Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2271578-Blinded
by Emma
Rated: E · Fiction · Inspirational · #2271578
Ryan, who grew up on another planet, must decide to help her mother or save her world.

12 Years Ago

It was an ordinary day in the town of Amminus. Kids were learning new things from their mothers, while doing activities to keep them entertained and still understand the importance of creativity. The fathers of the town tended to their farms, while the men without children worked as househelpers. Few visitors wandered around, trying to find the houses of where their loved ones lived. The weather was nice, too. It was warm with the sun shining brightly, and the occasional cloud here and there.

We all know what happens when there's an ordinary day, though.

Everyone thought it was some sort of cloud at first. Then others had the idea that it was a visible star of some sort. But as it got closer to the ground, people started to grow more suspicious.

There was this weird substance they had never seen before coming out of what seemed to be the top of the strange object. It was almost like air, except it was black. It darkened the beautiful sky. People were able to get a whiff of it as the thing came closer. As they saw it was indeed air. But not any air they liked. It made them cough, and it hurt to inhale.

The thin - whatever it was - was certainly heading for Amminus. It was obvious now. The object was about fifteen feet above the ground, and was going to crash into the earth soon. Everyone in its path gazed up to watch it come down until they actually had the nerve to run. Families inside the comfort of their homes looked out their windows to watch. Mothers covered their children's eyes. A few brave men stood outside to make sure everyone was safely inside. They all waited for the loud BOOM.

But all that was there was silence.

The men outside are said to be the only ones that know what had happened. Unfortunately, they were no longer around to announce the truth.

Some people think that it was so loud that the sound was somehow impossible for human ears to pick up. Others argue that the thing exploded before it touched the ground. There are a lot of theories.

But no proof.

The first person to come outside to investigate the remains was a middle-aged woman who had been staying in Amminus for the meantime. She and her husband had come to move there, since she was not having the best time in her hometown, Veda. Her husband was one of the men to stay outside.

The woman nervously opened her door, and stepped outside.

The grass that was once a beautiful shade of green had shriveled, and turned into an ugly black color. The beautiful well that represented the main gathering center of Amminus laid along with the rest of the debris, with no significance. But the thing that caught her eye the most was something in the center of all of this. Suddenly, she forgot all about her husband, who - she would later discover - was laying unalive on what was left of the ground. All she cared about was-well, whatever that thing was.

She took hesitant steps forward as she finally reached her destination. When she looked down, and saw what it was, she gasped in shock. It was the thing! The middle-aged woman started to turn back to warn the other families, but suddenly she heard a sound. It almost sounded like...a cry.

The woman bent down toward the thing, cautiously. Then she heard the cry again, and it sounded as if it was begging for her comfort. She reached for it, eagerly this time. She found two tiny little door knobs on the sides of “the thing.” She carefully opened the two doors, not wanting to break this mysterious item.

She flinched at the creak the doors made when she moved it upwards one last time. She could tell it hadn’t been moved for a while. The woman then saw a big flash of red. It took her a few seconds to realize that this flash of color was actually the hair of an infant.

The child had freckles sprinkled all over her face like stars spread throughout the night sky. Even though the infant’s hair was the beautiful color of a campfire, the woman simply loved her face the most. Her facial expression had pulled into a crooked smile, and her eyes glinted with a hint of mischief.

This event had simply been overwhelming for the woman. Not for the fact there was a child in that thing the whole time-although that was part of the reason-but because she felt as if this little girl was meant for her. As if she was meant to just cradle her in her arms, and love her forever…

That is simply what the lady did, and will continue to do, for the rest of her life.

Present Time


“Mom, am I different?” I asked my mom.

I thought back to the kids in the field. It had all been fine at first-we had been having fun, even, playing tag. But then one of the kids just had to ruin it. He was tall, really athletic-looking, with blonde hair and blue eyes. He was obviously popular, but everyone knows that popular kids are usually also the mean ones.

“Why are you playing with Ryan,” he had spat my name out as if it were poison. “Look at her red hair. Look at her freckles all over her body. The only that she has in common with anyone is her blue eyes. Come on guys,” he waved his hand to the other people. “Let’s play with someone else. Ryan is simply just too different.” He had stuck out his tongue at me, and led his little minions to the other side of the field.
I was brought back to reality whenever I felt Mom’s warm hands on mine.

“Ryan, honey, why would you ever think such a thing?!” She said. “ Who in the world ever told you that?” She asked one question after another, no break in between.

“I don’t know his name,” I said, embarrassed I had even said anything.

“Well you better tell them,” she said sternly, “that you are not different, you are-”

“Unique. I know, I know,” I recited, like reading lines from a script.

Mom seemed satisfied with herself. She crossed her arms, and went back to do whatever she had been doing before.

My mouth turned into a tight frown. It wasn’t fair! Why do I have to be so different?! Why can’t I just be like anyone else, and fit in? Tears welled up in my eyes. I jumped up, and angrily wiped my hands across my eyes.

I know what the old lady across the street would’ve said if I told her this. Life isn’t fair. Well, it seems to be for everyone else!

I stormed into my room, slammed the door, and started throwing things around the room. Not out of anger, no, it was because I was looking for something.

Finally, after what seemed like several hours-although I’m sure it was really just a few minutes-I found it. My lucky coin.

The coin used to be copper-brown, but had turned a tealish color over the years. It was small enough to balance on one of my fingertips.
There was a strange symbol engraved onto the coin, which I had spent hours at a time before trying to figure out what it was. The most I could gather from those examinations was that it was a man - what man, I had no idea - with some sort of fancy clothing on. There were words on the coin as well, but I could only make out a few. On one side it says “In God We Trust,” and “Liberty.” Neither I truly understand.
I flip it over onto the other side, and rub my finger over the rough parts. On this side it has some sort of shield, with a banner across it that says, “One Cent.” Above the shield, there is, in a smaller font, the words, "United States of America.” Not any country or city that I’m aware of.

