I got married in 1965, between my sophomore and junior year of college. Our first home was an apartment near the university, one of two identical brick structures. We lived in 2-Q, located at the far end of the second floor hallway. It was a corner apartment. Nice because we had cross ventilation and good light.
I didn’t drive yet. Not a problem. The bus stopped in front of the building. The university was an easy 5-minute walk. When I wanted to go into town, I hopped a bus. No parking problems.
One sunny day, I felt like going shopping, so I did. Ate lunch at A&S, bought a few things, then took the bus home. Emerging with my packages, I took the elevator to the second floor. Balancing bags and boxes, I walked down the long carpeted hallway to apartment 2Q.
I tried to put my key in the lock, and it didn’t fit. Odd. Hmm. That was when I noticed the nameplate:
My name was not Kincaid. I didn’t know anyone named Kincaid. But it was Apartment 2 Q — except it wasn’t mine. Or maybe it was, but what was with the nameplate? Hmm.
Feeling a bit dazed, I made a u-turn and walked back to the elevator. Pressed the button and rode back down to the lobby. I stood there for a few minutes, breathing slowly and deeply. Then got back into the elevator and rode up to the second floor. Maybe I should I have taken the stairs.
Ding! Still clutching my packages, I slowly advanced down the hall. The pattern in the paint on the wall paint seemed cleaner and brighter, but since I was feeling a bit light-headed, I figured that was why. When I got to the end of the hall and stood in front of my door, that pesky nameplate still said “Kincaid.”
There was no question in my mind what had happened. I’d expected it all along. It was bound to happen someday.
I had slipped through an invisible wormhole. I was in a parallel universe, another dimension. Everything was identical in this dimension to the world I knew except that in this place — I didn’t exist. Where I had been, someone named Kincaid was living. Maybe Kincaid was my husband. Perhaps I did exist and Jeffrey had gone missing.
I stood there. Breathing. Staring at the nameplate. Pacing a little down the hall and coming back. Until finally, I looked out the window. And realized I was in the wrong building.
I have forever since harbored a sense of disappointment. However weird, I wanted the magic to be real. I wanted an adventure in The Twilight Zone.
You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?