TITLE: Reality 346181 - Safe Place
GENRE: YA Sci-fi
“Yusef, get up man. Don’t make me pour water on you.” Ibram pulled his foot up onto my bed to tie his shoelace. My big brother usually made a good roommate, until he forgot to be my friend and changed into my dad.
“Get your foot off my bed.” I kicked him from under the sheets.
He kicked me back.
“Ouch! You’ve got your shoes on man.” I pulled the blanket back and rolled out of bed.
Ibram winced at the sight of me and hid his face. “Little bro, you are so skinny. You need to work out more.”
“Torvald’s helping me train.” I ran my hands through my shaggy, black hair, searching the floor for something to wear.
“Training you for what? A dog show?”
“I’ve gained five pounds.”
“Since you were twelve?” He laughed at his own joke.
“No, in like the last... I don’t need to tell you this.” I found a pair of matching socks and pulled them on. First triumph of the day.
“Maybe one day you’ll be able to stop me from beating the wreck out of you.” Ibram put his jacket on to head to his first class.
“Maybe I already can.” I stood up and puffed out my brown chest. It only made him laugh more.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but did I just hear a challenge escape your lips? If I didn’t feel obliged to go to school I might take you up on it. Put you back in your place. As it is, we’ll never know.” He opened the dorm room door and with a flourish and a wink he turned and stepped out into the hall.
Ibram always made a good bully. Lucky for me he was usually on my side. He only pestered me when it didn’t really count. We wouldn’t have been able to room together at a regular school, but Young Adult Colligate combined High School and College so the students could narrow their field of studies sooner. I wanted to be a physicist. Ibram was into programing. If anybody was a nerd, he was. He’d probably argue if he knew I said that, but I could take him on. He owned two computers, I only had one, plus my laptop, but that didn’t count.
Tuesday mornings I had a spare. I usually went down to the computer lab, but my inability to find a clean shirt put a chink in my schedule. I sat down at my own computer and wiped the goop out of my eyes.
“Time to wake up.” I directed my comment at the blank screen. The hard drive whirred and clicked like it couldn’t remember how to work. Maybe it needed a good kick too.
I used to be amazed by computers. Once upon a time my life revolved around them but these days not so much. I found it hard to go from a reality where technology was implanted in our skin and embedded in our glasses, back to a world where all we could invent was WiFi and touch screens. It seemed so basic to me now. The inter-dimensional universe had so much more out there - stuff that freaked the heck out of me when I first saw it. Sometimes I wondered why I chose to stay and finish school.