I head outside, lucky coin in hand, and go towards the well. They had just rebuilt it a few months ago, but it was already damaged. A boy had ran into it, and knocked a few stones into the well. The boy received more damage himself than the well did.

I feel the wind blow my hair across my face as I lean across the well. I look down. I can’t see the water, much less the bottom, of the well.
I can’t believe I’m doing this. This is the only thing that came undestroyed through my journey to this world. I don’t even know if the wish will come true. It’s too late now. I’ve already made up my mind.

I make my wish, and drop the coin. I wish that I was not different-or unique, I add in my mind hastily. I wish to be in a place where I belong.
Then I open my eyes to watch my lucky coin go down, down, down, into the darkness.

In my dreams, I walk through a strange town, full of strange lights and strange people. The main thing I notice is someone holding my hand. I look at the person. It’s a woman with bright red hair, and lots of freckles. The funny thing is that she looks almost exactly like me.

The woman smiles. I smile back. Then suddenly, the town doesn’t seem strange anymore. The lights are just right, and the people seem friendly. I feel just right - like I belong here.

Then the dream is filled with a loud sound that doesn’t fit the scene. That doesn’t belong.

The dream then fades away as I hear my mother’s voice.

“Honey, honey. Wake up,” she shakes me, sounding mildly concerned, but also excited and curious. I open my eyes drowsily. That had been a good dream.

“What is it Mom?” I ask, still trying to recover.

Her face broke into a wide smile. “Something has happened,” she announced.

“Couldn't you have told me this in the morning?”

“Well, I thought you would like to see.” Her expression pulled down into a frown.

“What is there to see?” I ask.

“Well, you’ll have to see for yourself!” She dances out of the room, with a grin on her face. I guess she’s left me no other choice. I sigh, then follow her reluctantly.

She stops a few yards from our house, but you would still be able to see everything from our front door.

The grass was now the same color as the pitch-black inside of the well. The well that I had just visited yesterday - so much for that wish - was completely destroyed, laying across the ground. But there was one thing that everyone was staring at, with what seemed to be familiarity. Of course, they were all taller than me so I couldn’t see a thing.

I pushed and squeezed my way through the crowd, muttering a few excuse me’s along the way. Surprisingly enough, they made no complaints and allowed me to get through pretty easily.

There was more destruction here than there was where I had been beforehand. You couldn’t even see what was left of the ground with all the debris there.

However, I did not pay any more attention to this. For now, a woman with red hair and freckles stood in the middle of all this. The woman from my dreams.

It took me a moment to realize that she was staring back. She looked at me intently, looking me over from top to bottom.
Then she smiled. And I smile back.

She reaches out her hand. I hesitantly take a few steps toward her. She shakes her hand encouragingly, her smile shining brightly. I close the space between us with a sprint.

She pulls me into a hug. Kind of awkward. I don’t even know who this girl is. She could be a serial killer for all I know.

But for some odd reason, I end up pulling her tighter around me. I squeeze her like I’ve never hugged anyone before.

She was the one to break the hug. She inhaled a huge gulp of air. “Wow,” she says, in a voice like windchimes. “You are one tight hugger!” I blush from embarrassment.

“Hi there.” I hear my mom’s voice. I turn around. “I see you’ve met Ryan.”

“Ryan! What a pretty name!” The strange woman said it as if she should’ve thought of it.

“Yes, it was my husband’s name,” says Mom. I’m surprised she mentioned him. She usually is very touchy around the subject.

“Well I can’t wait to meet this lovely husband of yours,” the lady smiles kindly. I thought she would’ve caught the ‘was,’ in my mom’s sentence.

“Oh, no. He died over a decade ago,” my mom said sadly, her head hung.

“I’m so sorry, I shouldn't have said anything.” She pets my mom’s shoulder, as if that would bring him back.

“Do you two know each other?” My mom changes the subject. She looks at me, and then at the woman.

“No-” I try to say, but am interrupted.

“Well, I would like to think that this lovely Ryan here remembers me, but then again she was just a baby,” she says, practically talking to herself. “But - speaking for myself obviously - yes, I know Ryan.”

“Honey, how do you know her?” My mom looks back and forth at us again, extremely confused.

“Well, I don’t know her. It’s complicated, Mom.”

“Ryan, just tell me,” my mom calmly says, although it seems like she was really just trying not to scream at the top of her lungs.

I hesitate to answer her. “I had a dream last night. It was a pretty good dream, actually. I had been walking through this strange place, and there were all these weird people there. While I was walking, there was someone holding my hand. That person was you,” I gestured to the woman. I shrugged. “That’s all.” I didn’t add the part where I felt like I belonged there.

Mom looks at the woman now. “How do you know Ryan?” She asks.

The woman looks completely sincere and serious as she says this.

“I know Ryan because I am her biological mother.”

I stare wide eyed at the woman - my mother.

My mom - not my biological mother - takes me by my wrist and leads me to the house. “Hey!” I shout. I try to wriggle free, but her grip is too strong, There’s no use.

I look back. There is my biological mother - my real mother - desperately trying to get through the crowd to reach me. Her daughter.
Mom, with her wrist around me, opens the door. She yanks me inside - throwing me across the room in the process - slams the door, and then locks it.

“What was that for?” I scream.

“We have to get away from here,” my mom pants nervously, like she didn’t hear me. “Away from her.”

