I walked forward hastily and suddenly hit the corner of my bed. I struck the bedside so hard I couldn’t stand for a moment due to the pain.
In the dim moonlight, the view of my room became clear. I was stunned. The furniture and layout of my room looked different. Although the study table next to the window remained, there was an extra drum set!
I looked to my bed and saw that the sheet had been replaced with a grey bed sheet. The room was very neat and tidy. It clearly looked like a boy’s room. But there was a vase on the study table next to the window, which my mom had put in the room.
My mom was a woman with a particular lifestyle. She would always put fresh flowers in all our rooms. The vase was the same, but there were no flowers in it anymore…
The room had a strangely familiar, yet foreign feeling. I could tell that mom was still taking care of it, and I could feel her present everywhere.
Why did my room become a boy’s room?
I rushed to turn on the lights. The position of the switch hadn’t changed, either. As I turned on the light, I noticed that the wallpaper in the room was different too. Instead of the original floral wallpaper, it was a plain navy blue design suitable for a boy.
I instinctively touched the scouting device on my waist.
“Pak!” I clapped my forehead. Life on Kansa Star had made it a habit for me to use the scouting device whenever I was in a foreign place, because Kansa Star was full of danger.
However, I was on Earth now. This was my home. I wouldn’t run into a monster or an enemy when I opened the door. Why would I use a scouting device? I could just use my eyes!
I quickly walked up to the study table. I saw an Apple laptop, but the model looked far more advanced than the one I used to have. There was a wireless keyboard off to the side, too.
I opened the wardrobe and caught a whiff of mom’s lavender scent. The wardrobe was filled with clothes that should have belonged to an adult man.
My head buzzed. It felt like my room, and I could feel my mom’s presence, but it belonged to a man! My first response was wondering if I had gone to another parallel world. Maybe Earth was still Earth, and mom was still mom, but she had given birth to a boy instead of me?!
I rushed out. It was pitch dark in the hallway, and there seemed to be no one at home.
I turned on all the lights, and a familiar sight greeted me. It was my home, my home, my home! Nothing had changed!
I was excited, yet panicked. That proved it was my home, but the man’s room made me uneasy. Could this really be another Earth?!
I walked into the living room and passed by an extra altar table that hadn’t been there before. I paused and turned around stiffly. Then I saw my photo on the altar table!
My photo had been placed on an altar, next to one of my old sneakers…
I picked up my photo, which was surrounded by fresh flowers. I was shocked. It was my sixteen-year-old self. I recognized my young facial features and neat, short hair.
I picked up the sneaker, then… I saw our dog’s photo on the altar table too.
Our dog… Did he… die…? How long have I been away?
I was dumbfounded.
Where’s dad? Where’s mom? Why did my room become a man’s room?
“Creak.” Suddenly, the door opened. I instinctively aimed my gun at the door, shouting, “Who is it?!”
Clang! A washbasin fell to the ground.
I really wanted to bang my head against the wall. I drew a gun in my own home… It was a habit I’d developed in the post-apocalyptic world. Every single cell in my body was prepared for battle at all times.
The man in the doorway slowly raised his hands. I looked at him, while he looked back confusedly. Although I was holding a gun, he looked rather calm.
I put away my gun, looking at him. He looked as if he were about eighteen years old, tall and handsome, and he looked like my mom. I could tell with one glance. My mom used to say that her son would be extremely handsome if he were to give birth to one. He would be much more handsome than those celebrities on TV, because a guy with fine, delicate features would definitely be handsome.
“Who are you?” I asked, looking at him confusedly.
He saw that I’d put away my gun, so he put his hands down slowly too. He asked in response, “Who are you?!” He looked up and down at me. He saw that I was holding the photo, and that I’d thrown the sneaker down when I drew my gun. He was agitated, yelling, “Put my sister back! And her sneaker, too!”
“Sister?!” I exclaimed in surprise. Since when do I have a younger brother? And my younger brother is so old now?!
“Loki, why are you blocking the door…” Suddenly, an aged voice called out from behind the guy. The voice was hoarse, with a tinge of weariness. I recognized the voice and tears welled up in my eyes.
“Dad! There’s a weird person in our house!” The man moved out of his way, and an old man who seemed to be in his sixties came into view.
With a rustle, the plastic bag in his hand dropped to the ground and he looked at me blankly.
My tears flowed down my cheeks like a waterfall. I’d told myself not to cry when I saw my dad, but my tears flowed uncontrollably. I said, “Dad… I’m home…”
“Lil’ Bing… Is that you, Lil’ Bing?!” He staggered forward excitedly. I was surprised at how old he looked. There seemed to be knife trails on his forehead, and lines at the ends of his eyes.
I ran forward to hold his arm. I sobbed, looking at him. “Dad, I’m home. It’s me, Lil’ Bing. Why do you look so old now…?”
Dad was covered in tears too. He choked back sobs, replying, “You didn’t die… You didn’t die… Everyone thought we were crazy… But your mom and I knew that you didn’t die, and you would definitely come back… Lil’ Bing… You went too far this time… Too far…. You left for twenty years. Did you know that? Twenty years…”
“Twenty years… How could it be twenty years…? I only left for five years… Could it be… because the revolving speed of the two planets was different…” I muttered to myself in shock.
“Loki. Come here. This is your sister!” Dad dragged the eighteen year old man toward me, and he looked at me in shock, as if a ghost had been resurrected.
Dad held my hand, saying, “Lil’ Bing, this is your younger brother, Loki. That’s great… Your mom’s last wish was…” My dad choked back sobs again.
I had a bad feeling, and my heart clenched so hard that I could hardly breathe.
“Dad, where’s mom?! What happened to Mom?! Did something happen?!” I asked hastily, holding Dad’s arm. He broke down in tears. My dad, who had once been strong and fearless against all danger, wailed tearfully in front of me.
Bzzz. I felt a buzz in my head. I had no courage left to hear my dad’s reply.Previous Chapter Next Chapter