The Yo-Yo Theory: Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter 1

My name is Anne. I’m a redhead. I don’t know what my parents were thinking. Now don’t get me wrong. I love Anne Shirley. I would have liked to be her – the original redheaded Anne with an “e”. But being a real me, and not just a character in some book, is a little harder, especially when everyone who meets me asks, “Oh, Anne with an ‘e’?” Maybe I should change the spelling. Then at least I could say, “No, no ‘e’ thank you very much.” But having managed to live with my name for 16 years now, I guess I may as well keep it. I’ve kind of gotten used to it.

So here I am, a 16 year old, redheaded girl, halfway through high school, writing about myself. Why in the world would I want to do that, right? Well you see, there’s this guy. Now it’s not what you think. I know, all teenage girls are raging hormones and guys are about all they have on the brain. I’m different. I’ve never held a guys hand, been kissed, or even been on a date. But I’ve found him – the one. Or at least, I hope so. He’s my best friend’s oldest brother. And he barely knows I’m alive. Okay, okay, I know this is totally cliché. Here’s the funny part: I’ve been to the future, and I know what happens.

Even if you don’t believe me, you’re probably thinking, “Well then, why is she so worried?” There are two problems. One, I don’t know how to get from here to that future that I saw. And number two, the hardest fact to face, is that the future I visited was only a possibility. To explain it would require all kinds of physics and big words that I really don’t understand. The simple truth of it is that every person has agency – the ability to act for themselves. And that changes things on a regular basis.

Think about it. Every time you have a choice, there are two or more possible outcomes. Depending on what you choose, even something as simple as whether you want fries with that, can have a huge impact on future events. For example, back to the fries, you decide that you do want them. The guy cooking the fries has just run out, so he has to make a new batch, which requires going into the back to get another box of frozen fries. As he’s walking to the freezer, he bumps into another employee, who slips on a spot of water and breaks her wrist. Just because you wanted fries. If you hadn’t, someone else would have, and the fry guy would have still had to go get more, but it would have been a few minutes later and he wouldn’t have bumped into the girl. Or, had you delayed your decision another minute or so, the accident would have also been avoided. Now, it’s not your fault she got hurt. The fry guy chose to wait until he was out of fries up front to go get more. She chose to not watch where she was going. And the dish dude chose to leave the water on the floor because he was in a hurry and didn’t want to mop it up. See what I mean about choices?

Back to my little situation. Kaleb Mitchell is a pretty amazing guy. He’s not very tall, but he goes for that clean cut, nice guy look. His likes animals, and although he likes to ride his horses and be outside, at first glance you’d think he was some city kid. He’s 3 years older than me, very responsible, although he’s still a teenager and getting himself figured out. He’s fairly meticulous about his appearance and although he doesn’t particularly care about where his clothes come from or brands or anything, he likes to dress nice. I think he was voted “best dressed” his senior year of high school. And he’s never been on a date either. I guess he tried a few times and got turned down (I’d like to smack the girls who turned him down – they must have been totally short-sighted, er… near-sighted… same difference), and hasn’t had the courage to try again. He’s very talented. He did a couple plays in high school, and I thought he stole the show. He’s got this sweet side that not a lot of people know about, on account of him trying to be all tough. But I’ve seen him at home, with his family. I’ve seen him hold his little sister when she skinned her knee. I’ve seen him get up in the middle of a movie to go clean up after my sick friend missed the toilet. I’ve seen him running around in the fields with his dog. I’ve seen him kiss his mom on the way out the door to school when he thought no one was looking. That’s the kind of guy he is.

And I am his sister’s friend. We get along okay, I guess. He’s even come over to my house once or twice (with his sister), just to hang out (or was it because he wanted to play with our Wii?). But I guess I’m too young, or not old enough, and he’s not interested in trying to see what could happen. But I’m pretty sure he’s at least interested to some degree. His best friend, Nick, who also tends to hang out at my friend’s house a lot (they’re one of those families that always seem to have lots of non-related kids running around), likes to tease me, in that “little sister” kind of way. Sometimes, I get the sneaking suspicion that he likes me, but doesn’t want to step on toes or something. Once, the two of them were arguing about something. I distinctly heard “her” and “like”. Now, they could have been arguing over why Kaleb’s dog doesn’t like her new chew toy, but they did it when they knew I was sitting on the porch doing homework, and I swear, they’re “fight” looked like one of those mating rituals guy goats do to prove themselves to the girl goat – there was even a head butt. It’s more interesting to believe they were arguing over me rather than some doggie toy.