“Umm, hello? I just met my biological mother, and you already want to take her away from me?” My voice breaks as my eyes fill up with tears.

My mom stops pacing around the room to come up to me, and take me in her hands. “Ryan,” she says firmly. “I am your real mother. I was the one who took care of you all of your life. I was the one who changed your diaper. I was the one who fed you breakfast every morning. I was the one who told you I love you at night. I was the one who did everything for you!” She shakes her hands wildly.

I push her hands off my face. “My real mother would never take me away from where I’m meant to be. In fact, my real mother is currently waiting for me outside. And I suggest you don’t try to stop me.”

My mom’s eyes fill with tears. It doesn’t matter to me. All that matters now is the person outside. The person I’m meant to be with. The person I belong with.

I angrily unlock the door. Just more obstacles in my way. I open the door, and walk outside. There she is. The mother of my dreams.
She smiles. I smile back. She opens her arms out for a hug. This time there is no hesitation in it. I run as fast as humanly possible, and squeeze her harder than I did before.

This time I was the one to let go. I didn’t necessarily want to, but we had other things to do. “I don’t know hardly anything about you,” I say.
“And I don’t really know anything about you, either.” She frowns.

“Hey, I have an idea. Let’s go for a walk. Then we can tell each other all about ourselves,” I say brightly.

Her face pulls into a smile. “What a lovely idea! Who knew my daughter would turn out to be so smart,” she says proudly. I beam up at her.

Our small moment is suddenly rudely interrupted. “Well it looks like Ryan has found her idiotic other half.” I look over. It’s the same boy that ruined the tag game! His bright blue eyes glint evilly.

My mother takes a step forward. “Excuse me mister,” she says, sounding annoyed. “I don’t know who you think you are to say that I am idiotic. First of all, I am an owner of a very successful business that currently is making loads of money. Also, if I was so idiotic, how would I have not only been able to build my own rocket to come here, but to also control it so that I land here safely? I also designed my daughter’s rocket that she arrived in, which was especially made so that it would fit her size at that age.

“Now,” my mom continued. “Ryan and I have some catching up to do, if you’ll excuse us.”

The boy’s mouth is hanging completely open. I guess he’s not used to being stood up to.

I look at my mother. She wipes her hands onto her jacket, as if wiping off some invisible dirt. “That ought to teach him,” she mutters.

“How did you do that?” I ask, astonished.

“What? Has your mother never done that before?” She acts as if it was a normal thing for mothers to do.

“Mom? No, never! All she ever tells me is that I’m not different - I’m unique,” I say mockingly.

She chuckles. “Don’t different and unique mean the same thing?”

“I know, that’s what I thought!” We both laugh. The sound is so natural, I can’t help but grin.

“So tell me about your life with your mother - what’s her name?”

I sigh. “Her name is Maia.”

“Hmm. That’s a pretty name. Though not as pretty as yours.” She leans over and winks at me. That’s when she sees my expression. She frowns, and starts blurting out questions of concern. “What’s wrong? Was it something I said?”

“No it’s not you,” I say, shaking my head. I think back to the last words I had said to my mother. My real mother would never take me away from where I’m meant to be, I had said. In fact, my real mother is currently waiting for me outside. I bite my lip to keep from crying.

“What is it, then?” She asks, looking slightly concerned.

I sigh. “It’s nothing.”

She doesn’t press on it. “Tell me about your life with her,” she repeats.

“Well, I love my mom, you know,” I start. “She always cared for me, and loved me, and did everything that a mother should do for their child. I always knew she wasn’t completely happy though, because her husband had died. I always kind of felt guilty for that, even though she always told me it wasn’t my fault he died.”

She interrupted, allowing me a second to breath. “Why would you think you were responsible for his death?”

“Because the thing that you sent me in - what was it called again?”

“A rocket.”

“Yeah, that thing. Anyway, whenever I arrived on this planet I came here inside the rocket, right?” She nods. “There were a few men that decided to stay outside - for reasons I’m not entirely sure of. My father was one of those people. Mom says that he went out there to make sure everyone was safe, but it doesn’t matter why. Because the rocket killed each and every one of the people out there.

“I was surprised whenever mom mentioned him to you. She usually doesn’t like to talk about him - even to me.

“Other than that, my life with mom is great.”

“What are some things you like to do with Maia?” I hadn’t noticed that she had got a notepad and a pencil out.

“Well we like to plant pretty flowers in the springtime, just for fun. My favorite kind of flowers are daffodils. Last year, my mom and I grew a lot of them. We made all of these leaf crowns, and bouquets and stuff. We had so many that we traded them out for stuff.” I smiled at the memory. “Of course we traded them out for even more daffodil seeds. It was too late in the season to plant them, though, so we decided to keep them for this year.”

She writes something down, and then looks up. “What restaurants do you like to eat at?”

“Restaurants? What are restaurants?” This has to be some sort of thing that only adults know, because I have never heard the word restaurant before.

“You don’t have restaurants here?” She eyes widen, and she gasps like that's the craziest thing she’s ever heard.

I put my hand on my hip, and stopped walking to face her. “You didn’t answer my question.”

“Hmmm… I don’t really know how to word this. Restaurants are, well, they’re places you eat,” she says.

“I don’t understand. Aren't you supposed to eat on your dining room table?”

“I guess I didn’t say it right,” she wrinkles her forehead, deep in concentration. “Okay, I think I got it. Not everyone can cook well, right?”

She looks at me expectantly waiting for me to nod my head. Instead, I shake it.

“What do you mean, not everyone can cook well?! Cooking is easy!” I say, trying to register this in my mind.

