Chapter 20
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Dan training his hearing, hears the familiar noise of a bus engine. He realizes that he is being taken back with Emma and Catlin on a bus. "Dang, I must have been asleep for a while if the trip is already over. I guess Emma keep me in the shoebox and put me in her backpack. I won't be able to get her attention from inside here, so I will have to wait until we get home. I don't know how I am going to tell mom and dad," Dan thinks to himself.

 

Dan spends the rest of the trip training his hearing, trying to pick up on specific conversations of people on the bus.

 

Dan hears the bus screech to a stop. Then as the bus driver opens the doors, a teacher starts speaking to all the students on the bus. "Students, exit the bus in an orderly fashion, no bump or pushing. Make sure you have all your belongings with, don't leave anything on the bus, or you will not be able to get it until tomorrow. You all will wait in the gym area until a teacher calls on you to escort you to your parents."

 

Emma gets off the bus and goes to wait in the gymnasium. After a few minutes, her name is called, and she goes to her mother's car. Getting in the car her mother asks, "Did you have fun on the trip, sweety?"

 

Dan, still in the box, is overjoyed to hear his mother's voice again after all he has been through recently.

 

"The trip was great, mom. I had loads of fun with Catlin," Emma happily tells her mother.

 

"That's wonderful, sweety," Rose says, very glad her daughter had fun and focused on something other than her missing brother.

 

"Where is dad," Emma asks?

 

"He is still at work. He will be home later," Rose tells Emma.

 

"Well, when he gets home, I need to ask you two something," Emma tells her mom.

 

"Alright, sweety. He should be home in a few more hours," Rose says, driving out of the school parking lot.

 

On the ride home, Emma and Rose talked about what all Emma did on the trip. 

 

After talking for a while, they arrived at their house, Rose parking the car in the driveway. "Go unpack in your stuff. I got to go clean the dishes," Rose tells Emma as she gets out of the car and walks to the house. Emma waits for her mom to unlock the door then rushes up to her room. Dan, in her backpack, tumbling as she goes up the stairs.

 

Emma takes out the shoebox with Dan in it from her backpack and places it on her bed. Dan gets out of the shoebox and looks at Emma. "You're finally awake, and you have grown quite a bit, you are probably 16 inches long now. I was getting nervous about how exactly to tell mom and dad. I don't want to lie to them about you. They took thinking you are kidnapped pretty bad, but I don't know how to say that their son is not kidnapped but is instead now a lizard without them freaking out. Can you think of any nice way to tell them," Emma asks, looking at Dan? "Oh right, I need to get you a paper and a pencil," Emma says, searching for a paper and a pencil. "Here you go," Emma says, giving Dan the pencil and paper. "Telling them outright might be the best bet to getting you back to normal, but we would need to tell them about to not tell anyone they do not trust absolutely about it or else someone might take you away. They would be able to find a doctor or scientist to help you, but if they do that, the risk is higher. I don't know. What do you think? Maybe we should talk to mom and dad about it."

 

Dan grabs the pencil with his mouth and writes, "We should just tell them outright, and bring up our concerns," Dan mouth writing noticeable better. Dan did not believe that his current state is reversible, but he did not want to tell his sister and parents that, slashing their hopes about getting him back to normal.

 

After talking to his sister for a while, Dan hears his mother come toward the door, he quickly hides under the bed. "Sweety, do you want something to eat before dad gets home. I got those snack bars you like, do you want one of them," Rose asks as she comes into the room.

 

"Yeah, can I have two, please," Emma asks sweetly.

 

"We are having chicken salad for dinner, are you sure you want two?"

 

"Yes, I'm sure," Emma replies.

 

"Okay, I will bring them to you," Rose says, closing the door as she leaves.

 

Dan, hearing her leave, comes out from under the bed. "Mom is bringing two snack bars. I will give you one as you are probably hungry after that long sleep," Emma tells Dan. He is indeed hungry. He did not notice until she mentioned it he was preoccupied with talking to her.

 

A few minutes later, Rose comes to give Emma the snack bars while Dan hides again. "If you have any homework or assignments from the trip, be sure to start on them after you eat. We will have dinner as soon as your father gets back," Rose tells Emma leaving the room.

 

Eating the snack bar, Dan realizes something that he had not paid any attention to when he was eating the hare. He could distinctly taste every part of the snack bar, he could taste all the ingredients: peanuts, cashews, oats, sugar, honey, he could taste all of them. He could even tell that they used brown sugar instead of white sugar. He could most certainly now tell that his sense of taste is much better.

 

After finishing his snack, Dan spent the next few hours watching movies with his sister or helping her with school work. In the middle of one of the movies, Dan gets a system notification.

System update complete.

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