Everything Has Changed, Part 1 is the sixty-first chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on March 1, 2016.
“Emily, are you ok? You sound weird.”
I still couldn’t wrap my head around this. Why did this guy, whose name I didn’t even know and, at the moment, didn’t care enough to ask, think that my name was Emily?
“What do you mean that my voice sounds weird?” I asked him.
“I mean that it sounds different from what it usually sounds like,” he replied.
“Do you mean that in a good or bad way?”
“I’m not sure.”
“I’m not sure either. Look, I don’t know who you are, but I know that you’re not my boyfriend. And don’t even think about reasoning with me, because I won’t with you. I need to go find my mom.”
“Yeah, I think you should.”
“Oh, shut up.” I opened the door and left the room. “Mom!”
I looked in her room and didn’t find her there. It was morning, and I usually always found her in the kitchen, so that’s where I went. The sandy-blond haired guy followed me, which was annoying, but I let him.
My mom was in the living room with the animals and Pikachu with her, like they always were.
“Mom,” I said. “What’s going on?”
They all stared at me like I spoke another language or something. Well, it was the language of confusion.
Mom shook herself out of her daze. “Sorry. You just . . . sound different.”
“Yeah, uh, I think she also has amnesia, ’cause she doesn’t recognize me at all,” the sandy-blond haired guy said.
“I don’t have amnesia,” I said. “I may not remember you, but I remember that she’s my mom. Amnesia means that you lose your memory completely, that also means your own name.”
“I know what it means.”
“Emily, stop it,” Mom said.
I looked at her. “Why did you just call me Emily?”
“I—I don’t know.”
“What do you mean, Mom?” the sandy-blond haired guy said.
That surprised me. “Mom? You just told me that you were my boyfriend and you’re calling my mom ‘Mom’ like she’s also your mother?”
“Well, she kind of is.”
“Emily, what’s wrong?” Mom asked.
Everything, I thought, but didn’t say.
“Umm, I’ll be right back,” I said.
I ran down the hallway and into the bathroom, closing the door behind me. I looked at myself in the mirror. I didn’t look different at all from the way I usually look, but I seemed to be a little taller than I remembered.
I noticed something else too: the necklace Zak had given me was not around my neck. I vowed never to take it off when he put it on me, but now it was gone.
I got out of the bathroom and went to my room. That, however, was different. The walls were no longer violet, but silver. The shelves that were on them with my collection of stuffed animals were gone. My desk, bed, and nightstand were still there, though, except in different places around the room. On the nightstand there was a silver clock and a picture.
I picked up the picture and looked at it. That sandy-blond haired guy was in it. There was also a little girl, maybe about seven or eight years old, sitting on his lap. She had blonde hair and gray eyes.
Gray eyes? That’s something I’ve never seen before. She also seemed to be carrying some kind of knife by her side. She looked cute.
The two of them were smiling in the photo like they were the happiest kids alive. I thought that maybe they were brother and sister, but they looked nothing alike besides their blond hair. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t.
I put the picture back down and went to my bathroom. The walls in there were no longer lavender either, but silver as well.
I looked in the mirror again, this time, more closely. I looked like myself, but I somehow knew that it wasn’t me. It’s like my mom. We look ever much alike and if we were the same age, we could pass of as twin sisters, not a mother and daughter.
And speaking of twin . . .
I left the bathroom and went into Zack’s room. He wasn’t there and his room was different too.
I groaned and turned around and faced the sandy-blond haired guy. I was going to walk pass him when I noticed a black dragon about the size as Luke standing close behind him.
“Hey, boy,” I said, slightly confused. He greeted me and I ran my hand across his scales. “What’s your name?”
“His name’s Black,” the sandy-blond haired guy said.
I glared at him. “I was talking to him. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to find my brother.” I went back to the living room. “Mom, where’s Zack?”
“Uh, probably at his house?” she replied. “Why?”
That surprised me. “At his house?”
“Yes. It’s actually his birthday today.”