Besides the fact that I have visited a time in the future where Kaleb and I are walking along, hand in hand, pushing a baby stroller with our little twin girls in it, there’s another reason I feel we’re destined to be together. When I look in his eyes, I get lost. They’re kind of a grayish blue, but they’re deep. And on occasion, over dinner, crossing on the staircase, across the room, I catch his eye and time kind of freezes. If I catch his eye, that means he’s looking at me, right? And we lock gazes quite often. I’m sure I look at him more than he looks at me, but there’s just something there. Something almost tangible. Something that lets me hope. Now, if only I can figure out how I get from being a 16 year old lovesick puppy to a 26 year old mother of two, with the love of my life at my side.

*****

You’re probably wondering about the whole time travel thing. Granted, it’s a little far-fetched for a normal, sane person to believe. That’s what people said about Columbus finding an alternate route to China. Impossible. Insane. Dangerous. Worthy of science fiction. I would have said the same thing – in fact, I did. About the concept of time travel the first time I heard about it. It was in 2nd grade. Some kid in my class came to school spouting stuff about Delorean cars and flux capacitors and going “back to the future”. I promptly told him he was crazy and that none of that stuff happened in real life. He told me he had seen it happen, on TV nonetheless. To a second grader, the TV is the prime authority on just about anything. But Ricky Lee was known to exaggerate, so I told him he must have been dreaming and walked away.

And now, here I am, 16 years old, having realized Ricky was sneaking into his parent’s room to watch old movies, yet believing the idea behind the insanity and trying to convince others as well. I’m not a scientist and I have no idea how it works. That’s my friend Kristine’s department. She’s kind of a genius. I always thought I was fairly intelligent, until I met her (and yes, this is the friend who has the amazing brother I plan on marrying). Kristine seems like a pretty normal girl. She loves animals, running, school and chocolate cake (okay, so maybe loving school isn’t so normal – I admit that I like it too, as long as the cheerleaders stay away from me). She also loves polynomials, science textbooks, fractions and test tubes. That’s where she tends to freak other kids our age out a bit. She’s not anti-social. Most of the kids in our high school have asked her for help in Biology at some time or another, and come away from the experience both mesmerized and mystified. They go on to do well in class, so she must explain things fairly well, but I think she gets going with her own ideas too often. She gets along fine with most people – they just seem to get a little fidgety once she starts spouting theorems and postulates. Her favorite story growing up was The Magician’s Nephew, one of the Narnia books. I guess that’s where she got the time travel idea. She doesn’t believe in mystical magic, but rather the magic of science. She was determined to find another world of her own, without the use of ships, rabbit holes, or colored rings. And unlike Uncle Andrew, she was willing to test things out herself – but she was smart enough not to go at it completely alone. That’s where I come in.

“Anne! I’ve done it! I’ve isolated an anomaly in the continuum that proves my postulate!” Kristine didn’t always talk like this, only when she was really excited about something.

“That’s great! What now?” I knew she’d been working on her “other world” theory, and must have had some sort of breakthrough, even if I didn’t quite comprehend the meaning of her last sentence.

“I don’t think I can explain it with words. Come see.” Kristine had learned that language was often very limiting when it came to trying to explain her ideas to others.

She took me up to her tree house. I tell you, she’s not your stereotypical mad scientist. How many scientific discoveries do you know of made in tree houses? No, it wasn’t a modified, modernized, super special, technologically advanced tree house. It was a couple of boards nailed together to make a platform, walls and a roof. The oak tree was at least 100 years old and although Kristine’s parents had talked about cutting it down (lest it get blown over in a windstorm and fall on the house), nothing had been done as yet. Of course, what was in that run of the mill tree house was far from ordinary. Kristine had a computer – a cute (Yes, I’m calling a computer cute – I’m a teenage girl and small things, especially Macs, are cute to me) new MacBook Air that her parents had gotten her for her birthday. She had saved her allowance and babysitting money to buy a wireless router and signal booster so that she could browse the web from her lofty perch. She had all kinds of test tubes and bottles labeled with names that meant nothing to me. She had a shelf overloaded with books, notebooks, loose paper, and an occasional candy wrapper. Her pride and joy, Manny the microscope (again, teenage girls like to name things), sat beneath his dust cover in the corner. In the middle of the room was a small spool table (you know, those wooden spools that they put industrial rope or chain on that usually end up as someone’s craft furniture?). And on the table was a yo-yo.

