Darlene and Jack turn to look at me, shocked that I had appeared out of nowhere. I wipe the seat from my forehead, still glaring at the strangers. I remove my earbuds from my ears and shove them into my pocket that holds my phone. I shift one foot forward, cross my arms, and narrow my eyes again at them.
“Hunny, I think you, dad, and I should go talk in your room,” my mom tells me as she walks over to me. She places her arms around my shoulders and leads me away from the kitchen to the stairs.
I can hear my dad tell the strangers in the kitchen something before he walks out and follows us up the stairs to my room. I walk into my room, brushing my mom’s arm off of my shoulders, and plop down on my bed, facing my parents. My dad closes the door before grabbing my desk chair, plopping down into it with a gruff sigh. My mom perches herself on my bed beside me, gently taking my hands in her as she glances over at my dad before looking back at me.
“Sweety, a month after you were born, the people that are sitting downstairs had made a portal and disappeared into it,” my dad tells me. “They are our old colleagues, the ones that we told you about, Jack and Darlene.”
“Yea, okay, I remember you telling me that story. But how did they get back and why did Jack say that I am a Stone, not an Adams?” I ask, confused.
“They apparently built another portal in the dimension that they had disappeared into, and finally after all these years found the way back here. And he said that because, Hunny, those people downstairs are your biological parents,” my mom says in a quiet voice. “We adopted you immediately after they had disappeared through the portal.”
I look from my mom to my dad and back to my mom as I do my best to understand what they have just told me, “They are…? Why did you guy never tell me this?”
“To protect you, Charlie,” my dad says, leaning forward in his chair. “We promised to take you in as ours before they finished their experiments and before they vanished. And that is exactly what we did! We love you, Charlie, and you are our daughter, blood or on a piece of paper, it doesn’t matter. You will always be our daughter.”
I sit silently, letting the information roll around in my mind as the shock keeps my lips from saying anything. My mom and dad look at each other before they look back at me, fear in their eyes since they didn’t know how I will react once I have processed all the information. My mom worriedly brushes back some of my hair that has escaped from my ponytail during my morning run.
“I want to take a shower and then I will join you and the Stones for breakfast,” I finally mutter, still not understanding what they have just told me. Adopted? The Stones who are sitting downstairs in my kitchen are my biological parents? And they want to take me away from my parents, the Adams?
I stare down at the floor, listening to my parents stand up and walk out of my room, talking in hushed voices. I sit on the bed for a few more minutes before I force myself to stand and undress, tossing my workout clothes in the dirty hamper that sits by my bathroom door as I head inside. After I get the water to a nice warm level, I step inside and stand under it, letting the water comfort me and wash away the dirt and grime from the run. After a few numb minutes, I sit down on the cold tub bottom and wrap my arms around my legs, letting myself get lost in my thoughts.