“Will you read me a story?” Emelia asked.
“Sure,” I replied. “You choose.”
“I want this one,” she said, handing me a thick book.
“The Canada Legacy?” I asked. “You want a legacy story?”
She nodded. “I’m from a legacy, you know,” she said.
“True,” I replied.
“And so’s Elder. And Aya. In a way, even Free is a legacy kid,” she continued. “It’s only natural I’d want to know more.”
I opened the book.
“Oh,” I said. “This is an old one.”
We looked together at a picture from a world of long ago.
Some people say that land has memory. If so, this bluff above the sea remembers the family that lived here for generations until a daughter decided that she would betray this plot of land and its conscription in exchange for her freedom and the freedom of those she loved.
“That’s a strange beginning to a legacy,” I said.
“Not really,” said Emelia. “Every legacy family is bound by a plot of land. It’s natural that legacy kids would want freedom. Read more.”
Canada Davis, when she arrived at that big empty plot, wasn’t quite sure about the future she’d signed up for. She loved the outdoors, but the task before her felt daunting. She’d never built a house before!
“First things first,” she told herself, so she found herself a job as a test subject at the science lab. “It’s not much, but it’s a start.”
And she felt happy as the cab pulled up to the lab.
“I like her!” Emelia said.
“Me, too,” I replied.
“Do you think all founders feel apprehensive at first?” Emelia asked.
“I would imagine so,” I replied. “That big plot of land with only a trashcan and a mailbox! So little money, and all alone in a new city! It’s kind of exciting!”
Canada felt a rush of optimism as she walked into the lab.
It wouldn’t be long before she was walking in here wearing a lab coat, rather than her everyday clothes. She just knew it!
Walking out at the end of the day felt less romantic: she was a little dizzy from having tried different pills all day, and she didn’t have that first promotion yet.
Still, as she walked out the door, the receptionist said, “We’ll see you tomorrow, Ms. Davis. I hear you did good work today! Don’t worry. You’ll be a lab tech in no time!”
“Do you think she’ll get promoted before she has to pay bills?” Emelia asked.
“Well, I don’t think bills were such a big deal way back then. And Canada seems really smart. Plus she’s got a great attitude. I bet she does really well.”
“Keep reading!” Emelia said.
Canada went to the park after work.
Monarch butterflies hovered over yellow daisies and pink azaleas, and the scent of the sea wafted up the hill.
“It’s so beautiful!” said Canada to herself.
She felt so full of feelings: the beauty of the park, the excitement of her new job and her dreams for her career, the apprehension about all her waiting responsibilities. So when she met a man named Gobias she just had to share what was on her heart.
“I’ve got a new job as a scientist!” she told her new acquaintance.
“That will require a lot of gardening,” he replied.
“That’s ok!” she said. “I love to garden!”
“Oh! She and I have a lot in common,” I said to Emelia.
“Except that you’re not in a legacy,” Emelia replied, “and you’ve already got lots of money to pay the bills. Keep reading!”
That night, the furniture company delivered Canada’s bed. She didn’t have money to buy lumber for walls, but on her first night, she didn’t care.
She moved the bed to the edge of the lot, and with the waves whispering, she watched the stars as each twinkled in its own rhythm.
“I’m at the beginning of a grand adventure,” she said to herself, and then, she drifted into a sound sleep, rocked by the rhythm of the stars and the waves.
“And that’s the end of the first chapter. What do you think?” I asked.
“I like it. She looks peaceful sleeping outside there,” Emelia said.
“I’d love to fall asleep to the sound of the ocean!”
“I like the beginning of adventures,” said Emelia, “before it gets complicated.”
“I like the beginnings, too,” I said. “And the middles, and even the ends! And now, it’s time for bed, and maybe we’ll dream of oceans and stars!”