This Whole Time

"I didn't hear. It's all good. Great to meet you, Tee. Glad you're here. Well... Maybe it would be better if we were somewhere normal, but..." He made an awkward little nervous laugh. "Well, we're here now."

"Yeah..." T mumbled, taking a slow breath, now painfully aware of how obvious his anxiety was. T thought of the way Dillon had spoken to him, was he trying to calm him? He reminded him of a teacher he used to have, the one that would rub circles on his back when the class got to be too much for him.

T followed Dillon into his Japanese home, surprised to see it looked relatively American on the inside. He had a pretty good idea of what a Japanese home was supposed to look like due to how often they were featured in the anime he would watch, and this...this was nothing like that. No, this was more like home.

T turned up the volume on his headphones, his crutch. When he got anxious, or otherwise overwhelmed emotionally, he would prefer to resort to healthy things like his headphones or art, but sometimes the pressure was too much, or his headphones were dead, and when that happened, the only thing he had left was his anger. His endless well of anger, just waiting for a chance to burst out. He'd see his Dad hit his Mom due to that anger, and he'd come to learn that every bit of it was genetic. It was the worst part of him.

T was deep in thought when he heard Dillon, who had now laid down on the nearby sofa, speak, "Hey, Twenty One Pilots. I like them... What year are you from? Seems like we're all from different years here... That album just came out a few months ago for me. I'm from twenty fifteen."

Shit, I do have my music all out, don't I?!

"Sorry," T shot reflexively, and almost apologized again upon realizing that he had nothing to apologize for.

"I mean, yeah, but that song's old in 2020."

T looked at the ground before all at once processing what Dillon had said.

Wait, did he say he was from 2015?

Why on earth was this guy from the past? What was the significance of that? With the clarity with which T was capable of perceiving everything, he could help but feel all this was important somehow. He looked at the mud prints on the floor that he had caught Dillon scowl at earlier, and a sinister thought crossed his mind.

What if this isn't a dream? Have I been denying it this whole time?

T looked at Dillon with an expression that the boy couldn't see from his place on the couch; one of pure and utter terror.


T's hand ran over his curly hair, napped now, and having been matted further by sweat from earlier. He stepped around the couch so that Dillon could see him, all the while failing miserably to hide his panicked expression. He moved somewhat awkwardly and haphazardly, almost like he was losing his balance. All at once, he was feeling tired, hungry, and even somewhat nauseous, and he wasn't even sure how long he had been ignoring it.

"Aye man...What-uh...what do you mean, 'You're from 2015'? What do you-"

T looked upon the boy's face, seeing an expression of confusion. What do you mean? It's common sense, the expression said. Where do you think you are? T blinked, shook his head, then let out a chuckle. He laughed, even though by now his breathing had become ragged and irregular, even though by this point his eyes were beginning to glaze over, and the music was getting harder to hear by the second. He laughed, but the terror never left from his face.

"Dillon.....I'm not....I'm not dreaming, am I?"

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