It's a UsUk Life


1. This Is My Whole Story


It’s a UsUk Life


A Hetalia Headcannon By: Lillian J. Hughes






The envelope slides under my front door, the only piece of mail I shall receive this week. I lunge for it, needing to know the results of the vote. It’s not the pole for the new law and I’m let down. I don’t even open it until after my wonderful supper of a burned sandwich and equally burned salad followed by a bowl of burned ice cream. Finally cracking the letter open I read its contents, learning that it’s an invitation to a highschool punk-rock reunion. The lead singer of the band performing is an old chap of mine, and he wants me to be there. ‘Don’t forget to dress up like the good days, eh bloke?’ When I read this I groan, and yet I still have the materials needed to revert back to my punk-rock stage in life. So I leave my house at seven the next day, with earrings filling old pierced holes and my fingernails painted black. If that doesn’t say enough, my own bloody flag is my t-shirt and my legs are numb wearing these tight red skinny jeans. Seriously, how was I able to run in these, much less walk? I was a crazy kid back then, but I don’t regret one bit of it as I hear the obnoxiously loud, pump-your-fist music blaring at me as I near the nightclub. I enter the hole-in-the-wall building and am immediately blown away, the band’s volume nearly bursting my eardrums. The place is packed with dancing people, yelling their favorite lines with gusto. Scattered among the crowd are a few odd, but cute couples that slow-dance to even the most energetic of songs. The low ceiling paired with the equally low lighting makes for a stuffy atmosphere, but I find this comfortable. In a nostalgic trance I listen to a sick electric guitar solo performed by a teenage girl, her hair a messy bob and dyed magenta. When the song ends the band members take a break and step off the stage. Admirers don’t crowd around them, showing respect by giving them space and only yelling out small, yet amusing compliments. I love how everyone is so chill, just enjoying the music and not going fan-crazy. My pal Christopher walks up to me, laughing at a passing comment. We use our old handshake, which is in fact very complicated. After that he says, “Gosh Brit, it’s been like what, seven years?” “Yeah, Chris it’s awesome to see you again.” I see that those seven years have been good to him. Gone are his acne pimples and stringy hair. Now sporting a small beard that coffee shop owners’ always have and an attractive, styled dark mop of hair Chris looks handsome. “I see you still have those carpet swabs hanging above your eyes.” I long ago gave up feeling annoyed when he teases me about my eyebrows. We reminisce about past memories until we’re interrupted by the guitarist, her telling Christopher that their break’s over. When I praise her for her solo, she blushes and mutters a thank you, and then dashes backstage. “Shy little pup, but Naila’s talent is unimaginable. It also doesn’t help that she’s been an admirer of yours since she was in middle school.” Wow, I’ve never had an admirer (with the exception of France but that wanker shouldn’t count). As my buddy jogs back to the stage, I think about the girl’s hazel eyes and adorably short height. That’s when a 135 pounds of flesh crash into me, effectively knocking me to the ground. “Oh, I’m so sorry about that!” I can tell from the person’s accent (a girl actually) that she isn’t from the UK. She extents a rather rough hand towards me, her sapphire eyes flashing with honest concern. Chin length honey-blonde curls frame her cute face. As I take her hand I notice her low-cut bikini-styled top and frayed jean shorts, and my cheeks proceed to blush. With a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, she could be a female outlaw from an old western film. Full of spunk she puts one hand on her wide hips, and asks if I want to dance. By now I can tell she’s from Texas (bloody America) but I’m a gentleman, and a gentleman never purposely makes a lady unhappy. I take her offer and we’re together for the next four hours drinking, dancing, and laughing our heads off. I can’t imagine a night being more fun. At midnight we’re laying on a couch, intertwined, just holding each other until we fall asleep. When I wake up the next morning, I realize I’m alone and shirtless. Gosh, I’m never going to drink again. As I find my shirt and put it on, I try to remember the name of the woman from last night, but my head is pounding with the effects of alcohol and preventing me from recalling that information. I give my shoulders a shrug; I most likely won’t ever see her again. I’m having a hard time getting over this particular hangover, and by the time I make it to my house and flop into bed, I think ‘Bloody hell, I am NEVER going to drink again!’

