“Everything is still the same,” I whispered to myself as my eyes circled around the room.
The strange man shut the door and dropped my duffel bag on the floor. Judging by his expression and the beads of sweat building up on his nose, he seemed to be struggling. “What do you have in here?” he asked emphatically. I turned around and told him that I actually packed light.
Feelings of nostalgia were much stronger inside than outside. Every detail was remarkably similar with how I remembered. The Spider plants and Peace Lilies that my mom placed along side the windowsills were still there. Our black, rickety entrainment unit housed the same ‘Sharp’ television that I watched cartoons on fifteen years ago. Surprisingly, the picture looked clear as ever. Even the reclining sofa with the pink, yellow and green flower prints was against the wall just like it had always been. Before my parents tragic divorce, thoughts of when my father would turn on the television and recline back in the sofa pierced my subconsciousness. One minute my father would ask for a glass of water and the next he would be asleep snoring with his mouth open.
I shook my head several times from side to side in disbelief. I was unable to formulate a reasonable explanation as to why everything looked spot on like it did in the 1990’s.
“Is everything okay?” the stranger asks as he put my black duffel bag into the closet and closed the door. “Yeah, I’m fine,” I replied.
“Ha-ha, feels weird doesn’t it?” the stranger chuckled. “Huh?” I mumble, distracted as my eyes gazed into a scene that had been cryogenically preserved. “You know, being away for so long and then coming back to a familiar place,” he continued to say. “Oh that…yeah, it’s a little weird,” I say as I trip over my words.
Who was I kidding? He nailed it on the head. It felt awfully strange looking at the house that I grew up in and seeing everything virtually unchanged. Ostensibly, time rolled back to when I was sixteen again. Everything outside appeared to be untouched and so far the environment inside was following the same pattern.
The front door leads straight into the living room. When I walked in the house the television was muted and ‘Sade’ was playing from a vinyl on an old turntable. I grew up listening to ‘Sade’. She was my mothers’ favorite singer. On school days I can remember exiting the bus and being able to hear ‘Sade’ and smell burning incense coming from the house. Hearing her sad, but angelic voice flow into my ears brought back memories that I didn’t know existed.
“Hey Ade, come over this way. I want to introduce you to everyone.” he says with excitement. I shook my head out of the spell that Sade’s graceful voice so easily captured me in. Still knowing nothing about this man, I walked toward him following the path of his extended arm into his personal space. The stranger put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me in. “It feels really good to have you back,” he quietly said.