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Remember the Bubble Bath

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“Danny. Your bath is ready. You may go into the bathroom now”, claimed Mrs. Fisher as she washed the orange colored bubble bath solution off of her hands.
“Okay Mom! Thanks,” replied the brown haired seven-year old as he prepared for his favorite time of the day: his bubble-bath. After a long day of work, which included waking up extra early in the morning to go to school, rushing to eat the icky-tasting oatmeal to catch the bus, learning how to add and subtract two-digit numbers and how to tell time, playing a raging game of tag, taking a challenging spelling test, returning home to take a nap, and heading outside with Mr. Fisher to learn how to ride a two-wheeler, this was his time to unwind and take in the simple pleasures of childhood where math had no place.
He stepped into the bathtub filled with the warm and soothing peach-scented bubble water. He closed his eyes to take in the moment, and then…
A thump at the door…
“Who is it? I’m taking my bath”, declared the boy in slight confusion because everyone knew that at 5:30 p.m. every afternoon, Danny occupied the sunshine-yellow colored bathroom with little white ducklings roaming the walls, and the baby-blue tiles that crowded the floor. However there was no response. Instead, he heard the door knob creaking and as each second progressed, Danny was able to see more and more of the outside world. After the passing of 30 seconds, there stood a boy by the door. As he stepped into Danny’s haven, the boy locked the yellow door behind him and stepped closer, and closer, and closer to Danny in his mud-brown leather shoes until his blue t-shirt touched the outside of the ivory colored tub.
As he got closer and closer to Danny, Danny started to fear him because the boy had the same color hair, the same number of curls in the lock of hair that rested above his left eye, the same beauty spot on the right cheek and the same scar at the same spot on his right knee cap. He even had the same number of freckles at the same exact places as Danny and this made Danny’s heart race as if it were trying to win a race.
The boy opened his cherry-red lips to say, “Hi. I’m Manny, your secret twin. I do everything you do: I was born on the same day, said my first word, lost my first tooth, and did everything else the same exact way and at the same exact time as you did. I have parents and a little sister that look just like yours. I got bored because I had nothing to do. We didn’t get any homework today, so I thought I’d come and visit.”
“Where are you from?” asked Danny curiously because now, he only partially feared the boy.
“There is an entire secret world that lives up in the clouds. Each person that lives there has person on Earth that they are identical to in every way. We call these pairs twins. These twins do everything together and have identical lives. “So, you’re my twin” declared Manny with excitement. We just have different names because it would become confusing to talk if we both have the same name.
“Where have you been all this time? Why have I not seen you before?” asked Manny in awe. In response, Manny claimed “oh, that’s because we’re not allowed to leave our world. It’s a secret world, remember? We don’t want anyone to know about us. If we leave our world, the police will come after us and put us in prison.” The rule is that when our world is found, we will all die in three days. There is no point in going to prison. It’s just a formality. And to that, Danny doubtfully responded “then, what are you doing here? Won’t you get in trouble?”
“I told you. I was really bored and it’s just a formality. So I took the chance and left. But you have to promise me to never tell anyone about me.”
With a little hesitation, Danny replied “Okay. I promise”
“I haven’t had my bubble bath today, so can I join you?”
“Sure, I guess. What are you gonna do when the police come?”
“I’m gonna run back home and say I never left?”
“Alright, then, what do you want to do? I’ve never taken a bath with anyone else before” asked Danny slightly disturbed.
“Wanna play pirates?” inquired Manny. “It’s my favorite game to play in the shower. Do you have any of those pirate boats?”
“Yeah, sure, they’re right over there. Let me get ’em. And so Danny reached over the ivory color toilet to grasp the wooden boats tinted with a very glossy dark-chocolate brown paint. Every time Danny looked at it, it made him think of his favorite dessert: Mom’s triple dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate shavings. He submerged it into the water, which was now losing its warmth. Manny took another and played rescue pirate with Danny. They laughed and giggled and talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Their excitement over having found a great new friend filled the air within the room and when that air touched the bright walls ever so lightly, all ears could hear the inert objects giggle and come to life. It seemed that the walls were talking to each other as well. An observer would find that flaw-less haven and wish that it existed in the world outside those four walls.
They played for hours, and occasionally, were disrupted by Danny’s Mom or Dad telling him to come out or by his older brother asking him what he is giggling about. The evening just seemed too good to be true.
Suddenly, Danny and Manny saw flashing cherry-red and navy-blue lights headed for them through the French window in their haven.
“Those are the cops. I gotta get going. It was nice meeting you. Maybe I’ll see you again another time. Thanks for the bath” declared Manny and headed for the door. Quickly, something came about Danny. He found deep pain, as caused by a needle pricking a delicate piece of white cloth, come about him in Manny’s departure. Danny couldn’t quite understand why he felt this way since he had only met the boy only some 45 minutes ago. He just couldn’t let go because Manny was that one person that Danny always wanted to be in his life. He wasn’t like his parents or brother. Manny could just understand the pain of being seven and the pain of being embarrassed when he got a math problem wrong and the whole class laughed at him. Within the matter of an hour, Manny knew Danny’s deepest thoughts and desires and that connection was something Danny admired so much. So, he clutched onto Manny’s t-shirt with a tight grab and would not let go.
“What are you doing? Let go. I need to leave. The cops are here. The cops are here” pleaded Manny.
“No. Stay. You can hide in my room. Don’t leave me. I’ll miss you” cried Danny in terror.
And so the boys bickered for the next few moments, as other boys their age do, without even realizing that the police men were already in the yellow, blue and white pool. They realized this when a man said, “Manny. What have you done? We will all die now. How could you do this to us?”
In response, Danny declared “don’t do anything to him. I won’t tell anyone about your secret world. Or if you want, you can take me. Just don’t do anything to him, please!”
The man replied: “Danny, you know the rules. Manny told you that if our world is discovered, it will be destroyed in three days. There’s nothing I could do about it. I’m sorry, and no, I can’t take you.”
And so, Danny released Manny, stood up in his wet and dripping trunks, stepped out of his fantasy and clutched the man’s leg, refusing to let go. “No, I won’t let him leave” declared Danny. His trunks made a pool of bubble solution by the tub.
As he finished his thought, Danny heard a loud crash outside the door. He quickly turned his teary eyes to door, that had the brightness of sunshine, and closed them. But, when the ocean blue eyes opened again, everyone had disappeared. There were no police bikes, police men or most importantly, Manny. He found himself safely tucked in the peach scented bubble bath, with the pirate boats, dry as a desert, in their original spots. The floors were dry too and so were his eyes. There was no trace of Manny.
“Sweetie, hurry up. It’s almost time for dinner” called his mom. Danny’s eyes searched for the clock which said 6:00 p.m. He quickly cleaned himself up and put on his robe. He cautiously stepped out of the bathtub and into his Power Rangers slippers. Slowly, he walked out of the door and into his math and oatmeal filled world, leaving behind his ivory bed that he was to return to the next day, to have another adventure that he was certain would never take place. It would be no different than his adventure today.



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