As Germany takes roll call for the conference, I notice Britain isn’t here. Usually the git is here before everyone else, claiming that’s what a ‘gentleman’ does. I don’t recall my brother being a gentleman when he was strangling France with his bare hands at the last meeting. The smooth talker is absent too, but we’re all used to that by now. Four mind-numbing hours later I’m tired, butt-sore, and most of all hungry. It’s my day to decide where to go for lunch, so I take everyone to my favorite type of restaurant: a classic all-American diner! I haven’t eaten at this particular diner yet, but my computer review says it’s awesome: if it’s on the internet it must be true. The door makes a little ping as we enter Ronda’s Burgers. A plump woman in a red checkered blouse and waist apron approaches me. Her frizzy grey hair and wrinkles display the many years of hard work she’s had in her life. The moment the manager opens her mouth a slur of Texan accent spills out. “Hey sugar, welcome to Ronda’s Burgers. I’m Ronda and I run this place with my cousin Paul.” She points to the back where a Greek man is cooking up a storm of fried chicken. Ronda quickly seats us and passes out menus. “JOHNATHAN CLEAR THESE TABLES AND AMELIA SERVE THESE CUSTOMERS!” All the countries flinch, but the people who look like regulars barley react. I guess that’s normal here. A young man with the plain features of brown eyes and brown neatly kept hair clears our table, his red bow tie matching Ronda’s top. I guess he’s Johnathan, and here comes Amelia. She has golden curls tied up with a red ribbon and a coordinated shirt. “Hey y’all, may I take your order?” Her sweet-as-honey tone paired with her curvy figure makes everyone (at least the guys) turn pink and Italy hide under the table. I commend the waitress for getting our orders straight. When Italy musters the courage to ask for pasta, she replies “Sorry sir, that’s not on the menu, but Paul makes a mean pizza.” After reassuring Italy that the ‘mean’ pizza will not attack him, she whizzes to the back to put our orders in. Another waitress (wearing a red and white checkered blouse) records our drink preferences and returns shortly with tea, ale, soda, beer, water, margaritas, scotch, rum, (man, we sure do love our spirits) Oh, for Russia. With expert skill, the server slides each beverage to the right person. She introduces herself as Molly and hopes we enjoy our meals. Her braided raven-black hair flicks behind her shoulder as she turns to serve another customer. An hour later Amelia gives us our lunch (what do you expect with one person cooking for twenty people?). There’s an extra plate with four extra-large burgers, and she sits beside me to eat them for her lunch. I mean, that doesn’t compare to my twelve double-cheese burgers, but MAN can this girl eat! During our meal we make small talk and swap stories. Apparently Amelia used to live in Texas and moved to Virginia to start a new life, away from her small hometown. Ronda did the same thing twenty-one years ago to start this restaurant. Amelia says that she was really lucky to find such a friendly workplace. “I’ve used my savings to take short vacations. I just got back from the UK this morning.” Hearing this, I think of Britain. I sincerely hope he’s not dying from an overdose of tea. With another ping from the door and a ‘y’all come back soon’ from Ronda, we leave the diner.

