One Good Turn

It wasn’t the fight with the girlfriend, it wasn’t the annoying boss, it wasn’t even the call late afternoon saying that my apartment had burnt down due to a neighbour committing suicide using the kitchen stove. None of those were what ballsed up my day. What did it was the man staring at me at the traffic light, and in the convenience store, and in the company parking lot, and at my desk in the office.

He wasn’t following me. He was always there when I looked. In appearance, he was almost like the brother I never had. I thought of calling up mum and asking if she’d ever had a boy she’d given up for adoption. But that would’ve been rude.

When I was about to leave the office, he walked up to me.

“I’m you from a parallel universe,” he said.

“But how can you be me?” I replied. “You’re a man!”

“Parallel universe. Gender-reversed,” he said. “Anyway, it’s very important that you do not walk out of the building now, but wait till after 5:46.”

I looked at the clock. It was 5:44. I looked back and he had disappeared. So I went to the reception counter and waited. At precisely 5:46, a large piano fell from the sky and landed just in front of the main gate.

I received a text from an unknown number. ‘Now do the same for the rest of us,’ it said. Ah, fuck.