“Honey come help me put up these balloons,” Siobhan called out to Graham who was tying a bow on a birthday gift.
Today was finally the day, their first born was becoming a teen! The house was abuzz with preparation.
Morgan arrived early to help finish the decorating.
“Hey Sis, I’m so glad you could make it! Where’s Hugo?”
“He had to work unfortunately,” Morgan said with a sigh.
“That’s too bad, we’ll miss seeing him.”
“Hey Aunt Morgan,” Jack and Emilee ran to greet their aunt.
“Hey Munchkins! Big day for you huh Jacky?”
“Yep! I’m gonna be able to drive soon and going to high school! It’s going to be great!”
The caterer and the rest of the guests arrived and the party got underway. Everyone was having a great time.
Emilee even got a chance to show off her dance moves too so she was having a blast at her big brother’s party!
“Hey everyone! I’m about to blow out my candles!” Jack called to the crowd as he began his celebration.
“I’m so proud of you hon,” Morgan said pulling her nephew into a warm hug.
“Thanks Aunt Morgan. It feels good to be starting the next chapter!” Jack replied.
Jack started high school and joined the track team. It required a lot more physical fitness than he was used to and he started working out with Graham and on his own. He took his new fitness goals very seriously.
Jack’s guidance counselor stopped by one day after school to discuss his college plans.
“You’re doing so great on the track team Jack. With your good grades I think you may even be able to get a college scholarship!” Mrs. Seddiki said.
“Wow, that’s fantastic. I will discuss it with my parents and figure out where I should apply.”
“Hey Dad, can I talk to you?” Jack began later that week when he was finally able to talk to Graham. “I was talking to my guidance counselor Mrs. Seddiki and she thinks I could maybe get a scholarship for track.”
Between Jack’s training and Graham still diligently scouring the surrounding area for fossils and collectibles, the young man didn’t get a lot of opportunity to sit down and talk to his Dad.
“Wow Son! That’s fantastic. Really…,” Graham said.
“What’s up Dad? You don’t sound like you like the idea?” Jack questioned the hesitation in his father’s response.
“No! No, no Jack, it’s not that I don’t like the idea,” Graham tried to explain.
“It’s just, well, Son, I had hoped to talk to you about this when you were a bit older, but I suppose now is as good as any to bring this up.” he began as he went and sat next to Jack on the couch.
“Jack, you know your mother and I have worked very hard building this house. Literally from the ground up.”
“Yeah, I know what you’ve been through Dad.”
“See, you probably know the original part, that we have a Government Land Grant. It’s a way for us to help rebuild Oasis Springs, Willow Creek and New Crest from the destruction that happened long before you were born. Well, the thing is…” Graham hesitated.
“Well, the Land Grants didn’t take off as well as the Government had hoped. There were some people of course, like us, that took advantage, but many just thought it was far too much work and far to restrictive and decided to move away to San Myshuno or Windenburg or whereever.”
“Ok, Dad, but what has that got to do with me…or my college aspirations?”
“Well, one of the things in the contract that I didn’t notice when I originally signed Son, is there is a clause that states that the Government Land Grant can be altered to the benefit of the Government once per generation as they see fit in order to better serve the project. The alteration made for my generation has brought into effect what is called the “Generations Stipulation” meaning that my first born, and every subsequent first born of my bloodline must serve the Government by continuing the Land Grant contract. There will likely be different regulations for you to follow, but Son I’m afraid college isn’t going to be in your future.”
“What if we don’t comply?” Jack asked nervously.
“I believe we would be subject to breach of contract which means at best I would probably be fined a significant amount. Worse, they could revoke our claim on this land and sell our house or possibly even prosecute me and send me to jail!”