The Prodigy

 

He waters the flowers in his mother’s absent. His older sister helps him carry the heavy watering can. She has the prettiest smile in the world, which is always there when she gets to play with her beloved younger brother. They arrive at the next flower bed; she begins to water the plants but just as the water starts to hit the flowers her younger brother starts to tug at her leg.

“Me, I want to help the flowers!” Exclaims a smiling, adorable three-year-old Nathan Prescott.

“Are you sure you can carry this watering…?” Before Kristine can finish her sentence Nathan vigorously tugs her leg and nods.

“Men of the Prescott family have to be strong, and I am strong! Because… Because I am a Prescott!” He quotes his father word by word, imitating his voice proudly, while he tries to stretch his neck to show her how big he has grown.

A flash of sadness hits Kristine but she quickly hides it behind her dazzling smile, “Of course you are Nate, I’ll just water the flowers at the back and you can take the ones in the front! That way we both get to help the flowers out!” As says smilingly, happy to be here, with her brother in this exact moment.

The water runs out just when it has become Nathan’s turn to water the flowers, so they refill the watering can and go back to the flower bed. Kristine carries the watering can while Nathan holds the handle to support his beloved sister. At the flower bed Kristine puts down the watering can and lets Nathan take over. On unsteady legs he stumbles with the watering pot in his arms, spilling water over himself and on the laughing Kristine. Reaching the edge of the flower bed, he leans forward to water the flowers. Unfortunately, the watering pot is too heavy and Nathan falls alongside the watering can straight into the flower bed, emptying all the contents onto himself and then down onto the flowers. He stands up, covered in dirt from top to toe, with a sparkling smile. The two Prescott heirs crack up in uncontrollable laughter filling the backyard of the Prescott Mansion, and bringing a sweet smile to every listener.

Breaking the sound of laughter is a car engine. “Papa and Mama are back!” Nathan says with affection in his voice and rushes off to greet them, oblivious to his sister’s warnings that he needs to clean himself before presenting himself to his father.

Nathan throws himself at his father, who only glances down with disgust in his eyes.

“Nathan, you’re a man of the Prescott family; make yourself presentable before you show your face.” He kicks Nathan off his leg and walks past him, greets Kristine with a hug and the continues towards the house. Nathan’s mother, Maria Prescott, picks up the devastated Nathan and comforts him before the much needed bath. Sean turns around and look at the two, “Maria, he’s old enough to walk on his two legs.” He sighs with disappointment about his son’s behaviour and his wife’s spoiling of Nathan, and continues inside the house.

****

The now 9-year-old Nathan walks towards his father with dignity worthy of a Prescott, and proudly hands over the envelope containing his perfect score on the OAKS.

“Nate, this is expected from you as a Prescott.” He coldly states while handing the OAKS test back without even opening the envelope.

“Of course father, you’re right about that.” Nathan says without letting his feelings reach surface.

Walking back, Nathan sulks over how little his father cares about him and his progress. All his father cares about is how Nathan represents the family and that he not become an embarrassment. On his way back he meets Kristine; she makes a motion with her head, warning of their father still standing in the corridor behind him.

“Hello Father!” She yells out to Sean Prescott, “Have you seen mother around?”

With that Nathan enters his room, a fit of rage swelling up inside of him, tearing the test results apart and throwing them away.

***

August 29, Nathans 10th birthday, he walks down the stairs into the ballroom where his father has invited relatives, family friends and business partners to show off their wealth.  Knowing this is a big day for his father and himself, Nathan does his very best to show his most desirable side to the visitors. Throughout the party, his father speaks to the important people of Arcadia Bay, seeking to secure any possible business contract, and giving little to no thought to his son’s celebration. Kristine sneaks up behind Nathan and hugs him.

“Congratulations Nate! You’re growing so big! Here you have a gift from me and Mom! I’m sure it’ll be better than whatever Dad will give you.” She hands him a gift and gives him a kiss on the cheek. “Don’t forget to put it with the other gifts you’re getting!” And with those words she disappears among the crowd.