“Yes. We’re going to celebrate it later. After all, you only turn every age once, and you should always celebrate it until you’re tired of celebrating it like I am. Though, his birthday hasn’t been so much of a celebration in a long time.”
“What do you mean?”
She shook her head, a tear streaking down her face. “It’s hard to talk about.”
Today was Zack’s birthday. And since we’re twins, that means it was also my birthday. But that didn’t make sense. Yesterday was our birthday, the day the War of the Cryptids began. Yeah, I didn’t tell Zak about it, nor did I last year either because I had met him just before I turned eleven. I didn’t want him to make a big deal about it.
And speaking of him . . .
“Is Zak going to come celebrate?” I asked.
They looked confused.
“Umm, it is his birthday,” Mom said. “So, yeah.”
“No, not that Zack. I mean Zak Saturday. Is he going to come?”
Their expressions changed from confusion to concern.
“Emily, you don’t have to worry about him,” Mom said. “He’s not going to come.”
“Worry about him?” I asked. “Umm . . .” I decided that I wasn’t me, so I improvised. “Thanks . . . but I think Sarah would want him to come. After all, it is her birthday too.”
It felt weird talking about myself in the third person.
They looked at each other.
“She’s right,” Mom said. “Sarah would want that. And we do still keep some contact with the Saturdays.”
“Are you sure Sarah would want that after what he did to her?” the sandy-blond haired guy asked, gesturing to me.
“You never knew Sarah,” Mom said. “She and the rest of us know that he would never do something like that on purpose. Especially not to her sister, who was just a baby at the time.”
“He still did it,” he argued.
“I’m not going to argue with you about this, again. But, Emily, if you want to invite Zak for Sarah, I think it’s some what of a good idea. But you’re going to have to ask Zack first, your brother.”
I nodded. “Ok. Then I’ll go find him right now.”
Mom turned toward the guy. “Can you go with her?”
“I am,” he replied.
“No,” I said. “I want to go alone.”
“Do you even know where he lives?”
“Yes,” I lied.
“You don’t sound too sure.”
“Well, I can find him without your help.”
“Emily, let him go with you,” Mom said. “Please. And you two can bring Annabeth back with you.”
I restrained myself from asking who she was.
I sighed. “Fine. But don’t you even dare try and touch me, ok?”
He held his hands up. “I can do that better than Zak can. Come on, Black.”
Well, at least we were bringing him with us.
He stood next to the guy and we went outside. The sandy-blond haired guy headed down the street. Black and I walked by his side. I was getting really annoyed of calling him that.
“What’s your name?” I asked him.
He looked at me. “Luke.”
“Luke . . . ?”
“Yeah. You got a problem with that name?”
I shook my head. “No. It actually seems to fit you.”
“What’s up with you?”
I thought he was talking to me, but then I noticed Black looking at me and he kept brushing himself against me.
I don’t know, he replied to Luke, though I doubt he could understand him like I could. She feels different.
“It’s my aura,” I told him.
“What do you mean?” Luke asked. “Your aura?”
“Never mind. Now, where’s Zack’s house?”
We stopped in front of a house about a few houses down from my house.
“Well, that’s convenient,” I said.
Zack answered it a moment later. “Hey, guys. Come on in.”
“Hey, guys,” he greeted. “Come on in.”
I couldn’t believe me eyes. Zack was a grown adult. Even his voice sounded older that I wouldn’t have been able to recognize it if I talked to him on the phone. So you could say that I stood frozen in the doorway until Luke nudged me.
We entered into his house. I couldn’t believe how similar it looked to our house, but I knew that houses in the same neighborhood sometimes looked identical on the inside.
“Happy birthday,” Luke said.
“Thanks,” Zack replied. “Though it hasn’t really been happy for me for many years.”
“Zack, who is it?” a woman’s voice called from down the hall.
“It’s Emily and Luke, of course.”
Don’t forget about me, Black complained.
“Oh, right. Sorry. And Black.”
The woman entered the room with a smile on her face. “Hello, and good morning, guys.”
The woman was my best friend, Selena. I wanted to cry with happy tears. That must mean . . .
