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“In Another World with You” Part I
So here I am walking right beside Riley, following parallel to the railroad tracks by his house. My heart is racing in my chest, and my head feels like it is going to explode, but on the outside he can’t see anything. When Riley asked me to be is partner for this project for our TV productions class, I said yes without a hesitation, without even thinking it over, because I think I’m in love Riley. I am at a loss for words every time I try to talk to him. If he even just looks my way I forget everything I was just thinking about, but I know he doesn’t like me, I mean at all. I’m surprised; no, I’m in shock, that he asked me to be in his video. But I said yes and here I am.
“Alright, so when we get a little farther down you are gonna turn around and face me, and lip sync while you walk towards the camera. Oh man, I forgot the CD.” He stopped walking and so did I. “I’ll run back and get it.” He turned around, but didn’t step forward, and when I realized he was still beside me, I too, turned around. There behind us was an enormous field, stretching in all directions as far as we could see. The railroad tracks were gone, and so was his house, and the roads, and streetlights. I turned quickly around again, to face the direction we had been walking, but here too, everything was gone. We were surrounded by a sea of green, and don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful, but where the heck were we?
“Riley, what’s going on?”
“I don’t know.”
And that’s when I started to run, I ran as fast as my legs would take me, past Riley, in the direction where his house should have been. I felt like I could run forever, I needed to be somewhere I knew, I needed to find his house, or a road, or anything.
“Mia, wait!” I didn’t have to turn around to know that Riley was running after me, and he was faster. I kept running until he caught up with, at which point he ran in front of me and stopped, forcing me to stop as well.
“You take ma home now!” I ordered.
“I have no idea what is going on either, I… I don’t know how to get home… I don’t even know where we are.”
“What are we going to do?”
“I don’t know, but it will be okay. I promise.”
At that point I began to calm down, whether because I knew he was a man of his word, or I had no other choice. The sun hung low in the sky, the same way it did when we were still, well still home. We didn’t have too long before it would be dark, and all we had with us was a camera, one tape, one battery, and a tripod, all neatly put away in two bags.
I sat down.
“Something wrong?” Riley asked as he sat next to me.
“No, There is no better place though, I mean what does it matter if we stay here tonight or run some more. I can’t see any place better to go. Can you?”
“No. I guess not.” He looked over at me and for a minute that’s where we stayed, no one said anything.
The sun’s light was fading quicker every moment, and here we were in an unknown place, with who knows what else. “I... uh… I can go away if you want. I mean, you know, for the night.” Riley pointed over his shoulder.
I didn’t want him to leave. I was, well lets call it what is was, I was scared.
“I don’t know anything about where I am, and I don’t know you very well, but I know you more than I know this.” I opened my arms, as to gesture towards this world, if that’s what it was. “Please stay here with me, I… I don’t want to be all alone tonight.” I looked down at the ground, a little embarrassed.
“I won’t leave you, if that’s what you want.”
I laid on my back, and he followed. Side by side we looked up at the ever darker sky. “So let me get to know you.”
“What do you want to know?”
And so he began telling me the answers to the questions I had never before had a reason to ask. His full name was Riley James. He was two years older than me (I already knew this, he’s a junior, I’m a freshman). We talked like this, I too answered his questions and we had a lot in common, until the moon was high in the sky.
“Goodnight,” I looked over at him.
“Goodnight Mia” He was looking back at me, and the way he talked made my heart want to explode. I smiled and rolled over with my back to him, he rolled the opposite direction, and we went to sleep, in the peaceful quiet, under the stars and the moon. Why was this place so terrifying?
My eyes slowly opened and I went into panic mode. I sat up suddenly, that’s when I remembered where I was. I looked over and Riley was gone. Now I was really panicking.
“Riley!” I was on my feet and turning in circles, looking for him. He wasn’t there. I screamed louder, “Riley!” no answer. I looked at the ground to see if he left anything, footprints, or something. Nothing. Even one of the bags was gone. I didn’t know what else to do so I took the tripod out of the remaining bag, set it to its highest setting, and stood it where we had been, so I could find my way back, and I started walking in the direction he was facing last night.
“Riley!” I kept calling every couple of seconds. What could have happened to him? Now terrible thoughts filled my head and my walk became faster. What if something hurt him, what if he was in trouble? Now I was running across the hills of the field. “Riley!”
“Mia! I’m over here!” his call came from my left.
I called again, “Riley!”
I was at a full sprint; he was a little dot on the horizon. As I got closer and closer I saw that he was bent over something on the ground. It was a stream. I continued at a sprint, and as I approached him he turned towards me. I couldn’t help what I did next. I’m not going to say it was an accident, because it wasn’t. I was relieved to see him that I threw my arms around him; I think he makes me impulsive.
“Why did you leave without telling me?”
“I’m sorry, I… I didn’t want to wake you.”
“You scared me out of my mind.”
He wrapped his arms around me, “I’m sorry.”
We both let go of each other at about the same time. “So you found a stream?”
“Yea, the water is very fresh, so now we have something to drink.”
“So what about food?”
“I’m still working on that one.”
“I left the tripod standing up so we could find our way back to that spot.”
“Alright, I think we should stay here, close to the stream, so I’ll go back and get the tripod, you stay here.”
“You’re coming right back?”
He returned about fifteen minutes later and sat down beside me, we were facing the stream.
“Hey.” He put his arm around my shoulder.
“Hey.” I replied, looking over at him. “How long do you think we are gonna be here?”
“No idea. What’s wrong?”
I was sad, and I couldn’t hide it anymore, being so close to someone you really and truly like, and not having the courage to say anything, “Nothing.”
“This stream has a current.” He pointed to the river with his left hand and moved it to the right, illustrating the direction of the current.
“I see.” I had no idea what he was getting at.
“It has to lead somewhere. Let’s find out, we’ve got nothing to lose.”
We grabbed the bags and began walking along the river. He began the conversation.
“I really think it’s going to be alright.”
He could still see I was upset. “I know, I’m fine, really.”
I stopped walking. “No I’m not fine. I really like you.”
He had stopped too and stood in front of me, turned towards me; he leaned forward, slowly and kissed me. We both pulled away after a few seconds and I closed my eyes and hugged him. We stood there for what seemed to be a long time, and then I opened my eyes.
Over his shoulder I saw his house in the distance. “Riley!”
Now he too saw that we had come back. He grabbed my hand, turned towards his house, and we began running. The two of us burst through the door to see the clock, sitting on the opposite wall, showed the same time it should have been when we left yesterday. His mom was in the kitchen cooking dinner, like we hadn’t been gone all night. He tugged on my hand and I followed him up stairs to his room where he checked the electronic calendar on his computer to see that the date was still yesterday. Time hadn’t moved at all.
Riley let go of my hand and went to close his door. We both sat on the bed and looked at each other. “We don’t tell anyone,” he said.
“We can try to go back another day, and we can bring food and everything, we can even build a kind of fort, and have adventures. It will be our place.”
“Okay, can you drive me home for now?”
“Sure. You okay?”
He drove me back to my house, kissed me goodnight, and left. It was our place, Riley and me.