“Now I’m confused. How about you tell me how you guys make your food”

“Well first we have to grow our food. We usually grow potatoes, tomatoes-”

“Potato, potato. Tomato, tomato,” she mutters under her breath.

“Carrots, green beans, peas, and a lot of other vegetables. We don’t usually plant fruits like apples and coconuts - they grow on trees. On harvest time we get all of our crops, wash them, and then store them for winter time. Mom and I always have plenty, since there's only two of us. Whenever we have leftovers we usually give them to the larger families that have a harder time providing everyone with enough food. One time, we threw a feast for everyone in Amminus. Of course, all of the other families that had-”

She didn’t let me finish. “What’s Amminus?” She asked.

“That's the name of our town.”

“Why is it called Amminus?”

“I’m not exactly sure why it’s called Amminus, but I do think I have an idea of it. We are really all about creativity, and art, and having our own original ideas,” I rattle off. “Whenever Mom isn’t teaching me about all the boring stuff, like math, we do arts and crafts together. It’s really fun.

“My mom used to live in Veda - which is another town. I’m glad she moved here though. Veda is all about perfection. They like to have things in order, and in routine every day. They don’t even say words like ‘can’t’! Instead, they say ‘cannot.’ I can’t imagine living like that. My mom said the only reason she lived there was because that was where she was born. She said that she was glad the second she left there.” I pause, letting her have a moment to process all of that information.

“Hmmm… interesting,” is all she says.

We pause for a moment in awkward silence. I pop my knuckles like I always do when I’m uncomfortable.

“So… how about you tell me about yourself,” I say it more like it’s a question.

She takes a deep breath. “Okay. But how about I show you.” She does a big goofy grin.

I grin back. “That sounds great!” I say.

“Okay, come on. Follow me.”

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“Suspicious, are you?” She raises her eyebrows at me, and then laughs.

I don’t get the joke. “No, I’m not suspicious.”

She keeps her eyebrows raised. “Uh-huh,” she says sarcastically.

My smile long gone, I head up the hill to her. We end up stopping at her rocket.

I stare up at her broken piece of shelter. “So this is where you live? Like, as a house?” I don’t say it aloud, but I can’t believe that anyone would possibly enjoy staying in this thing. It looks smaller than my closet - at least on the outside - and pieces are broken off of it.

“Yup,” she smiles, looking proud. “I know it probably looks like a piece of junk from the outside,” I look down, guilty, “but on the inside it’s actually pretty cool.” She ducks her head inside the rocket. I hesitate outside the entrance, not quite sure if it’s safe or not.

She sticks her head out. “Come on! You’re not scared, are you?” She moves her fingers in a way that I think is meant to look creepy.

“No,” I say, trying to convince myself of this as well as her. I step carefully into the rocket, looking overhead as if it were about to fall on top of me at any moment.

“I knew you would get over it,” she says. She puts her arm around my neck, and pulls me close. I smile at her.

“What did you want to show me?” I ask, curious.

“Well, not really anything in particular, but I guess I could show you…” her voice trails off. She walks over to a little drawer, and carelessly opens it up.

I look around the rocket. It’s mostly filled up with buttons, levers, and controls. I spot a chair on the other side of the room. I walk over, and sit down in it.

Suddenly the room is moving! “Aaaaaah!” I scream. I then realize that the room wasn’t moving-the chair was! The chair spins to a stop, and topples to the floor, along with me.

“What just happened?” I yell.

She comes rushing over to me. I expect her to look over me, make sure I’m okay, and comfort me like Mom does.

Instead, she comes bursting out in laughter.

“That was hilarious!” She says through her laughter. She laughs so hard that tears start coming out of her eyes. I just stand there, crossing my arms. I am seriously annoyed right now.

Her laughter eventually dies down, and she wipes the tears from her face. She takes a deep breath, and that's when she notices my expression. “What?” She asks, trying to sound all innocent.

I burst out, “Did you see that? The chair moved! The chair!”

She just stares at me wide eyed, like I’m crazy or something. Maybe I am. But seriously, the chair moved.

“Ryan,” she says slowly, emphasizing each word. “There are wheels on the chair. That’s why it moved.” She points to the bottom of the chair. I see that there are indeed wheels on the chair.

Wait a minute. Wheels. On a chair. Wheels. Then I suddenly know that I’m not the crazy one.

“Wheels? On a chair?” I say. I chuckle. Then I laugh. I laugh some more. Then suddenly I’m the one bursting out with laughter, tears pouring out. I hear her join the laughter.

Sometime later we finish. We both lay atop each other, exhausted.

“What just happened?” I barely whisper.

“I have no idea,” she answers. I feel her smiling. “Why did you freak out about the chair?”

“It’s a moving chair! With wheels! How can you not freak out about that?”

She sits up quickly. “Wait. Do you not have rolling chairs on your planet?”

“Umm, no. I guess not.” I take a glance at her. Realization and understanding fills her face.

“Does your planet have those… those…”

“Rolling chairs,” she finishes.

“Yeah, those. Does your planet have them?”

She nods. “Lots of them. Most people have them for their offices and stuff.”


Her eyes widened. “You guys don’t have offices?! Wow. Um. Just wow.” Then she looks at me, and realizes I’m still waiting for an answer. “Oh! Well, offices are places you work at basically.”

I nod slowly. It’s weird how much different our worlds are from each other. Her planet has such cool stuff! I wish we had those things.
“What was that thing you were going to show me earlier before I encountered that rolling chair?”

She chuckles. “That was funny. It’s right here.” She holds out a long black item, with one button on the bottom, and a few on the sides.
She presses one of the buttons on the side, and it lights up. She presses a few things on the strange item.

My face lights up with curiosity. “What is that?” I ask.

