I knew something was wrong. The smells of breakfast didn’t come to greet me. I didn’t hear the soft hum of music that was always present. My bed didn’t even feel the same. Replaced with the usual softness of my bed, was a rock hard mattress. I opened my eyes afraid of what I might see, or not see. Looking around, I noticed I was in my room. My heart rate slowed down, maybe nothing was wrong. Maybe, my parents got an early start to work this morning.
I slipped both feet out of the comforter and connected them with the plush feeling of carpet. Something felt terribly wrong and I still couldn’t out my finger on it.
Maybe, it was a huge layer of dust that had accumulated on my desk, during the night? Or the smell of stale air floating around my room? Why does it look like I’ve been gone for years?
I rushed over to my mirror and felt my stomach drop. This had to be a dream. A nightmare to be exact. I wasn’t a seventeen year old girl anymore. Guessing my new age, I’d say I was in my late thirties.
“Mom!” I called out for her. Tears fell down my face as I continued to look at myself in the mirror. What had happened overnight?
I listened for my mothers voice but was met with complete silence.
Taking off down the stairs, I ran into the kitchen, only to be met with complete emptiness.
“This is a dream, Aria. Wake up, please.” I told myself, taking a piece of my arm between my fingers and pinching.
I finally found myself able to concentrate on my surroundings and noticed that there were slight changes made about the house. The kitchen wall had been knocked out, giving the whole house a sense of openness. The kitchen walls were painted a soft green. The fridge was stainless steel and bigger than the last one they had. The whole house smelled stale, like a window hadn’t been opened in years.
‘Maybe, it had been years.’ I thought to myself, feeling an eerie shudder run through my body.
I wanted answers, and I was going to get them straight away. I marched out the front door, to only be blinded by the warm sun. Instantly, I noticed the house next door appeared to be occupied. Before, it was vacant. Who was living there now?
I finally saw a vehicle sitting in the driveway.
A jeep wrangler.
I hadn’t felt such confusion since the SATs exam a few months prior.
I looked down at my clothes, before running back inside. I quickly got dressed in something more presentable and brushed a small amount of makeup on my face. Catching my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I almost let out another scream thinking there was a stranger with me. This time I took the time to fully inspect my face. I didn’t look much different, just older. My hair was longer and darker, the layers framing my full face. Before turning around to leave, I noticed there was another major difference in my features but couldn’t quite pinpoint it. It didn’t matter now, all that mattered was that I get to Mariana’s house. I already knew what Mariana would say. She would grab a tub of moisturizer and make me drink a gallon of water.
I grabbed my keys on the way out and noticed a rectangular thing, which I assumed was a phone. I picked it up and noticed it was as light as a feather. The frame of the phone was incredibly thin, I was almost afraid of breaking it. Now, how do I turn this thing on? After, messing around with it, I finally got the thing to light up. It was on in an instant.
I was happy to see that there was no pass code on it and quickly typed in one of the only numbers I knew by heart.
“Hello?” I heard a voice say from the other side. Except, it was a male.
“Mariana?” I questioned.
“I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.” The man told me and I sighed.
“Okay, thanks.” I said, before pressing the end button.
In this moment, I had never felt so upset in my life. My parents were gone. Mariana was gone. There was nobody left to call or talk to. All I needed was someone to explain what happened. Did I hit my head and forget my life? I sucked in a deep breath and waited for any type of noise to fill my ears. All I could hear was complete silence and it’s funny because as a teen all I would say was, ‘I want peace and quiet.’
I stared down at my bare feet and noticed they were painted a black color. Black nail polish was not for your toes! This would’ve never happened if things were the way they were before.
Suddenly, the phone that lay beside me lit up. The name Alex flashed on the screen. Who was she? I picked it up and answered it.
I scrunched up my face. How did she know who I was?
“Uh, yeah?” I said.
“You’re fifteen minutes late to work. Liz, is freaking out. Are you okay?” I heard this women tell me. I looked at the time. It said that it was seven-thirty.
“I think you have the wrong number.” I told her. I didn’t work. And I certainly didn’t know anyone named Alex or Liz.
“Ha. Ha. You are hilarious. Are you sick?” I sighed, giving up. Maybe if I played along she would stop asking me questions I didn’t have answers to.
“Yeah, I am.”
“Why didn’t you call in?” She questioned and I rolled my eyes.
“What year is it, Alex?” I asked her and the other side of the line went silent.
“How much NyQuil did you take exactly?” She laughed.
“A lot. So?” I asked.
“2035.” She told me, then added, “I’ll tell Liz. Make sure you call in next time.”
It was 2035? After a few minutes of calculating, I realized that would make me 36 years old. Where did my life go?
“Uh, hello?” I heard a voice call out. I looked down at my phone.
“I’m sorry. I forgot I was on the phone. Where do we work? What is our job?” I asked her, I know she must think I’m crazy, but I had to know what I do as a profession.
This time she didn’t laugh.
“Aria, you’re actually starting to scare me now. Do I need to send someone to check on you?”