“Are you two married?” I asked.
They looked at me, surprised.
“Of course we are,” Zack replied, wrapping his arm around her. “You were the flower girl at our wedding, remember?”
“Umm . . .”
“You sound different, Emily,” Selena noted.
“Yeah,” Zack agreed. “Your voice doesn’t sound the same, but like someone familiar.”
“She doesn’t remember that I’m her boyfriend,” Luke said. “But she seems to remember who you guys are.”
“Is that so?”
Zack and I made eye-contact. I was hoping that he’d realize that it was me, not Emily, but then we were interrupted.
“Luke!” a small voice called.
A little girl ran into the room. It was the girl that was in that picture on my nightstand, and her eyes really were gray. I assumed that she was Annabeth.
She ran up to Luke.
“Hey, there’s my little girl,” he told her with a big smile on his face. “Did you have fun at your sleepover with Peter?”
“Yeah,” she replied. “But we watched a scary movie last night and I had nightmares about it.”
“What was the movie?”
“Friday the 13th.”
“Really?” Luke glared at Zack and Selena, who were smiling sheepishly. “You let her watch that?”
“They wanted to watch a scary movie,” Selena said. “So we got them that.”
He sighed and turned back to Annabeth. “It was only a movie. Nobody like that exists.”
“My mother would say different,” I muttered.
“I know,” Annabeth replied. “But if somebody like that does exist, I can cut them with my knife”—She unsheathed it from its sheath on her side and held it up—“’cause they can’t be mortal, but I know that you can cut them better than me.”
“Hey, don’t underestimate yourself. You’re just as strong as I am.”
“I doubt that.”
“Well, you are. And you’ll realize it yourself someday. But I’ll always be there to protect you.”
She smiled. “I know you will.”
She gave him a hug and he hugged her back.
I wanted to cry. That was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
“Is she his sister or his daughter?” I asked.
“Neither,” Zack replied.
“Well, they’re brother and sister,” Selena said. “Just not biologically.”
“Annabeth!” a voice called.
A boy, who was similar to Zack and was about the same age as Annabeth, came into the room.
“There you are.”
“Sorry, Peter,” she said.
“Let’s go play.”
“Hold on,” Selena said. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“What?” Peter asked.
“It’s your dad’s birthday.”
“Oh. Happy Birthday, Dad.”
Zack smiled. “Thank you. You can go play now.”
“Cool. Come on, Annabeth.”
“Wait,” I said. “How old are you?”
“I’ll be nine in three months. And you sound weird, Aunt Emily.”
“Yeah, you do,” Annabeth agreed.
“Yeah, I got it,” I said. “But you’re nine?”
“In three months I will be,” Peter said.
“How old are you turning today, Zack?”
“Twenty-five,” he replied. “Why?”
I did the math: 25-9= . . .
“Oh my God,” I said. “You two had him when you were sixteen?”
“Yeah, I know,” Zack said. “But we were able to make it work out. We got married a few years ago, bought this house, and even had another child.”
“Yeah,” Selena said. “Do you not remember? Anyway, she’s still asleep, and I don’t want to wake her up yet.”
“Oh, ok. Umm, I actually came here because I needed to come and ask you something, Zack.”
“Ok,” he said. “What?”
“It’s about your birthday party. I was wondering if Zak could come. You know, Zak Saturday?”
His eyes narrowed. “Why?”
“Because it’s Sarah’s birthday too, and she’d want him there, and you know it.”
Zack and Selena looked at each other.
“She’s right, Zack,” Selena said. “Sarah would want him there, and you two are still friends, even after what he did to Emily.”
“I know,” he said. He looked like he was about ready to break. “But Zak’s less likely to celebrate than me considering the fact that this is the day that she . . .”
Selena rubbed his arm in a comforting way, and she looked about ready to cry. “I know. But she wouldn’t want you to grieve like this unless it was like those few months you were kidnapped, and it wasn’t.”
“I know.” He looked at me. “Emily, I’ll try to get Zak to come, but I can’t guarantee you he will.”
