One evening, Monica had coffee with Emily.
“When was the last time you’ve been on a date?” Emily asked.
“I don’t know,” Monica said. “Why?”
“I know a guy you might like.”
“Why not? He’s no Brad Pitt. But he’s cute, nice, and funny.”
“I don’t want to hook up with anybody.”
“Why? Are you gay?”
“What? No! I’m happy being single. The only thing I don’t like about it is when everybody pressures me to be with somebody.”
“How about he hang out with us sometime and see where things go?”
“Fine then. But why do you want me to hook up someone so badly?”
“Honestly, it’s because you’re always tense. You really need to get laid.”
A few days later, Monica and Emily hung out in a restaurant in Downtown St. John’s.
“So, where is this guy?” Monica asked.
A man with short orange hair walked towards Monica and Emily.
“Monica, this is John,” Emily said. “John, this is Monica.”
“Hey,” Monica said.
“Hey,” John said.
Monica and John didn’t say much to each other at first. In fact, Emily did most of the talking. But eventually, John and Monica ended up having a real conversation.
“You like science fiction,” Monica said. “Let me guess, you like Star Trek.”
“No, not really,” John said. “I used watch Doctor Who when it was on TV.”
“So did I! Who’s your favorite doctor?”
“I liked the second.”
“I really miss that show.”
“Same. Maybe it will come on TV again.”
“Yeah. In 2005, maybe. Although I heard it was going to be made into a TV movie in 2 years.”
“I hope that’s true.”
John and Monica was so into their conversation, they forgot Emily was there.
“Where’s Emily?” Monica asked.
“You call?” Emily asked as she seemingly appeared out of nowhere, which startled both John and Monica.
“Where did you come from?” Monica asked.
“I was here the whole time,” Emily said.
“This like an awkward moment from a bad rom-com,” John said.
“So, that’s like 90% of them,” Monica said.
John and Monica went on a few more dates. Eventually, John invited Monica over to his apartment.
The moment John opened the door to his apartment, the first thing Monica noticed was a giant book shelf.
“I see you like to read,” Monica said.
“Yeah, I do,” John said.
“Mind if I take a look?”
Monica looked through John’s book shelf. There was nothing interesting that grabbed Monica’s attention. But she was shocked by the title of one book. The name of the book was ‘History of Planet Oberon.’
Monica held up the book in front of her.
“Where did you get this book?” Monica asked.
“My grandfather wrote it,” John said.
“Mind if I take it home?”
“Be my guest.”
When Monica returned home, she sat down on the couch and she read the book immediately. Throughout the next few days, Monica spent all of her free time reading that book. Every time Monica opened the book, she became oblivious to her surroundings.
A few nights later, Monica returned John’s book.
“Interesting book,” Monica said. “Very entertaining.”
“Thanks,” John said. “What did you like the most about it?”
“Good question. I guess I liked how it was written like a history book. I also liked the idea of how another planet is divided into different countries, just like Earth. You normally don’t see that in science fiction.”
“Yeah. My grandfather had an active imagination.”
“It’s funny. When I was a kid, I was convinced that my sister and I were from a planet called Oberon. I guess I must have seen this book somewhere and that’s where I can up with the idea.”
John’s face went pale.
“I see,” John said nervously. “What do you…what else…what did you used to say about this planet when you were a kid?”
“Not much,” Monica said. “I used to tell people that my sister and I were from there and we came to Earth through a plot hole and the grass on that planet was pink. I had one active imagination.”
John laughed nervously.
“Will you excuse me?” John asked. “I got to make a call. You can watch TV in the meantime.”
John went to his room while Monica flipped through the channels. But she overheard John talking. Monica muted the TV and she listened closely to what John was saying over the phone.
“Yia geon uni o’ zea gemis,” John said.
Monica couldn’t tell what language John spoke. It almost sounded like French or Spanish.
“Ye dems meh t’ zir,” Monica heard John say. “Okay.”