After restlessly resting all day, I take an afternoon flight back to the United States. I can’t believe I missed my early morning flight and consequently the important conference! America will be teasing me non-stop and I don’t even know what to expect from France. My stomach growls for the 14th time and I make the decision to eat at the first restaurant I see: Ronda’s Burgers. A waitress with blue eyes and dark hair greets me at the door. “Hi, and welcome to Ronda’s Burgers. I’m Molly and I’ll set you up with a spot.” I see that the joint is empty, with the exception of an old man slowly consuming his porridge (who eats porridge at four in the afternoon?). The manager Ronda (according to her tag) yells at my waitress and Molly runs to sweep up a corner filled with dust. So a perky blonde comes to take my order instead. She’s staring at me, her eye pupils’ giant. It takes me a second to recognize her as the girl from the club. An awkward silence seem to last forever, until we hear Ronda yell, “When are you gonna finish that food, you old fart!” The elderly man returns with “Cranky hag, let me eat in peace for once!” They bicker for a few more minutes and the fight ends at a draw. My waitress answers the unasked question. “Don’t worry, that happens all the time. Mr. Regan is an old friend of Ronda’s, and Molly and I think that they’re really in love.” Some of the insults I heard were so rude that it’s hard for me to agree, but love is often blind. Or in Mr. Regan’s case, farsighted as he bumps into several chairs and tables on the way out. From glancing at her name tag I finally know the girl’s name: Amelia. “Before we start let me tell you my name. It’s Britain.” Amelia’s mouth forms a pleasant ‘O’ shape and then says “I’m Amelia!” Glancing at her name tag she blushes from not noticing that I already knew her name. I smile at her and say “What a lovely name. Now, can I give you my order?”

As the door slams with a ping, I sigh. For some reason, I didn’t want him to leave. Well, you did feel his abs while completely drunk. At this thought I turn so red that Molly asks if I have a fever. I avoid her question and start wiping tables. I mean, I’ve never done that kinda thing with a guy before, and I’m unsure how to feel about it. Johnathan asks why I’ve been wiping the same spot for two minutes. I move to the next table and see a napkin, but as I’m about to trash it I see there’s writing on it. IT’S HIS PHONE NUMBER. I should just go ahead and chuck it, but I’m already slipping the napkin into my pocket. I hear Ronda talking to her cousin in the kitchen. Paul can only read English, so they’re both conversing in Greek. Most first time diners think that since he’s not from America, Paul’s cooking wouldn’t be suitable to the menu. And they’re proven wrong every single time with his delicious classic American cuisine. That aside, I’ve been pacing for the last three hours on the floor of my bedroom, debating if I should call Britain or not. My assertive attitude wins out over my nervousness.

The sun is shining on my face and I touch the blooming flowers planted alongside the sidewalk. I missed yesterday’s conference because I needed to oversee my restaurant back in Pari. I’m not concerned about skipping though; those idiots who call themselves diplomats never accomplish anything anyway. I turn from the blossoms and suddenly stop: thirty feet away is Jeanne. MY Jeanne. Then I blink and realize that the mademoiselle in front of me is not my past love. Her hair is curly and she’s too tall. Besides, Jeanne is long gone and I should stop fooling myself. The lass’s glove is unexpectedly caught by the wind and blown towards me. I grasp onto it before I know what I’m doing. She comes running up to me to collect her white laced accessory, her rosy cheeks complimenting the splash of freckles dotting her complexion. She is wearing a lengthy lacy royal blue dress that drifts across her surprisingly muscled ankles. As she takes her glove back she sweeps a tumble of loose curls from her forehead, and then grins at me. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a smile that radiant. “Thanks so much,” she says in an obvious Texas accent. I return the smile and ask if she has any plans right now. She laughs at this, in a kind way, and says that she’s meeting with someone for a date. I’ve mastered long ago to conceal disappoint on the outside, and with that statement she runs back to where I saw her first. Next thing I hear is her giving a joyful yell as she runs to the arms of… BRITAIN? Indeed it seems that Britain is her date, and in disbelief I walk away from the Princess and the Scone. 

I can’t believe she even took the napkin, much less call me. But I feel somewhat responsible for playing with Amelia’s emotions that night at the club, even if I was head-over-heels drunk. We go to a theatre and see a play, though Amelia falls asleep on my shoulder for the last 40 minutes of it. I don’t mind though, and after that we’re awkwardly standing outside. “So Britain, tomorrow at 12:00, the mall?” I’m so glad she’s willing to take the initiative. I watch Amelia walk away, her aura seeming to absorb the sunlight and multiply its warmth by ten.

