Sunrise dawned upon the suburbs of the Belpois family’s neighborhood and bright light from the sun filled the rooms of both Maya and Adele, causing them both to slowly stir with a great amount of fatigue on their faces. After all they had discovered last night with the others, both were completely prepared to just remain in bed and sleep the day away.
To any teenager, Saturdays would normally be a day filled with fun and excitement. Most kids would be sleeping in and then would wake up to go out and enjoy activities like seeing a movie or getting a bite to eat.
But after all the previous night’s events, this just didn’t feel like one of those days, even when both their mother and father called them down for breakfast.
Finally, after about 10 minutes of repeated shouting from their parents, both Belpois children arose from their beds and headed downstairs to join their parents for breakfast, still rubbing their eyes. At that moment, both their parents could see their children looked exhausted, which prompted Mrs. Belpois to ask, “Maya, Adele, are you both feeling okay?”
Nothing but the sounds of snoring could be heard from both their daughters, which suddenly ended after Mr. Belpois touched the shoulder of Adele and the youngest of the family sprang awake blurting out, “We’re sorry, we didn’t mean to!”
Very confused by their words, Mr. Belpois asked his daughter, “What are you talking about honey? You didn’t mean to do what?”
Now realizing what she had just said, Adele froze in her words, but Maya quickly jumped in to her rescue saying, “Um, she means we didn’t mean to take so long getting up from bed. It was just a long night out, that’s all.”
“No worries sweetie,” said their mother compassionately. “Your father and I were much the same way growing up.”
“The only difference is, they don’t have to deal with campus rules and regulations like we did,” added their father remembering the days of avoiding Jim when they came home late from battling X.A.N.A.
Nonetheless, their parents reminded them that they were only allowed out at a later hour, as long as they came home with either their friends, or their boyfriends’ who could protect them, and didn’t stay out past 12AM from then on.
Both agreed to their terms and Maya led the family in a prayer before they took part of the great breakfast put out before them. But while they ate, the oldest of the Belpois children looked over Adele’s way and gave her sister a look that appeared to say, Be careful what you say.
As she received her sister’s warning glare, Adele’s phone vibrated and displayed a message from her guardian prince that read, “Morning Princess. :D
You wanna hang out today? I can bring my guitar to your place, and we can enjoy some worship with Kevin and Maya. Let me know what you think... Jace. :)”
Feeling that his offer was perfectly timed, the blonde haired teen quickly replied saying, “Sounds fun to me. :) Come on over around 1PM. Mom and dad will be gone doing some shopping, so we can all hang out then. See you later my Prince... :)”
“Um, mom... dad...” said Adele.
“Yeah honey,” replied her mother reaching for another slice of bacon.
Still acting rather nervously, but for a whole different reason, the girl asked, “Um, would it be okay if Maya and me invited Kevin and Jace over to do some worship while you two go off shopping?”
Looking at each other to decide, both agreed and pointed out that as long as they behaved responsibly and didn’t do anything crazy while they were gone, it would be okay.
“That also includes any long makeout sessions,” stated Mr. Belpois in a slightly more stern tone.
“Daddy!” said Maya and Adele blushing profusely.
Looking at her husband’s matter of fact look on his face, Mrs. Belpois said, “You heard what your father said. Keep it within reason girls.”
Reluctant to accept, the girls ultimately agreed and whispered to each other, “That’s our parents.”
As Mr. and Mrs. Belpois prepared to leave to go shopping, the doorbell rang and the girls raced down the stairs to open the door, revealing Kevin carrying his laptop and Jace with his guitar in hand.
Both welcomed them in with a warm hug and a passionate kiss broken up by a cough by Mrs. Belpois, acknowledging their presence in the hall.
Like a flash of lightning, both couples quickly separated and looked in opposite directions like nothing happened. Of course, massive blushing could be seen from each of their faces indicating heavy embarrassment getting caught.
“Um... uh...” stammered Jace as he looked over and saw both Belpois parents standing at the staircase. “Uh, hi Mr. and Mrs. Belpois. Um, it’s not what it looks like.”
