It’s 5:00 PM on a nice summer Saturday. You know deep in your heart that you want to go somewhere, but you are too old for that now.
Now it’s your daughter’s turn.
You sent her up to clean out the attic at nine in the morning! What could be keeping her? She had one job to do (you snicker to yourself as you think this, for whatever reason) before she was allowed over her friend’s house.
You are sitting at your working desk, reviewing your taxes, when your daughter comes down the hallway, in a sort of bouncing motion. She reminds you of a lot like yourself when you were younger.
You look up to greet her when a familiar color catches your eye. A lump in your throat suddenly forms and you choke for air. She is wearing a black tee shirt with a red symbol on it. It takes your mind to realize what this is.
“Where did you get that?” You snap at her suddenly, and your own tone seems to make you jump a bit.
She looks down at her shirt, then back up at you. “I found it in a box in the corner!! Isn’t it cool?”
You bite your lip nervously as you realize exactly what is on that shirt. Before you can ask her what else was in the box, she interrupts you. She always does that.
“By the way, did you go out a lot when you were younger?” She asks you.
You nod. “I went out all the time.”
“Then why did that box say ‘Homestuck’ on it?”
You watch as your daughter, in the prime of her adolescence stumble into her best friend’s car, her father in the driver’s seat. She takes a glance at her shirt, then peers outside the windshield to sneak a glance of you standing at the window.
You both give each other a nod of knowing, and he pulls away.
You try not to run as you bolt up the stairs into the dusty old attic, making your way cautiously through the pile of clutter that is strewn about the floor. This would have been a lot easier if you were younger.
As said before, there is a medium sized box, covered in age old dust and tucked askew in the corner.
You sit down on the floor, forgetting completely that you will get your clothes dirty, and reopen the box.
Tears start to sting your eyes. You put a hand over your mouth and bite your finger to keep yourself steady.
Stacked neatly in one corner of the box is nicely folded tee shirts. You see the Taurus symbol, and your mind immediately starts to reel. What was that from?! Homestuck, was it?
You thumb through the five shirts that stack up nicely. You start to keep a list in your head.
Your daughter was wearing a red Aries symbol…
There was a bronze Taurus symbol…
A green Leo symbol…
A jade Virgo symbol…..
You pause. What is that zodiac sign again? It kills you that you don’t remember what it was….
Wait a minute… That’s not a zodiac sign.
It looked like a squid. It was a white squid thing, but it sure didn’t look too happy to be there. Your mind races to figure out who in Homestuck wore that shirt…
…What was her name again?
You go back to her later. The only white shirt in the box is just a small blue sort of beast. You don’t understand what is with these non-zodiac symbols….
God, what was the name of these people?!
Your eyes wander again and catch sight of a photo album, standing upright, plastered against the cardboard. Some of the photos had shaken loose and had fallen face down into the box. You pick up one of them.
Everything in your body tenses over.
This place… This place seems familiar to you… That fountain you remember. You remember almost falling into it… And these people in the picture, sort of clustered in groups around the grass.
Why were they gray?
Why were they wearing horns?
You flip over the back and the date is thirty years ago. You were sixteen.
You pick up another.
It’s a picture of people sitting down. Many have nose rings, or very big earrings. In the particular picture you are holding, you see a young girl with curly black hair and a patch of blonde.
In her lap…
In her lap lies a boy. You know this for sure. But he’s wearing a wig. You remember his name well. You push it out of your mind for a bit.
Sitting almost behind the two is another girl, younger than the others in the photo. She’s looking off in the distance. She’s wearing blue and red.
You put down this photo and open your photo album.
You nearly shriek.
Conventions! You remember them so well! You remember being so happy at them! You remember meeting new people, reuniting with others and seeing some for the first time. You remember the cosplay!
You remember the facepaint!
You start to piece the names to the faces!
Everything comes flooding back to you!
Oh it’s a refreshing feeling!! You remember the times you had. You had a fascination with butts back then. What brought that about?
You flip to a huge group photo.
Pointing to each person in the photo, you reel off the name of them, and who they are cosplaying. Some comes faster than others. Others completely stump you, or you just don’t know them at all.
You blink your eyes and a small droplet falls on the protective covering of the photo. Your finger had just stopped on yourself.
You whisper to yourself your own name. Your maiden name. Your age. Your birthday. Your patron troll…
You were so happy back then.
How could you have forgotten? You nearly start to cry at this.
But there is a lot more…
A yellow and green dragon plush with blue eyes….
Are those ram horns?
That’s my god tier hood!! You think as you run your hands over the soft fleece. Yes… It is still as soft as you remember.
You look down in this little disc near the corner. Gray facepaint, completely cracked and unable to salvage. You run your finger over it, and after it coming out bone dry, you recap it and then put it back.
Underneath is not the cardboard of the box.
It’s your laptop.
You open it and power it on. It is much slower than that time’s computers. But you wait anxiously.
As the power comes on you try your password a couple of times before finally remembering what it originally was. You smile as your desktop comes up.
The photos of you at conventions and meetups are there, scrolling through.
You remember her!! She was such a good cosplayer.
He was so funny!!! I wonder where he is now….?
You look down and see that Google Chrome is already pulled up.
You click it, and at first the page is white from being dormant for so long. Open are two tabs. The one you open to first is a blue screen with white writing.
You laugh at the title of your blog and click on who you are following. The last updated blog….was 22 years ago….
The last you updated your blog…. Was…. It doesn’t say a date.
You curse to yourself, but don’t spend much time on it…… Yet….. Those GIF sets you still remember…. That user you still remember….
You move to the second tab.
You catch your breath again as you look at the title of it. Tears again being to prick at your eyes.
You click on it.
There is some goofy looking kid, clearly unhuman in appearance, but human nevertheless. You strain your eyes to look at him.
He looks at you.
Underneath you read something in an all too familiar text.
“A young man stands in his bedroom. It just so happens that today, the 13th of April, is this young man’s birthday. Though it was thirteen years ago he was given life, it is only today he will be given a name!
What will the name of this young man be?”