My Twin Brother’s Finally Returned is the fifty-seventh chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on February 26, 2016.
I could hardly believe me eyes. My twin brother, who’s been missing for four months, was standing before us right now.
He looked different, like he’s been working out. He was wearing a dark green T-shirt, with cargo pants and sneakers like he was training to be in the army or something. But his face still looked the same as I remembered it.
I couldn’t think of anything to say. So I did the logical thing: I ran to him and gave him a hug with tears streaming down my face.
He hugged me back. “It’s ok. I’m home now.”
I didn’t want to let him go, but I knew I had to eventually.
“Hey, come on,” Selena complained. “I want to hug him too.”
I pulled away and let them hug. She also gave him a kiss.
“Can we stop with the hugs now?” Zack asked.
I wiped my tears away. Zak came near, wrapped his arm around me, and pulled me close to him.
Zack was eyeing me.
“Yes, I made up with him,” I said.
“I can see that,” he replied. “You can give me the details later. Hey, Zak.”
“Hey yourself,” Zak said. “Sarah just told me a little while ago what happened to you.”
His face darkened. “Yeah.”
“We already know what was done to you,” I said. “So can we please not relive it?”
“I agree,” Selena said.
“I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to relive it more than anyone else here,” Zack said.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “So how about I give Mom a call and we can all rejoice together that you have finally returned?”
“Not yet. I need to talk to you first. Alone.”
My eyes narrowed. “Why?”
“I’ll tell you once we’re alone. It’s important.”
I considered it. “Alright. Then, uh, we’ll be back in a while.”
“Ok,” Zak said, giving me a kiss on the cheek.
“Fine,” Selena said, also giving Zack a kiss on the cheek.
“So where do you want to talk?” I asked Zack.
“I have a place in mind,” he replied.
He grabbed my hand and we teleported.
We appeared on the roof of a house. There were more all around us, like a neighborhood, but I didn’t recognize it.
“Where are we?” I asked.
“In the Immortal world,” Zack replied.
I thought he was kidding, but after what he’s been through, I don’t think he’ll “kid” about anything for a while.
“It looks a lot like earth.”
“How did you know how to get here? I don’t even know.”
“Nick taught me.”
I stared at him. He was sitting on the roof, staring out into the distance with a serious look on his face.
“You met Nick?” I asked.
He nodded. “He saved me . . . three months ago.”
“What?! He saved you three months ago, and now you come home? Why?”
“He wanted me to recuperate before I went home and faced our family.”
“You could’ve recuperated at home.”
“I could’ve tried to, but when Nick brought me to his home, I knew I was safe, but my body didn’t feel like it was safe for a long time.”
“What do you mean?”
He shifted himself uncomfortably. “For the first few weeks or so, it was hard for me to even be just twenty feet from someone without trying to squirm away from them. I would really freak out and try to hide in a corner if they touched me, even if it was in a truly friendly way, like a comforting hand on my shoulder, or a pat on the back, or anything physical.”
“Why would you . . . oh.”
He took a deep breath. “Yeah. Nick didn’t want to send me home like that, so he wanted to help me be able to trust other people again, starting with him, even though it was harder since he was a man.”
“So, he was practically your therapist.”
“Kind of. Yeah. He even told me about Mom’s rape from what she told him because he didn’t meet her until about a month after it happened, like she told us.”
“I’m so sorry, Zack.”
“Yeah. Nick also wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t go after me again and to train me to be a strong Immortal.”
“I can see that,” I said, gesturing to his muscles. “But Mom was doing fine with training us.”
“Nick knows that,” Zack said. “But even she would have to agree that he does a better job at that than she does. After all, he did train her.”
“I know. But his sisters, Nikki and Nicole, they lied to Mom about you.”
“Yeah. They didn’t like it, neither did Alex, Madison, and Kiara, but he insisted and they let him because they know how much he misses our mom and how much she misses him.”
“You met Alex, Madison, and Kiara? Our older half-siblings?”
He nodded. “It was nice to have a brother for once. Not that my sisters are boring, because they’re not. Especially not you.”
He blushed. “They’re cool. But Madison and Kiara?” He whistled. “They look a lot like Mom. You do too. I have a feeling Emily will someday as well.”
I laughed. “Probably.”
“Yeah. One thing we all can agree on is that Mom is a cool Mom and that she tries with all of us. Like with me and Alex, she would teach us how to play basketball and bond together. And with you girls, well, you, Madison, and Kiara would always talk to her about anything because you know she’ll do anything for you at any cost.”
“Don’t you boys feel the same way?”
