The next day Joshua walked into Emily’s room and sat down next to her. He waited patiently looking at her peaceful and gentle face for her to wake.
“Hannah,” Emily mumbled gently from the bed. “Hannah, Hannah.”
Joshua bent down and grabbed Emily’s hand. “It’s alright Emily. Everything’s fine.”
Emily slowly opened her eyes and sat up on the bed. “Hannah. Hannah was here. I saw her. She was here.”
Joshua nodded. “She is here. She’s waiting outside for you. Can you calm down for me first please?”
Emily closed her eyes as she started taking deep breaths to steady herself. She opened them after to look at Joshua. “I’m fine.”
Joshua smiled as he stood. “Alright let’s go. I should warn you. She may look a little different from the Hannah you remember.”
“I don’t care.” Emily stood from the bed and walked out with Joshua.
Emily walked out to the lounge room with Joshua. She spotted Hannah with her back to her standing next to Karissa. “Hannah.” Emily breathed.
Karissa nudged Hannah with her elbow and Emily could see her shoulders rising as she took a deep breath. Emily gasped when Hannah turned to face her. She could now see that Joshua was right.
Hannah looked completely different from last she saw her. She had gotten rid of her glasses and her eyes were now blue-forest green. Her hair was still wavy blonde but it had red streaks throughout it. Just like Joshua, her skin was glowing white with flecks of black dots.
“Hannah?” Emily breathed as she took her best friend in. “Is…. Is that you?”
Hannah smiled. “I may look different but I’m still me.”
Emily looked to Joshua then back to Hannah. “You’re a Karannas?”
“Yes,” Hannah replied nodding.
“Mr. and Mrs. Grieves?”
Hannah shook her head. “They aren’t my real parents Emily. Their daughter died two weeks before I was chosen to replace her. They didn’t know the difference. The Grieves’ don’t even know that I’m gone. They still think that I’m in college. I was sent there to keep an eye on you. When we met at the playground those bullies that you sent away were actually Karannas pretending.”
“Why were you chosen to be with them?” Emily asked. “Because you were my Charge. I was chosen to be close to you at all times. Reiki knew about you then so I was chosen to stay close to you.”
“Then why did you leave?”
“Because he told me to,” Hannah replied indicating towards Joshua. “He told me to leave to go on an errand for him. I didn’t want too but I had no other choice. Joshua commanded me to leave.” Hannah rolled her eyes at that and muttered under her breath. “Brothers.”
“Wait what was that?” Emily asked surprised. “Brothers?”
Hannah laughed. “I knew you would hear me.” She looked to Joshua. “Joshua is my older brother.”
Emily looked to Joshua then back to Hannah. “Your brother and sister?”
Joshua and Hannah nodded together. “Yes, I’m the older one,” Joshua said proudly.
Emily looked at each of them uncomfortably. “Can I…. can I ask you all how old are you?”
Joshua chuckled. “I am over four thousand years old. Although I look like a 20 year old.”
“2 thousand years,” Karissa said. “My body stopped ageing at 19.”
Hannah rolled her eyes. “990 years. Stopped ageing when I was 18.”
“Why the age difference?” Emily asked.
“Our parents didn’t want another child for a while,” Joshua said smiling.
Hannah rolled her eyes. “Keep telling yourself that dearest brother.” Joshua chuckled.
“I have two questions for you, Emily said to Hannah. “You said that you stopped ageing at 18 but when we met you were only four. And my other question is how come you didn’t remember Karissa when you clearly do.”
“There is something that we can all do only once,” Hannah explained. “Age backwards. It takes great concertation and energy to do so. When I was sent on my mission to stay by you, I had to age my body to that of a four year old since it would look weird for an 18 year old to friend a four year old. As for your second question, humans usually forget about us so I had to act like I never knew about Karissa.”
“So all along you knew about each other?” Emily asked confused.
Hannah nodded. “Yes.”
“She called you Glasses, though.”
Karissa chuckled. “Always wanted to call her that. Those glasses made her look ridiculous.” "
Yes,” Hannah replied sourly.“Wasn’t really impressed about that.”
Karissa rolled her eyes. “You’ll get over it. I was just having some fun.” she clapped her hands together before taking a step towards Emily. “That’s enough of that. It’s time for some training. I hope you’re ready.”
“Shouldn’t we have breakfast first?” Emily asked.
Karissa shook her head. “We’re skipping breakfast.” She turned to the front door. “Follow me.”
“I have an uneasy feeling that I’m not going to like this,” Emily muttered to herself as she slowly followed Karissa out the door.