I peek out from behind my leafy camouflage, feeling like a real secret agent. The others just look bored. But no one could pass up the opportunity to see Britain’s new girlfriend. Ever since France came running to the meeting and telling us about this chick, we’ve all been trying to imagine who she is. Romano is even taking bets, the favorite wager being that she’s plain and fell for Britain out of never being acknowledged. The only reason we know where to spy on Britain is because of Sealand. Turns out, you really CAN find anything out on the internet. A ‘Guy’s look!’ from China brings us shuffling back to our positions. Peering through the tall bushes outside the City Mall, we see a girl outfitted in brown boots that come to her knees, a flattering sea-green flannel dress that stops just above her knees, and her hair tied into a sideways curly ponytail. Wait, that’s the waitress from the diner, Amelia. Yes, Amelia. When I tell France, who was absent the day I met her, he shakes his head. “If I met her then, I could’ve warned her against dating your brother.” “I’m actually kinda happy for him,” I say. France pompously snorts. We follow Amelia inside and find her searching the area. “He kept her waiting, how rude!” I agree with Spain, and yet as I think this, Britain comes running up to Amelia and she says, “Sorry I’m late! Did I keep you waiting long?” He smiles and answers, “Only about ten minutes.” “Oh.” Britain takes her hand and leads his lovely date through the mall. They look so seamless together, Amelia catching Britain off guard with eccentric comments and Britain’s uncommon gentlemanly manor surprising Amelia. We leave them be, but I don’t think France is completely assured yet, him stating, “Something’s off about all this.”

We’re sitting at a baseball game (Amelia’s choice) and I see a forty-year old man bust it to first base and barley make it. Amelia cheers, hot dog in one hand and cotton candy in the other. I have to give a laugh at her high calorie diet and turn back to the field. The game starts going downhill for both teams, and by the fourth inning Amelia is shouting insults at each and every action. I try to calm her down, but ignoring me she continues to aggravate the players until one of them asks if she can do a better job. I almost catch her before she jumps from the stands onto the field. Almost. Strutting like the queen of the world, Amelia reaches home plate. Using a bat, she hits the ground with a great big Smack!, and I worry that her confident attitude is finally backfiring. On the first pitch she hits it clear out of the park. Everyone stares in awe as Amelia jogs a victory lap and comes home to bat again. Every other hit brings the ball to a home-run, and Amelia has a serious face on throughout. Her own pitch is nothing to sniff at, striking out both teams left and right. After thirty minutes of this, a man of about sixty years comes up to talk to her. I’m invited to an after-party, and when I enter the room with hesitation Amelia grabs my arm and drags me to meet the old man from before. Apparently this bloke Rodger is a retiring child baseball coach, and the match I saw was one last game to honor him. The other players are actually coaches too, all teaching young boys the sport. Amelia has been jumping up and down like a bouncy ball during the whole explanation, and when she can’t contain her excitement she cries out, “and he wants me to take over his job!” It takes me a moment to realize that this over-zealous and sometimes irresponsible woman, is going to supervise a group of twelve-year old boys, for very long periods of time. “I don’t know Love, you might not be able to handle it.” Amelia gives me her best pouty face until Rodger places his hand on my shoulder and says, “That’s why you’ll help oversee things.” Knowing nearly squat about the sport and having every reason to disagree, I accept the job of supervisor.

