Me and Eric were literally Yin and Yang, when you saw Eric you saw Johnny and when you saw Johnny you saw Eric…not that anyone actually payed enough attention to notice two eighth grade nerds who babble about aliens and science fiction all day.
Me and Eric would spend nights on the phone discussing articles on ufo sightings, watching interviews on peoples supposed encounters and anything that could pose as a lead.
We even bought walkie talkies to replace our phones when our parents would confiscate them for bedtime, I stood next to my window for hours with my walkie at night just so I could get better signal to hear Eric.
But as we grew closer to 8th grade graduation I began to not be as interested In aliens as Eric was anymore, he became obsessed and even a little annoying, everyday he would tell me how he was getting closer to “finding them” “ just trust me Johnny ” he would say. He became paranoid and hysterical saying “they” were watching him. I decided to distance myself for a few days, when he would call I wouldn’t answer, I turned off my walkie as well.
One morning I woke up to 37 missed calls from Eric and 5 voicemails. All of the voicemails spouting madness about how he “found them”.
I called him back and got no answer.
I rode my bike down the block to his house and to my shock it was completely empty. No furniture, no parents, no Eric.
I asked around the neighborhood and everyone said his family took everything and moved in the middle of the night. I tried to contact Eric for months and he never responded.
That was until four years later and Into the end of my senior year In highschool that I got a Facebook friend request from Eric, I scrolled through his profile and saw my childhood friend. As soon as I accepted the friend request he messaged me saying he’d be in town and wanted to catch up over food at my place. I agreed.
The reunion with me and Eric was awkward at first but after some gaming and pizza it felt like old times, I decided I’d wait to ask why he’d left so abruptly all those years ago at another time.
I left Eric downstairs to go for a bathroom break and after I was done I peaked in my room to grab some more video games.
That’s when I found my old walkie-talkie I had shut off four years ago behind my TV, I smirked and thought how nostalgic it would be for me to show Eric.
To my curiosity I turned it on to see if it still worked.
After some static and some frequency it did. I smiled and began walking to my door when I heard something over the walkie.
I thought maybe Eric had already brought his old walkie and beat me to the nostalgia so I walked up to the window to get a better signal.
“I’m on my way downstairs now Eric I just had to pick up some games” I said over the walkie.
I heard “Johnny” again but this time my blood ran cold because the voice I heard over the walkie was in fact Eric but the voice was younger….almost four years younger.
I listened again.
“THEY TOOK ME”
“THATS NOT ME”