Priscilla flinches, knowing all too well they have found a way back to our dimension and was back to get me. “She’s not here right now. She…”
“Went for a run,” Jack finishes for her. “We know we saw her running off down a trail out back.”
A tired voice comes up from behind Priscilla, “Hunny, who is at the door? Did Charlie forget her headphones again?”
“No, it’s not Charlie, John. It’s Jack and Darlene,” my mom whispers, unable to find her voice.
“Jack and Darlene?” John appears at his wife’s side in an instant, sleep gone from his voice and face as he peers wide-eyed outside at the two people on the porch. “How…?”
“How are we back? Well, after our experiment went wrong, the portal opened, and it sucked us into a world before technology. We tried to find our way back,” Jack tells him. “With what we had brought with us, we could begin building again, but it took quite a few years to get everything that we needed to get the portal built and running properly.”
John blinks several times, “I can’t believe it.” He shakes his head, laughing, “Well you two, come inside and gave some coffee and breakfast with us. We have a lot to catch up on, don’t we?” He pulls Priscilla out of the way so that their once lost friends from the past could enter their home.
“Thank you, John, we would love to join you for coffee and breakfast,” Darlene tells him as she heads inside with a smile on her face. “Again, Priscilla, I love your house. It is so beautifully decorated.”
“Thank you, Darlene. I am thinking of switching some items out with new ones and maybe paint some rooms a different color to freshen up the place,” Priscilla says as she leads the two to their kitchen.
The four enter the spacious kitchen, Priscilla pointing to the island where there are a few stools for the two to sit on. Jack and Darlene sit down while John and Priscilla busy themselves making coffee, getting out four mugs, and pulling out items ready to make for breakfast.
“Charlie told me she wants Eggs Benedict for her birthday breakfast,” Priscilla tells John as she pokes her head into the refrigerator. She pulls out the ingredients to make the special breakfast. “She always wants the complicated food for her birthday,” she chuckles as she looks back at their guests. “Last year, she wanted strawberry and banana pancakes with strawberry syrup.”
Jack and Darlene chuckle while they watch the couple who took in their daughter after they had vanished to another dimension busily set out the ingredients on the countertop by the oven.
“Do you all want Eggs Benedict, or would you rather have something else? Have you all ever had any in the other dimension?” Priscilla asks Jack and Darlene as she gets the eggs ready.
“Sure, why not? Might as well enjoy whatever our little Charlene wishes to eat on her birthday,” Darlene says lovingly as she looks at Jack, not answering the other question.
John and Priscilla glance at one another before they continue to bustle around the kitchen to get the special birthday breakfast nearly done by the time I return home from my jog.
“I hope you all like dark roast coffee because that is all we drink in this house,” John tells the couple as he scoops out the coffee grounds, putting them in their coffee maker. Soon the robust smells of coffee fill the kitchen, mixing with the mouthwatering smells of bacon and cooking ham, making the kitchen feel more homely.
“It all smells delicious. I will definitely need copies of the recipes that Charlene likes so I can make them for her at our home,” Darlene says as she accepts the light blue coffee mug from John, nodding her thanks at him. “We plan on getting a home somewhere close to your home. This place is so lovely!”
Priscilla clears her throat a bit as she stirs the sauce to get it exactly right. “I can get you the name and number of the realtor we used if you like. She is great, and we got this house for lower than the asking price since it was in worse shape 14 years ago when we first moved here.” Her body is tense, but she forces to keep her voice light and friendly. “I am sure she can find you a magnificent house in the area. We know of three other houses close by that are for sale that you two might like.”
“Oh, that would be wonderful, Priscilla, yes please,” Darlene says, clapping her hands together.
“Charlene will have to stay with you all until we have bought our house, and we have moved our belongings form the other dimension to this one if that is okay with you two,” Jack says after taking a sip from his coffee mug. “Plus, we need to bring our two cats and dog through the portal, though we aren’t sure how they will react to the jump. We have never tried it with animals, only ourselves.” He takes another sip, “And I definitely need to know what coffee this is because it tastes amazing!”
John leans against the counter, jaw clenched as he grows more and more irritated with how these two strangers are talking about taking his and Priscilla’s daughter from them. Jack and Darlene may have been their friends once upon a time, but they have been MIA for 16 years now and weren’t anything like they used to be, both of them being more polite and just seemed strange to John. “That is, if she even wants to go with you two.”
Jack and Darlene turn their shocked gaze at John, who doesn’t back down, turning to face them. Priscilla looks at her husband with admiration for saying what he has out loud since she too doesn’t want them to take their daughter away from them.
Darlene glances over at Priscilla’s back, trying to force the woman to turn around and join in the discussion. But Priscilla ignores the glare from Darlene and continues to cook, silently cheering her husband on as she grabs the plates out of one of the overhead cabinets for their food.
“John, you and Priscilla knew we would do everything to get back here so we can be with our daughter. And you knew that once we found our way back that we would take her back with us to raise her since we are her rightful parents,” Darlene practically spat out at the man who she had thought was their best friend.
“And we warned you both that after having Charlie, you should stop trying to make portals to other dimensions and just be here for her,” John tells her in an even voice, not raising it as he stares her down. “You didn’t stop and a month after having her, you two disappeared, leaving her alone.” John shifts his weight from one foot to the other as he leans back against the counter behind him, his cloudy gray gaze never leaving Darlene’s startled crimson green eyes. “We adopted that girl and have raised her into an amazing young lady…”
“And we are grateful for all of that, John,” Jack growls lightly. “But she is still our daughter and we will take her back to finish raising her as our own and make up for lost time. She is a Stone, not an Adams.”
Priscilla turns on her heel, ready to fight words with words, but she stops when she sees me standing at the entrance of the kitchen. I narrow my eyes as I glare at the people sitting with my parents. I had heard a little of the conversation, but what made me mad is that the man had said I wasn’t an Adams but a Stone. How can that be true? My last name is Adams, I have been writing it that way for years.
“I am an Adams, sir, and I think it is time for you and your wife to leave,” I snarl.