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I rolled one of the pills between two fingers, staring at the tiny granules within the dissolvable casing. They smelled like sulfur and piss, not exactly the things miracles are made of. I tossed it in my mouth and washed it down with a glass of water. I’d been taking them four times a day, which didn’t exactly help to keep my mind off of the fear that they might not work. What did help was staring at the sketch of the boy’s shirt in my notebook.

My mattress was dimpled with stacks of library books, three of them opened to symbols similar to the one in my notebook but not quite right. One was from a top secret NASA memo that had been leaked by some hacker group trying to force the government to admit that extraterrestrials really exist. Another was of some Egyptian hieroglyphic and the third was a logo for a software company in Silicon Valley.

I’d scrolled through a hundred web pages on everything from constellations to crop circle formations to conspiracy theories about the Vatican. But none of it felt like it was heading in the right direction.

Because for some reason my gut was telling me that this wasn’t some kind of science experiment gone bad. The boy in my head was not some kind of extraterrestrial sent to harvest the memories of one random sick girl who probably knew as much about the social intricacies of the world as they did.

He was real and he was out there somewhere. I just needed to find the physical connection. That almost imperceptible fissure in the fabric of the universe, that split second he’d managed to slip in between the cracks and land in my memories. He was out there, in the flesh, I knew it.

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