“What is it?” asked Mr. Belpois sarcastically with the same fatherly stare he first gave Jace and Kevin when he met them.
Unable to answer, Jace and Kevin remained silent, but Mrs. Belpois couldn’t help but laugh a little at their nervousness and said, “Don’t worry boys, what happens with you and our girls is none of our business. Just be a little more discrete please.”
Both replied in unison saying, “Yes Mrs. Belpois.”
As she gathered her purse, both Mr. and Mrs. Belpois approached the door and turned their children saying, “We’re off kids. We’ll be back in about a few hours. And girls, you remember our little agreement?”
Sighing deeply, both girls said sarcastically, “Yes mom, we remember.”
“Good girls,” she replied. “We’ll see you later.”
After the door closed, the boys let out a major sigh as their girls laughed at their nervousness.
“Ha ha, glad you two got a kick out of that,” said Kevin as the four entered the family room.
As everyone took a seat on the couch next to their significant others, Jace asked both Adele and Maya, “So, how’d you both sleep last night? You know, after all that happened?”
Looking at each other, both said in unison, “Not very good.”
“Neither did we,” said Kevin letting out a yawn. Looking in Maya’s direction, he continued saying, “I kept thinking about your dad’s diary and talking about his thought that this X.A.N.A. thing could possibly come back.”
“So did we,” said Maya. “Right now, I’m just more afraid mom and dad will find out somehow that we turned back on that supercomputer last night.”
“Why’s that?” asked Jace slightly concerned himself.
It was at this moment Adele’s head hung low as she explained her near blurting-out of last night’s events as her dad startled her awake. While everyone was fearful her father may have gotten curious to her reaction, Maya defended her sister saying, “Still, that’s not what I meant by mom and dad finding out. What I meant was, dad always has programs running on his computer every night while he sleeps. What if one of those programs checks if that supercomputer has been turned on recently or not?”
Sounding plausible to each of them, each of the curious teens became more worried to the possible discovery of their activities the other night.
“Well, whether he has a program like that or not,” Jace said breaking the silence, “there’s no way we’re gonna be able to check it out ourselves. For now, why don’t we lift up this fear as a prayer to Christ and ask Him to give us guidance on what to do?”
“Good idea,” affirmed Kevin. With that, the four began to partake of worshipping the Lord through the singing of Came to My Rescue and Desert Song. In between singing, Jace found a verse that proved to be helpful to the four as they still remain locked in a state of confusion and fear about how to handle the discovery of the supercomputer and Lyoko:
16“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light...” - Isaiah 42:16.
“Wow,” said Maya. “Now there’s something I think we all needed to hear.”
Everyone agreed heavily, and wrapped up their time together with a group prayer asking for God to aid them in handling this newfound discovery of their parents’ secret and for Him to provide them a way to finally talk to their parents about the matter.
As each affirmed their prayer by saying, “Amen,” Maya suggested the idea of enjoying some fun playing some sports on their Wii. Feeling it would be a great way to perk them up everyone agreed and took the the virtual resort.
For the next few hours, each of the two couples took on each other in teams across each game in the collection. In between each game, the winning couples shared a victory kiss while the losing couples were forced to tell an embarrassing stories about themselves to each other.
Both couples remained tied with each other for about four rounds of gameplay, which revealed some interesting facts about each other, which included stories about Jace’s faux pas while eating pizza on his first date with Adele, Maya’s sudden outburst of the phrase “No more pudding!” during an English class the previous year, Kevin’s infamous tripping incident during lunch when his shoelaces were tied together by Tristan while he wasn’t looking, and Adele’s fear of the sound of the garbage disposal she carried from age 6-8.
Everything came down to one final game of bowling between the two couples, as both were now stuck at a tie with only one ball to go. With a gentle touch, Maya managed to knock down 9 pins on her final ball and said, “Good luck sis, looks like you gotta get a strike, or you both have to reveal the ultimate of embarrassing facts to each other.”