It Is time for the opening of gifts. Nathan had secretly looked forward to this exact moment, but outwardly he acts it out with a cold and calculating attitude, just as his father had wanted. Do not show too many emotions, politely say your thanks. Don’t forget your manners when thanking each one for their gift. These words go through his mind like a mantra. With each gift, as he successfully manages to keep his appearances up, he quickly looks over to his father to receive a small nod of approval. Then, finally, comes the gift he had waited for the longest, the one from Kristine and Mom. His hands are shaking with excitement. Unable to hide the emotions flowing through him, he quickly steals a glance towards his sister, who smiles herself with excitement; his mother stands behind her, smiling as well. His eyes venture over the unfamiliar crowd until he finds his father, who is leaving the ceremony with strangers. Tears risk making an entrance now; he must quickly get this over with.  “Do not show to many emotions, politely say your thanks. Don’t forget your manners when thanking each one for their gift.” he starts to whisper to himself under his breath. The next few minutes are blank for Nathan; he doesn’t remember how he finished the ceremony or how he has ended up in the chair he’s now sitting in. He desperately looks around for a friendly face. His sister and mom are talking to relatives, maybe he should head over to them.  He puts one hand each on the chair sides and squeezes it tightly when recalling how he lost his composure back at the gift ceremony, embarrassed by how he had blacked out when opening the most important gift of the day. Rage slowly starts to build up within him. Suddenly a tall, beardy man comes up to Nathan.

“Hello Nathan, I’m Mark Jefferson, I’m a photographer who got invited by your father today. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.” He offers his hand for a handshake. Surprised by the sudden conversation, Nathan isn’t quite sure how he should interact with this stranger. He slowly extends his hand and completes the handshake with Mark Jefferson. Confusion now replaces the rage previously building up.

“I couldn’t help notice the excitement you showed when you opened the gift which contained the camera you got from your family.” Jefferson continues, now showing photos from the ceremony on his camera, each one slowly filling in the missing details for Nathan. He quickly glances around the room to see what his father is up to but gets interrupted by Mark.

“Don’t worry about your father Nathan, he still has to come back from whatever he left for during your ceremony. But I was thinking, you look pretty bored on your chair, and you received a camera, which would be a waste to not put to use. What do you say Nathan, do you want to go around and snap photographs of your own birthday party so you can savour the moment for the rest of your life?” He asks with a warming smile glowing on his face. He extends his hand towards Nathan, which Nathan grabs nervously. The rest of the party from there on is pure bliss. Nathan and Mark run around the ballroom, taking photos of everything and nothing, joking, laughing. Nathan has had the time of his life with Mark Jefferson and the new camera which he got from Kristine and mom.

The party comes to a close; Sean Prescott has returned from whatever business he had conducted with the strangers. He brings Jefferson and Nathan to one side, and gives a stern warning that this is no behaviour for the Prescott family and that Mr Jefferson shouldn’t have done what he had done, Maria luckily comes to the rescue, complimenting Mr Jefferson for how he had gone out of his way to play with and entertain Nathan on his birthday, and for teaching Nathan to use a camera properly in his positon as a professional photographer.  Sean clearly shows his disapproval of this newfound friendship between the two.

“Talk to you later Nate!” Jefferson says while leaving the party, waving with a broad smile on his face.

“Bye Mr Jefferson!” Nathan responds with an equally big smile and enthusiastic wave.

After the party Sean Prescott gives Nathan a stern yelling at for his behaviour at his own birthday party. How Nathan should have kept his composure and not playing with that Mr Jefferson. Maria stands up for Mr Jefferson once again but Sean takes no notice; he is too upset with his disappointment of a son.

The following day, Kristine knocks on Nathan’s door with a wide grin on her face, “You’ve got a visitor, Nathan!” she says, and lets Mark Jefferson enter the room behind her.

“Hello Nate man, how’s my future photographer doing today?!” Jefferson says happily. “Sadly I forgot my camera with you but I trust you took great care of it, didn’t you?”

