“So let me get this straight…” I began. “That night that Erik and Agnes brought me back, something happened to bring you back as well?”
“I guess so, Kirsten. That’s really the only logical explanation.” He replied.
Cody explained every detail of the night in which we came back from the dead. Apparently, while Erik and Agnes were using magic to bring me back, he was close enough to come back with me.
“I’ve been living with our cousin, Hannah. Hannah, and her husband Aiden, along with their two daughters. They’ve treated me really nice, and they would have been great for you, too.
When the… social worker showed up, and said that you had come back to life or whatever, they just couldn’t believe that. You can’t blame them Kirsten. Back then it was unheard of. They had never told me about a social worker though, I never knew you came back. A couple months ago however, they told me the truth. That’s when I knew I had learn the truth, to find you.” Cody explained.
“Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Darling dug you up before they did the magic. But for me, things didn’t go that well.
I woke up that night, everything was black. I was so confused. The last thing I remember was nothing but fire. Fire and panic. I felt around and realized I was in a casket. My first thought after that was, I was buried alive. I began banging on the casket loudly, I heard police sirens, but they didn’t hear me. I thought I was going to die there. A couple days later, the police dug up our mother, our father, and finally me. They needed to investigate, to find out what had happened. I’m so glad you don’t remember much, luckily the Darlings added a memory elixir. But for me, I remember every last detail.”
I felt my heart wrench, as I listened to Cody’s painful memories. The more he talked, the more memories I began to remember. I didn’t remember much, but I remembered some things. unimportant things really, but it was a start.
His skin was covered in burns from the fire. Up until now, I had always thought the resurrection process completely healed you, but his scars and burns tell a different story.
I stood up and hugged him tightly.
“I tried to save you… I tried so hard…” I whispered.
My voice cracked and I began to cry. I felt so guilty. If only I had known my brother was out there, we could have went through this together. We could have grown up together. So many years were wasted.
“shhhh… I know, little sister I know. Don’t blame yourself, okay?”
Little sister. The words rang loudly in my head, as an entire new series of memories opened up for me. I remembered him calling me that when I was little, he always called me that.
Later, I asked him if he’d like a place to stay for a while.
“Nah, it’s okay. I have a hotel room just outside of town for a few days.” He replied.
“Well will you at least come back in the morning? You can meet the babies. They’re asleep now, but maybe we can go to the Fall Festival? If you don’t want to do that we can find something else…” My voice trailed off when I began to hear the desperation in it.
Once my parents had adopted me, that was the only life I had ever known. I’ve never had a sibling. Morgana and Connor had a son who was a little older than me, but he died before I was adopted. I heard stories about him all the time from the Darlings, and my parents, but I still always had the desire for a sibling. I was excited to have Cody around, and I wanted to feel closer to him.
Later that night, I snuggled up next to Sy in bed, and we talked about everything that had just happened.
“I can’t believe I have my brother back. What do you think about him, honey?”
“Uh, well.. He’s a cool guy, Kirs….” He answered, hesitantly.
“But, I just think you might be rushing into things, baby. You just met him., that’s all.”
I jerked away from him angrily.
“You have got to be kidding me!”
“Honey.. I didn’t mean it like that, I…”
“Leave me alone.”
“Kirsten, it’s just… You were so little when all of this happened, it’s been so long since you’ve seen him, he could be a completely different person now.”
“Look. Cody and I were really close. He was always there for me when I was little, I trust him.” I hissed.
“Okay, okay! I’m sorry, alright? Just come here, baby.”
I hesitated when he tried to kiss me, but after a lot of sweet talking, I forgave him.
“How can I ever make it up to you?!” He said, dramatically.
I leaned in to kiss him slowly, but paused in front of his mouth.
laughing, I pushed him down, and jumped on top of him.
“Oh, you know exactly how you can make it up to me!”
The next morning, the sky was bright blue and the sun was shining bright. I got up a little earlier than Seymour, careful not to wake him.
I invited Cody over to meet my parents.
They really seemed to like Cody. Just watching them talk to him, I couldn’t help but imagine how things would have been if they had adopted him, too.
On the way out, my mom stopped me on the patio.
“Honey, have fun at the festival today, okay? Dad and I need to talk to just you when you all get back home though, so stop here for a while please.”
The family and I had a great time at the festival. Cody got to meet the twins, and they really seemed to like him. The rest of the family seemed to like him too!
But if anyone was enjoying themselves the most, it would have to had been Erik. We happened to notice Erik on the dance floor with his lovely lady friend, Sylvia.
