Children of Starlight, part 3 episode 23 (finale) of “The Starlight Trilogy by Thea Washington
The character “the Rock Star”/”Angel” is based on Adam Lambert.
The videos in Part 3 featured Adam Lambert, Queen, Depeche Mode, Michael Jackson and Savage Garden.
The Orion Nebula
Chapter 44 – GROWING UP FAST
The next twenty years seemed to fly by. One day the kids were five and four and the day after that they were on their way to middle school, the day after that graduating from college. They had the usual tumbles and school stuff and squabbles that siblings have along the way, plus dealing with having the parents they had. Like most parents Angel and Lover were called to the school a few times to talk about either Son or Daughter. And sometimes they’d unexpectedly appear in their classrooms, not as celebrities but as parents watching over their children who, on top of having them as parents, were getting to know their new aunt Twin and cousin Niecy.
Twin accepted Lover’s invitation to stay in L.A. For a while she and Niecy lived in a nice apartment near the Mansion. With just a little apprehension, Angel and Lover had invited them to come live with them but Twin wanted her own space. Then it became clear that what Twin really needed was medical and therapeutic support to stay off the drugs and alcohol.
She let Lover enroll her in the best rehab facility in the country. She couldn’t have visitors for 30 days, which was hard on both her and Niecy. The little girl, who moved into the Mansion while her Mama was away, believed Lover (who believed Starlight) when he said Twin would be much better when she came back.
Sometimes Niecy woke up from nightmares and flashbacks of her life before. It didn’t take much time for Lover to realize that she needed help, too, so he called the Therapist for the name of someone who specialized in working with sexually-assaulted PTSD children. Niecy did well with the Specialist, who took her time with the traumatized child. What she’d experienced would stay with her for the rest of her life but there were techniques she could learn to deal with the memories as she got older and to maintain her stability.
She was fortunate that the recovery work began while she was still a child. Everyone around her knew that some children like her grow up with no support at all.
Son and Daughter told Niecy about Starlight, explaining her as sort of a friend who came to visit and left glitter for them to play with. They left out the “dead” part and just said sometimes she came by when they weren’t home. Starlight didn’t think Niecy would be ready for a face-to-face encounter for a while so she made sure to stay out of her way. That didn’t mean she didn’t pop in every now and again. She’d sure missed her boys while they’d dealt with the Reporter and all his mess. Niecy got used to the winks and smiles among the other members of her family, who promised her she’d meet Starlight one day.
And one day, she did.
By then she was twelve. Twin had been back from rehabs (it had taken two) for years, had gotten her GED and was finishing beauty college. With Lover’s help she and Niecy had their own condo now and all her family members made sure they kept in touch for support. Some days were harder than others but she was making it for her daughter and for family and especially for Lover. He’d made sure his siblings knew that Twin was alive and, after the shock wore off and contact had been re-established (which took a few months), he invited everyone to L.A. for a family reunion.
There were lots of tears and curiosity and amazement at how Lover lived, almost as much as there was about Lover’s husband. They hadn’t seen the Mansion but had met the Rock Star at the wedding. Now both Lover and Angel had become world-wide celebrities. Lover made sure his family members knew just how hard they’d worked for what they had. He encouraged and inspired them to do the same, like Angel inspired his fans to find out who they really were and to live those lives as fully as possible.
Angel and Lover had told Twin all about Starlight, just like the kids had explained her to Niecy, but with more detail (the “dead” part). She thought her brother and his husband were kind of weird anyway so this news didn’t really surprise her. Starlight’s appearance did, though.
Twin was braiding Niecy’s hair when Starlight decided it was time for a visit. She’d been leaving glitter in their place for them to get used to her being around. Since Angel and Lover called her “a ‘guardian angel’ sort of,” they soon became comfortable with the idea. So, one Saturday afternoon, Starlight spiraled through the ceiling and into Twin’s bedroom.
At first they were petrified, even though they’d been told that the Spiral would probably come first. When it didn’t move any closer to them, just sending them Joy and peace, they relaxed (a little). When they told Angel and Lover that Starlight had come to visit as the Spiral, they were really happy for Twin and Niecy. It meant that Starlight felt they were in a “good place.” The Spiral would probably continue for a while but eventually Starlight might even manifest for them since they were on Lover’s side of the family. Everyone assured them that Starlight was young and beautiful, with red hair and really pretty big green eyes and a magical smile.
