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Erase and Rewind

It was lunch time and every kid was in the playground, scraping knees, swinging higher and higher on the swings and kicking balls so high that they reached passed the height of the school. It was a nice and sunny day; perfect for doing lord knows what. But for Kris, she had another round of erasers to clap for Ms. Gen the 1st grade teacher and even more chores from the school janitors to work off the damages. For Robbie, he was too busy himself, getting dragged along to his classroom for a meeting with Ms. Chen and his mother.

“Mommy,” whined Robbie as his mother pulled at his arm. “I want to play with my friends!”

“Not now, Robbie, we have to talk to your teacher,” Rainie explained as she grabbed Robbie’s arm again and dragged him into the classroom where Ella had been waiting. “Hi, Ms. Chen.”

“Hi Rainie,” Ella smiled as she saw Rainie at the door. “Come in.”

Taking a seat close to Ella, Rainie sat obediently as Robbie wriggled and whined in his.

“Stop it, Robbie,” scolded Rainie. “So, Ms. Chen you had something to tell me?”

“Yes,” she smiled. “Well as you know, the school requires parents to have a lot more interaction with the kids so we often bring the parents into the classroom to help supervise, correct papers and sometimes teach.”

“Yes, I am aware of that,” Rainie nodded cheerfully. “And I am up for anything.”

“And you know that the school talent show is coming up,” Ella added.

“Yes, the Grand Fall Theater, am I right?” Rainie excitedly asked.

“Yes-

“Ms. CHEN!” a scream suddenly sounded.

Cringing at the high-pitched screech, Ella already knew who it was and rolled her eyes at the fact that her little nuisance was making her way closer and closer. Kris made her way into the classroom with gloves on her hands, two sizes to big, and a trash bag.

“Kris,” Ella scowled. “How many times do I have to tell you? Don’t scream at me.”

“Sorry Ms. Chen,” Kris said in a sing song manner. “But I’m supposed to take out the trash now.”

“Hi Kris!” yelped Robbie, waving his hands frantically at her.

“Hey Robbie,” she smiled back. “Hi Mrs. He!”

“Kris, get back to work. I’m in a meeting with Robbie and his mother, so excuse us, please,” Ella nicely said.

“Actually…come here for a second.”

“No problem, Ms. Chen,” Kris said, dropping the trash with a thud.

“So as I was saying,” she began. “I was wondering if you would be interested in allowing Robbie to accompany one of the performers on stage. He doesn’t have to do anything too stressful; he just has to stand there and perform a few things.”

“Really?” Rainie eagerly asked. “My Robbie? A performer?”

“Oh can I mommy?!” Robbie pouted. “I promise I won’t screw it up.”

“Well, who’s he performing with?” Rainie asked.

“Kris,” Ella smirked.

Once Kris heard her name, a deep smile appeared on her lips.

“You found me a partner!?” Kris beamed. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“Hold on,” Rainie warned. “What exactly is it does Robbie have to do? I have heard about your little mishaps dear. As impressed as I am, I don’t want Robbie to burst into flames, or be cut in half.”

“You underestimate your judgment of me,” Kris shook her head at Rainie’s naivety. She walked around Rainie and dropped her arm over her shoulders and smiled. “Trust me, he’ll live.”

“Tempting,” Rainie feigned a smile. “But I still don’t know.”

“PLEASE MOMMY!!” whined Robbie even louder. “I promise I’ll live!”

“What exactly do you have planned?” Rainie skeptically asked Kris.

“What’s the point in going to see a show when you already know what’s going to happen?” Kris frowned. “Half the excitement is not knowing.”

“So you have to deal with this everyday?” Rainie pointed Kris out to Ella.

“This is her on a good day,” Joked Ella.

“Ok, Kris,” Rainie sighed. “Do you promise to have him safe and sound once the production is over?”

“I’ll have him spotless!” Kris laughed.

Once the meeting was over, Kris resumed her chores and Robbie decided to help her which meant Raine and Ella had time to chat over some non school related topics of the day. The classroom was empty and only Rainie and Ella were left sitting with their feet up in the air and without a care in the world.

“Finally,” Ella heaved a sigh of relief. “The kids are off to whatever they want and I can relax.”

“Tough day?” Rainie asked.

“You have no idea,” Ella laughed. “That Kris Lin is a handful.”

“She seems like such a cute little girl,” Rainie smiled. “She reminds me of someone.”

“Who?” Ella asked. “Do I know them?”

“Someone I knew a long time ago,” Rainie reminisced. “A best friend of mine.”

“Oh really?” Ella raised her brows. “Well if she’s anything like Kris, I feel sorry for you! Her mother’s not the same though. She’s a lot more calm and collected. That and she’s about 20 years older.”

