Author: Aaron Bossig

Everything had made perfect sense at the time. That’s the part I can’t believe now.

Borrowing Mom’s car to pick up Maggie for our date, that made sense. Taking her to the movie she wanted to see, that made sense. So did stopping by the creek for some alone time, along with taking a walk together so we could both pretend the night didn’t have to end.

It also, somehow, made sense to look into the brush and see an alien curled up, clearly in pain. Not that I knew what an alien looked like, but when you see a guy with giant eyes and no ears and… possibly gills… you make some assumptions. I didn’t know what a bullet wound looked like, either, but that’s clearly what he had. Given what people were like around here, it also made sense that someone’s response to seeing him was violence.

Put into that situation, it also made sense to help him, and the only place to take him was school. I mean, the hospital was clearly out of the question, but where else would two teenagers have access to scalpels, bandages, and sterile work areas? Mr. Abbott’s biology lab made for a decent makeshift operating room. Those tables had seen the dissection of countless frogs, surely, they’d manage one alien. I had a key, courtesy of my side job, and at 11PM, no one was checking on the activities of the bio lab.

You’d think I’d be worried about operating on anything, much less someone from another planet, but our patient was able to somehow show me exactly where the bullet was lodged, and exactly where I could cut to get to it with minimal difficulty. He didn’t tell me, exactly, not with words. Oh, he made some sounds, but as he did, an incredibly vivid picture of his internals filled my head. It was like he could paint in my brain. I didn’t recognize what came out of his mouth as sentences, but they were more descriptive than any English I’d ever heard. I knew what to do, I did it. Somehow, I also just knew what chemicals (rounded up from the nurse’s office and chemistry lab) would ease the pain for him, and what he could eat from the cafeteria to rebuild his strength. They won’t miss a few fish sticks.

At the time, it seemed perfectly sensible that the next thing to do was take him back to his spaceship so that he could leave in peace. Naturally, he was very grateful for our help, and as a way of repaying Maggie and I, gave us each some alien trinket: a black square about half the size of a phone. After playing with it, we realized we could see all the places on Earth our new friend had been, and all the places in the universe he planned to go to. Did he want us to have this because we might join him one day? That would make sense, a much as anything else did.

Everything Maggie and I did that night, we did because it was what made sense under the circumstances. What didn’t make sense, at all, was seeing the universe dropped into our backyard, knowing that our whole planet was a part of something wonderous… and then going back to living like our life was about jobs and grades.

That just didn’t make sense at all.