Paolo fills some of his free time with reading. He never realized just quite how many books his father owned before looking under his parents' bed when doing chores.
In the end, though, it's the chemistry set that takes up most of his time. He gets bored if he reads more than 50 pages of a book unless it's really gripping, something Marko finds strange, but he can conduct experiments for hours on end.
Oh my gosh, is that what I think it is??
A money tree! Finally!
You've literally had a wish locked in for this tree since Paolo aged up to teen, look a bit happier!
Paolo's graduation ceremony was delayed to accommodate the huge number of students only slightly younger than he is, so he only receives his diploma well after his final exam results.
It's all up to him, now.
He decides not to go to the official graduation dinner and cooks dinner for the family. After years of Persis' macaroni, waffles, and salad, everyone is happy to try something different.
"Man, getting onto that stage was like a workout," Paolo remarks. Xara and Tulip didn't mention that instead of climbing onto the stage from the front like the students normally do that they took the "proper" but rarely used way which was a long, steep, and narrow stair case from the back. He's pretty sure that he stinks right now due to all the sweat and being encumbered by these heavy robes.
"I really liked your speech, Paolo. But I didn't really understand the quote you used at the end," Persis tells her son.
We screamed across that finish line, the blur of excitement obscuring those that helped us get there, the sun dipping lower in the sky, that familiar warmth finally beginning to fade. One day we would look back and try to see, but for now we keep rushing, reeling into the night.
It's trying a bit too hard to be poetic, but Paolo thought it was appropriate for the occasion.
"It was to remind everyone that even though our future is bright and exciting, that things are going to change a lot, and we might forget about the positive aspects of our journey to this point..." he blushes, hoping he doesn't sound too pretentious.
Persis smiles, "It's a lovely thought."
As the days tick by, Paolo feels like he's doing anything but rush. He wakes up late, cooks breakfast, eats with his parents, then does whatever he feels like until lunch, cooks, and repeats until he goes to bed.
Today, however, he leaves the house. Krista has graduated and Paolo wants to celebrate with her!
He doesn't notice that mere meters away, his sister is also meeting up with a friend.
Well, ex-friend. When Xara starts telling him about her mother's artistic hobby, Javier unleashes an angry rant about the "stupidity" of art.
Xara is so confused right now.
Paolo locates Krista and asks if she'd like to eat lunch. Since it was also recently her young adult birthday, he was planning on cooking her an elaborate meal to celebrate.
"Oh, they fed us already... but honestly, the food wasn't that great..." the organizers of graduation decided to save money by asking the school cafeteria to make the official lunch with predictably terrible results. Krista is glad that she won't be buying school lunches anymore.
"Well if you aren't hungry, is there anything you want to do?"
Why yes, there is.
They came up here to take some photos, but with the karaoke bar nearly empty, they quickly get distracted.
Nearly empty. Lucia Pelly-Fox looks at the young couple and sighs. She ended up pregnant by doing what they're planning.
Well, it seems that Krista has no regrets!
Paolo didn't realize the booth took the photos anyways!
Afterwards they cuddle on the ratty couch by the pool table.
"Hey, what's wrong? Aren't you happy to see me?" Paolo says in a joking tone. He's used to her spacing out, but something about the way she's looking off into space seems different than usual...
Krista smiles weakly, "Of course I am..."
Paolo hugs her closer, "You know if something's wrong, you can tell me..."
Her smile fades. "Is it ok if I stay at your house tonight? I don't really feel like going home..."
"Yeah, of course, you can sleep in my sisters' old room. But seriously Krista, is everything ok?"
She bites her lip. "I'll tell you about it later..."
Paolo decides to drop the matter. She'll tell him when she's ready. "Ok. Before we head home, I need to use the bathroom. I'll be right back."
Krista sinks into the couch while Paolo hurries off to the bathroom.
How is she going to tell him that her father is dying and that she got strong-armed into joining the "family business"?