Five months pass, and I’m still dating Britain. I don’t know why, but feeling his silky hair is hypnotizing. And his eyebrows…..mmmmm. Now Ronda’s bellowing (sorry, directing) snaps me back into reality and I get to work. My phone buzzes during my break and I see that it’s a text from Britain. He’s asking me to dress for a special occasion, and this annoying little fact buzzes in my subconscious all day, wondering what the occasion is. Six different outfits are laying on my bed, six impossible-to-choose-from outfits. I finally settle with a maroon dress that reaches my ankles, with a high slit and frills fit for cha-cha dancing. Applying a little make-up and letting my conditioned curls fall on my shoulders, I zip out and call a taxi to the restaurant. I see him waiting for me, dressed in a snappy black pinned-striped suit. Before I can ask, Britain says that he’s been waiting for ten minutes. I tell him he’s mistaken. ”I made sure to arrive on time!” He laughs at my outburst and states that he always arrives ten minutes early. “So at our second date (the mall) I was actually twenty minutes late?” Britain’s infuriating sweet smile answers my question for him. I just let out a great sigh and he escorts me into the restaurant. This place is really high class, and I have to be towed along as I gap at the exquisite interior design of the room. Ever the gentleman, Britain pulls my chair out for me and pushes it to meet the table. There was never a dull moment over dinner, and by the end of our meal we have the entire place staring at the gasping-for-breath figures of a beautiful laughing couple. As I gaze into his emerald eyes, I can’t help but think of how empty my life would be without Britain. I wonder what I’ll do when The Time comes, but until then I’ll keep loving this goofball. For a while now it looks like Britain’s been debating on something in his mind. I tell him to express what he wants already. The corners of his mouth turn up shyly, and he gets down on one knee. “Amelia, I want you to marry me.” I gape at the ring in front of me, at the man that I have come to love. So many things could go wrong with this, so MANY THINGS. The worst being The Time coming, and I know that I could spare us both a lot of pain by saying no. Gazing at him, I throw caution into the wind and say yes. The once annoyed people of the room burst into congratulating applause while we ignore them and embrace.