“Mama,” asked Niecy one day, “do you think Uncle and Dunc are crazy?” “Dunc” had become her name for Angel, a combination of “Dad” and “Uncle.”
“No, baby, I don’t think they’re crazy. But money does strange things to people sometimes. I think that’s what’s happened to them.” She didn’t have any other explanation and couldn’t handle that Lover and Angel had been strange like that since they’d first met. And even before then.
It was a good thing she didn’t know about the “food experiments,” which continued when the kids were at camp and sleepovers. When both kids were away at camp and Niecy back with Twin, summer nights were particularly busy at the Mansion. And that’s what the jet was for when either Angel and/or Lover were traveling, right? And no, Angel still could not drive the plane.
Meanwhile Son and Daughter were growing up, too. Each had their own challenges at school. One day Son was confronted by a Bully taunting him because his parents were gay men. Son had answered, “Well, at least they’re not alcoholics who hit each other and have affairs on the side and beat me.” Because everyone knew it was true about Bully, he backed off.
Daughter’s challenge was a little different. Her bully had run after her screaming that Daughter lived in a haunted house. She’d answered, “Just because a dead person comes to visit us doesn’t mean our house is haunted. And maybe one night I’ll send her over to visit YOU.”
Starlight was proud of them both. And both bullies found themselves tripping up the stairs whenever they went from one floor to the next. Indio really had to reconcile with her about that. Messing with adult Humans was bad enough; messing with Human children, regardless of the fact that they were bullies, was another matter altogether.
But Starlight’s stair thing worked. Son and Daughter were never bothered after that. In fact, everyone wanted to come see the “normal” parents and the haunted house.
Daughter wasn’t completely happy with her parents, though. A few years later, displaying typical teenaged angst, she confronted them while they were wrapped up on the sofa (some habits are hard to break even if you want to, which they didn’t).
“You two are like little bunny rabbits,” she wailed. “Why can’t you hate each other like other parents do?”
Lover could tell this was going to be a serious conversation. Not that he moved an inch from where he was but he knew their Baby Girl.
“Why would you want us to hate each other?”
“BeCAUSE,” she said, “whenever I talk to my friends all we talk about besides boys and clothes and losers is how dysfunctional our parents are. And I don’t have anything to say.” She crossed her arms in disgust. “Why can’t you two be more abnormal?”
“Abnormal?” said Angel, thoroughly enjoying his idea of a totally nonsensical conversation. “Have you looked at us lately? Shuhuh,” he continued, “we’re about as abnormal as it gets.”
“Humph,” replied Daughter, thoroughly disgusted. “That’s what you think. Can’t you at least get a divorce or something?”
Both men looked right at her and simultaneously said, “NO.”
She groaned, rolled her eyes and stomped down the hallway.
“Where did we go wrong?” asked Angel.
“I don’t know,” Lover answered. “We should keep her, though. She is kinda cute.”
Son had discovered a talent for music composition so Dad began taking him along to writing sessions. He didn’t say much at first, intimidated by the big names in music who surrounded him. But one day, as Dad and a Collaborator were working on a song, they got stuck. Son made a suggestion that completely solved the problem. It was innovative, “realness” and “sick.” The Rock Star gave it a couple of tries and, after not quite getting it the way Son heard it in his head, nailed it.
Son got his first writing credit on the song. When it won a Grammy, Dad, the Collaborator and Son all went up on stage. Son was incredibly nervous and shook through the whole thing, especially when Dad introduced and thanked him for the bridge. Some years later he was a popular collaborator himself, in demand around the world.
And just like Lover, Daughter always had the words. She became a novelist, mentored by Starlight and the Exec’s Partner, the Writer. The balance of perspectives was perfect.
Chapter 45 – STARLIGHT’S PROMISES
It was the Fourth of July and the tradition of spending the day at the Guitarist’s still lived. Now there weren’t just adults and their children, there were adults, adult children and grandchildren, too. Since Angel and Lover had waited so long to marry and have kids, Son and Daughter were just beginning to think about having families of their own even though their parents were now the ages of most experienced grandparents.