I nodded. “Thank you. And tell him that I need him there along with everyone else in our family.”
“Just do it. You’ll find out why later, ok?”
He nodded. “Ok.”
“Alright. I guess I’ll go home now and I’ll see you guys later.”
“Annabeth, do you want to come with us?” Luke asked.
“Sure,” she replied.
“I thought we were going to play?” Peter asked.
“We can play later, Peter, ok?”
He looked sad. “Ok.” Then he ran off.
“Uh, we’re going to go then,” I said.
“Ok,” Zack replied.
“See you later.”
Luke, Black, Annabeth, and I left the house.
“I think he likes you,” I told Annabeth.
“Who?” she asked.
“Oh. Yeah, I think he does too.”
“Do you like him, too?” Luke asked.
“Not in that way. I’ll race you up the hill.”
“Like you can beat me.”
“If you give me a chance I will.”
“Ok. I’ll give you a five-second head start. Go.”
Annabeth ran up the hill.
“One . . .” Luke started counting. “Two . . . three . . . four . . . five.”
He ran after her. When he reached her, he picked her up and swung her around.
“Hey, no fair!” she complained.
“I told you you couldn’t beat me.”
“Someday I will.”
“I’m sure you will someday too. Now let’s go home.”
I couldn’t help but smile.
We got back home.
“Mom!” I called.
She was in the kitchen.
“Hey,” she said. “What did Zack say?”
I told her.
“Yeah, it could be hard for Zak.”
“Uh, yeah,” I agreed, though I didn’t know why.
“I’m sure it’s going to be hard for most of us,” a man said, appearing next to Mom. “It has been ever since that happened.”
“I know,” Mom said.
I couldn’t believe who the man was. “Nick?”
“Yeah?” he replied.
“Uh . . . nothing.”
He was here. Mom knows that her first husband was alive. But how? And where’s my dad?
“Hey, Annabeth,” Mom said. “Did you enjoy your sleepover?”
“Yeah,” she replied.
“Zack and Selena let her watch Friday the 13th,” Luke said. “And now she’s having nightmares because of it.”
“Really?” Mom asked in disbelief. “But you’ve seen scarier things than that in person.”
“I know,” Annabeth said. “But not someone like that.”
“Yet,” Luke added.
“Well, ok,” Mom said. “Did you have breakfast yet?”
Annabeth shook her head. “No.”
“Would you like some?”
“How about you guys?”
“Sure,” Luke replied.
“Umm, no thanks,” I said. “I’m going to go down to the music room for a while.”
Mom looked confused, but she nodded. “Ok.”
I took a glance at Luke. He looked worried, but didn’t say anything.
I looked away and headed downstairs.
Well, nothing’s seemed to change too much on our “secret floor”. All of the rooms were still there and didn’t seem to be different at all. Then I found a work-out gym. It had a treadmill and some weights from five to twenty pounds. I didn’t remember this room being here.
I walked past one of the guest bedrooms, then stopped when I noticed an imprinted sign on the door: Sarah’s room. That intrigued me to go into it, so I turned the door knob and walked in.
It was my room. It looked the exact same way that I left it. So, I guess, I was moved down here and Annabeth took my room upstairs with replicas of my furniture. But I didn’t mind. She was cute.
But after being at Zack and Selena’s house and what everyone was saying, I came to a conclusion: I had died, and by the looks of it, exactly thirteen years ago. Then I came back to life possessing Emily’s body.
I’ve decided to proceed to be Emily until tonight. The only problem was: I didn’t know who Emily was, how she acted. But I guess I’ll have to wing it and try my best.
I groaned and turned around to face him. “Do you ever leave me alone?”
Luke chuckled. “No.”
I walked past him, bumping into his shoulder on purpose, then I went into the music room. He, of course, followed.
I was walking over to my piano when something caught my eye. I looked over at the shelves of music stuff to my right and noticed a clear container with a blue lid with my name on it. I walked over to it.
