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Dimension 3 – Kiri’s residence

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

April 2019. 15:30.

After class was finished, Kiri immediately collected her things and briskly walked out of the classroom. Avoided the gazes of the other students, as was always the case, not that they cared.

She walked out of the boring campus and across the even less interesting suburban town for 30 minutes, clutching the note Gabe had given her in her hand. Every once in a while she would look down in disbelief.

“Me, of all people, invited to a party, huh?” she said. She suppressed a smile. However, the smile gave up trying to show on her face as she stared at the note longer.

“But why would they make an effort for me, the so-called ‘weirdo’ after all these years?”

She shook her head. Crumpled the note and stuffed it in the pocket of her collared green jacket.

Soon, she arrived at her quaint green and white two-story house, which stood in a line of similar houses at the border between the town and the large expanse of golden grassy plains. She climbed the steps of the creaky porch, skipping every other step. Opened the screen door. Just as she reached into her pocket for her keys, she noticed that the main door was open ajar.

Cautiously, she peered inside. A look of relief overcame her after seeing a familiar person sitting calmly on the couch and reading. Opening the door the rest of the way, she spoke.

“Hey, Uncle Jim.”

Uncle Jim peered at Kiri with his blue eyes over his round spectacles. “Welcome home, Kiri.” He had a warm and welcoming appearance, the way smile wrinkles graced his face and his hair was graying nicely from its original brown color in the shape of streaks. His faded blue sweater made him appear comfortable and homely.

As soon as Kiri was inside, she closed the door lightly and kicked off her shoes at the entrance.

Uncle Jim continued to speak. “How was your day?”

“Usual,” came Kiri’s usual answer. She paused for a moment and glanced at her uncle who had already gone back to reading. “But, uh—Gabe invited me to go to some party tonight.”

With a perked interest, Uncle Jim peered up again from his book. “Oh, that Gabe from all your schools? Will you go?”

Kiri looked stuck for a moment. Grabbed the straps of her backpack and shrugged. “I mean, why not, I guess?”

Uncle Jim looked thoughtful. “Who’s going?”

“Dunno. He said ‘everyone.’”

Uncle Jim chuckled. “I see. Well, that’s not saying much.”

Kiri sighed. “Exactly what I said.”

“You sure you want to go?”

Kiri shrugged again. “It’s something to do.”

Uncle Jim’s expression morphed from a calm, thoughtful one to something more concerned. He closed his book. Lightly placed it on the coffee table in front of him and adjusted his spectacles. “Hmm, well if it floats your boat, I’m happy for you. I’d personally go for quality time with people.”

Kiri said nothing. Averted her eyes and stared out the right side window with a view of the side garden.

Uncle Jim smiled somewhat sadly, then stood up from the couch and walked towards her. He stopped in front of her and lightly placed a hand on her shoulder.

Her mouth formed into a straight line.

He said, “I know the friends you’ve become close with have moved away, but I hope that you can make the most of your time here with these people. Maybe they haven’t made much effort for you before, but people can change. Maybe they will. Maybe the invitation’s a sign.” He smiled and shook her shoulder gently.

Kiri shrugged again and didn’t look into her uncle’s eyes. “I know, I know. It’s just—sometimes I wish I could just move to another place already. I’ve been living in this town my whole life with the same people, you know? None of the scholarships for the other schools have accepted me. They probably never will because let’s be real, I’m inferior or whatever. I mean, it’s whatever…” She trailed off as though her mind had literally blacked out.

Uncle Jim shook his head immediately and the concerned expression on his face became emphatic. “Hey, no no no. Kiri, don’t you ever think you’re inferior. You will find the right place and I will support you all the way. I’m doing my best to find something for you as well, okay? I’ve been saving up and it will work out. We’ll get a loan if we absolutely can’t think of anything else, okay?”

Kiri forced a smile and patted her uncle’s shoulder. She barely managed to speak. “It’s fine, you don’t have to worry. I’ll keep working on it.”

Some tears she had attempted to restrain managed to well at the bottoms of her eyes. Avoiding Uncle Jim’s worried gaze, she walked around him and towards a flight of stairs at the back of the living room where the wallpaper was beginning to peel.

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