John then came out of his room.
“Monica, there’s something I have to tell you,” John said. “You should sit down.”
“Uh, I’m already sitting down,” Monica said.
“Okay. Good. I’m just going to be straight up with you, Oberon is a real place, and you and your sister are from there.”
“Yeah. Okay. Did my sister put you up to this, or was it Emily?”
“No. You, your sister, and I are from Oberon.”
“So, we’re from one of Uranus’s moon?”
“No. There’s another planet named Uranus.
Monica just sat down in silence, trying process the information.
“I don’t believe it,” Monica said. “I was right all along.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I’m fine.”
John sat down next to Monica.
“I know that it’s a lot to take in,” John said. “But you have to promise not to tell anybody.”
“Who am I going to tell?” Monica asked. “Nobody would believe me.”
“Good, because we need your help. We’re looking for a machine called a reality engine. It’s a machine that people can use to manipulate time and space.
“Centuries ago, scientists from the country of Kratos (one of the countries on Oberon), invented a reality engine. But the Libertas government tried to take it from us. To prevent war, the governments from both countries competed in a tournament. It ended it a draw. As a result, Libertas went to war with Kratos. They stole our reality engine from us and we’ve been searching for it for hundreds of years. We believe it’s on Earth. Will you help us find it?”
I can finally get back at my sister for years of getting in trouble because of her, Monica thought.
“Yes,” Monica said. “I will help you look for this reality engine.”
Meanwhile, Larry and Martha were looking at a house.
“Hi, I’m Angel,” the real estate agent said. “You two must be Larry and Martha. Let’s take a look at the house.”
Larry, Martha, and Angel stepped inside a house with an open-concept between a large living room, and a modern kitchen. The house had four bedrooms upstairs, and three bathrooms: one on the main floor, and two upstairs. One bathroom was exclusively for the master bedroom.
The outside of the house had brand new siding. There was also a beautiful garden in the back of the house.
“What do you think of the place?” Angel asked.
“It looks nice,” Larry said. “But we don’t need four bedrooms. We only need two. One for us, and one for our kid.”
“Hang on, Larry,” Martha said. “What if we have another kid some day?”
“Even if that’s the case, we can’t afford this place, can we?”
“Actually, this house is not that expensive,” Angel said as she handed Larry and Martha a sheet of paper.
“Is that cost of the house or your phone number?” Larry asked.
“If you think this house is expensive now, imagine what the housing market will be like by the year 2017.”
Larry’s rumbling stomach interrupted the conversation.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Larry said.
Larry ran to the bathroom as fast as he could. While he was in there, Angel and Martha continued their conversation.
“I would like to show you something,” Angel said as she opened a door by the staircase.
“Why haven’t I notice this door before?” Martha asked.
“It’s because of a perception filter.”
Angel opened the door to reveal a small room with a control panel and three monitors. She then went inside and pushed a few buttons on the control panel.
“There, I stopped time,” Angel said. “That will give us more time to talk. Which is kind of ironic.”
“What’s going on?” Martha asked.
“Martha, I’m from a planet called Oberon. So are you and your sister.”
“Yeah, okay. Excuse me a minute.”
Martha stepped outside of the house to see that everything was frozen in place. There were birds in the air. A teenage girl was walking down the street, with her bangs covering her eyes. There were cars on the street. But nothing was moving. Even the birds that were in the air were stuck in their places.
“What’s going on?” Martha asked.
“I told you, I stopped time,” Angel said.
Martha ran back inside the house.
“Is that a time machine in there?” Martha asked.
“It’s called a reality engine,” Angel said.
Angel explained to Martha about the reality engine. Angel also explained to Martha that Oberon has different countries, just like Earth. According to Angel, Martha and Monica were born in a country called Libertas.