I wanted these shelves put here so that I would have somewhere to put my music when I was done with it for the day. On the left side, I made a place to put my recorded music on it and my songs on their own individual disks and in alphabetical order so that if I wanted to listen to a song in particular, I could just grab it and play it instead of having to look through my albums for it. But I have those too.
I opened up the container with my name on it. It had all of my music sheets in it, both the finished music and the unfinished, and they were separated. I picked up some of the unfinished music and looked through it.
“You’re not Emily, are you?” Luke asked me.
I sighed. I put the music down and faced him. “No, I’m not.”
“Then who are you?”
“My name is Sarah. I’m Emily’s older sister, and Zack’s twin sister.”
“The one that died?”
“Apparently so, though I don’t remember that.”
“What do you remember?”
I didn’t want to tell him because it wasn’t any of his business, but I felt like I could and should. So I did.
“I was with Zak—Zak Saturday—my boyfriend. We were in Weird World—”
“Weird World?” Luke asked.
“Yes. Have you heard of the War of the Cryptids?”
He shook his head. “No.”
“Ok. How about cryptid? Do you know what that is?”
He shook his head. “No.”
“Well, I’ve told my friends about it and they don’t, or didn’t, understand it at all, so I’m not going to waste my time telling you. Anyway, Zak and I were in Weird World fighting his enemy, Argost. He brought out this magical flute and played it. The magic hurt us and began sucking our powers away from us. Argost was after Zak’s powers, and he was trying to take them as his own. But I don’t know whether or not he was successful in doing so, because the pain became too much for me to bare and I passed out. Then I woke up here, wondering what the hell was going on. Now I know: I had died and came back possessing my sister’s body.”
“Why?” Luke asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “But a lot has changed. I mean, Zack’s an adult and he’s now married to Selena, which I’m glad about. Nick is here with my mom, her finally finding out that he was alive. And I missed it all. Even why everyone is shunning Zak, my boyfriend. Can you tell me why that is, and why you seem to hate him so much?”
“He raped Emily.”
I stared at him. “What? He would never do that.”
“Well, he did. But everyone thinks that he’s innocent for doing that to her instead of her being the innocent one.”
“My family wouldn’t think that.”
“They do. After all, they’re inviting him to Zack’s birthday party tonight, aren’t they? Who invites their daughter or sister’s rapist to their birthday party?”
“So what? And FYI, it’s my birthday too, since, as I mentioned, I’m his twin sister.”
“Should I even bother telling you ‘Happy birthday’?”
“No. Especially since you think that my boyfriend raped my little sister.”
“He did. And knowing Raylee, I’m surprised she hasn’t killed him yet. Or even attempted to. I mean, she’s done it before.”
I’ll admit, I’m surprised myself, because my mom would do that if someone did that to any of her kids. But I didn’t even know if Zak really did that or not.
“Well, whatever the case, I’ll find out tonight,” I said.
“What are you going to do?” Luke asked.
“What I do best: sing a song.”
He stared at me. “What?”
“Has nobody told you anything about me? Like that I loved to sing, that I had a record deal and an album?”
“Oh, right. Yeah, they told me that. Emily would actually listen to your songs everyday. It was annoying, but I understood why.”
“And why is that?”
“It was the only thing she had to hear your voice.”
A tear streaked down my face. It was the only thing she had left to remind her of me.
“Are you ok?” Luke asked.
“I’m fine,” I lied. “I just need to work on my song. So can you leave me alone now?”
“And can you also not tell anyone that it’s me and not Emily?”
He left the room.
I grabbed a song from my box full of my music, grabbed my guitar, sat down, and practiced it.
After that afternoon, we were having the party at our house, and everyone was here, including the Saturdays. I guess Zack was able to get them to come.
I noticed Zak. The white part of his hair was gone, so his hair was completely black. He looked more handsome and less cute without it. I recognized all of the rest of them, except one girl who looked to be about ten and looked really similar to Drew with her white hair. Did Zak get a sister?