When we all got home, I walked across the street to my parents house. They explained to me that they were going to sell the house, and use the money to sail around the world.
I was a bit upset with the news at first. I grew up in this house, not only that but all I had to do was walk across the street when I wanted to see my mom and dad, It was kind of like I never left.
“I’m so sorry honey. But we’ll back as often as we can, and we can exchange emails daily. It’s just something your father and I have always dreamed of. Plus, we’re not leaving until around late spring anyway!”
When they explained it better, I felt a little better about it. They’d still be able to watch the kids grow when I send pictures to them. Still, I’d miss them dearly.
About a week later, Persephone had found a new job. With the new dance studio that was built not too long ago, here in Appaloosa Plains; someone was needed to teach dance lessons. Persephone already had experience in ballet from when she was a child, and still took ballet with Birdie every week, so it was a perfect match.
Cody finally caved in and started staying with us, in our guest bed. Although I had a feeling with all baby crying, and chaos that went on at the Darling house, he was ready to go home.
I could really tell that he was used to living a more extravagant lifestyle, by his vibe, when he was at our house. However, he was very kind and friendly, and never complained. I think he could see how bad I wanted him around. He did it for me. Everyday, I did my best to talk him into staying another day or two.
“Aww, Cody! She really seems like she likes you a lot.” I smiled, as Cody brushed Aurora’s coat.
“She’s a beautiful mare, Kirs. Do you remember mom taking us to see horses at the zoo when we were little?” He asked.
“No…” I thought as hard as I could,”…I don’t.”
“Wow, that memory crap they gave you must have been stronger than I thought. She took us all the time.”
“Well, they said resurrection is very painful, they only gave me that to keep me from remembering the pain.” I said.
“Well, there’s a reason resurrection hurts so bad, Kirs..”
“Because it’s not supposed to happen. People try to play god with their magic and stuff, it’s just Mother Nature trying to fight back. A battle that she loses often nowadays though.”
I cocked my head and squinted my eyebrows in confusion.
“What are you talking about, Cody?”
“Nah, forget I said anything, Kirs.” He tapped my leg and set the brush on the ground.
“Kirsten… It seems like you have a great life here, but I really think you would have loved growing up in Riverview. Hannah is such a good person. And her daughters are great too, Emma and Stephanie. They’re like little sisters to me. But you are too, of course!” Cody said.
I had to admit, the idea of having siblings running around, and growing up with relatives around me, was an attractive thought. Still, I’m thankful for the way things turned out. If I didn’t end up0 here, would I have ever met the Darlings?
“Why don’t you and the kids come meet the family? You’d love them! It would only be a few days or so… Come on, whatta ya say?” Cody asked.
“Eh… I dunno Cody. Hannah didn’t even want to try to accept that I came back. I ended up in foster home after foster home before finally meeting the Frios.”
“And trust me, Hannah feels terrible about that..”
“Yeah? Then why’d she keep me a secret from you all these years?”
“You don’t think I’ve considered all of this Kirsten? Okay, so what if she did tell me? Sure I’d know about you, but what if your foster parents didn’t want me to meet you? How are you supposed to explain that to a teenage boy and his baby sister?”
I sighed heavily, “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. But if I do go, I want to take my husband, and leave the babies with their grandpa. Long trips plus tiny babies are not fun.”
“Ha, fair enough. So you’ll go?”
“Yeah, I’ll go.”
Upon seeing the house I spent the first part of my life in, in Riverview, I was overcome with emotion, and memories.
I just wanted to sit down and sort through all the new memories flooding back to me, but everything was happening so fast.
“Well, here it is. Are you ready?”
“Just a sec.. I can’t believe we’re here. This is it.”
“Hey, I get it, it’s overwhelming. Take your time.”
He opened the door, and Seymour and I slowly walked in.
“Wow… This is beautiful… Not that different from how I..”
“Remembered it?” Cody finished my sentence.
“…Yes. Remembered it.”
“AH!” A loud shriek from the other room pierced our eardrums as a beautiful older woman made her way to us, covering her mouth in awe.
“There she is! Little Kirsten Remington, oh! You’re real! I can’t believe you’re real!” She hugged me tightly, the light scent of vanilla perfume danced around me.
“Oh, you are so pretty. Doesn’t she look just like her mother, Cody?”
Cody didn’t have time to answer before Seymour and I were whisked away into the kitchen.
“Aiden went to pick the girls up, you’ll meet them soon. I’ll make some coffee for you three, you must be exhausted! Oh! Cody… Go get the family albums will you… I have a feeling little Kirsten and her lovely beau will love those!”
