I’m seven years old using the computer at my grandmother’s house: Windows 97, the first computer I’ve ever used. I can hear the clattering of dishes downstairs and the chatter of family members, my mother’s distinctive laugh. The house is warm and dusty, as most Canadian houses are. It is old though, and it smells of twenty five years of families moving in and out, each leaving behind mixtures of their scents seeped into the worn brown shag carpets and the beige paint on the walls. The blinds on the window are slightly open, and daylight slants in, illuminating the dust drifting in the air. In front of me the screen glows green as I guide a little mouse through a maze to find his piece of cheese.
I quickly hung up the phone and retreated into the garage. I wasn’t really in trouble, although now I surely would be. Horror gripped my stomach. It wasn’t me I told myself. When the phone rang I could hear it through the wall. It was the strangest ringtone I had ever heard. I wasn’t even aware our phone was capable of making that noise. Shortly after it stopped my dad came out into the garage.