other students gave her a hard time. She was bullied not only because she was smart but because of her weight too. Unlike Adrienne, Bree didn’t have a lot of friends. Some days she would come home in tears and run straight to bed crying under the sheets.
“What’s the matter, sweetie? What happened in school today?” Ariana asked her one day when she came home with a sad look on her face.
“Oh just the same old Mum. Kids at school…”
Ariana just pulled her into a hug and reminded her not to let others get her down. “You are beautiful and smart. Those other kids are just jealous of you.”
“No one is jealous of me!” Bree cried. “If they were just teasing me because I was smart then it wouldn’t matter… most of the time they tease me because I’m fat!”
“Don’t say that honey, you’re not fat!” Ariana stated firmly.
Bree didn’t want to continue the conversation anymore so she pretended to believe her mother’s words so they could talk about something else. But Bree’s insecurity about her body took a further hit when a classmate of hers named Westley came over to the house to study one evening.
Bree had a small crush on Westley and she hoped he liked her too. He was also unpopular at school but they both looked out for each other. They were good friends and she was hoping it would turn into more. Westley came over almost every day sometimes forgetting his homework which was the reason he claimed for coming over in the first place. Bree was convinced that he was just as interested in her as she was into him. Unfortunately, Bree soon learned that she wasn’t the reason why he came around so often…Adrienne was.
“Your sister is so hot Bree. Is she seeing anyone?” he asked.
Bree shrugged in response and after that night, she kept giving him excuses for why he couldn’t come over anymore. She wasn’t mad at him. He had every right to be attracted to whoever he wanted, even if it was her sister, but it was difficult seeing the guy she liked drool over Adrienne. It became clear why he always wanted to sit next to Adrienne even though he was her guest.
The experience put things into perspective for Bree. She was perfect at everything else – homework, fixing things around the house, chess and almost anything she decided to try. Why couldn’t she have the perfect body as well? She started jogging that day after school, sometimes at night just before bed. She was determined to lose weight before her next birthday not because she wanted to attract boys or because she wanted to shut up the bullies, but because she didn’t like having a disadvantage and being overweight was a disadvantage in her eyes.
One afternoon while all the kids were busy with homework, Ariana and Ray sat down for a chat. “I was thinking about this for a long while now and I want to share my thoughts with you, honey.”
“Tell me,” Ray said.
“I met a girl at the park the other day. She’s new in town and wanted directions to the museum. She reminded me a lot of myself since the museum was the first place I went to when I first moved here. Anyway, we talked for a while and she told me that her family is quite wealthy but because she was a girl she couldn’t be their heir. That title belonged to her older brother. She seemed quite upset about it and it got me thinking. When two people have kids most of the time the children take the father’s last name.”
“Except for us. That’s just ‘cause I hate my last name. Means… sometimes I wish I could take yours. But I’m stuck with it for life I guess. That’s why I insisted the kids get the name Sloane.”
“That’s the thing. What if we make it a tradition? A legacy? What if one of our daughters, instead of our son, carries on the family name Sloane and inherits our estate? I mean we need to start thinking of these things now especially since your birthday is tomorrow.”
Ray thought about the idea and liked it, “I think it’s a great idea. I mean, Christopher’s kids will definitely be Sloanes but Adrienne and Bree’s kids would have their father’s last name.”
“Unless we make it part of the inheritance. We’ve done so well for ourselves Ray. We both worked so hard into building this home together. I know we’re not rich just yet but I also don’t want our children to fight over anything when we die. This way we decide upfront who will be the heiress and ensure that the Sloane family name carries on for generations.”
“Now we just have to decide who it will be, Adrienne or Bree?”
“Adrienne’s birthday is just around the corner too.” Ariana said. “We definitely need to decide which one between the two soon.”
The next day it was Ray’s birthday. The whole family gathered around to celebrate another birthday with a chocolate cake.
Ariana thought Ray looked more handsome with grey hair than he did with brown. Ray still felt just as youthful as ever.
Even though he was an elder now, Ariana still couldn’t keep her hands off of him.