"Matt? It's Emily..."

April 8, 2008
“Matt? It’s Emily. Can you please come get me? They’re fighting again and it’s horrible,” Emily cried into the receiver. “Sure, Baby. I’ll be right there.” Matt replied in a hurry and grabbed his keys from his desk and ran down the stairs out onto Bloom Street. He jumped into his black ’66 Charger and drove down the street and made a left onto First Street. He drove a few blocks until he pulled to the house before Emily’s. He sent her a text message making her aware that he was there. He stepped out of his car and looked toward her window. He could her the commotion coming from other parts of the house. He saw Emily open her window and climb out with a duffle bag slung over her shoulder. “Quick, get in.” Matt directed. She jumped in and was panting and you could still see tears in her eyes as she buckled up. He kissed her on the forehead and asked, “Where do you want to go?” “Anywhere,” was her reply.
He peeled away from her house and drove quickly from her house leaving it in the dark. It was almost midnight. That wasn’t an unusual time for Emily’s parents to be fighting. At least not recently, they used to be a happy couple when Emily was little. Although, once her mother suspected her father of being unfaithful nothing was the same. Everything became an argument. Often they took things out on Emily. It was also quite surprising they were still together. Matt lived with his father. His mother died of candcer when he was three. They both seemed to grow up in horrible situations, but they haven’t let that affect them too much or how they feel about each other.
Matt and Emily started dating their sophomore year. They were now seniors and they both were eager to leave behind this horrible town. They wanted to move to the city and start a life together that their parents didn’t have control over.
They soon arrived to the place they shared their first kiss. It was a nice place by the River that looked over to the city. The warm spring air felt good as they stood hugging each other. It wrapped around them forming a blanket of serenity. They sat there for almost thirty minutes holding each other. Until Emily finally said something, “Matt, I want to leave in the worst possible way.”
“I know you do. I do too.”
“But we have to wait so long.”
“Sweetie, it’s only four months.”
“That’s exactly my point.”
Matt just looked at her as the moon hardly illuminated her soft features in its light. He kissed her lightly on the lips. “Are you ready to go now?” Matt asked. “I have to work in the morning.”
“Aww, Matt, but its Saturday. I wanted us to do something together before I have to go back to Hell on Earth.”
“I know, Baby. We will. I promise.”
Matt always kept his promise no matter how small it was. They got in his car. It was one-twenty when they pulled up in front of Matt’s house. He put the key in the front door and slowly opened it. His dad was asleep with the T.V. still blaring, but it was just white noise. He probably got drunk and fell asleep. He does that a lot. Matt led Emily up the stairs to his room and she threw her duffle bag on the floor with a thud.
“I’m not tired. Are you?” Emily asked.
“Want to build a fort to sleep in tonight?”
Matt chuckled. “Sweetie, you’re so cute.”
“So that’s a ‘yes’?”

Emily jumped with excitement as she started to pull blankets off Matt’s bed to start to construct the fort. In the end it wasn’t a very aesthetically appealing fort, but it was really comfortable. Emily lay down after brushing her teeth and changing into her nightclothes. Matt lay next to her. For a moment they did nothing but stare into each other’s eyes. The stare that only two people who are truly in love can create and not look away too soon. He leaned over and kissed Emily again. Then Matt reached under his bed and pulled out a little light. It had a rotating piece that cast patterns of stars and moons around the inside of their oasis. Emily looked around in wonder at them and then looked at Matt and smiled.
Matt confessed, “My mom gave it to me before she died. I remember she would always turn it on to keep the monsters away in my dreams. With her dying words she said, ‘Let this take you to the stars and beyond, Matt.’ ”
“Oh, Matt. Why haven’t you ever showed me before?”
“I had to keep the monsters away tonight.”
“Ah, you mean my parental units.”
Matt smiled at her and nodded. She smiled back. Slowly sleep started to cover them and weighed down their eyelids. They both slept peacefully and undisturbed and the warmth of the other provided the most desirable place in the whole universe.
Light shone in from the window. Shadows from leaves outside danced around on Emily’s eyelids. Her eyelids slowly fluttered open. She looked around and nothing looked familiar. She sat up bolt right. Hair that was several inches longer than hers fell over her shoulders onto her breast. “Matt!” She shrieked. “Where are you?” She heard a groan come from beside her. When she looked over toward the noise a more mature looking Matt with the start of a beard looked at her with sleepy eyes. “What?” He questioned.
“Where are we?” She asked.
After Matt was brought to reality he looked around with wonder. “Oh my God. Where the hell are we?”