I also noticed my parents were talking to Zak’s parents. Dad had his arm wrapped around Mom and Nick was standing next to them, looking a little uncomfortable and jealous. Awkward. No . . . it was beyond awkward. I really gotta ask her about that.
There were two women who looked like Mom, and a guy I didn’t recognize talking with them. Were those my older half-siblings? Wow.
The animals were playing around, chasing each other and chatting with everyone. There was a German Shepherd with them, but I didn’t recognize him.
Everyone was wearing casual clothing, but I wanted to wear a blue dress. Emily also had my sense of style, because I found it in her closet.
We were hanging out in the backyard.
I walked over to Zack, who was sitting in a chair on the lower deck. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” he replied. “But don’t think it was easy.”
“I can tell.”
Zak was keeping a far distance from me and he was watching us from the corner of his eye. There was a woman I also didn’t recognize next to him. She had blond hair, but that was all I could see. She was comforting him, and watching us too. Who was she?
“How’d you convince him to come?”
“I told him that you wanted him here. He asked why, but I didn’t know why. But he still came. So now do you think you can tell me why you wanted him to be here?”
“You and everyone else here are about to find out why.”
I glanced at Luke. He was sitting by the pool, watching Annabeth, Peter, Zak’s sister, and another girl, who looked to be about three, splashing in it and playing some kind of game with them with a big bouncy ball.
He turned toward me and we made eye-contact.
I mouthed the words “I’m ready” to him.
He nodded in understanding and began to get them all out of the pool and wrapped in a towel.
“Zack,” I said. “I have a birthday surprise for you.”
“Oh yeah?” he replied. “What is it?”
“Well, it’s for everyone. Can you get their attention for me?”
“Sure. Yo, everybody! Emily’s got a surprise for all of us.”
Everyone turned toward me. I was use to being the center of attention. I looked around to make sure everybody was watching me. They were.
I picked up a microphone that I had set up with a stand and speakers on the deck. “Umm, hi everyone. I wanted to wish Zack a big happy birthday, and sing a song for him. Actually, the song’s for all of you. I hope you all like it.”
I summoned my guitar, and put the strap of the guitar around my neck. I took a deep breath and started to play and sing:
Uh, oh, oh
You were in college working part time waiting tables
I say, “Can you believe it?”
Do you remember, we were sitting there by the water?
Flash forward and we’re taking on the world together,
But we got bills to pay,
Do you remember, we were sitting there by the water?
Do you remember all the city lights on the water?
Oh, oh, oh, oh
And I remember that fight
You said, “I remember how we felt sitting by the water.
Hold on, make it last
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
(Hold on) do you believe it?
I had started crying near the end of the song, because I was singing most of it to Zak.
I looked at everybody, and they all had shocked looks on their faces. Well, all but Luke and the children.
Zak was the first to say something. “Sarah?”
I smiled, more tears streaming down my face. “Hi, Zak. It’s so great to see you’re alive. And hello everyone else.”
They still were all shocked.
Well, I showed them all at once that it was me. Now it was time for me to find out more about what happened.
Wow. A lot of weird things in this chapter. But now you probably know why I liked writing this chapter so much, based on my name. But why do you think this is happening to Sarah? What do you think is going to happen with her and Zak? What do you think about all of this?
Here's a quiz: I originally was going to have Sarah sing This is Me, but I thought this song was a lot better for this instead of that because of one sentence in the lyrics. What is the name of the song that Sarah sang, who sings it, and what sentence in the made me pick it for her to sing in this chapter?
Please review here.
- Luke Castellan
- Peter Hollinger
- Sarah Hollinger (2)
- Cj Hollinger
- Alex Hollinger
- Madison Hollinger
- Kiara Hollinger
- Doyle Blackwell
- Whitney Saturday
- Emily Hollinger (mentioned)
- Fiskerton Saturday
- Komodo Saturday
- Zon Saturday
- Pikachu Hollinger
- Shillow Hollinger
- Amber Hollinger
- Kimbia Hollinger
- Kika Hollinger
- Chewie Hollinger
- Toto Hollinger
- Honey Hollinger