Feeling the tension beginning to mount, Adele walked over to Jace and had him give her a tender kiss for luck. Finally, with as hard a motion as she could make, the blonde teen threw a ball that brought down nine pins, but then saw a pin from the corner fly across and hit the last pin, giving her the strike needed for victory.
Jaw dropped at the sight of a loss handed to her by her sister, Adele couldn’t help by be a little retaliatory and said, “Remember when you said I’d beat you at something all in good time? Well, I guess that time is now.”
As part of the deal, Maya and Kevin each revealed their most embarrassing facts about themselves to each other. Maya began by telling about her first date with Kevin, and how one joke he uttered, caused her to squirt out soup from her nose after laughing while eating her dinner. After a few seconds of awestruck silence, everyone including Maya herself (after about five more seconds) began to burst out into a fit of laughter that lasted for nearly three minutes.
Finally, after everyone calmed down, Kevin then revealed a fact that was embarrassing, but was a completely different form of embarrassing.
“Well,” he began. “Like my dad did when he was our age, I keep a journal with my most private thoughts. I never show it to anyone... but...”
“But...” said Jace curious to what he was going to say next.
“I guess there’s no harm in sharing one entry I did recently,” finished Kevin as he pulled out a small black notebook labeled, Journal of Kevin Stern - Do Not Open.
As he began shuffling through nearly fifty pages, Maya then noticed one entry that had her name in it, and she quickly interrupted his search saying, “Wait a minute, that’s my name in there. What does that one about me?”
“What?” he asked nervously. “Oh uh... nothing. It’s nothing. Pretend you didn’t see that.”
“Nothing huh?” said Adele feeling slightly curious. “Well then, if it’s nothing, why don’t you share that one with us?”
Feeling slightly uneasy, Kevin defensively said, “Look, I said to forget you saw it. I’ll find another one to share.”
But in his defensive state, Maya reached out and took hold of his hand saying, “Please Kevin, would you share it with me? I promise I won’t be offended.”
“Well...” said Kevin stammering. “It’s not so much offending, but just more... well... what I feel when... when I’m with you.”
Surprised to hear his reasoning, Maya and even the others were curious to hear his entry and asked him to share the entry.
Taking a deep breath, Kevin let go of fear and read aloud his entry to everyone,
“June 7, 2012 - Just got back from my date at the movies with Maya. We ended up going to see ‘The Vow’ together. Had heard the movie was pretty good, and it was. I didn’t realize it was actually a true story, which made it better. Was cool to see them rebuild their relationship even with her amnesia, though I’m sure they probably wished at some point they could go back in time and change things.
“But one thing that’s definitely cooler than the movie, is that very girl I mentioned earlier. Just being with Maya makes the day that much better to enjoy. Whether were doing something fun or just hanging out, there’s always fun moments. Still, there are definitely some times where I wish I could go back in time and change some moments where I embarrassed myself in front of her... lol.”
Kevin then paused as he knew what was about to come next in his entry, but took another deep breath and continued, “But I mean, who wouldn’t feel like they were going to get lost in her emerald eyes, or hear the calming sound of her voice. And holding her soft hand... man... there’s something that can send your heart for a loop. Those are only just some of the things I like about her. I’m excited to see what happens as we get older and keep spending time together. Thank you God for bringing Maya into my life...”
As he finished reading the entry, the lovestruck boy blushed a dark shade of red and had thought Maya would be doing the same herself. His assumption was correct as the girl’s cheeks matched the very color of her hair.
But rather than say anything in response his entry, Maya let actions speak on her behalf as she cupped his face in her hands and deeply kissed Kevin for about seven seconds. Both couldn’t help but feel lost in a fog of ecstasy, until both Jace and Adele let out a sarcastic “Aww...” and then her sister uttered, “Looks like someone just broke mom and dad’s ‘no making out’ rule.”
“You’re one to talk ‘Miss Kiss Me for Good Luck,’” retorted Maya, causing her sister to blush and dip her head down; but not before Jace gently lifted her head and placed a quick, yet gentle kiss on her lips that made the young girl playfully say, “Alright fine, I guess I’m in trouble too.”
