The next thing they knew, they were back in New York, where they had been 2 years ago. They were now holding hands again and looked around in both shock and amazement. The hot atmosphere surrounded their skin and the sound of tourists and taxis filled their ears. Next to their mom, their dad was there, holding her hands tightly as crowds of people filled the streets.
“We made it,” Georgia muttered in disbelief.
The rest of them, except her dad, who didn’t know all of this, cried happily with their hearts. However, the happiness and relief only lasted for a minute. Because now it was their job to figure out what was wrong and why they were sent back 2 years ago.
The sky was turning the color of a tangerine as they rode in an Uber, back to their AirBnB. The fluffy clouds were still visible in the striking orangeness of the sunset. Georgia’s cheek was pink from constantly pinching it. Gemma and Jacob were busy looking around every second, still unable to believe it! Josh was quiet as always but held onto his mom’s arm tightly, scared of losing her again. Their mom was constantly lost in thought, trying to figure out how to make all of this back to normal again. And of course their dad was clueless, just so happy without knowing he may be the first to die.
They arrived at their house and all of them were so tired and stressed. However, they couldn’t let a day pass because they never knew how long they would stay in the past. Their dad went into the shower and they knew it was their only chance to talk.
“Mom, we have to send dad away for a while so we can talk more freely,” Georgia whispered.
“No, that wouldn’t help. How about we try to go home tomorrow? Tell dad I feel so sick,” Gemma suggested.
“Both of those are good ideas,” their mom complimented them.
“Okay, let’s first send dad and Jacob to get dinner for us. Just like two years ago,” Georgia said.
“Ooh! Okay! And then let’s ask dad to go back home tomorrow,” Gemma continued.
“Great plan girls!” Their mom was impressed by how clever her girls are.
Their plan went great. Jacob asked their dad to go get the famous New York Pizza and once they left, it was their job to get the airplane tickets as soon as possible and to come up with a plan to convince their dad more realistically and detailed.
The plan was set in 20 minutes, giving them 10 more minutes until their dad came back. Their plan was to get Gemma on the bed as if she was sick. They got the plan to make her look like she was sweating by getting some water on her forehead and back. And afterwards, their mom would tell their dad about the airplane tickets that were available the next day at 3 PM. The last thing was to pray and hope for a miracle to happen.
“Mom, I’m so nervous. What if it fails,” Georgia’s voice was filled with worry and nervousness.
“Oh, honey! We are gonna be all fine, okay?” Her mom hugged her tightly and also motioned for Gemma and Josh to join the hug.
“I love you mommy,” Gemma looked up at her mom’s teary green eyes with a comforting look.
“I love all of you even more,” their mom smiled, knowing crying wouldn’t help.
The 10 minutes passed quickly and the knock on their door got their heartbeats to beat faster and faster.
“Are you all ready?” Josh asked. It was one of the only times he talked.
The rest of them just nodded. Gemma was in bed with her face red from getting it colored with red lipstick. Her back was wet with warm water and so was her forehead. The rest of her body was heated up from the nervousness because it was now up to her acting skills.
Their mom opened the door.
“Hey, honey. We really need to go home as soon as possible. Gemma is sweating and her whole body is hot. I think she caught the flu or something. I just found airplane tickets for tomorrow at 3 PM,” their mom put on her best “worried” face with a slight frown.
“What? Let me see her,” their dad seemed surprised. Especially because it was unlikely for someone to get sick in just 40 minutes that badly.
Gemma half closed her eyes and acted like she was so sick.
“Are you okay? What happened?” Their dad asked.
Gemma just gave a small groan and shook her head no.
“Linda, I highly doubt we can’t even go home tomorrow if she is that sick. The airplane won’t let us board. Let’s see how she is tomorrow and if she gets even worse, we can take her to the hospital. If we buy the tickets and they don’t let us board, it is wasting our time even more,” their dad turned to their mom.
To be honest, all of them were surprised and didn’t think this far ahead.
“Daddy, I want to go home. I won't be as sick tomorrow after a good night's sleep. I promise,” Gemma said in a quiet, begging voice.
“Okay sweetie,” their dad said.
Georgia, Josh, Gemma, Jacob, and their mom all smiled secretly happily because their plan had worked.
“Linda, do you want to purchase the tickets?” Their dad asked.
“Yes but I don’t need to pay. We are just leaving earlier, that’s all,” their mom said with a slight smile of relief.
Two loud knocks surprised all of them.
“Who is it?” Their dad asked with a deep voice.
It was at that moment all of them got flashback memories of two years ago.
“I need help. Just a little. Can you provide me with two water bottles and some food please?” A homeless man in a brown jacket was at their door, just like two years ago. Back then, they thought of it as nothing too big of a deal.
Suddenly, the window where they could see the front of the door, showed the shadowman as a reflection of the homeless man.
Their mom gasped, being the first one to see that. Then, the rest of them saw. Except for their dad of course.
Without a second thought, they all started running towards the door.
“Stay-” they didn’t let their dad finish.
“Yes, of course! Georgia, please go grab bottles of water. Gemma, go get the canned foods of tuna and corn. Josh, go get the blankets. Jacob, go get my wallet from the bag,” their mom ordered quicker than any of them could even blink. However, in the rush of those words, they were all able to understand perfectly.
They all ran in all directions from the kitchen to the living room to the bedroom.
In just under 3 minutes, all the stuff was packed neatly into a plastic bag.
“Guys! What are you all doing? This man doesn’t need h-” before their dad could say the last word (help), the bag was handed to the man. Five bottles of water, five cans of food, one cozy blanket, a twenty dollar bill, and a handwritten note from their mom which read, “Hoping we helped and brightened your precious day” Love, the Brinson family.
The man accepted the bag gratefully and said, “I will repay you all someday. Thank you, thank you.” And with those words, five handprints appeared on the same window that showed the reflection.
“Mom, loook!” The children pointed.
“What is that?” Gemma asked as she put her hand onto a handprint that looked like hers. Then, as if the puzzle piece fit in, the frame lit up one-fifth of the way.
Then, they all put their hands onto their handprints and the frame lit up brighter than any star.
With those noises, the four Brinsons were taken back to their living room with the same Monopoly board in front of them.
“Oh. My. Goodness,” Georgia whispered. She looked to see if the whole family was there and she was happy to see all of her family members staring back at her. Her mom, Josh, Jacob, and Gemma were staring with sparkling eyes, filled with the same level of happiness as her.
“AHH!” Georgia screamed, surprised by the sudden knock at this late time of the night.
What is this knock? Is this the end of this adventure and mystery? What will happen next?
Find out in the next part of this story!
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