“It’s called a phone,” she says. She lifts it up into the air.

“What are you doing?”

“Seeing if there’s internet here,” she says, her arms still reaching out towards the ceiling.

“What’s that?” I’m sure I must be annoying her with all my questions by now.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” she says.

After a moment she yells, “Yes! I forgot that I downloaded those songs!” Then she covers her mouth with her hand like she said too much.

“Songs?!” I screech.

She groans. “You don’t know what songs are either?”

“No, no, no. I do,” I backtrack. “In fact, I love songs. There's a band that goes around to different towns to play, and they came here once. They were soooo good.”

“Oh, okay. I was about to think that this place was crazy.” She looks back at her phone thingy, and pushes something on it. Then she pushes one of the other buttons on the side.

“This is one of the songs I have downloaded on here,” she explains.

Music starts playing, but not the kind of music the band had been playing. This music had words, and a sort of feel that made you want to kick out your legs and start dancing.

“I hopped off the plane at LAX
With a dream and my cardigan
Welcome to the land of fame excess (woah)
Am I gonna fit in?
Jumped in the cab, here I am for the first time
Look to my right, and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

My tummy's turnin' and I'm feelin' kinda homesick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the taxi man turned on the radio
And a Jay-Z song was on
And a Jay-Z song was on
And a Jay-Z song was on

So I put my hands up
They're playing my song, the butterflies fly away
I'm nodding' my head like, yeah
Movin' my hips like, yeah
I got my hands up, they're playing my song
They know I'm gonna be okay
Yeah, it's a party in the U.S.A.
Yeah, it's a party in the U.S.A.”

She presses something on the phone, and the song turns off. She grins. “Did you like that, or the music your band plays better?”

I laugh. “Definitely that. I mean, it had words.” I start singing part of the song, dancing to the beat. She chuckles.

“You can keep it if you want,” she offers casually.

I don’t believe her. “Like you would trust me with the thingy-magig.”

She stares at me. “The what?” She asks.

“The thingy-magig. I don't remember the name of it, so that’s just what I’m gonna call it for now.” I shrug.

She scoffs. “Okay,” she mutters. She straightens up her back. “But, I’m serious, Ryan. You can keep it.” She looks at me, and it feels like she's staring into my soul.

I stare back, wide eyes. “Really? I can?” I hug her. “Thank you!” She kisses my forehead. It seems so natural that I don’t even notice that it was the first time she's ever kissed me.

She pulls out of the hug. “You better get going home,” she says sternly. I forgot about that. About what I had said to Mom.

“Yeah, Mom’s probably worried sick.” I pause, then realize something. “Hey, I have to find something to call you, since it will get confusing if I call you both ‘Mom.’”

She puts her hand on her chin, thinking. Her face lights up. “I have an idea. How about ‘Amma.’ It’s how you say ‘Mom’ in Korean,” she looks at me. “Korean is another language in my world,” she adds to clear up any confusion.

“Amma...hmm...sounds good. Very creative. Hey, you fit into this town already!” I say brightly. She chuckles.

“Well, I guess I should better go,” I say glumly. “Bye, Amma. Love you.”

“Don’t forget your thingy-magig,” she reminds me.

“Oh, thanks!” I take it, then head out. I don’t even notice that she doesn’t say ‘I love you’ back.

It takes me a few moments to reach my house. When I arrive on the door, my hand hesitates on the doorknob. Will I still be welcomed here, even after all that I have said? I settle on knocking.

After one knock on the door, Mom opens the door. Her face is stroked with tears, and she has wrinkles between her eyebrows the way they do whenever she's worried. She looks up. “Oh, Ryan!” She cries.

She pulls me into a warm hug. This hug feels familiar, but not as natural as the ones I’ve shared with Amma. I’m the one to pull away. I realize that I’ve started crying as well as my mother.

“I’m so sorry,” I started my apology. “ I shouldn’t have said any of that stuff to you. You are an amazing mother, and I am so lucky to have you. I love you,” my voice cracks. “I-I-I,” I stutter.

“Honey, there's no reason to apologize. I’m just so glad you came back.” She strokes my hair.

“Can I come in?” I gesture to the doorway.

“Of course! You don’t have to ask, I’m your mother!” She walks me over to the couch. I set down the thingy-magig onto the table. She looks at it curiously. “What’s that?” She asks.

“It’s called a thingy-magig,” I have to force down a laugh at the name. “It does some really cool stuff. Listen to this.” I press the buttons like Amma did whenever she was turning it on. The song turns on. I see that the song is called, ‘Party in the USA.’ I’ll have to ask Amma what that means.

I stop the song around the same spot Amma did. Mom looks up at me with wide eyes. I’m sure that's how I looked whenever I had finished listening to it. “That sounded nothing like the band that came around here a few years ago,” she says.

“I know, that's what I thought when Amma showed me!” We both laugh. She suddenly stops, and tilts her head to the side.

“Is that what you call your biological mother?” She flinches. “Amma?”

“Yeah. It was her idea to call her that, since we didn't want it to be confusing for me by having to call you both ‘Mom.’ Great idea, huh?” I grin at her.

She hesitates to answer. “Yeah. Great idea,” she finally answers, but it didn’t really sound like she thought it was a good idea. I didn’t think much of it.

“Well, I’m gonna go put this in my room.”

“Okay,” she says quietly. She looks down at the ground, looking kind of gloomy.

Like I told Mom, I go in my room, and put the thingy-magig onto my dresser. Then I head into the arts and craft room.

In the arts and crafts room there are yarn, paper, sewing supplies, and lots of other materials you need to create things. I head over to where the yarn and sewing supplies are. I grab thin, blue yarn, and thin, yellow yarn.