However, about a few seconds after their kiss ended, something came to Maya’s mind hearing Kevin’s journal entry mention, “...go back in time and change things.” At that moment, the eldest Belpois child remembered a note from her father’s video diary they saw the other night mentioning a program that could be used to, as he put it, “Return to the past.”
“Hey guys,” she said rather suddenly.
“What’s up Maya?” asked her sister.
Sitting up from Kevin’s embrace, the girl asked, “Do you guys remember when we heard dad mentioning some of the things the supercomputer could do... you know, aside from fighting this X.A.N.A. thing within Lyoko?”
Slightly clueless, everyone shook their heads, but Maya continued her thought saying, “Well, while dad was talking, he mentioned something about a way to literally return back in time. Apparently there’s a program on the supercomputer that can do it.”
“As cool as that sounds, what would that do for us?” asked Adele still confused.
“Well, I had an idea,” she began again. “What if we were to go back to the factory later this week and actually see what Lyoko looks like in person?”
Even more puzzled than ever, Adele asked, “What?! Are you crazy sis? There’s no way I’d do that. Not after all dad said happened there years ago.”
“I gotta agree with Adele on this one,” said Jace. “Besides, even if we were willing to try, what does this have to do with that program your dad mentioned?
“What do you think?” she asked rhetorically. “Because we would be returning back in time, no one will ever know we turned on the supercomputer again, which means mom, dad, and everyone else’s parents will never find out we did so.”
Looking at each other stunned by Maya’s proposal, the pink haired girl asked in a more serious fashion, “What? You mean I’m the only one who’s been curious about what this world looks like in person?”
After about a few moments of thought, Kevin sat up himself and said looking at Maya, “You know, it’s funny. At first I thought the idea was pretty crazy, no offense Maya. But now for some reason, I’m slightly curious to see this Lyoko myself.”
“What? Kevin, not you too!” replied Adele shocked at their agreement with each other. “Well, you can count me out of it. I’m not gonna go to some place that could still have something there waiting to kill me.”
Placing her hands on her sister’s shoulders, Maya said reassuringly, “Sis, remember, that X.A.N.A. thing is gone. Dad’s program destroyed it years ago.”
“But don’t you remember what dad said?” she asked trying to stir some logic in her mind. “Viruses can reappear at any point in time. What if we were there in Lyoko, and that thing came back and tried to kill us all and we didn’t know what to do? What then?”
It was at this moment Maya was reminded of a particular note about the program she mentioned earlier, and explained to her sister that the “Return to the past,” program could also reverse any attacks by X.A.N.A. should they happen.
Even though the facts didn’t favor her argument well, Adele refused her sister’s proposal, joined in by Jace’s uncertain fear of what could happen if things went wrong.
Seeing true concern showing in her eyes, Maya reluctantly accepted her sister’s decision and said, “Fine, that’s your choice. I’m not gonna force you to go. Kevin and I are still gonna go, but you two can stand there and watch.”
It was at this moment tears slightly started to form in Adele’s blue eyes and the youngest Belpois girl reluctantly nodded her head and replied with a somber tone, “Okay fine. But please, as your sister, can you please do me a favor and just sleep on it? If you still feel curious in the next few days and want to check it out, then Jace and I will go with you to the factory and watch.”
“Fine,” replied Maya hesitantly. “One thing’s for sure though, mom, dad, or any of our parents can know about what’s happening, or we’ll never hear the end of it… agreed?”
All agreed to the decision made as the others were informed of the plan via text message. While the response from everybody was initially negative to the idea, once mention of the “Return to the past program was made,” one negative at a time turned to a positive in a chain reaction, and everyone soon after agreed to join them, with only Carine (being the oldest Della Robbia), being daring enough to go with Kevin and Maya to Lyoko.
But was it such a smart idea? Could the risk of going to Lyoko in person somehow bring X.A.N.A. back and put their lives in jeopardy? Or could the “Return to the past program,” be a potential scapegoat for the gang to see the very world their parents saved years ago?