“Yeah. Alex actually told me that, after Nick had died, that Mom thought, and kind of tried, to commit suicide.”
“That doesn’t surprise me too much.”
“I mean, Mom told us that he had changed her life for the better, that he made her feel like life is worth living. Him dying destroyed that for her, but she managed to keep going without him.”
“Alex said that Madison and Kiara were ten and eight years old. Mom didn’t try because she knew that they needed her. So, basically, they kind of saved her life because of how young they were.”
“It sounds like it.”
“Yeah. Nick wanted me to get some exercise, so he made me workout in his home-made gym. It looked just like a gym on earth with a treadmill and weights.”
“And now you’re probably stronger than ever,” I said.
He smiled. “Nick has been spying on us for over the past decade since he’s been back to life. Mostly focusing on Mom for obvious reasons. He’s also secretly helped us through difficult situations. One in particular, the day we left the hospital after Emily was born.”
“I thought I recognized his voice.”
A little over a year ago, on the day we brought Emily home, we had an incident.
In the room where Mom was in, all dressed and ready to go, the nurse brought in our newborn baby sister and gave her to Mom. At least, we thought it was our newborn baby sister.
Mom, Zack, and I didn’t feel like it was her, but we weren’t sure how we knew that though. Dad, of course, was a clueless idiot, so he didn’t think that anything was wrong.
The nurse led us out of the hospital, and just as we started to walk to our car, a doctor stopped us. He was holding the real Emily in his arms. When he told us that she was switched with someone else’s baby, the nurse acted like she didn’t know, but she really did.
I wanted to hit her for trying to keep my baby sister away from us. Why she tried that? We may never know.
When the doctor switched babies with Mom, she looked shell-shocked. I didn’t know why then, but now I do. She recognized his voice, the voice of her dead first husband, Nick. And it was him.
I know we could use our powers to change our physical appearance and that’s what he did. Though we could also change the sound of our voices, and why he didn’t, I’m not sure. He probably wanted to let her know in some way that he was alive.
But I was still wondering something.
“How—or should I say who—brought him back to life?” I asked. “I already know how, since Mom explained it to us last summer.”
“Yeah,” Zack said. “Narma, the queen of the Immortal world who gave Mom her powers, brought Nick back to life.”
“Why did she wait so long if you only get one chance to do that?”
“To make it interesting and wait until Mom remarried to cause some drama.”
“That’s stupid and mean.”
“That’s how she is: mean, but not stupid. Anyway, yeah, Nick’s been keeping a close eye on Mom since he came back to life.”
“That’s creepy. He hasn’t been watching us undress or when we take showers, does he?”
“I don’t know. That question never came to mind. But if Mom loves him, I don’t think she would like someone who’s like that.”
I sat down next to him on the roof. “The roof of the house we’re on right now. Is this where he lives and where you’ve been for the past few months?”
Zack nodded. “Yeah. These houses are actually like our house: a mansion on the inside, but not on the outside.”
“This is probably where Mom got the idea of that.”
“It is. Nick told me.”
“Of course he did.”
“Yeah, uh, he also allowed me to watch you, but not the same way he watches Mom.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, he watches Mom in person by being invisible. But he let me watch you with, like, a magic mirror.”
“Like in Snow White?”
“Something like that.”
“So that was your voice that I heard in my head.”
“Yeah. I wanted to let you know I was alright, so I kind of begged Nick to let me contact you telepathically for a couple minutes. I’ve also seen you drink a few times.”
I didn’t want to meet his eyes, but eventually I did.
He looked at me the same way Mom did.
“Don’t,” I said. “Please.”
“I saw the conversation you had with Mom about it,” he said. “You know she’s right.”
“I know. So can we please move on to a different subject?”
“Ok. How about that song you wrote about me?”
After hearing Zack’s voice in my head, I came up with a good chorus, one that I already had but forgot about, and I was able to finish the song.
“You’ve probably already heard it if you’ve been spying on me,” I said.
Zack smiled. “Yeah, I have. But can you play it for me in person?”
I smiled back. “Of course.”
I summoned my guitar and started playing and singing:
What it means to know just who I am
You’re the voice I hear inside my head
You’re the remedy I’m searching hard to find
You’re the voice I hear inside my head
Been feeling lost
You’re the voice I hear inside my head
You’re the voice I hear inside my head
I finished the song and sent my guitar away.
“So,” I said. “What’d you think?”
“The same thing I always think when I hear you sing,” Zack said. “It was great.”
I smiled. “Thanks. It took me forever to write it.”
“Ok. Well, I told you what happened to me, so I guess it’s your turn to tell me how you and Zak got back together, because I didn’t see that part.”
