He looked exactly the same as the day he left, in his favorite green striped shirt and cargo shorts bulging with plastic dinosaurs. It had to be a hallucination, but I didn’t care. I knelt and hugged my ten-year-old son who should have been twenty. The door hit me on the way down. I hugged him so tightly, wanting to never let go again. Footsteps came up behind me. Hal pulled the door open, and a gasp escaped him. Terry–he whispered–Terry. Hi Dad–said the forever little boy.
Over the next few weeks, Terry told various stories of his whereabouts, none that made sense, except perhaps the few time travel tales. But who believes in time travel? At the end of Summer, Terry announced that he must leave again, that he wasn’t really supposed to have come home. Though he hadn’t seem to have aged, even over the Summer while he was in our sights at all times, he appeared to have the wisdom of an old soul. We let him go. We had to. He promised to visit us again, but we might not remember him then. Yes, he would likely still appear to be a ten-year-old boy. There were no answers to our real questions.
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