Cody plopped down a large pile of books on the table in front of me.
“Well what are you waiting for? Take a look sweetheart!” Hannah insisted.
I slowly picked up one of the books and opened it in front of me.
“Most of the pictures are modern, but there are a few of us in there.” Cody added.
I was very excited to see any pictures of my own relatives, but my eyes widened big, when Cody said there were some of us in there. I haven’t seen a picture of myself any time before I was adopted.
I took a deep breath and opened the book.
As I flipped through the pages, I stopped at a child-made drawing.
“It’s us, Kirs!” Cody smiled.
I froze, “Did I draw this?”
“Yep, quite the artist, eh?” Cody laughed.
“Oh my god, my kindergarten yearbook! Look Sy! There I am!” I cried, pointing to my photo.
I wiped the tears from my eyes, when I realized how old the photos looked. Just more proof that I’m actually here from being resurrected.
“This was the last photo taken of us before we died. It was actually that day.”
I gasped loudly, covering my mouth.
I began to remember my parents and their personalities. My Mom was so friendly, and would talk to anyone who would listen. But at the same time, she was a bit snobby.
“We were a bit younger here. Look how adorable you were!”
Hannah squeezed my shoulder, and Seymour rubbed my leg. I grabbed Seymour’s hand and squeezed it slightly, smiling at him.
“Aww a wittle baby Kirsten!” Seymour giggled.
Hannah handed me a tissue. “It’s okay sweetie, cry if you need to!” She said.
“Look, little sister. That’s me, and there’s mom, when she was pregnant with you. That’s when mom and dad got married.” Cody explained.
“Yep! And that little girl, that’s my mother, Jasper’s little sister, Lydia. Grandma had her a lot later than she did Jasper.” Hannah added.
I felt my stomach drop when I flipped to a series of glamorous photos of a woman who looked almost exactly like me. Each was signed ‘Eileen Remington’.
“Didn’t I tell you you looked just like her? Just beautiful!” Hannah said.
“She always told us she was going to be a movie star. Very ambitious, mom was.” added Cody.
“You’re ambitious too, Kirs!” Sy smiled, kissing my hand.
“Mom and dad loved us so much Kirsten! They’ll always be waiting for us to join them.” Cody said.
“But only when the time comes, Cody…” Hannah hushed Cody from the coffee machine.
Just then, Hannah’s husband Aiden, and their two daughters Stephanie, and Emma entered the room.
Later that day, Seymour, Cody and I joined the girls in a big open field to have a water balloon fight, something they do quite often.
Before getting too wet, Emma and I opted out of the game and let the others continue, while her and I went for a walk around Riverview.
“It’s so beautiful here. What was it like growing up around here?”
“Heh, nothing special!”
Both Emma and Stephanie were sweethearts, but there was something special about Emma. I could really see myself becoming close to her.
“I’m so excited to finally meet you guys. Cody has told me so much about you. I hope we can all grow from here, and maintain a close relationship. Cody and I are really so lucky to have been given a second chance at life.” I admitted.
“Kirsten, I think there’s a lot that Cody didn’t tell you..” Emma blurted.
“Like what?” I stopped her.
“He doesn’t necessarily feel the same way about magic and resurrection as you do..”
“Yeah, I kinda got that vibe from him. Maybe he’ll change his mind one day and figure out how much of a blessing it really is.” I said.
“That won’t happen Kirsten… He’s like a big brother to me, he’s always been there. I just.. I don’t want to lose him.”
“What? What do you mean lose him? Talk to me.”
“He thinks you two were never meant to be brought back. He thinks you should be with your parents. He won’t be here much longer, Kirsten…”
I gasped. “Does he plan to… hurt me?”
“No no, not you. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, honestly.. He just wants to go back. And he wants you to go with him…” She began to hold back tears.
“Listen sweetie, don’t cry, it’ll be okay… Cody’s not going anywhere. And neither am I, I’ll try my best to stop him okay?”
She began to cry hysterically, and I put my arms around her to calm her down.
“It’s okay, shhh… Everything will be fine..”
After sitting down with my husband and having a good long talk, I decided that I needed to confront Cody.
Hannah told me where he’d be, a fishing spot, where he spent most of his time. Seymour agreed to wait in the car for me, in case anything goes wrong.
“Oh hey sis.” He greeted.
I took a seat next to him and watched him fish.
“Sure is pretty out here…” I began.
“Yeah… I know. I come out here to get away from things ya know?”
“You have a great life, Cody. What’s there to get away from?”
“More than you think, Kirsten.”
“Look, I know what you’re planning to do, and I won’t let you do it.”