I quickly scanned the room, looking for something new and different from the last time I’d been to Kristine’s lair (the day before). The only thing I could tell that hadn’t been there before was that yo-yo. It was clear yellow plastic and the string was slightly frayed. It had something written on the side with red lettering, but it was mostly rubbed off with use.

“So Kristine, what’s this “breakthrough”?”

She snatched the yo-yo off the table. “The technical stuff will only bore you. I have to show you. You know how they say that human beings only use a small percentage of their brains? Well, I figured that the possibilities would be astonishing if we were able to use more.” She shook the yo-yo slightly and I noticed that it was a light up model.

“The truth is Anne, I don’t quite know how it works. Technically, it shouldn’t. Or rather, logically it shouldn’t because technically it does. But I need to test it out, and this is something I’m sure I can’t, and shouldn’t do on my own. And… well, the thing is… I know this may sound crazy, but I thought that… I’m sure you’ll see what I mean if you…” Kristine never rambled like this. It must be important.

“Kristine? What exactly have you done? A lot of your ideas sound crazy in theory and end up pretty cool in practice. I won’t knock it until I’ve had a chance to explore it for myself. But what will I be exploring?”

Kristine had proven she wouldn’t put me in any danger after the 5th grade incident. She had created a chewing gum flavor enhancer that helped gum keep it’s flavor for longer, even if you left it on the bedpost overnight. I had wanted to try it out for her, but she had insisted that she would try it first, “just in case”. She’d ended up with a nasty stomachache the first few tries, and wouldn’t let me test it until she was sure it was okay. I wouldn’t ever think she was crazy – I knew she was. Until she told me what she’d done.

“Anne, I’ve visited my future.”

I usually listened to her ideas calmly, with a skeptical air of expectancy. Once I’d even run (or rather leaped) screaming from the tree house, sure that my best friend had finally snapped. This time, I did neither. I sat still, astonished, a little bit incredulous. I believed her. Loony as those words sounded outside of a book or a movie script, I 100% believed her. What’s more, I trusted her. My mind was reeling. I couldn’t fathom the enormity of such a proclamation, but something inside me knew it would change my life. So I did the next best thing to running away. I jumped up and hugged her, my intent to encourage her and thank her for trusting me with such a secret. As I pulled back from the hug, I stumbled on a loose nail in the floorboard, bumped her arm and knocked the yo-yo from her grasp. The string was connected to her finger, and as it fell, both of us staring at the whirling lights, I heard Kaleb calling us to dinner.

 

Chapter 2

I don’t know how long Kristine and I sat there mesmerized by the spinning yo-yo. It was a little dark in the tree house, but not dark enough to explain why this yo-yo was so bright. It was as if we were in a completely dark room watching a couple Jedi knights practicing with their light sabers. Try as you may, you can’t seem to focus on anything else because there really isn’t anything else to see. A knock at the door jarred our attention back to reality. But reality had changed. I didn’t realize it immediately, but it was there staring me in the face.

Kristine opened the trap door in the floor and Kaleb was standing there, peering up at us. He looked different than when I’d seen him earlier that day. Come to think of it, as I looked at Kristine, she too looked different. She was taller, more curvy, and her hair had inexplicably grown at least four inches. She looked older. So did Kaleb. Maybe their family had had a growth spurt in the past week and I was just now noticing.

“Come on ladies. I know you love your little old tree house, but aren’t you getting a tad big for this thing? Anyways, dinner is ready. And Anne, I think Naomi and Hannah want their dinner first.” He winked at me. I almost choked from the shock. Kaleb Mitchell was blatantly flirting with me? And who in the world were Naomi and Hannah? I followed Kristine wordlessly out of the tree house. She seemed a little shaken, and even though I certainly was (that’s what happens when the guy you like winks at you), I wasn’t sure why Kristine would be. I guess she didn’t want her brother finding out about her discovery just yet. She had tucked the yo-yo into her jeans pocket. After dinner I’d see if we could get back out here so she could show me her stuff.