She wakes me up with a soft kiss. I roll over the warm covers but she orders me to go back to sleep. I admire her diligence to get up early so often for her baseball team. Loyal to her ‘second family,’ she hasn’t let her boys down yet. By now I can trust Amelia to deal with her job on her own, but the first few weeks were pretty rough. Same with our engagement, and again with the marriage, and the honeymoon. Bloody hell that woman is a handful, but I love her to bits. I find muffins laying on the counter, and think of all the weight I’ve gained since I’ve let Amelia take over the kitchen. I don’t argue with the breakfast though and gobble it down before I head out to work. It has taken an eternity for my wife to gain the approval of my “friends.” Amelia was forced into interviews with each and every one of them. She didn’t mind at all, mainly because one hour after they’d start she had already persuaded the country to forget what he was supposed to be doing, go out, and buy lunch for her. Amelia never ceases to amaze me with her strength, both physically and psychologically. I don’t think I could’ve gone through all this change in my life with anyone else. ‘My personal ray of sunshine.’ With this thought I make it through another day of grueling meetings and pesky co-workers. I reach home knackered and flop on the couch sighing. Amelia walks in and sits beside me to massage my shoulders. This sure feels good… wait. Usually Amelia can’t wait to explode with words about her day when I get home, so something must be up. True to my thought, she stands up in front of me and gives an uneasy smile. “Britain, I have a big announcement.” Here we go; it’s probably about something she destroyed that I have to pay for, like a car or worse, an expensive car. “I’m pregnant.” I’m completely gobsmacked, so this doesn’t quite register and I say with marvelous intelligence, “Huh?” Amelia tackles me with a powerful hug that could take down a linebacker, proclaiming, “We’re going to have kids!” I see such joy in her expression that I can’t argue. Besides, how can you argue with something like having kids… she said kids? I repeat my last thought to her, “Kids, Love?” Amelia puts on a bemused air but I can still see her nervousness in the way she’s fidgeting. “Yeah we’re having twins,” she says, “I mean, how else can you have more than one child in a single pregnancy?” I don’t think I can handle more than two right now so I make sure to stop the conversation there. From then on life got a whole lot more complicated. Amelia had to hand over her coaching job to another trainer as the likelihood of endangering her pregnancy was too much. This was dreadful timing too, since her team was about to perform at the playoffs. Also, Amelia started to avoid eating and was vomiting. A LOT. At one point it was so bad, she had the bed to herself with a trashcan placed beside it for her to chunder her stomach out in all night long. This also was how the other countries found out about the pregnancy. We were all eating lunch together when Amelia, poor lass, had to leave the room and was gone for the next half hour. I would’ve checked on her if I hadn’t left beforehand due to a diplomat emergency. France found her outside the building puking. I though he would’ve then stormed into the restaurant and cause a big scene about what we’ve kept from everybody. But Amelia later told me that France just held her hair back as she finished throwing up, and then offered her his handkerchief to clean up. I’ve heard about how women experience strange cravings while expecting, but didn’t know the extent of that fact until I’ve seen Amelia scarf down six honey-buns and four bags of gummy bears EVERY TWO HOURS. She also went through a chocolate phase, a candy-cane phase, and for some reason was obsessed with garlic flavored things (which literally stunk). Three weeks before the due-date Amelia put her waitressing on hold, staying home in full on let’s-annoy-the-crap-out-of-Britain mode. It’s funny how during those nine months, Amelia was always the anxious one and I was her rock; but when the arrival day came (two weeks late) I completely panicked, not knowing what to do. Amelia just steadily gave me instructions: get the overnight bag, help me into the car, drive fast but still don’t chance a wreck. I was so frantic that she made me leave the operating room so that the surgeons could do their job. But nothing has ever made me happier than holding my newborn baby girl, while my love holds her twin brother. The joy and relief in that moment was overwhelming. From the second they were born, I had a gut feeling of who our children really were. After talking over it with Amelia, she and I decided to name them both Australia. The nurse gave us a weird look when we did this, but accepted Australia Margret Kirkland and Australia Dawn Kirkland into the world through two sheets of paper. To avoid confusion, we call our daughter Aussie and our son Dawny. They have great resemblances, with brown hair and green eyes, a dash of freckles across both their faces just like their mother. Their personalities are polar opposites though, with Aussie as our wild-child. She loves to run around the house naked from escaping bath time. But what else can you do with a three year old girl other than catch her and fall to the ground laughing?  I’m not laughing when having to wash all of her mysteriously stained clothing, costumes and casual alike. I’ve been her princess many a times while she’s the knight coming to save me from the evil queen (Amelia), with the help of her various animal friends (Dawny). Her twin on the other hand is a momma’s boy, hiding behind Amelia when meeting people (while Aussie is bouncing off the walls telling them about herself). It’s always mother that Dawny runs to when he cries, which is quite often. My son is a great listener, never saying a word himself; but one unique part about him is that he’s fascinated with astronomy. Ever since we took him to a planetarium, my six year old son has fallen in love with the stars. Dawny even spent three weeks camping outside, observing the night sky and “all its wonders.” I’m so proud of both of my children, what with Dawny’s intelligent passion and Aussie’s boundless confidence. Though that confidence has driven her to taming a wild kangaroo without our knowledge and riding it through our living room. For that incident I blamed Amelia for passing down her greatest and worst trait to our daughter; but only in my mind, not wanting to risk my wife’s already high-strung temper. One of the few things that the twins have in common is enjoying trips to their home county’s dessert terrain. Dawny of course is drawn to the cosmos while Aussie daringly tries to capture any wild thing that moves. Amelia once laughed her head off when I screamed at finding a freshly killed rattlesnake in my sleeping bag, a present from my lovely daughter. Another, better excepted gift I have received from my children was a well-crafted boomerang, the wood shaped by Dawny and painted the vivid colors of an australian sunset by Aussie. In my opinion, it is hands-down the best Father’s Day present ever made. I now lay in bed with my wife, our two seven-year olds wedged between us. They love to invade our bed whenever possible, usually with Aussie during the day to jump on it and Dawny at dusk to shake off a nightmare with mum. All I can say is that I love my family.