I told him.
He didn’t seem surprised. “Well, at least you know he cares about you.”
“I know,” I said.
He examined my necklace. “I saw that glowing. Do you still not know how that happened?”
I shook my head. “No. Can you think of any reason?”
“No. Maybe Mom can, though.”
“Maybe. And did you know that she’s helping Doyle find Argost?”
He nodded. “Yeah.”
“Well, if you have nothing more to talk to me about, we should let her know you’re back.”
“Yeah, ok. But I do have one more thing to tell you.”
“Nick doesn’t want Mom to know that he saved me and helped me.”
“I didn’t think he would. So what’s the cover story?”
“Well, first of all, he only let me tell you and no one else. So you have to do the same and keep it a secret, especially from Mom.”
“It wouldn’t be the first time.”
“No, it wouldn’t be. And second of all, our cover story is that I was still held captive until Nikki, Nicole, and everyone else found me again today and saved me this time, ok?”
“Simple. But Mom’s going to find out someday.”
“I know. And Nick knows that too. He said he’ll tell her himself someday, because he’s not going to hide from her forever.”
“Ok. And when will that day be, exactly?”
“I don’t know. He doesn’t know himself. But . . . someday.”
I sighed. “Fine. I remember Mom saying that she owes him more than she can repay him for. Now, it’s more than she even realizes.”
“Yeah. But let’s not worry about that right now.”
“You’re right. Let’s not.” I gave him a sideways hug. “It’s good to have you back.”
“It’s good to be back,” Zack said.
I looked up at him during the hug.
He looked cute. No, handsome.
I found myself feeling drawn to him. I think he did to me as well, because he was leaning into me. I leaned in back until our lips touched.
After a minute, I pulled away. I looked at him, wondering why we just did that. We’re brother and sister. Twin brother and sister. It doesn’t get more weird or wrong than that. But I liked it, almost as much as I like it when Zak kisses me.
I clutched my necklace. “Umm . . . we should go. And . . . uh . . . go tell—”
Zack interrupted me by kissing me again. And I let him. I kissed him back. Hard. I couldn’t understand why, though. I don’t think he could either.
After a couple minutes passed, I pulled away again, breathing hard, and backed away this time. Zack looked a little hurt by that.
“Let’s go,” I said. “Please.”
He sighed and stood up. “Ok.”
He held out his hand to me. I grabbed it and we teleported.
We went back to the airship, where Zak and Selena were waiting for us.
“Hey,” Selena said. “Are you guys alright?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Why?”
“You two look kind of sad,” Zak said.
“It’s nothing. I’m going to go call my mom now.”
I grabbed my phone and went to a different room.
After I called my mom, she came to see Zack. She was crying for what happened to him. She and the animals welcomed him back home and they eventually did go home, but I decided to stay with Zak.
“Why?” Mom asked me.
“I’ve already spent my time with him,” I explained. “And it is still Zak’s birthday, so I want to spend the rest of it with him. But you guys can go and I’ll see you later.”
“Ok. If you say so.”
I made eye-contact with Zack and he could tell that that wasn’t the only reason why I was staying, but he didn’t say anything, so he probably understands.
Selena gave me a hug and I gave Zack one to not make it look like it was weird between us.
As weird as it was, I was still glad that he was back.
They went home and I was left alone with Zak.
I walked over to him and gave him a kiss.
“What was that for?” he asked.
“Just another birthday present from me,” I lied.
It was actually to remind me that he was my boyfriend, not my brother. But I was afraid that my relationship with him was never going to be the same as it use to be.
Alright. I want to make it clear that I do not condone this in any way. I added this to cause some ridiculous drama, but I also wanted to talk about this a little bit, because there seems to be an increase of it lately, especially from an article I read last night. I want to try and explain what you can do if you or someone you know experiences this, for whatever reason, especially when it gets as bad as it will later. It's going to be put on hold for right now, but I will come back to it before this story ends. Anyway, what do you guys think about Nick, and what he did for Zack?
And, quiz time!
What was the name of the song that Sarah sang for Zack, and who sings it?
Please review here.
- Nick (mentioned)
- Nikki (mentioned)
- Nicole (mentioned)
- Alex (mentioned)
- Madison (mentioned)
- Kiara (mentioned)
- Narma (mentioned)
- Emily Hollinger (mentioned)
- Doyle Blackwell (mentioned)
- Pikachu Hollinger
- Shillow Hollinger
- Amber Hollinger
- Kimbia Hollinger
- Kika Hollinger
- Chewie Hollinger
- Toto Hollinger
- Honey Hollinger