We went into the house, and I followed Kristine into the bathroom to wash up. Walking through the house I noticed a lot of things in different places. They must have done some Spring-cleaning in the past few days. As I glimpsed myself in the bathroom mirror I received my biggest shock yet. I definitely did not look the same as I had when I had last looked myself in the mirror that morning.

My first thought was that I was wearing makeup. I know, for most 16 year old girls, this would hardly be a revelation. But I never wore anything other than a bit of lipstick. I currently had on lipstick, lip liner, a hint of eye shadow, and definite mascara. Then I noticed my ears – I was wearing pierced earrings! I had never pierced my ears, but there they were, dangling blue sparklers noticeably held up by miniscule holes through my lobeless ears. It’s a good thing Kristine and I were alone in the bathroom. I started to say something to her about my altered appearance, and noticed that she was staring just as dumbfounded at her own reflection.

“Kristine? What is going on? We look… different.” My voice quivered slightly on the last word. I had thought about saying “older”, but couldn’t voice it quite yet.

“I think it worked, Anne.” She pulled her fingers through her magically long hair.

“What worked? Nothing happened. We were in the tree house, your yo-yo fell, we watched the lights, Kaleb knocked at the door, and…” A knock sounded at the bathroom door.

“Anne? The girls are really getting fussy. You done in there?” Kaleb’s voice brought my thoughts back to the present.

I opened the bathroom door. “What girls?” I asked.

Kaleb looked at me funny. “Our daughters? You know, the twins? Mom and Dad said you could nurse them in their room. You’d better hurry before they get themselves all worked up, or you’ll never get a chance to eat.”

I glanced at Kristine. Her wide eyes told me all I needed to know. I wasn’t dreaming, and yes, her brother had just said the words “our” and “daughters” while referring to me. I hadn’t really heard the rest of what he’d said after those two words exploded my brain. I had kids? I was still just a kid myself! I was only 16! As I walked out of the bathroom, I glimpsed the calendar that Mrs. Mitchell had had hanging up for as long as I could remember. I stopped and stared at the year. It was 10 years later. I wasn’t 16 anymore. I was 26.

Kaleb took my hand and led me down the hall to his parents’ bedroom. I was momentarily distracted by the fact that the guy I liked but had hardly acknowledged my presence before, was holding my hand. He opened the bedroom door and sitting on the bed were two of the cutest little girls I had ever seen. Their strawberry blond locks were as curly as Shirley Temple’s, and as their bright blue eyes found mine, I felt something deep inside me shift. I was a mommy. My brain, at the moment, hadn’t yet experienced childbirth, or seen these two little ones grow to become who they were at this moment, but they were mine.

A chorus of wails greeted me as Kaleb smiled and closed the door on his way out.

I stood there a moment, trying to decide what to do. It was obvious from the moment I entered the room that my 26 year old body knew what to do with these girls, but my brain didn’t. I went to the door and locked it. Then I sat on the middle of the bed. I wasn’t sure which one was Naomi and which was Hannah. I guessed they were about a year old. They weren’t identical. One had a slightly rounder face than the other. And one had longer hair. Maybe to help Kaleb and I tell them apart. Wow, I was already thinking about “us” as a reality. But this couldn’t be real. Could it? The twins looked real enough to me.

They started to fuss, nosing for food. Sure, I had played “house” as a kid, pretending to nurse my dolls by holding them up to my shirt. But how in the world was I supposed to do it with two squirmy little tots? I noticed a colorful C-shaped pillow on the bed as well, and I had an idea. I propped my back up against the headboard and the girls crawled over to me. I felt a little odd about pulling my shirt up, but decided it didn’t really matter. These were my babies and I was in charge of feeding them. My brain might be functioning at the level of sixteen year old, but my body was obviously ready. I could see a couple wet puddles forming on my shirt.

The girls were able to sit up fine, and as if it were a rehearsed dance, they snuggled into my lap, tangling themselves together, and latched on, one on either side. Two pairs of dazzling blue eyes peered up at me while little lips cheerily drank in what nature had provided. It was a special moment, one I hoped I wouldn’t forget once I went back to the past.