I feel lighter than air shopping for groceries alone. It’s been forever since I haven’t had to tow my kids along with me, pleading to buy stuff we don’t need and making a $60 trip turn into a $200 one. While daydreaming I reach the corner of an aisle and accidently bump into a young lady. This makes the contents of her basket spill out across the floor. I squat down to help her recover her items, apologizing profusely. I glance up at her and freeze. This can’t be real, can it? I mean, it’s impossible that she’s here too…

I sigh with boredom as Switzerland and Netherlands argue over money distributions, which they have been doing for the past FOUR HOURS STRAIGHT. Why can’t we just let someone else handle this and discuss the other matters needing solutions at this world conference? Now Austria takes a stand. Finally someone will put a stop to this madness… and then Austria joins the argument with his own opinions. With barley contained frustration I hear the boardroom’s door swing open. The bickering abruptly halts as Amelia enters the room with another woman. I get up to question her, but my wife motions me to sit back down. Standing at the podium, Amelia begins with, “Hey y’all, I just need to interrupt the meeting for a few minutes. This here is my sister.” I’ve never even heard of Amelia having any siblings, so I wonder why she kept this from me. When Amelia doesn’t know how to go on, her sister gently pushes her to the side and proclaims, “Yes, I am Amelia’s sister and my name is Britain. What you may not believe is that I am THE Britain, the literal country itself.” Protests erupt throughout the room, counties getting to their feet. America says what’s all on our minds, yelling, “You can’t be the actual country because my brother is the UK, and I don’t think you’re in the same boat as the Italy brothers.” The girl replies, “I know, but you must understand that I do not come from this world.” These few words silence everyone, and confusion spreads. No doubt America is thinking that ‘do not come from this world’ means that the lass is an alien. “Let me explain without interruption.” she says. We nod our heads and sit down. The woman at the podium tells us that she lives in a world where everything is the same as ours, except for the fact that the countries there are opposite in gender. Like for example, Hungary is a man while Germany is a woman. Britain herself is the female reversed me. It’s hard to accept all this balderdash, but taking in her thin pigtailed blonde hair and emerald green eyes, not to mention her flawless british accent, the tale becomes alarmingly believable. Even the way she’s dressed (dark sweater, green tie, and red checkered mini-skirt) looks the part of a british school girl. Then the female Britain shares information that is only known among the nations in this building, most of it pertaining to past events of my life. After forty minutes of this, I stop her and say I believe her. The room fills with easing tension as one by one, each country admits this also. “One more matter,” female Britain says, “you should know that Amelia is the female version of the America living here. Her actual name is really America.” This fact hits me firmly in the gut. I do not doubt the overwhelming evidence, but my mind aches dreadfully with the knowledge that Amelia, my beloved Amelia whom I trust above all else, has been fooling me since the moment we met. My wife is not meeting my eyes, tears threatening to overflow any second. France surprises us with a loud outburst, saying “I knew something wasn’t right about all this.” The next moment he takes Amelia’s hand and leads her to me, finishing with, “But this doesn’t have to come between the two of you.” At female Britain’s confused expression, I explain to her that since I met Amelia nine years ago, we have been married and are raising a pair of twin children. The horrified look on female Britain’s face makes everyone stare in alarm. She then storms up to her sister with anger saying “This complicates everything! Why did you go have to get attached to this world like this?” The guilt is all too clear on Amelia’s face, and she turns to me whispering, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have dated you, shouldn’t have said yes to our marriage, and shouldn’t have had our kids. Now I’m stuck in an impossible situation, and it’s all my fault.” I loath to see my wife so beat-down, and I try to comfort her but instead get pushed away with her callused hands. Female Britain says with a sorrowful tone, “What you don’t understand, Other Me, is that Amelia and I have to return to our world. And then never come back.” The shock in the air is overwhelming, taking my breath away as I digest this information. My voice cracks as I whisper, “Love, is this true?” The tears finally surge from Amelia’s eyes, woefully answering my question for her. I just hold my wife as the other nations burst out of their stunned silence, protesting against this notion. Female Britain interrupts them. “I know how horrible this must seem, and I wish this wasn’t true; but as long as my sister stays here, more disruptions will occur between our Earth and yours until EVERY country from our world will pass over.” With an accusing stare she finishes her claim with, “And do you want our home to tear itself apart without its nations there to keep order?” Once again the room is mute, no one willing to upset the crying Amelia more. I exhale a great sigh filled with remorse, and mange to say, “When do you two have to leave?” “Tomorrow.” the Other Me replies, “Otherwise the damage to the portal connecting our realms will be too great to fix.” The afternoon of the revolutionizing conference, Amelia spent as much time as possible with me and our children. Just two hours ago I had to explain the regrettable situation to Aussie and Dawny. Dawny naturally ran to his mum while Aussie just stood there in shock, not moving an inch for the next twenty minutes. Then she ran to her mother with fat tears of saltwater cascading off her trembling chin. I’m now lying in our bed, holding my darling tighter than ever before. I haven’t cried yet, trying to stay strong for Amelia. She had only stopped sobbing when she fell asleep. I lay here, racking my brain to figure a way out of this, but exhaustion yanks my thoughts away as I fall asleep also.

