Blaike was the one who noticed the unknown presence first. His head shot up, gazing at the figure in front of him – or behind Annabelle and myself. Just like when he first woke up, Blaike went to reach for something, only realizing again that whatever it was, he didn't have it. I then wondered how many more times he was going to do that.
Regardless, Annabelle and I turned around, looking at the figure. He was wearing black robes, with his hood covering his face. Just like the man who had appeared in my dreams twice in a row.
"Who are you?!" Blaike and Annabelle yelled in anger towards the hooded figure. "Why are we-"
"I know you all are angered and confused," The figure interrupted, speaking in a calm, feminine voice. "So I will give you all an explanation."
The figure removed his robes, revealing to Annabelle, Blaike, and I an young woman. She had golden hair, fair skin, and brown eyes. She also wore a golden dress with sleeves and golden flats, with matching earrings, bracelets, and necklace. If not for the current situation, I would've thought she was beautiful.
"My name is Chrono. I am the overseer of Time. As for why you, Anabelle, and you, Blaike, are here… it is because I wanted to see how three people from different points in time would interact with each other."
Interrupting Chrono, I asked, "Are we the only ones who are forced to participate?"
"Well, I wouldn't say forced," Chrono answered. "But there are others – from different points in time – who are participating in this too."
Blaike added, "So… how long are we here for, anyways?"
"From tomorrow, June 28, to August 31, you three will be spending your lives together." Chrono explained.
"And we'll be able to go home after the end of August, right?" Anabelle asked warily.
As if knowing her concerns, Chrono answered, "As if time had never passed. Anymore questions before I take my leave?"
"Just one." I replied. "Why did you pick us three, and how?"
"Technically, that was two questions put into one sentence." Chrono responded with sass. "As for why, I guess you could say I was bored. As for how, though..." She then stared at me, grinning, "I think you know the reason already."
What did she mean by that? I thought to myself, confused.
She turned around and started to walk away, stopping a few steps before the entrance to the cave. "Before I go," She spoke. "There's something I need to warn you about. Do not tell anyone else about your true historical origins." She paused, then continued. "Oh, and Blaike?"
"Yeah?" Blaike answered.
"You're not allowed to tell these two children about what happens after 2020." And with that, she left.
Minutes passed until I decided to speak. "Wait, what happens between now and the next five years?" Before Blaike could answer, I quickly replied, "I don't have 2020 vision."
The reactions I was given by both Annabelle and Blaike were of confusion and disappointment. "Come on, it was funny!" I exclaimed.
"What was funny?" A voice asked from behind us. As I turned around, I saw Joseph with a confused look on his face. "Uh… who's this?"
"This is Blaike." I answered, then motioned towards Blaike. "Blaike, this is my twin brother, Joseph."
"Ah, so you're fraternal twins, then." Blaike said. "Well, it's nice to meet you."
"Same…" Joseph's voice trailed off. He turned to me, then asked, "So… what are we going to do with these two?"
"Not going to ask about what I wanted to tell you?" I answered.
Joseph replied. "I assumed that it was related to Blaike's appearance. Now could you answer my question?"
"Well, they already know about Annabelle…" I started. "Maybe we could pass off Blaike as a distant cousin."
"Nice try." Joseph retorted. "Karen already knows everyone of our relatives on dad's side."
I gave Joseph a disappointed look before speaking. "You know we have family on mom's side too, right?"
As Joseph and I were coming up with a plan, I overheard Blaike and Annabelle talking about our situation. Understandably, Blaike didn't know what was going on, and Annabelle was trying her best to relay the situation as she knew it. I would have to apologize to them both about the events that would take place later tonight.
It was almost 11 at night when Joseph, Annabelle, Blaike and I were heading back to the house. We were going over the plan once more before we reached the house.
"So, you all remember the plan?" Joseph asked.
"I pretend to be your cousin from your mother's side." Blaike answered.
"And my parents gave me permission to stay over at your place." Annabelle added.
"Let's just hope this plan works." I said, worried.
As we approached my house, I stumbled to take the keys out of my pant pocket. I shoved the keys into the lock, unlocked the door, and opened it. When we walked into the mudroom, the house was dark; the lights were turned off for the night. Not only that, but the house was quiet. Too quiet. Joseph and I braced ourselves, as we weren't sure what was going to happen next.
After the four of us took off our shoes, Joseph and I started to quietly lead Annabelle and Blaike to the two guest rooms.
"This way" I whispered. "It's just past the living room."
We started walking through the living room, but as we got to the middle of the room, the lights turned on.
"Aah!" the four of us, having our vision accustomed to the darkness, yelped in pain as our eyes were exposed to the sudden change in lighting.
"Sneaking around late at night, I see!" A voice emitted from behind us. Joseph and I winced at each other, knowing full well what was going to happen. We turned around to be greeted by our aunt Karen in a night dress. Not a pretty sight to see, to say the least. We also saw Aunt Karen's face filled with anger, for various reasons yet to be revealed.
"Aunt Karen, I-" I started to calmly explain the situation, but was cut off by my aunt.
"Explain this right now!" Aunt Karen exclaimed, "Why are there two strangers in my house?!"
"This isn't your house!" Joseph blurted out. From just the tone of his voice, I could tell he was fuming with anger. I always did have more patience than he did when it came to aunt Karen and Elda.
"You dare talk back to me?!" Aunt Karen yelled back.
"Stop talking to my cousins in that tone of voice." Blaike's calm, yet stern voice echoed throughout the room.
"What did you say?" Aunt Karen had lowered her voice, but she was still fuming with anger.
"Aunt Karen-" Before I could hopefully diffuse the situation, Aunt Karen kept on talking.
"You, who has waltzed himself into this house, dares to tell me to calm down?" Karen angrily asked. When Blaike returned her question with a stern-looking face, she continued. "And I doubt you really are related to these two."
"We may not be related by blood," Blaike had started to build up the lie Joseph and I had planned up for him. "But I am family nonetheless."
Karen crossed her arms, which signaled her intrigued for the topic at hand. She's buying it, I thought to myself.
Blaike continued with the lie. "You see, Annabelle and I were adopted into Aunt Yuko's youngest brother's family. Although we were adopted at different times, we are grateful to have such wonderful cousins as Joseph and Nolan."
Annabelle, who apparently wasn't used to being in the spotlight, responded. "Th-That's right! Blaike and I decided to visit during this time at their request, but since Blaike was working, I arrived a day earlier than him."
"Oh, really?" Aunt Karen dully spoke.
"I've only seen these two twice since I was adopted, but Annabelle hadn't seen them at all." Blaike added.
I stepped into the conversation. "We can talk more about this in the morning. I'm sure we're all tired, so if you don't mind me showing them to the guest room, I'll be doing just that."
"I'll believe your story for now." Aunt Karen's voice had brought a sense of foreboding. "Until I am given definitive proof that you all are lying, that is."
"Goodnight, aunt Karen." Joseph said, still angered.
Aunt Karen started walking to my parent's bedroom. Joseph went back to his room to grab a few pairs of pajamas while I showed Blaike and Annabelle to the guest bedrooms. When Joseph got back, he handed Annabelle a t-shirt and plaid pajama pants. Given her height – which I'm guessing is about 5'2" – she just took the t-shirt. Blaike took the pajama pants. He was about the same height as us anyways. I took a shirt and pajama pants.
I changed into the borrowed pajamas in the washroom, then came back to the living room to find our cat – an orange tabby – curled up next to a blanket on one of the couches. I laid down on the couch, falling asleep just after covering myself up in the blanket.