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Mystery

“Don’t go in there!” My heart beat faster. This was my secret. It was so hard to try hiding the panicked emotions I was feeling. Pinching my arm to distract myself from getting too emotional didn't seem to help much. My secret was something I wasn’t ready to share with anyone, at least not yet. “I haven’t cleaned my bedroom in forever, really. It would be a shame for you to try and sweep. Plus, don’t you have allergies to dust bunnies, mom?” Any excuse I could think was going through my mind as my heart beat at an unusually fast pace. She quizzically raised one of her eyebrows and shrugged. “Suits me, hun. Just clean up by the time I come back from the grocery store.” I let out a sigh of relief. Then putting a hand on her hip, she said, “OR, I will come in and rework the whole room.” She walked away shaking her head in disbelief. Slipping in my bedroom, I smiled. But this quiet reflection only lasted a moment. A knock at my door disrupted momentary thoughts. “Yessssssss,” I droned on slowly, opening the door in irritation. My younger brother looked up at me with a certain curiosity and suspicion. “You have something in your room. I’m going to find out!” He grinned sneakily. Turning around, he ran away before I could say anything else. 

...

The truth was, I was something, something big. This secret I had for a long, long time. And right now, this was not the time for anyone, not even my kid brother, to find out. All these years, no one knew. It might seem impossible for a secret to be kept, but it isn’t impossible, at least not in my case. But now that my brother, Mobi, was in the way of telling my secret (and the possibility of finding out my secret in the first place) just wasn’t something I was ready to give up. I kept asking myself why I didn’t want to tell anyone, but no answer seemed to suffice. Why was I keeping this from my family? Why was it a secret at all? But then, in the back of my thoughts, I realized why not telling them was the best option. And sometimes, I felt like I didn’t have a choice. My mother, father, and brother wouldn’t understand. And maybe that’s a good thing - because if they knew, it would only make it worse. Or, at least I think it would. Back, three years ago, when I was out walking in our neighborhood park, I told them I had an interview in New York where I might move if I got the job - I didn’t plan on telling them until I got the job offer, but I didn’t ever get that chance to apply. They talked me out of it as soon as I said anything. Sure, I was coming right out of college, but I needed a job somewhere - why not New York? It ended up that my dream job didn’t work out. So, if that didn’t work out, how could I tell them this? How would they take it? And that was something I was not ready for. Right now, I was fine. And fine is a good feeling for right now. Then, a nagging cough started in my lungs and then I sneezed. Going to the bathroom, I grabbed a tissue to wipe my nose. Coming back to my room, I saw him, Mobi, in my room. And he saw it. He laughed. Then he frowned. Then….he reached out to touch it. “Nooooooo!” I frantically hurried over to grab his arm from touching it. “Stop that! I told you not to come in here. Uhg, now you're in the way of everything!” My brother tugged his arm away from me. “I’m not the problem! Why do you have to keep all these secrets? It’s always been your fault. You keep hiding!” I shrugged. “Why are you in my room? Why do you always have to be the first one to know everything?” It was his turn to shrug. “Because it’s my younger brother's instinct.” “You better not tell mom. I want to tell her first.” Mobi looked at me and smiled. “What’s up with it anyway? What is it? I’m still so confused.” Before I could reply, I heard my mom’s car pull up in the garage. Mobi’s demeanor changed. “Well, actually….I may have changed my mind.” I was not ready for him to change his decision to tell her first. “No, no! I’m telling her. Mobi, please please be a good brother.” He raised an eyebrow. “Mhhm, of course. But telling the truth is a good thing for a brother to do…” Footsteps. Closer, closer, and closer. I sighed. “I guess it’s time to tell my secret.” My mother walked up beside me and this was finally it. The time I was to tell her the truth. “Mom...there’s something I wanted to tell you. Actually, for a long time…The thing is, I meant to before, but I just didn’t know how to tell you.” Then Mobi burst out, “She has a wierrrrdddd cactus in her room!” My mom just looked at me in confusion. “Ok? So? Why is that such a big deal about a cactus?” My mouth went dry. “Well,” I coughed, “the actual nectar inside it, I’ve seen and tested out for the past 2 years, is somehow stimulated to be a time-changer in a way. Everytime you touch a part of it, it takes you back three years. No way forward. Everyone, and everything, is moved back in time. And I’ve touched it. I mean, several times by accident. And I didn’t even know it did that. No one knows except the person who touches it. We’re really in 2012 when we should be in 2023. I’m sorry - I don’t even know if you’ll take this situation better. Well, better than last time I told you about this. Do you even remember?” 


May 15, 2020 21:54

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4 comments

Maya Dang
13:50 May 28, 2020

Nice story.

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Aubrey Maria ✌
12:51 May 29, 2020

Thank you, Maya! I appreciate it.

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Maya Dang
12:42 Jun 01, 2020

Welcome! How old are you?

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James Offenha
21:55 May 27, 2020

Good story!! I’d recommend not starting the story with a quote. In Jerome Stern’s “Making Shapely Fiction” Stern says that. Also, consider taking out unnecessary parts of sentences such as instead of “It was hard to try hiding the panicked emotions I was feeling” just write “It was hard to hide my panic.” Also, wish the secret had been something bigger: she’s been talking to a black sheep of the family, she’s a lesbian, she killed somebody, etc. Not just getting a job. Loved the brother though.

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