“No! I’m fine. My mind is a little foggy.” I quickly spat out.
I heard a sigh on the other line.
“Look, I know you have an obsession with your job but I honestly didn’t know it was this bad. If you absolutely need me to say it then I will. We are magazine editors, okay? Like I said Liz is really upset right now. So I gotta go, I’ll talk to you later. Feel better.” She told me and I felt a tear run down my cheek. I hadn’t even realized I was crying.
“Thanks.” I said, quietly, turning off the phone. I was a magazine editor? What happened with wanting to be a professional dancer? What happened to my old life? Why was nobody here with me? What happened to Mariana? Most importantly, what happened to me? It had never been a thought of mine to be a magazine editor. Why was it 2035? So, many questions were running through my thoughts and I couldn’t slow any of it down.
I huddled my knees up to my chest and let the tears fall. I don’t know how long I sat there until I heard a soft knock come from my door. I lifted my head up and stood up, walking to the door. Opening it, I came face to face with my parents. Their faces looked older, but so did mine.
They looked happy.
Another burst of tears fell from my eyes and my mother gave me a worried look.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” She asked me.
“Nothing. I just missed you guys that’s all.” I said, pulling her into a hug. Despite the differences in appearance, I still felt the same hugging my mother.
“You saw us last week, Aria. I think that you’re getting too lonely here by yourself.” She told me. I was thirty- six without a husband? I felt another round of tears fall from my eyes. Why was I such a cry-baby today?
“Lets get some coffee brewing. Then, we will sit and talk about whats wrong.” She told me, and I nodded. I quickly looked over at my dad and gave him a big hug.
“How are you feeling?” I heard him ask me.
“What do you mean?” I asked, confused.
“That’s the reason why were over here. Alex called and told me that you weren’t making a lot of sense. We are all worried about you.”
“Well, for one thing you are to obsessed with work. Another is you come home from work to only be greeted with a quiet house. Then, you wake up to do the same routine over again. I can tell you’re not happy. Maybe, you should start dating again? To pass the time.” My mother told me as I started making the coffee. I was relieved to see the coffee stuff remained in the same place all these years.
After I made the coffee, I sat down at the table with my parents.
“Mom, what happened to dancing? Why didn’t I pursue it?” I asked her, playing with a packet of sweet and low.
She gave me a concerned look.
“Well, you just stopped dancing. There was no story. You just walked away from it.” She told me and I felt as if she were lying. I mean how could that possibly be true? I would never give up dancing. I knew that for a fact.
“What happened to Mariana?” I asked her and she rubbed my hand.
“Are you okay?” She asked.
“Because it’s almost like you don’t remember these things.” She told me and I let out a laugh. I didn’t think it was funny though.
“I just want you to refresh my memory, please?” I asked her and she sighed.
“You and her went to different colleges. You just drifted apart.” She told me.
We drifted apart?! There was no way. Not the girl I spent all of my childhood knowing. I mean we were practically raised together.
I swallowed down the bubbling anxiety and nodded. A small beep sounded through the kitchen and I smiled weakly, at my parents. Getting up, I grabbed the mugs of coffee and poured us each a cup. My mother came up behind me to grab one and I gave her a small smile. We walked back and I handed my mug to my father.
“Thanks.” He told me.
“Look, I know I’ve been asking strange questions but why am I living in your house?” I asked them.
My mother gave my father a look.
“Well, we wanted to sell but you insisted that we give it to you. You didn’t want to leave your childhood home.” My father told me. That was the only piece of news that made any type of sense. That sounded like something I would do.
My parents stayed for a couple hours. We talked about many things and I learned quite a bit about my new self from them.
I learned who the current president was and all the events that happened in between. My parents gave me all the information that I needed and I felt that it was strange, they didn’t think I was crazy.
When my parents left, I walked into the bathroom to wash my sweaty hands. I quickly washed them with warm water and dried them. My gaze went back to the mirror and I studied my face, for the third time today. I suddenly knew what looked different that I couldn’t pinpoint before.
They lost all there color. They looked back at me, dull and without life. Maybe, I was a walking zombie. I tugged at my unusually pale skin, my dry hair and my lifeless eyes. I was in fact lifeless.
I slowly walked up to my room. It was the same as a child except a few changes here and there. It looked as a room of a thirty-six year old would have. Walking to my bed, I pulled the sheets back and set myself down on the hard mattress. How could anyone ever sleep on this?
My eyes felt heavy with sleep and eventually darkness came, swallowing me whole. I didn’t have any dreams or nightmares. My mind went blank. Quickly, I felt a cold breeze hit my face then it stopped.
The hum of classical music sounded from down below and another sound filled my ears. My mattress was too comfortable to leave. I felt as if I was on a pillow. The smells of breakfast reached my nose and it almost was enough to get me to leave the warmth of my bed.
“Aria! Did your alarm go off? You’re going to be late for dance class!” She yelled up to me and in a rush I was already out of bed.
My feet hopped down from my bed and I got ready in a fast pace, my feet dancing in the process.