Once upon a time, on a swing in a tiny midwestern park sat a girl. She was a little old to be sitting in a park, but it was a little late in the fall and a little late in the day for anyone else to be there, so she found it okay.

She sat there, and she stared into the distance, drifting into the past, thinking of everything that ever was and wondering about everything that could be. The past was darker and pulled her deeper, back to days that she dares not to think of let alone speak about. It was almost time.

She was jolted back to the present by the sound of her mother's voice calling her home for dinner. Not wanting to go back into that house but knowing that there was no other choice but to go, she went. It's almost time.

On the walk home, she thought of the actions that got her into the current situation. If only she hadn't gone to that party that night, if only she hadn't worn that blouse, then maybe everything would be okay.

Maybe she did have another choice. Maybe she didn't have to go home. Maybe if she didn't go home, she wouldn't have to face her fate. Maybe she could turn left down this sidewalk and follow it all the way to the bus station. Maybe at that bus station, she would get on a bus, a bus that would be going to a destination, a destination that would be unknown to her and very far away from where she currently was. Maybe she was delusional for thinking that that was actually an option. It's almost time.

She stepped foot in the door and immediately was flooded with the smells of home: vanilla and her mother's perfume with a dash of buttery mashed potatoes.

Her head was swimming. She was overwhelmed with emotion and wanted so badly to explode and let everyone know everything, but she knew no one could ever know her secrets. It was almost time.

"Could you set the table?" her mother asked as she set a pile of plates, napkins, and silverware into her outstretched arms.

Yeah, Mom, of course, I'll set the table. Thanks for asking. The doorbell rang. It's almost time.

Her sister opened the door. Oh, no. "Mom, someone left a box on the porch!" Oh, no. She can't know the truth. "It's addressed to-" she cuts off when I snatch the package from her hands. No one can know the truth. It would be the end, maybe the end of it all.

"Thanks, hon, but I got it from here. You know how to set the table, right?" I needed to get her mind off this. I needed to fix this before it all went downhill. It's almost time.

She took the box and ran to her room. How do I fix this? I made this mess. None of this would have happened had I not been so funny at that party. She finally opened the box. She then pulled the toy dinosaur out of the box and the whole world exploded.