Welcome to the 90.00% true story of the Villareal family of Windenburg, a family that Definitely Does Not Have Any Secrets.
The Villareal children were in for a treat they didn’t want.
They arrived home from school, already feeling collectively below-average. Hugo staggered in like a zombie, having barely slept. Luna kept checking her phone and sulking because a certain someone wasn’t texting her. And Max – actually, Max felt ok. Maybe a little bored.
But none were in the mood for another attempted Family Fun Day, even though their father had spent the entire day preparing for it.
While the children were at school, Jacques Villareal had taken the day off from doing nothing to redo the pool.
“Come, offspring!” He called out to his children, cackling to himself. “I remodeled the pool. Let’s have a Family Fun Day pool party!”
“You remodeled the pool?” said Hugo. “It doesn’t look any different to me.”
“Well, it is,” said Jacques. “Now get in.”
Meanwhile, Luna was still anxiously checking her phone,
-but there were no new messages. Anguish welled in her chest.
You ok? she typed woefully. Did I do something wrong? What’s going on? I miss talking to you.
There had been no response all day from her mystery knight about why they never showed up to their rendezvous, but maybe this 127th text in a row would finally do the trick.
She put her phone back and resisted the urge to pull it out immediately again. After all, she didn’t want to come off as desperate.
“Do we have to go swimming right now, Dad?” Hugo threw up his hands in exasperation. “I’m so tired. I slept like two hours on a bench outside the Von Haunt Estate because you forgot about me and left me there yesterday.”
His father rolled his eyes. “Of course I didn’t forget about you, Hugo. I ignored your calls on purpose. Now quit complaining and. Get. In.”
Hugo groaned. Fine. He was too tired to argue. He teetered from exhaustion as he headed towards the diving platform.
Jacques turned around and set up a chair at the edge of the pool. “You kids go first. I’ll join later.”
The kids changed into their bathing suits and lined up. Hugo was first.
“You’re doing swell, Hugo,” said Jacques in a rare moment of paternal encouragement. “Luna, you’re next!”
“Ugh, whatever, Dad.” She didn’t care about anything anymore.
Little Max was last to cannonball in, and he was the only one who was having fun. Besides Jacques, that is. Jacques was still chuckling to himself, watching his children swim in circles.
Hugo’s arms started to feel very heavy, as did his eyelids. He relaxed his muscles, his head lolling for a moment, just a moment, and rested his eyes for a moment, just a moment, when
-his eyes suddenly snapped back open. Whoa! Almost fell asleep there, big guy. It was definitely nap time for him, one way or another.
Hugo swam to the edge of the pool and grasped the ledge to pull himself out.
“What are you doing?” asked Jacques, shocked.
“I’m going to bed,” said Hugo. “I’m so tired–“
“No, I mean, how did you get out of the pool?”
“… by pulling myself out over the ledge? Look Dad, I just really wanna sleep–“
But Hugo didn’t get a chance to finish, because Jacques suddenly broke into a scowl and stood up furiously, slamming his chair into the ground, mumbling something under his breath.
He stormed off into the house, livid, leaving behind his three bewildered kids.
Hugo was baffled. What was up with Dad? He had gone real quick from being excited about the pool to having a full-blown conniption.
“Aw, does this mean Family Fun Day is canceled again?” said Max behind him, disappointed.
Jacques disappeared into the basement for the rest of the evening, and Hugo went to bed, but Luna was so busy checking her phone every few minutes and moping that she didn’t even notice.
“Who are you texting?” asked Max suspiciously during dinner.
“No one,” said Luna defensively, but it was technically true. Her mystery knight still had not replied to her today.
She checked her phone again. No new messages.
She checked again after finishing her homework. No notifications.
She checked on the toilet. Zilch.
Finally, she sat on her bed and let out a deep sigh. It was time to accept that it was over with her mystery knight. That they probably didn’t want anything to do with her. She’d have to go back to wishful scrolling through cute boys’ profiles on Simstagram.
Then her phone buzzed and she lunged for it.
It was a text. From her knight! Luna’s heart gave a jolt and started thudding as she read the message.
Sorry I didn’t show up at the estate today. I wanted to meet you, but then I chickened out.
That was it?
Three dots suddenly appeared below the text, blinking. What else?
Her phone buzzed again: I really like talking to you too and can’t stop thinking about you. Is it ok if we keep texting?
They responded! Her knight in shining armor finally responded! They did care about her after all!
Luna leapt up and twirled around the room, giggling. She then crawled into bed, curling up under her covers, where she giddily sent her reply text.
And then she closed her eyes with a faint smile on her lips, hoping to dream sweet dreams of handsome knights whisking her away on gallant steeds. Though honestly, anything would be better than her usual nightmares.
But no nightmares tonight. Tonight she would be safely in the land of handsome knights and gallant steeds.