It wasn’t real. None of it was real. Ted had locked himself in his office when his mind returned to normal. He couldn’t go home. Not now. Not when he was so ready to make a new one a few hours ago.
He sat at his desk, staring blankly at the items in front of him. The picture of him and his father, Amy’s engagement ring, the Yoda rattle…he had lost all of them. Well, only two of them were real, but…
"If it wasn’t real, why does it hurt just as bad as the others?" Ted wondered aloud. He took a drink from his water bottle, almost wishing it was something a lot stronger. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair and he was…he didn’t know what he was.
How much more could he take? How many more times could the universe break him, beat him, and grind him into the ground before it was done using him as its play toy? How many more times did he have to watch the things he loved vanish into the night? How long was it going to be before…no. Don’t think like that.
He closed his eyes and tried to think of something that would numb the pain. Emma. Thank god for Emma. Opening his eyes, he couldn’t help but glance down at his left hand. Is this what she felt when she realized their marriage wasn’t real? Did her heart hurt then as much as his did now?
He picked up Amy’s ring in one hand and the rattle in the other. They were real. The feelings he felt towards each of them were real. Nobody could take that away. Maybe his memories were messed up, but his feelings were real.
Hell, the first thing he did when he learned…thought…Emma was pregnant was make plans. He had a schedule up for Drew and Swiff to pick up some shifts, the paperwork to send to Artie asking if they could make Drew full time, he even had a couple of ads for larger apartments and almost manageable houses on his printer. If his feelings weren’t real, then why were those things around?
The items were still in his hands when he heard a knock, followed by the door opening.