You will no doubt wonder how Ashton happened to fall in love with my Grandma after all, despite being so dead-set on ending the curse first. He was a very studious man from what I’ve gathered from his notes, but naturally he wasn’t immune to women. Married to his research as he was, he had to leave the house on occasion, and it was on one of those occasions that he met her.
His notes became very preoccupied with her from that moment onwards. From what I understand it was love at first sight – for him, anyway. He mentioned several times that it was difficult to concentrate with her on his mind. Some of the things he wrote I don’t want to repeat, and you don’t want to hear. Normal and human as these feelings are, he was my granddad and his notes became too personal at some points.
Hm? Why do I feel this reservation towards him but not towards Hope? Well, Hope lived a long time ago. Even if my family wasn’t doomed to die young and unhappy there isn’t a chance that Hope would still have been alive by the time I was born. She is too far removed from me for me to feel uncomfortable. My Grandpa, however… People usually know their grandparents. Reading about the things he wanted to do with my Grandma is too strange, and I feel it’s an invasion of his privacy. Useful as his notes have been, they were his private notes, his diaries. If it wasn’t for this curse I would never have looked at them.
But let’s carry on. One day when he was visiting the local park to pick some rare flowers and herbs she caught his eye. He knew all about he curse by then, of course, and knew that falling in love would be a very foolish thing to do indeed, but as we all undoubtedly know love doesn’t work that way. You can’t chose when you fall in love or who with. You can only chose what you to do about it once it’s too late. Naturally, as a precaution, my grandfather wasn’t going to do anything about it, but ignoring my grandmother now that he had seen her proved more difficult than he had imagined. He saw her around often after that day, and with each time their eyes met he fell a little harder for her. He-
Sorry, what? Oh, I see! My grandpa’s story seems too romantic after everything you’re used to from my family. I know, I felt the same way. Romance was never a strong contender within my family, and my Grandpa did his best to forget her, but he couldn’t. I know, it’s almost getting cheesy, isn’t it? But I promise you, he was to have his unhappy ending, just like everyone else. Just bear with me while I tell you what I know, and I promise we’ll be back to normal in no time!
Try as he might, Grandma was on his mind a lot, so one day he decided that there was no more point in deluding himself. He knew everything he thought there was to know about the curse by that point, and believed that he’d be able to do what needed to be done to save her as well as any future children they might have. He approached her, they began dating, and before long she was just as head over heels in love with him as he was with her. They both desperately wanted a family, a happy forever-after, and one night Grandpa Ashton decided to go through with the spell.
The method used for lifting this curse is not an easy one, and as you already know my Grandpa was not to be successful. It’s a rather complex thing, demanding a sacrifice, time and a lot of focus. My Grandpa did not have the correct sacrifice nor did he have the necessary focus. Thoughts of his bride-to-be distracted him several times from what I understand from his notes, and his mind strayed. Or rather, that’s what I believe went wrong. I’ve spent more time researching this curse and what went wrong than my Grandpa had done, and am certain that I’ve got a good shot at ending it, but more about me later. Bless you all, you must be dying to know more about the woman who’s been telling you all this! Not long now. We’re nearly there, I promise you.
For now, back to Grandpa Ashton. His efforts were in vain, but he didn’t realise this right away. When he left the room, having done everything he could, he believed that he had truly lifted the curse. Excited and overjoyed that our long history of torment was finally at an end, he went straight to my Grandmother and they celebrated his success. When she found out that they were expecting a baby they were ecstatic. But, of course, things weren’t meant to be. The day my mother was born they-
“What do you mean, I can’t go in? I want to be with my fiancee, let me through!” Her screams reached him even through the door that stood between them. The birth of their children had been meant to be a joyous day – the best day of his life, in fact! – but he had known that something was wrong when the Doctors had denied him to be with Alba.
“I’m very sorry, Mr. Night, but there were… complications. I assure you that a very capable doctor and midwife are with your fiancee to ensure her well being as well as that of your children.”
The news that they were expecting two babies rather than just one had been the best thing they had been told in a long time, besides that they were expecting at all. Alba had known their names immediately, and Ashton had to agree that the names were perfect. Corrine and Irine. There was nothing he wouldn’t give to protect his baby girls, or Alba. That’s why he had done what he had done. The ritual had to be completed, and it had been a grisly task considering that poor dog had to die for it, but what was one animal’s life compared to that of his family? For the future of his family? The curse had forced his hand. He hadn’t had a choice.
“Can I at least see them? I won’t get in the way, I promise!” To his disappointment, the doctor shook his hand.
“I’m very sorry, but no. The doctor and midwife need all the space they can get, distractions could have terrible conseq-”
He knew it no longer mattered when an exhausted, teary-eyed man stepped out of the room, closing the door softly behind him. “Mr. Night?” Ashton nodded, feeling his life go dark. “I’m sorry. We tried everything we could think of, but your wife didn’t make it. I’m so sorry.” The man was telling the truth, Ashton knew. Liars didn’t sound the way he did, beaten and his voice shaking. But that didn’t change things. No amount of sympathy would ever fix what had been shattered. His wife, the love of his life, was gone. And the twins-
He watched as the doctor chose his words carefully, swallowing simply to buy time. “They were too small. I’m sorry, but one of the girls didn’t make it either. The umbilical cord had wrapped itself around her head, she had suffocated before we-” The man Ashton had spoken to just before raised his hand, silently asking his colleague to leave it at that. Ashton was grateful as well as horrified. He was their father. He had a right to know. The spell hadn’t worked. He had failed them. He had failed Alba and Corrine. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. The midwife is cleaning up your daughter as we speak, you will be able to go in and see her shortly.” Ashton felt himself nod, but it didn’t mean anything. He had to try again, for the sake of his daughter. Irine deserved a better life than this. She deserved a chance – a true chance – at happiness.