I spend most of the night working on my craft. It was for Amma. Just a little surprise for her in the morning when I see her again.
I finish it a little before Mom calls for dinner. I proudly look at my creation. The blue yarn was used to make a small blue circle, and with the yellow yarn I put the word ‘Amma’ on there. Together, they make a blue badge that says the word ‘Amma’ in yellow letters.

I think about showing Mom my surprise for Amma, but decide against it. It didn’t seem like she really enjoyed the subject of my biological mother a lot. I mean, I guess I wouldn’t too if I had just met my long lost sister, and Mom liked her more than me. Not that I like Amma more than Mom. I think.

The next morning I decided to head to Amma’s early, not wanting to wait on her surprise. It reminds me of whenever I made this little scavenger hunt for Mom on Valentines Day. On each clue they had things I loved about her on them. I ended up having her do the scavenger hunt the day before the actual holiday, because I was excited for her to do it.

I get to the rocket just at sunrise. I hear Amma’s voice talking loudly, so I decide to wait outside politely before I go inside. But this didn’t stop me from eavesdropping.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. I know.” She sounded really annoyed and impatient-bored even. That didn’t seem like her.

I looked inside the room to see who she was talking to. What surprised me was that there was no one in the room besides her. She was sitting in her rolling chair, with something in her hand. It was long and black, with what seemed to be little holes all around it. It also had two long things sticking out of the top.

“Yeah, boss, I got it all figured out,” she said to the black thing in her hand. “Uh-huh. Yup. It’s going off tonight. I’ve already put it in her closet. Ryan didn’t even notice.” She scoffs. I flinch at the way she says my name.

“Yes, Ryan is my daughter. Stupid little girl she is. I got her turned against her own mother in an hour!” She laughed. It wasn’t like her normal laugh though. It was more like a cackle. “I’ve got that girl wrapped around my finger. I bet she would destroy this whole world herself if I asked her to.” At this I had to try my best not to scream. Destroy my own planet? I would never do that - even if it was for her!

“Uh-huh. I know. I can’t be for sure that it won’t or will kill anyone, but I know that it will definitely cause some damage. We will have this world taken over in no time. Yeah. Um, no. It’s really frustrating that they don’t have any internet.” There’s that word again. She keeps talking to her ‘boss.’ I throw her good-for-nothing surprise onto the ground, and (quietly) stomp on it. Then I sprint to my house.

I fling the door open, and fall onto the ground, sobbing. My hands tremble. I hear my Mom’s loud footsteps find their way to me.

“Ryan, what’s wrong?” Her voice is filled with worry.

“She - lied - to - me,” I try to get out the words through my sobs.

“Honey, just take some deep breaths,” I can tell that she is trying hard not to cry as well. I listen hard to her breathing, and try to match it. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

After some time, my body remembers how to sit up. I take a deep breath. “Are you okay to tell me what happened now?” She whispers.

“Yes,” I breathe. “She lied to me.”

“Who? Your biological mother?” She asks.

“Yes.” I try to keep what I say short, so that part of me that just wants to burst out in tears doesn’t show itself.

“I always knew she was up to something terrible,” Mom says darkly. She softens her facial expressions as she looks at me. “What did she lie to you about?”

I wanted to tell her that she lied about everything. Our whole time together-which was only about a day and a half, but still. I thought we had a perfect mother-daughter relationship. But this was all just stuff that had blinded me from the truth. What hadn’t she lied about? Had she planned this all along? I had so many questions myself, but most of them probably won’t be answered.

“She never came here to be with me,” I tell her. I take a deep breath to steady myself. “She came to - to take over the world, I think. Or at least this town.” I think back to what she said to that strange black thing she had been holding. I can’t be for sure that it won’t or will kill anyone, but I know that it will definitely cause some damage. We will have this world taken over in no time.

“What?! Take over the world? Why?” She looks at me with shock on her face.

“I don’t know why,” I breathe,” but I think I know how.” I get off the couch, and walk steadily to my room. She had said that it was in my closet.

We might still be able to stop her.

As soon as I get to my closet I tear open the door. I look everywhere for what might be something that could destroy a whole town. I eventually find an object that I recognize on the floor behind a stack of books.

A bomb.

That’s what she’s going to use to destroy this town, and eventually to take over the world. I pick it up. It has a clock on it, that slowly counts down from each second to the next. Right now, the time says 13:23:57.

I’m holding a ticking time bomb. But for some odd reason this doesn’t seem to bother me, because I walk to Mom with it still in my hands.
I carefully put it on the table. “This,” I say, “is how she will take us over.”

Mom puts her hand to her mouth. “A bomb?” She whispers.

I look down. “Yes. A bomb.”

“How are we going to stop her?” I look at her face, and notice that she has silent tears running down her cheeks.

“I have a plan worked out,” I say, emotionless.

“What is it?” She keeps her eyes locked on the table.

“The bomb right now is at about thirteen hours and twenty minutes. I think that whenever it gets to about ten minutes one of us should sneak inside her rocket, and hide the bomb in there. The other person will distract her, and make sure she doesn’t go anywhere near the rocket.” I pause for a moment, and look at Mom hopefully. “Are you willing to be the person that sneaks into the rocket, and hides the bomb?” I ask.


“Okay, then. I’ll be the one distracting her. I just have to pretend that I don’t know that she's about to take over the world,” I say, almost to myself. “Now we just have to wait until around night time to go into action.”

“Sounds good. I'll get prepared."

Around eight o’clock Mom and I get ready to go into action. “Remember, Mom, your job is to get into the rocket, and hide the bomb. Make sure it’s hid well.” I remind her. I feel like I’m the parent now, barking around orders.

