Sam Owens was suddenly staring at the ceiling of his bedroom, though the only clue that this was a sudden occurrence was the fact that it was clearly the middle of the day, when he could have sworn that it had just been evening.

What had he just been doing?

He glanced over at the window of his bedroom. Naomi had been standing there, glowing despite the darkness of the room as she looked out and up at the sky.

There had been something going on that night, something about strange lights in the sky.

His thoughts were suddenly (everything was happening suddenly, as if his mind couldn’t keep up with what was happening) interrupted by the sound of breaking glass. His head snapped toward the doorway of the bedroom, chasing the sound.

Naomi stood there, a broken teacup at her feet, seemingly unfazed by the hot tea swirling around her toes.

“Sam?” she asked quietly, her eyes wide.

He was about to respond (though he didn’t know what to say) when someone else joined Naomi in the doorway.

“Aaron?” It was Sam’s turn to question now, as the sight of his brother in the apartment he shared with Naomi was an unfamiliar one. As was the way he had wrapped an arm around her waist in an all too familiar way until he had seen Sam.

Sam jumped out of bed, suddenly angry and feeling like a fool.

“Sam,” his brother said, shock clear on his face. He moved past Naomi, carefully stepping over the broken glass of the forgotten teacup arms outstretch. When he was close enough, Aaron wrapped his arms around Sam pulling him in a tight hug. He had thought Sam was dead, that he’d never see his little brother ever again. But here he was.

Sam’s arms remained by his sides as his brother hugged him.

“Would someone care to explain to me what the hell is going on?” he finally asked, voice low in an attempt to keep it steady. His brother pulled away slowly, his hands resting on Sam’s shoulders now.

“You’ve been missing for six months, Sam,” he said, eyes glassy with unshed tears. He shook his head. “We thought you were dead! Mum’s been a wreck but just wait till she finds out you’re fine. Where have you been all this time?”

Sam almost laughed in his face. Missing? How could he have been missing for six months? But the look of relief that was all over his brother’s face, told him this couldn’t be some kind of sick joke.

He turned his head, glancing out the window and saw that it was snowing now. Last he’d known it had been summer…right?

He turned back, studying his brother’s and Naomi’s faces as they watched him warily.

“I’ve been missing?” he finally asked.

“Yes,” Naomi said. He stared at her; he could see tears forming in her eyes. His eyes travelled lower, quickly finding a diamond twinkling on her left hand. Her fingers twitched, and he thought she was going to try and hide it, but he knew that she’d seen him looking.

He took a step back, bumping into the bed, which he sat down upon immediately. He pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes, willing this all to be a dream.

“Fuck,” he said. He let his hands fall to his lap as he gazed at his brother and Naomi. “You two didn’t waste any time, did you?”

“We didn’t—”

“You didn’t mean for this to happen?” he interrupted Naomi, who had taken a tentative step towards him. He was angry. Six months of his life unknowingly gone, and he had reappeared, almost like waking up, to find his life had turned to shit.

He loved Naomi, and the fact that she had moved on so quickly and so easily, with his brother of all people, had his stomach in knots.

He pressed his hands to his eyes once again, taking shaky breaths to try and calm himself. He wasn’t sure where to go from here, but anything was better than this reality.


He took a bus to his hometown, paid for by his brother. A long phone call to his relieved parent’s, and his mom agreed to pick him up from the bus station. Naomi had sold his car and had promised to write him a check for the money she got from it. All of his belongings had been packed up and sent to his childhood home.

He had almost an hour and a half between Shadow Creek to Hubble to try and figure out what had happened. But all he was drawing were blanks. Just those lights. Though the Massachusetts scenery of pine trees and snow filled his vision through the grimy bus window, all he could see were those lights. Possibly the only clue to what had happened to him.

His mother met him at the bus station, which was really only the parking lot of a gas station that looked like it could fall apart at any moment. She was running up to him as he stepped off the bus, already in tears. She wrapped her arms around him, pulling him close and holding him tightly.

He finally broke down there, sobbing like a child against his mother’s blouse in the middle of the parking lot, not caring who saw.
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Kind of short. I've had this chapter written for a while now and was trying to decide if I should add more to it, but I'm kinda just happy with it how it is. Whatever.

Happy new year!