You might be wondering why, if I’m not part of the Collective (that is, “The Family”), I’m still in the loop with all of their business.
Well, it’s really pretty simple – Ai and I are cousins. We’ve known each other our whole lives, through this and all other variants.
We’re not close cousins, so I’ll try to explain the connection:
1) Ai’s mother (“Frisbee”) was born Laura Elizabeth Watson
2) David Watson is Laura’s father.
3) David’s younger sister, Jessica Watson, is my Grandmother.
Laura and Ai have some Japanese blood in them, via marriage. My Mother and I are in the same boat – I guess you could say I’m 3/4 Nihonjin, thanks to my Dad and biological Grandfather, which is still enough in some circles to call me a foreigner.
Anyway, Aunt Laura was born in Japan, where her father worked as a translator, but was forcibly moved to the US by her mother Atsuko early on. That mess really didn’t work out so well. Grandma Jess looked after Aunt Laura a lot when she was growing up in the US, and she was also around when Ai was born (as was my Mother).
I’ve bounced back between the US and Japan my whole life, and Ai has always been like a distant sister to me. I’m a few years older than her, but she’s always been precocious to say the least.
So, that’s a super-brief family summary, but there’s one point that may make the Collective ties clearer.
Aunt Laura was Number 1 in the Collective – the source. When she died, the Numbers took care of Ai, and my Mother and Grandmother also played a part. So, I grew up around everyone, and even though I wasn’t the daughter of one of the 12, I’ve always had a role to play.
I have lots of stories to tell, about my family and The Family, and I’ll start sharing them when the time is right (and Ai approves).