My life changed forever at around 3 AM one random Tuesday while playing Truth or Dare.
We were sitting in a circle in one of the dorm lounge areas, some of my friends and I. Mark normally avoided such games, but he had been roped in this time. When he asked for a truth, I fired this question, a very typical one: “What’s your biggest secret?”
He blanched. “I don’t know if I can answer that.”
We all began coaxing him, reminding him that the rules required an answer. Finally, someone said, “How bad can it be? It’s not as though you are hiding from the government or have killed someone!”
“You don’t know that,” he retorted.
We fell completely silent.
“Being a hero requires taking life, sometimes. This is no secret. Part of my biggest secret is that I have been a hero.”
“Part of? Aren’t you only 18?”
He looked around at the dozen of us gathered there. We had met on move in day just a few months before, but we’d had many long talks and were quite a close group. “Can I trust all of you?”
We all nodded, the game utterly forgotten in our eagerness to hear his story.
“This secret is very dangerous. If the wrong people learned of my past, many innocent lives would be in danger. Most of you will consider me crazy, as I have no way to prove the truth of what I’m about to say. I’ve never even told my parents.”
We assured him we would never tell.
“When I was 12, almost 13, I found a portal to a strange world, and I helped to stop a war there.”
Before any others of us could react, two people who also normally remained quiet about their past yelled simultaneously, “No way, you too?”
The rest of us sat stunned, until someone else chimed in, “I always thought I’d dreamed it.” Then, a fifth person chimed in, “I did, too.”
“Wait, wait, wait,” I stammered. “You people honestly expect me to believe other worlds exist, and you’ve not only been to but saved them?”
“Apparently a bunch of us have.”
I’d never heard of anything like this. “You’re pulling my leg! This has to be a massive prank.”
Mark spoke up again. “I think we can prove it.”
Feel free to encourage me to continue this.