Nathan nods and runs to open the chest filled with his most important memories and possessions.  He takes out the camera and hands it to Mr Jefferson.

“I hope you didn’t get into too much trouble because of me” Jefferson continues while he checks over his camera.

“Don’t worry Mr Jefferson! It was totally worth it!” Nathan assures him; and with that, Jefferson leaves the Prescott estate for the day and becomes a regular visitor for Nathan, much to his father’s displeasure.

*******

At school, Nathan would walk around with a trail of other students, though no one he considers a real friend.  Nor does anyone consider Nathan a friend. Everyone tries to get close to him because of the name Prescott. But no one tries to become friends with him, because of the name Prescott. Most children around Nathan do as they are asked, thinking they will soon gain the favour of him and his family. Little do they know they are just acting their role in society according to Nathan. No one can tell a Prescott what he can, or cannot do, and others should do as he says.

Jim, a classmate of Nathan, questions his authority on the school yard. Why can this skinny spoiled brat boss me around? He decides to try and give Nathan a taste of his own medicine, and boss the boss himself.  During the lunch break he calls out to Nathan.

“Hey, Nate! I forgot something in the dining hall; could you mind grabbing it for me?” The bigger boy towers over Nathan to become as intimidating as possible.

“Hey Jimmy, go get it on your own.” Nathan gives Jim a stern look of irritation, a flash of aggression burning inside of him. “Know your place Jimmy!” he continues, standing up to challenge Jimmy.  No one messes with a Prescott without consequences.

Neither of the two kids is prepared to back down from the situation and lose face. A push, then a punch. Suddenly it’s a full blown fight. Suddenly Jim falls down. He holds up his hand as he tries to stop the hail of punches from Nathan, the students that had gathered around the two combatants having dissipated.  Jim is scared of the laughing Nathan, who is talking to himself while looking down at his defeated opponent, “NO ONE MESSES WITH A PRESCOTT!” He screams, thrilled by the fight and pleased to see Jim suffer by his hands.

After a psychiatric evaluation, and a court case, Nathan ends up in a psychiatric ward for two years. The court case had passed silently due to Sean’s influence over Arcadia Bay. During Nathan’s stay he has 3 visitors, which suddenly becomes two without any warning, and later turns into one regular visitor.

On the date of his release, Mark Jefferson and Maria Prescott are waiting for him. No signs of Kristine or Sean Prescott. At the house, he encounters the icy gaze of his father, but Kristine is still missing. Fear now slowly rose within himself until he finds a letter addressed to him hidden under his pillow. It is from Kristine, explaining that she had been sent to Brazil by their father to work with a company named Peace Corps.  With his safe haven and anchor of stability having been sent away to Brazil, he slowly degenerates into madness. As Mr Jefferson slowly increases his contact with the lonely Prescott heir he slowly but steadily becomes the cornerstone for Nathan Prescott’s mental well-being.

******

Nathan stands outside Blackwell Academy.  He had gotten into the school with a photography scholarship, as to be expected. He wasn’t happy about it.  Blackwell boasts the best photography course in the country, with Mark Jefferson as the teacher. Somewhere along the way, Sean and Mr Jefferson have turned into friends, planning out what they thought was the best course of action for Nathan. I’m so sick of people trying to control me! He rages inside. He ventures inside expecting the same treatment as always, people trying to use him because of his name.

He quickly becomes friends with Victoria Chase, and through her he joins the Vortex Club and gains a lot of friends there, none of whom care about Nathan’s wealth. Victoria and Nathan quickly become great friends, having coming from similar backgrounds of pressure from their respective families. They build a special bond. Even though Nathan is angry at Mr Jefferson for working at Blackwell, he is happy he has him so close by. They soon start doing private photo sessions together, convincing Sean to invest in an expensive studio, located at a remote barn.

And then Nathan Prescott lays eyes upon Rachel Amber.

 

 

Authors note: Lots of love to Outsyder and Brooke for the help with language!

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