As I lay with them in the dark room, I tried to figure out what had happened. I was sure I had heard Kaleb calling us to dinner before Kristine’s yo-yo started spinning. It seemed that we had transported to a parallel moment ten years in the future. The question was, did things have to end up this way? Not that I minded. I was apparently married to my childhood sweetheart, we had two beautiful children, and things seemed pretty happy. I glanced down at my left hand. How had I not noticed the ring when I’d washed my hands? It was beautiful – intricate interwoven bands surrounding a bright blue sapphire. Just like Kaleb’s eyes, I thought.

Naomi and Hannah finished up within a few minutes. Maybe they hadn’t been as hungry as Kaleb had said. Didn’t babies usually nurse for longer than 5 minutes? Of course, I didn’t know much about infants or toddlers. Maybe they ate solid food too. I spotted a diaper bag next to the bed and inside were a couple jars of baby food. Peaches, one said. Strained Squash, read another. I didn’t want to make a mess in the bedroom. I didn’t know if I was supposed to feed them this here, or at the table. I didn’t want to make a scene though. I saw a couple soft spoons in the bag as well – a green one and a purple one. One girl was dressed in green, the other in purple. Now if only I knew which was which. I was rescued for the moment by a soft knock at the door.

“Anne? Can I come in?” It was Kristine.

“Yeah, the coast is clear,” I called out. The knob jiggled, but the door stayed shut.

“It’s locked,” she whispered.

“Oh yeah.” I snatched a toy out of the bag and set it between the girls in the middle of the bed, and unlocked the door.

She entered with a bit of a nervous look on her face. “Did you really feed them?” she asked. Her eyes darted to the baby food jar. “Oh. Well that’s not too bad.”

I laughed. “I fed them the natural stuff already. I just found this, but I’m not sure if I should give them some in here or in the dining room.” I held up the jars.

“You nursed them? Really?” She almost sounded envious.

“Yeah. I used that pillow over there, and they just sat on either side of me and latched on. It was a little weird, but it wasn’t too bad. I guess my twenty-six year old body is used to it.”

I could tell she didn’t quite know what to say. Then I guess she realized I’d said “twenty-six year old” instead of “sixteen”.

“So you saw the calendar too? I couldn’t believe it! I mean, I guess I could, since this is basically what I was hoping would happen. But I wasn’t sure how it would happen. I thought we’d realize, or that we’d see… I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I’m pretty sure I can get us back to the right time, but I’d like to figure out a few more things first.” She got that look in her eyes meaning her brain was on, but her eyes were no longer seeing what was in front of her.

“I’m game,” I said. I was interested to see a bit more of my future. At age 16, I was an avid journal writer. I hoped I still was and could brush up on in between events. But where was my house? Where did Kaleb and I live? I doubted we lived with his parents. Then I thought about my parents. My brothers and sisters. Where were they? Were my siblings married too? Did I have nieces and nephews? Were my parents still alive? They weren’t old by any means, but ten years is quite a bit of time. Anything could have happened. And how did I get to this point in my life? How had I ended up married to Kaleb? How long had we been married? I sure had a lot of questions. I had better hold it together until I got some answers.

I heard a squeal from the girls at the same time as another knock at the door. “Anne? It’s Kaleb.” He came in and picked up the purple clad little girl, who was clutching the toy fiercely. Oops! I should have known that one toy and two kids would cause problems. “How’s my Hannah? Did you have a nice dinner?” At least I knew which was which now. “Are you stealing Naomi’s toys again?” He leaned over and pulled out a similar toy, with different colors, gave it to Hannah, pried the first one out of her fist and handed it to Naomi. “Did they eat well?” he asked me.

“Um… yes. They stopped nursing after about five minutes, but I think they’re still hungry. And Hannah seems to have gotten my ‘fuller side’.” I couldn’t believe I’d just said that to him! Of course, in order for Hannah and Naomi to have been born… No, I couldn’t go thinking in that direction at the moment. Uh oh. What about tonight? What if Kristine couldn’t figure out how to get us back to the past before then? Would I have to sleep with Kaleb? I almost panicked. Gratefully, Kaleb didn’t seem to notice. He just smiled at Hannah. Then he set her down on the bed and picked up Naomi.