After all the food and most of the drink were gone it was almost time for the city’s fireworks display to start. Chaise lounges were being set up, blankets spread out and Angel’s favorite Grasshopper ice cream served in cones. The years had slowed down Lover and Angel a bit but, as they looked at each other over their cones, they both remembered the infamous ice-cream experiment that had begun their fascination with food’s effect on skin. They remembered the massages, too.
And now that the kids were out of the house and the remaining staff were off at night, their Daughter’s description of them as “little bunny rabbits” still came true. Licking the melting ice-cream off his fingers while gazing at Lover with heart eyes, she leaned over to Angel and stage-whispered, “Will you two PLEASE stop it?”
“Stop what?” asked Angel, a (faked) look of pure innocence on his face as he continued to stare at his handsome, distinguished husband. “We’re just enjoying dessert like everybody else.”
“Um hm,” Daughter said. “I know you two. I remember those containers of food that used to disappear out of the refrigerator.”
“Ooo, midnight snacks,” said Lover, his grin and raised eyebrows completely giving him away. Everyone around them chuckled. All the children, in their own conclave across the yard, looked up to see what was so funny. Whatever it was it didn’t seem that hilarious to them, so they went back to their own childhood business.
“By the way, Daughter has something to say,” said Son, looking at his sister. She and her husband had been trying for a few months to conceive. She’d already shared the secret with her brother. Lover looked at Angel. Could this be it?
“Well,” she said, “you all know that DH and I have been thinking about starting a family.” Since Daughter had inherited Lover’s ability with words, which beautifully complemented Son’s composition skills, DH let her do the talking. “We didn’t want to say anything until we were sure and now,” she paused dramatically (who’d she get THAT from?, Angel wondered), “we are!”
Angel had to say something ridiculous, so he asked, “Sure or pregnant?”
Daughter gave him a look that harkened back to the years of teenaged angst.
“Both,” she happily exclaimed. “I’m four months along!”
“I knew it,” yelled Lover, jumping off the table and taking Daughter in his arms. “I’m so happy for both of you,” he said, hugging Daughter with one arm and DH with the other. He turned to Daughter.
“I wish you love and happiness beyond Forever,” he whispered in her ear. “Always and always.” They were the same words he’d whispered before walking her down the aisle at her wedding while Angel’d sung a special acoustic song he and Son had written.
“Thank you, Papa,” she said, tears in everyone’s eyes. “But there’s something else.”
Lover immediately looked concerned.
“No, no,” she said, grinning. “We’re having twins, a boy and a girl.”’
That’s when Lover and Twin lost it, each going to the other and hugging like they’d never let go.
Angel had to ask. “Have you thought of names yet? You know, naming a child is a very important thing.”
“In fact we have,” said DH. He let Daughter take over again, the love on his face exactly like Angel and Lover’s when they looked at each other still.
“We’ve been thinking about what we want the names to say. We want them to really reflect how much we love each other. And Papa, we know who you love more than life itself. So, in honor of that love AND because, whether or not he’s the first one to be born he’ll be our first-born son, we’re going to name him “Adam.”
Applause erupted from the group around the table. “It’s perfect,” said Lover. “Thank you, my darling girl.”
“Papa, one of the main reasons I married DH was because he’s so much like you. You taught me what love looks like, what a good man looks like, what he says, how he behaves his love for you.” She looked into Papa’s soul just like Starlight did. “Are you sure this name is alright, that we’re not naming him directly after you?”
“But you are, sweetheart. You’re naming him for my love for my love.” They hugged and kissed again.
Adam could hardly speak, he was so overcome. He cleared his throat after giving Daughter and DH his own hugs and kisses.
“OK, so what’s the girl’s name going to be?”
Daughter took her time, looking around the table at all the faces of the people she’d grown up with, the people who loved her so much and whom she loved just as much.
“We’re going to name her what we feel whenever we’re with all of you,” she said. “We’re going to name her Joy.”
Just then the first firework could be seen making its way up through the darkened sky and bursting into a ball of silver glitter. Those who knew her knew it was Starlight, sending them her love, her peace and happiness.
Years before, she’d promised she would be Joy.
“The Starlight Trilogy”