“Thanks to a plot hole, the Libertas government finally found you and your sister,” Angel said. “I’ve been in charge of safekeeping this reality engine for many years. But our government re-assigned me to another job. I want you to keep this machine safe.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“Just don’t let anybody know about this machine. Not even your family.”
“What if I refuse to take care of this machine?”
“I can’t make you do something you don’t want to do. But if you agree to it, you can use this machine to make sure your kids have bright futures.”
“Did you say kids?”
“I said too much. Anyway, will you do it?”
Martha looked around the living.
“I think the living room would look nice if we paint it teal,” Martha said.
“Is this a yes?” Angel asked.
“Yes. But how am I going to convince Larry we should buy this house?”
“I have no idea. But you better think of something.”
Angel went back inside the control room.
“Is the control room the reality engine?” Martha asked.
“Yes,” Angel said as she pushed some buttons.
Suddenly, time went back to normal and Larry walked downstairs. Meanwhile, Angel and Martha quickly went outside of the reality engine and they closed the door before Larry could notice anything.
“Larry, I think we should buy this house,” Martha said. “We can afford it.”
“But you’re pregnant. You’ll go on maternity leave soon. That won’t be enough.”
“Larry, do you trust me?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Then let me worry about all of that.”
“Fine. We’ll take this house.”
Over the next several years, Larry and Martha had a son named Steve. When Steve was six years old, Larry and Martha finally got married. Six years later, they had a daughter named Emily. Meanwhile, Monica and John kept searching for the reality engine. To avoid suspicion, they pretended to go on vacation.
One of the places they’ve visited were the Catacombs of Paris.
“I just thought of something,” Monica said. “We’ve traveled the world, looking for the reality engine.”
“What’s your point?” John asked.
“Have it ever occurred to anybody that maybe the Libertas government hid the machine in St. John’s?”
“Why would it be there?”
“Maybe my sister knows where it is. She is from Oberon.”
“That seems a bit too obvious.”
“Does it really?”
Larry and Martha were about to leave the house to celebrate their anniversary and they left Monica to babysit Steve and Emily.
“Steve is upstairs playing video games,” Martha said. “Just leave him alone. He’ll go to bed around 12:00. But put Emily to bed by 10:00. Oh, and I ordered a pizza. It should be here any minute.”
“It’s only 6:00,” Monica said. “Aren’t you two leaving a bit too early?”
“I have the whole night planned,” Larry said. “I have a few surprises for Martha.”
“Have fun,” Monica said.
“Don’t worry. We will.”
Larry and Martha walked out the door, and got into the car.
“So, where are we going?” Martha asked.
“You’ll see,” Larry said.
Larry drove along Eric Street.
“Do you remember that house?” Larry asked, pointing to an old house with white siding.
“How can I not?” Martha asked. “It’s where we first met. Well, kind of. We’re not going here, are we?”
“No. Just taking a trip down memory lane.”
Larry then drove to a local restaurant.
“We haven’t been here in years,” Martha said. This is where you proposed.”
“Wasn’t very romantic though,” Larry said. “I got on one knee. But I was so nervous. My palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy.”
“I know. But you were so cute.”
Larry and Martha went into the restaurant and they ordered the buffet. The song, Don’t Let Me Be The Last to Know, by Britney Spears came on the radio during Larry and Martha’s meal.
“Our wedding song,” Martha said.
“Yup,” Larry said. “Remember how I begged you to make this our wedding song?”
“Yes. Why was that?”
“Because I fell in love with you the moment you fell into my lap, even though I didn’t show it. Everybody knew except you.”
“So, you like drunk girls.”
“Too bad you didn’t get us a hotel room for the night. We could get drunk together without worrying about the kids killing each other.”
“Who says I didn’t?”
Martha’s face lit up like a lantern.
“You didn’t,” Martha said.
“Yup,” Larry said. “Maybe we can do some of things we did on our honeymoon.”
“Would you prefer a veil or a mask?”
“You know me too well.”
“Wanna pay the bill and go now?”