I stand in Magnet Park, Texas, in the same area as when I first entered this dimension. Both Britains are working with Russia to draw a gigantic magic circle, the kind of thing you would see in a medieval cult book. Their movements are frantic, trying to complete the gate to the portal before another person from my world crosses over. Britain and I had wanted to spend every second we had left together, risking the entire operation because of this. But my sister doesn’t complain as she normally would, focusing her energy solely on painting the grass field white with funny squiggles and weird shapes. Aussie and Dawny are griping my legs with tight fingers, earlier winning the argument of coming to say goodbye here. They’re too young to lose their mother, but I do not regret birthing them. They and my husband have been the biggest joys of my life, and I would gladly relive all the troubling days lived here just to spend more time with them. But I can’t, so I stand stock-still watching the portal markings slowly being completed, not able to bring tears to the surface simply because there is none left for me to cry. The ground suddenly starts to glow purple, and I rush to embrace everyone who came to see me off. Both Molly and France are too overcome with emotion to say anything. Of course I spend the longest goodbye with Britain. We don’t make a sound, just holding each other one last time and far-welling with a deep, passionate kiss. When I finish my sister beckons me to her side. I take one last look at everyone while waiting for the portal to rip me away from everything I now care about. And I keep waiting. And waiting… but nothing happens. The magic circle continues to glow, and my sister and I are going nowhere. “It must be recognizing another person that must return with us.” my sister pipes up. I return her explanation with, “But only you and I belong to the other world.” That’s when my children run to me, yelling out how they’ve had a gut feeling that one of them must come with me. My husband approaches us with pure remorse saying, “And it’s not just because you’re their mother. One of them belongs to this world, the other going with you to be his or her opposite.” I sink to the ground, the unimaginable problem before me. Which child stays with the father and which leaves with the mother? All I know is that the choice must be made immediately, for with every passing second the portal becomes more and more unstable. I reach for Dawny, who I know will not be able to survive without me. But he just takes a step back, saying with conviction, “Aussie should go with you. She needs her mother, and I must be the man of the family and stay here with dad.” I’m astounded with the amount of maturity that my son is showing now, immensely proud of how strong he has become. Kissing their sweet faces one last time, the white paint glows intensely bright and whisks me forever away from my finally tearful husband and son.

The constant drizzle of rain beats against the windowpane as I sit down, a good cup of Earl Grey in my hands. The doorbell rings and I groan as I get up from my comfortable position to answer it. Australia rushes inside from the cold, pulling off his drenched coat and hanging it up. Even though he’s a fully grown man now, I still refer to him as Dawny when it’s just the two of us. I welcome him into my home and he brings out a bouquet of bluebonnets. After putting Amelia’s favorite flowers in a vase on the kitchen table, I offer my son some tea as we sit in silence, remorsefully honoring the anniversary of the day that Aussie and Amelia disappeared from our lives.             



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