“Ah, I see,” Rainie laughed.

“I’m actually good friends with her mother, Ariel,” Ella mentioned whimsically.

Rainie froze for a second.

“What’s that?” she stammered.

“Ariel,” Ella reiterated. “Here, let me show you. I actually got this from last year. Here’s the picture of us at the Zoo.”

Rainie turned and her small smile, suddenly turned into shock. Her heart dropped into her stomach and she could feel her eyes already starting to well up in tears. But overall, she felt like a boulder just crashed into her body, leaving her unable to move. Was her eyes deceiving her? Was she really staring at her old, dear friend Ariel?

“Oh god!” Rainie shouted. “It’s her!”

“Well if it’s the same person, its not that big a deal,” Ella casually laughed. “She’s perfectly normal now.”

“That’s my best friend!” Rainie screamed.

“Was she really that bad?” Ella cringed

“Y-you don’t understand,” Rainie stuttered. “It’s Ariel!”

“Rainie, calm down, you don’t look too well,” Ella said worriedly. “Wow, was she worse than Kris? Because I can’t imagine someone like that.”

Grabbing onto her chest, Rainie gave a few more breathes to calm herself down but before she could explain to Ella about her revelations, Jiro and Mike barged into the room. They looked out of breathe and had a strange appearance, as if they were deathly afraid of what they were to reveal.

“Rainie!” Mike screamed. “I knew I’d find you here. Where have you been?? I’ve been calling your phone for hours, why didn’t you pick up?”

“I was in a meeting with Ella,” she frowned as she looked at her petrified husband. “Why, what’s wrong?”

“We found her,” Jiro huffed out his last breath before plopping himself down a chair. “We saw Ariel…at the airport when we came back…we’re sure of it.”

Ella was just left there standing in confusion as the three adults were sitting on the chairs in utter silence. How did Ariel come in to the equation? None of them have ever met her before, at least not to her own knowledge, so what was going on?

“Jiro, explain,” Ella barked at him as she left her hands on her hips, which meant she was serious. “What’s the meaning of this?”

“What do you mean you found her!?” Rainie interrupted. “Where?!”

“One screaming person at a time,” Mike yelled out loud. “We already told you we saw… her at the airport. She in the Customs department with a friend…women were screaming…you know you people scream too much.”

“Ugh,” Rainie scoffed at herself. “I should have picked you guys up myself. Then I would have been the reasonable one to NOT RUN AWAY FROM HER!”

“Hold on a second,” Ella cried. “What are you guys talking about?”

Rainie gave a strong sigh and glared at Jiro. After all this time, he hasn’t spoken a word about Ariel? That he is his sister? Didn’t he know that Ariel was Ella’s friend and that she had pictures of them together lying on her desk??

“Did you know Ella knows Ariel?” Rainie asked calmly.

Suddenly, Jiro fell forward from his seat and his exhaustion disappeared. He stared at Ella and the only thing that he was able to mutter was a quick “what?”

“Yeah,” Rainie nodded with a shake of her head. “All this time…does she know about you and Ariel yet?”

“I haven’t really gotten the time to talk about it,” Jiro sighed.

“Better tell her quick before her head explodes,” Mike quipped into the conversation as he peered into Ella’s death rays.

“Jiro Wang, you tell me what is going on right now or I’m never speaking to you again!” she growled. “What is your relationship with Ariel!?”

Rainie tried to calm Ella down, and spoke for Jiro “I know you and Jiro have only been going out for a little while, but has he mentioned anything about a lost sister?”

“He has mentioned something about a sister but we didn’t really go into depth with it because it seems like it’s a touchy subject,” Ella recalled. “I don’t really force him to open up but he told me his sister was dating Joe for a while.”

“I haven’t told her the ENTIRE story yet,” Jiro cautiously said.

“They were more than dating,” Mike scoffed and explained. “They kind of had a baby together.”

“A-are you serious?!” Ella exclaimed. “But Joe doesn’t have any family. He’s not even married. He can’t have a baby.”

“He can’t, but she can,” Rainie finally revealed, anxious of Ella’s expression. “Honey, Kris is the BABY! Ariel and Joe are Kris’ parents and Ariel is Jiro’s sister.”

“…this is big!” Ella whispered harshly at Rainie.

“Now do you understand my little breakdown?” Rainie screeched. “Ariel has been missing for 7 years. We have been looking for her all this time. Who knew she was just sitting here in front of US! Ella, you are the missing link. You can explain to us why she never came back! Why she came here!”

“I-I don’t know any of that stuff,” Ella stammered to say. “When she came here, she had no past or family except Kris. She never talks about what happened to her before she came…but I know who can.”

“Who?” Rainie blurted.

“Yi Zhen.”

 

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