“Hello little Naomi. So, you’re being a piggy again? Glad to see you like your food.” He tickled her a little and she started to giggle. “Let’s go. I’ve got the high chairs set up in the dining room so we can eat. Everyone else is waiting for us.”

He carried Naomi and I put Hannah on my hip. Kristine followed us out of the room, still in a bit of a daze. We put them in their high chairs and sat down with the family. The youngest Mitchell member, Randy, quickly volunteered to help feed the twins. He was 11 now, and apparently quite taken with his nieces. It was odd seeing him as a real kid. The last time I’d seen him, he’d been the same size as the twins. I handed him the green spoon and the jar of peaches. He moved his chair in between the girls and pushed his own plate away from the edge of the table. Smart kid, I thought. Maybe he’d seen the grubby hands grab other stuff often enough.

Kaleb and I flanked the girls on the outside. Kristine sat next to me. Then there were Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell (who I realized I needed to start calling Mom and Dad). Mr. Mitchell looked definitely Asian. His mom was Japanese, and although he’d managed to inherit a lot of his father’s European looks, his eyes and dark hair were telltale signs of his heritage. Mrs. Mitchell was a beautiful brunette, with hair the color of melted chocolate. An excellent seamstress, she was wearing a dress made from a colorful fabric I recognized as having once been part of some sheets. Then there was Tarah: “Tiny Tarah” as she was known among family. She stood exactly four and a half feet tall, with her shoes on. Not that any of the Mitchells were particularly tall. Kaleb was the tallest at five foot six. However, Tarah was also very petite. At age sixteen, she looked to be all leg. I remembered her six year old self, and even then, she had been small and leggy. She had announced once, when she was six, that she was going to be a ballerina when she grew up. From the looks of her, she fit the part. Looking down, I noticed a pair of soft ballet slippers on her feet and smiled.

“Anne, would you like to say the blessing?” Mr. Mitchell asked me.

“Okay,” I replied. This was something I was comfortable doing. I’d been eating dinner with this family for years and had said my share of mealtime and family prayers.

After the prayer, we all dug in. Mrs. Mitchell was an excellent cook. She had made mashed potatoes, which were indeed creamy, peppered steaks, steak gravy, French cut green beans with just enough butter, a salad with everything picked fresh from the garden that day, and sparkling cranberry juice. And I smelled something delectable baking in the oven, probably a pie for dessert. I was about to ask what the occasion was for all the fancy stuff when Kaleb stood up.

“I’d like to thank you all for coming, or rather, for inviting us to come spend this special day with you. It’s been a busy five years, and we’ve been blessed to make it this far. Mom and Dad, you’ve been a wonderful example, and a great help, especially during the hard times after the miscarriages. And we will be forever grateful to you Kristine, for your sacrifice of time, health, and heart. Now here we are, with two beautiful girls to show for it. And to my wonderful wife, so far so good! We’re half way to a decade! I love you. Thank you for helping me become the man I am.” He had come around to stand behind me, and now he bent down and planted a wet one on me, right in front of his entire family! He kissed me! Yes, I’d been in love with him since I was a kid, and had always thought about what it would be like to kiss him, but it still took me by surprise to find out how amazing it actually was. I was so delirious (technically, this was my first kiss) that I don’t even know if I kissed him back.

The family clapped. I’m sure Kristine was the only one who knew my blush wasn’t just because Kaleb had kissed me in public. Good thing I hadn’t asked what all the pomp and circumstance was for. It was my own anniversary! I was curious as to the reference Kaleb had made to Kristine’s sacrifice, and unfortunately, I knew she had no idea either.

“Anne? Would you like to say anything? Maybe tell them your favorite memory about the past five years?” Kaleb had sat down again on the other side of the twins.

I started to panic a little. My best memory of the past five years? I didn’t have any memories of the past five years, nor the past ten years. What could I possibly say that wouldn’t get me into trouble? I stood up.

