Unfortunately, time machines aren't always reliable and instead of dropping us off inside the Base, we were dropped off at a hidden emergency time machine outside.
And, of course, just when we thought winter was over, it started snowing.
And, OF COURSE, Julie complained all the way to the front steps.
"Why do we have to come here anyways? I don't need new friends. I have all the friends I need IN CALIFORNIA."
"Do you realize that I'm wearing sandals right now?"
"I spent an hour straightening my hair this morning. There goes all that hard work."
I was extremely close to locking her outside by the time we opened the door.
At first, nobody noticed us.
They were all too busy doing their own little things in Dani, Molly, Emily, and Nicki's room.
Lilly was the first to notice us. "Hey Saoirse! Nice to see you again!"
Dani looked up at the sound of my name.
"Saoirse!" Dani yelled, throwing her arms up in the air.
She gave me a hug. We haven't seen each other since our combined birthday party!
I then turned to introduce her to Caroline and Julie. Caroline told Dani that she was pleased to meet her and dropped into an easy curtsy. Julie on the other hand rolled her eyes and gave Dani a rather sarcastic smile.
After we put our stuff down and hung our coats up, Dani exclaimed that she had someone new to introduce as well.
Standing next to Lilly was an older looking girl with red hair and freckles. She looked vaguely familiar, but I didn't think anything of it.
"Saoirse, this is Deirdre." I stepped closer to shake her hand when everything suddenly clicked into place.
Flashbacks from 3 years ago bombarded me so suddenly that I almost took a step back.
My thoughts were jumbled and muffled, but one repeating pattern of distressed words seemed to stick out the most. No, no, no. Cén fáth go bhfuil sí anseo? Cén fáth go bhfuil sí anseo tar éis gach rud a rinne sí?
She's much older looking now, but her eyes are still the same. They still echo the same horrified, disgusted look that they did in Ireland. And her fingers still hide under her sleeves the moment I enter her large bubble of personal space.
I stared at her barely visible white knuckles and my stomach twisted into knots.
Ní féidir léi a bheith fós as a meabhair ag dom.
For a while, the small room was ghostly silent. But, all at once, it began to click for others as well.
Behind me, repeated and muffled "Oh dear"s came from Caroline.
Julie, on the other hand, began to giggle and loudly exclaimed, "Well this is awkward."
Dani was the only one who remained clueless. She kept turning from one face to the next, obviously lost.
Without saying a word, Deirdre turned and ran out of the room.
The virtually silent pitter-patter of her feet mirrored the mystified speechlessness of the room.
I stared after her vacantly, the enormity of the situation not yet sinking in.
"Deirdre, wait!" bounced through the room so loudly and suddenly that I jumped.
Lilly started running after Deirdre, simultaneously breaking the trance.
"Saoirse, what happened?" Dani whispered, causing me to turn.
What did happen? Even I wasn't exactly sure. I also wasn't sure how much I could, or SHOULD, tell Dani. There was one thing that she deserved to know, though.
"Deirdre Dani..." I started, before my desert-like throat forced me to swallow and try again. "Deirdre is my cousin."