He leapt from the bed and ran around the room. He opened doors and moved his way into a living room and offset from that a kitchen. He went to the large window of the living room and looked out of them. As he stared out the window in amazement he called to Emily. She followed close behind and shared his disbelief. “Matt are we really in New York?” They were ten floors up looking out over the busy streets of New York.
Matt looked at Emily and exclaimed, “Babe, you’re gorgeous!”
“I mean you were when we went to sleep too, but you look more mature.”
“You too.”
“Hey! What is today?”

They looked around and they found a calendar in the kitchen. The days past had been marked with big red X’s. The current date was June 24, 2015. “Are we really seven years in the future and in New York?” Emily asked.
“We can’t both be having the same dream can we?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Quick, pinch me!”
Emily pinched Matt and he exclaimed. “Ow! Please not so hard.”
“Sorry. We need to get back to the past then. I want to know what happens between then and now!”
“Well how do we do that?”
“I have no idea.”

Matt and Emily pondered for a moment what they should do. Then suddenly Emily’s eyes got huge. You could tell she had an idea and she said, “Matt, do you remember that thing we had in the fort with us when we went to sleep. The light your mom gave you.”
“We’ve built forts a thousand times before, but not with that in there. Maybe it has some sort of power about it.”
“Are you kidding?”
“No. Can we just please try it?”
“Okay. Where is it?”
“I don’t know.”

They both set out to find the lost light. They searched hurriedly for thirty minutes before Matt stumbled upon a closet filled with old junk. He pulled down a few boxes before he finally found what he was looking for. Emily shoved him in the closet and told him to turn it on. They both hugged each other and closed their eyes. They opened them and looked around. Nothing had seemed to change. They opened the closet door and they spilled out into Matt’s room. “Okay,” Emily said, “that was the weirdest thing that has ever happen to me.”
“Me too.”

Matt quickly got a shower and Emily gathered up her stuff and shoved it in her duffle bag. She waited on Matt’s bed as he got dressed and ready for work. He came out ready to go and they went down his stairs and got into his car. They drove silently to Emily’s house and Matt stopped in front of it to let her out. “Well I’ll be back after work to pick you up,” he said.
“Okay. I love you.” She said with a kiss.
“I love you too. See you about seven.”

Emily waved bye. Matt went to work at a restaurant. He was one of the chefs at the Midnight Lotus. He was one of the better ones too. He was hoping to go to a college with a great culinary arts program. He wanted to make it in the big time. All he could think about though was the weird trip he had taken that morning. Had he really time traveled or was it possible he was just dreaming? What every happened he was going to figure it out later. Work went fine and he was eager to get off so he could go pick up Emily. When he was on his way he sent her a text, but she said she wasn’t there. He asked were she was and she said she was at the River at their spot. He sped there as quickly as he could. The whole way he went at least ten miles over the speed limit when he didn’t have to wait for traffic.

As soon as he got there he saw her with her stuff and she was sitting on a bench with her head down. He walked up to her and put his hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him slowly. He could tell she’d been crying and on the left side of her face was a huge red mark that looked like her father’s handy work. He just looked at her then hugged her as tightly as he could. He whispered in her ear, “I wish so badly I could kill him.” She pulled away and looked at him. She looked at him seriously and said, “Matt, I want to go back to the future. What we had there seemed so great. It was exactly what we wanted.”
“But I thought you wanted to know what happened…”
“I don’t care what happened. All I know is this is what happened.” She pointed at her face.
“Okay. Whatever you want, Sweetie.”

Matt drove them both to his house and they went up his stairs into his room. The fort was still there where they had left it. Matt looked at her. He looked deep into her blue eyes and asked, “Is this really what you want?”
She looked at him just as deeply and said, “I want you to sing me to sleep as our imagination washes over us. I want to fall victim to the deepest and thickest sort of submission as all our hopes and dreams come true. A simple ‘I love you’ is all I need from you to get me through life. I don’t care what happens in between as long as you’re right there with me.”
“Don’t worry, Babe. I’ll be right here.”

With that they lay down side-by-side staring intensely into the other’s eyes as they leaned in for a final kiss in that moment. Then Matt flipped the switch to change their lives forever and they drifted into a deep slumber.

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