“Okay. Got it.” She looks at me meaningfully. “You don’t have to distract her if you don’t want to. I know it might be hard for you.”

“It might be, but at least I know I’m stopping her from taking over our world.” Mom looks at me oddly. I recognize the wiseness of my own words. What happened to me in the past two days?

We both head out the door, prepared to do our duties. I go ahead of Mom, since I have to actually get my biological mother out of the rocket before she can do anything.

We get to the rocket in a short amount of time. I stop at the entrance, and take a glance at Mom who is going to hide on the other side of the rocket. She smiles, then winks at me, gesturing to the bomb in her other hand. I smile back.

I lift up my head determinedly, and walk into the rocket. I walk silently to my biological mother, and then say quietly, “Hi.”

She jumps up, and I know I’ve scared her. She was probably making some finishing touches on her stupid little plan to take over our world.

“Oh, my! Ryan, you scared me,” she cries.

I put on a fake smile. Time to pretend. This might be hard, but it’s for my town. My home.

“Sorry,” I say. I grit my teeth. Why should I apologize to her?

“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it,” she puts her wrist up to her face, checking something. “Look, I don’t have much time to hang out with you today. I have to… do something.” I notice her pause in the sentence, and I wonder if I would’ve noticed it before I knew her real intentions. Before I knew that I had been blinded.

“What do you have to do?” I try to sound all innocent, to play along with her act.

“I decided to go...visit one of the other towns.” She lies.

I want to say to save herself the trouble, and tell her to stop lying to me. I want to scream in her face, to tell her how much this has hurt me. I want to let out that little demon inside of me that is still crying from hurt. But instead, I say, “Really? Sounds interesting. What time do you have to go?”

“Uh, in about ten minutes.” Interesting. That’s about the same amount of time the bomb has left on it until it goes off. I wonder if there could possibly be a connection?

“Well, let’s not waste time!” I try to say brightly.

I can tell she doesn’t like the idea, but she nods silently. “I have an idea!” I say. “How would you like to go to my favorite part of this town?” I stretch out the word ‘favorite’ to make it sound cheerful.

“Sure, that sounds great! Ryan, you are so smart!” Uh-huh, I wanna say sarcastically to her. If I’m so smart, then why did you call me a stupid little girl to your boss? This is ridiculous. To imagine how I didn’t even notice the way she had been behaving before is absurd! I really just want to tell her I know, that I know everything. But I bite my lip. I can’t spill. We have to save our town.

I lead her out of the rocket, checking behind me to make sure she's following. Out of the corner of my eye I see Mom, sticking out a thumbs up to me. A small smile goes across my face.

I purposely choose a specific place on the other side of town. Whenever she asks where we’re going, I say, “We are going to the place where Mom and I get our seeds to grow some plants.” I remember whenever I had told her about my favorite type of flower. It is sad to think about the memories I’ve had with her. There aren’t many, but still - sad.

After going through every aisle in the store thoroughly, I try my hardest to take long with the cashier. It's no use. As soon as we get out of the store, she glances at her clock. I am able to take a look as well, and I see that it has been almost eight minutes since we left. I am exhausted from only eight minutes in a store! I thought for sure that it had been way longer than that! I guess it is probably a good thing, since she kind of needs to actually be in the rocket whenever the bomb goes off.

Wait. I think to myself. I’m going to kill her? Is that really necessary?

An evil voice in the back of my head says, She was planning on killing us, wasn’t she? Doesn’t she deserve the same treatment?
For a few moments, I question myself on my real intentions with the bomb: revenge on my biological mother, or to save the town?

We get back to the rocket. “I have a surprise for you. Can you please wait outside so I can get it set up?” I widened my eyes, and I prayed that I looked hopeful.

“Of course,” she smiles at me. I force a hard smile back.

I get inside the rocket, and immediately see the bomb laying on the rolling chair, which is facing the entrance. So much for telling Mom to hide it.

I take the bomb, and find another place to put it. The time on it says 00:01:24. One and a half minutes left. I have to hurry, and get her in here.

I start walking rather quickly towards the exit of the rocket, but then remember that I had told her that I was setting up a surprise. Luckily, I still had my badge I had been making for her last night. I sigh. All that time wasted.

I raced over to the rolling chair, and hastily put the badge on there. Good enough. It didn’t matter anyway, because there wasn’t enough time.

I rush outside to her. “You can come look at the surprise now,” I say. She smiles at me, then walks casually inside.

“I have to go now. Bye,” I say, my words obviously rushed.

“Bye,” she replies back. I bet as soon as I close the door, she’ll be rushing around, preparing for her plan to take over our world. Well, both her and the plan will be destroyed.

No, a voice in my mind says. We can’t kill her. Then we won’t be heroes. We’ll be murderers!

The other part of me retorts, technically, the bomb would have killed her. Not us. I notice how the voice says us - like we are seperate people, and not just one whole organism.

The good voice starts talking again. Look, you can think that, but you’ll always know deep down, that you were responsible for her death. That you were a murderer.

Those words must have affected me a lot, because suddenly I’m flinging the door open, and yanking my biological mother out.

“What are you doing?” She screams.

“Saving your life!” I know we only have a few seconds, so I tighten my grip on her arm as I sprint in the other direction.

Even though we are pretty far away now, whenever the bomb goes off it sounds like it blew up in my ear. I turn around, and see the explosion. It’s like a firework, but not as pretty. The debris flies around in the air, and I’m reminded of whenever I saw my biological mother for the first time as she had crash-landed into the earth with her rocket.