“Well, it’s hard to pick just one thing. I guess I have two favorite memories. One was the day I married the man of my dreams. I have loved him since I can remember, and I know there was a while when I daydreamed about becoming his wife. When I was a teenager, I wasn’t sure he saw me as anything more than his sister’s little friend. But here we are, to show that something changed his mind.” I smiled as the rest of the family giggled a bit.

“The other wonderful memory would be the day the girls were born. I still can’t believe I managed to have two! I always thought about having twins, but when the doctor told us we’d be having twins, I couldn’t believe it!” Kaleb was looking at me with an odd look on his face, then looking at Kristine. But I went on.

“Hannah and Naomi are such sweethearts and I am glad that I’m their mommy. God definitely works in mysterious ways. I would have never imagined, say, ten years ago, that this day was in my future. And I would have outright laughed at the thought of giving birth to twins!” Kaleb’s odd look became one of outright consternation. In fact, everyone looked rather startled, except Kristine. She was as oblivious to their looks as I was.

“Anne! I’m so happy for you! I can tell you’re a wonderful mom. I’m glad you can have such beautiful girls too.” Kristine stood up and hugged me. She must have said something right, because everyone relaxed a bit. I was still worried I’d said something wrong though. Was I not really married? Were my daughters adopted or something? Except for the fact that they looked so much like my baby pictures, with a healthy mix of their dad’s genes.

The rest of the meal went fine. Kaleb kept shooting me funny looks, as if he could tell something was different, but wasn’t sure what. Kristine and I managed to talk about things that had happened over ten years ago, and eventually everyone was reminiscing about that long forgotten time. Kaleb chortled as I recounted how obsessed I had been with him as a teenager. He admitted that he had seen me as nothing more than his little sister’s friend until he’d gotten home from his mission. By then I had graduated from high school and as he put it, “quite grown up”. From my mental standpoint, he was just getting ready to send in his mission papers. I was curious as to where he served, and when he left, but I couldn’t very well ask him.

Mrs. Mitchell served a delicious cherry pie with generous portions of chocolate ice cream on top. Kristine had a third helping. Her dad laughed and said, “I guess you’re making up for lost time from when you were pregnant.” Kristine’s shocked look was apparent to all. But they didn’t know what we were thinking. I could read it on her face, echoed in my mind. Kristine had been pregnant? She was obviously not married, and I couldn’t believe her dad would make light of something like her getting pregnant out of wedlock, or getting divorced, or even widowed. What in the world was going on?

“I didn’t mean anything by it darling,” said her father. “You carried the twins with a grace I’ve rarely seen in any pregnant woman. And you’ve recovered wonderfully. I just meant that since you had to keep such a strict diet, it must be nice that you can eat what you want now.” His wife shot him a glance. “Okay, I’ll stop talking before I dig myself into an even deeper hole.”

Kristine and I looked at each other with loaded gazes. I think we both had our suspicions, but we needed to know what had really happened in this case. But how were we supposed to find out? Kristine managed nicely.

“Mom, Dad, have I ever asked you how you felt about my pregnancy?” She looked at her parents.

“I don’t think you have, honey. We were very proud of you,” replied her mother.

“Okay, let me see if I can redeem myself a little. Kristine, we all knew how much Kaleb and Anne wanted kids, and after Anne’s miscarriages and her emergency hysterectomy, you know how torn up we all were. I cried. We all did a lot of fasting and praying and felt our prayers were answered when you came up with such an enormous idea. When you volunteered yourself, I couldn’t have been prouder. I mean, how many fathers can brag about their daughter being willing to carry her brother and sister-in-laws baby for them? And to end up carrying twins for nine months? I don’t know how you did it darling, but I’m sure you’ve secured your place in heaven for it.”

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4 Comments

  1. 21 November, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    […] My 9 Day Novel LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. Pris said,

    25 November, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Sounds good so far. Seems to move a bit fast – – like a very talkative teenage girl. Certain things remind me of familiar people, places and things. Am I right? Good luck Corinna!

    • mountainmaidencmm said,

      25 November, 2010 at 11:01 am

      I write what I know. 😉 Hopefully once I edit it, things will become more fictional… It’s interesting trying to write so much so fast.

  3. Kaylene said,

    23 December, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Corinna,
    This is great! Quite captivating and I can’t wait to see how it ends 😉 Good luck with it! I hope you and your family are doing well and have a wonderful Christmas!


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