Turning, Nick walked out the door he’d come in and down the hall toward the stairs. He wanted to see where the other voice had come from.

His room.

The stairs weren’t long, and their soft, blue carpeting cushioned Nick’s footsteps. Upstairs, the hall was L-shaped, turning left at the room that had once been the guest bedroom before it became his father’s study, continuing past his sister Jessica’s room and the master bedroom. At the end…

His room.

The door swung open, and there he was. Nick saw himself at seven, with that dopey little haircut and the shirt with a cartoon character on it. He was kneeling on the floor, surrounded by a pile of toys, playing.

Nick looked around the room. The walls were still covered with brightly colored balloon wallpaper, the stuff that hadn’t come down until eighth grade when Nick became painfully aware of how childish it looked. His little bed, not to be replaced for years, still rested in the center of the room, covered by young Nick’s favorite Star Wars bedsheets.

Little Nick looked up “Who’re you?”

Nick blinked. The room was empty; its white walls were decorated only by a pattern of sunlight filtering through the windows. Dazed, Nick stumbled down the rickety wooden stairs, through the other barren rooms, and into the sunshine of the yard.