I hear a gasp, and look to my left. She has her hand over her mouth, in shock. “No,” she whispers. “My bomb.” Then she looks at me, and realizes that I heard her. “I mean, not my - not my bomb - I - I can explain-”

I interrupt her. “I already know. Everything. Your plan to destroy, and take over the world. Everything,” I repeat.

Her stare is now blank. “How long have you known?” She whispers.

“Since this morning.” I look away, trying not to remember that terrible moment.

“And you still saved me?” I look at her, and see that her stare is no longer blank. It looks meaningful, intent. Almost like… she admires me. No, no. It can't be that.

I don’t answer her question, mainly because I don’t honestly know the answer myself. Instead, I say, “You need to get out of this town.”

“Why?” She looks almost like she might cry.

“Because I don’t want you anywhere near me,” I say, my voice shaking. “I don’t want to ever hear your name again, I don’t want to see or hear anything about you again - nothing. I want absolutely no relationship with you.

“You have no idea,” my voice trembles, “what you have put me through. The pain. It’s hardly bearable to even look at you. So I want you to leave. Now.” She hesitates, not sure whether I’m serious or not. “NOW! GO! GET OUT OF HERE!” I scream at her. After a few seconds, she’s out of sight.

I stand there for a little while - I’m not sure how long - and just stare at the ground. I stare at the nothingness before me.

A little while later, someone comes up to me, and says something. I don’t know what they say. They’re voice mixes in with all of the other voices in my head. I see them, but my mind doesn’t seem to register all of the expressions and colors. I’m just lost, lost in a maze of nothing.

I don’t know what time it had been, or if I was still in the same place I had been before, but some time later I heard a familiar voice. It gets louder, and I actually end up identifying it. Mom. My mom. The mom I love.

“Ryan?!” She says. “Are you okay? Oh, Ryan, please speak to me!”

“Mom?” I croak.

“Oh, my goodness!” She puts her arms around me. I am still outside, but at a different spot.

That’s when I break. That emotional part of me tears it’s way out of my body. I crumble onto the ground, surrounded by tears. It seems like that’s the only thing I know how to do now - cry.

I let it all out. I cry for the hurt I got whenever I found out she had been lying. I cry for whenever I had been lost in that nothingness. I cry for having to pretend about something I already knew. I cry for ending our relationship. I cry for the good memories with her. I cry for the bad. I cry just to cry. I cry, and cry, and cry.

I don’t know how or when the tears stop, but they eventually do. I am able to feel Mom stroking my hair now, I can see her shirt-which is now soaked-and I recognize where I am. I’m where the well used to be before it got destroyed.

I lay there with Mom for a minute, just paying attention to how it feels whenever she touches my hair. I think for a second that she must be getting impatient, and then I sit up. I see that she has been crying too. Stupid me - I’ve been paying so much to myself that I didn’t even notice my own mother.

“I’m so sorry,” I say. My voice sounds all cracked up and broken.

“No, do not apologize. You don’t deserve anything that happened to you.” She stops speaking for a moment, biting her lip to keep from crying.

"I love you, Mom," I whisper.

"I love you, too." I hug her tighter than I've ever hugged anyone before.

A Few Days Later

“Come on, I have to show you something.” She takes my hand and leads me to my room, a huge smile on her face.

“Ummm, Mom, why is the surprise in my room?” I narrow my eyes in suspicion.

“Well,” her voice trailed off. She blushes with embarrassment.

I put my hands on my hips. “Well, what?”

“You came home from her,” I flinch, “that one day, and you brought something home with you. One thing in particular didn’t seem very… safe.” She takes something off my dresser.

It was the thingy-magig.

“I decided to sneak into your room whenever you had been in the arts and crafts room.”
“So... did you think it was safe?” I ask nervously. I still wanted to keep it - it was still pretty cool if you put aside who it came from.

She pauses a moment before answering. “Yes. Actually it’s pretty neat.” She smiles.

“Then what is it you wanted to show me?”

She presses a few things on the thingy-magig. Then some music I haven’t heard before starts playing.

“She ain't got my smile, that don't bother me a bit
She's got somebody else's eyes I'm seeing myself in
I'm holding on to every moment, God knows I've missed a few
The day we met I knew I had some catching up to do

She ain't my blood, ain't got my name
But if she did, I'd feel the same
I wasn't there for her first steps
But I ain't missed a ball game yet
And that ain't ever gonna change
I could never walk away
Yeah, she's my daughter and that's my choice
She ain't my blood but she's my, she's my girl

It hit me like a train, the first time she called me dad
In a three stick figure crayon picture with all of us holding hands
Her mama said, "I understand if it's too soon for this"
I didn't let her finish
I took it to the kitchen and I stuck it on the fridge, yeah

She ain't my blood, ain't got my name
But if she did, I'd feel the same
I wasn't there for her first steps
But I ain't missed a ball game yet
And that ain't ever gonna change
I could never walk away
Yeah, she's my daughter and that's my choice
She ain't my blood but she's my, she's my girl

She's Saturday morning cartoons
She's, "Hey, can I sleep in your room?"
She's bigger than the plans I had
She's making me a better man

She ain't my blood, ain't got my name
But if she did, I'd feel the same
I wasn't there for her first steps
But I ain't missed a ball game yet
And that ain't ever gonna change
I could never walk away
Yeah, she's my daughter and that's my choice
She ain't my blood but she's my, she's my girl

Yeah, she's my, she's my girl.”

I look at her, eyes wide.

“D-do you like it?” She stutters. She bites her lip, anxiously waiting for an answer.

“Like it?” I scoff. “I love it!” I practically jump at her, and squeeze her into a hug.

“I love you more than anything in the world. You are my Ryan,” she tells me.

“I love you too, Mom.”
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