I found myself in a place far, far away. My dad standing right next to me with his coffee brown hair flowing in the wind and his bright brown eyes glistening in the sun. I turned to him and smiled. He smiled back. I'd missed him so much. We both stared out to something in the distance that seemed to shine so bright.
"What is it Daddy?" I asked.
"It's where you belong, darling. Always remember that I will be with you forever," He held me tight, and I felt safer than ever. "I love you."
"I love you too Daddy, just promise you won't ever leave me."
"I'm not going anywhere."
He sang to me the song he used to always sing to me when I was young, "Never frighten, never cry, you've got Frilei right to your side, never forget that you are special. You are a cutie my honeysuckle. You know that rock I gave you when you were six for your birthday?"
"Never lose it. It's what you can remember me with, alright?"
I laughed, "Ok dad. I'll keep your amazing rock." I said sarcastically. Though I did have intentions of actually keeping that rock forever. It meant the world to me, because it came from him.
I closed my eyes, and endured the morning breeze. I stayed, snuggled in arms, unwilling to leave. Nothing mattered to me, as long as he was with me, I knew everything would be alright. I felt him kiss my forehead, "Everything's gonna be ok sweet pea. Don't worry about a thing. You can get through it." His voice was starting to shatter. It was as if he was trying to comfort me from something he couldn't stop.
I looked up at him, "Worry about what Daddy?"
He said nothing.
"Shhh," He hushed me, and started to stroke my hair. "When the time is right, you'll understand. I just want you to be strong ok? Promise me, you'll stay strong and never give up."
"What's wrong Dad, what's going to happen, is everything ok?"
"Everything's fine, just promise me." His voice was getting louder and his eyes were watering. He was worried about something. I hated seeing him like that.
"I promise Daddy, I promise."
"Good." He seemed relieved. He kissed my forehead again, and got up. I saw him smile as he stared out into the distance again. I couldn't help but do the same. I memorized his complexion, his eyes, his nose, everything. I didn't want to forget any of it. He looked back at me, smiling, "You don't know how proud I am of you darling. Keep it up." I went over to hug him, but before I got near him everything disappeared.
I woke up. That was the fifth time I dreamt of Dad. I couldn't help but tear. I missed him too much. My father has been dead for over three months now, and since then, my mother hasn't been back to normal.
Every now and then she would tell me how they met, and how he had proposed to her. She would say back then, they were the cutest couple. She was more than in love with him. My parents were soul mates. I'd always try and imagine how that feeling would be like. How was it to feel in love, and more importantly, to have someone love you back?
I laid my head back onto the pillow and shut my eyes, in search of sleep. But how could I sleep now that I've woken from another unreachable dream? I got up slowly, to regain full consciousness. I went down stairs and found my mom making breakfast. It was the first time since the incident that she had ever done anything.
"You're in a good mood today mom." I smiled, even though sorrow hadn't left me yet.
"Yes I am," she smiled back "We're going to finally go back."
"Back to the U.S. We'd stay there for this summer and we'd at least get see our families again. I haven't seen them since the…you know." Her face gloomed to the thought of him.
"The whole summer? I mean come on mom, London isn't that bad."
"Well, it isn't that good either. I want to go back, April. I'm tired of living here like this. Besides, it's safer for us there."
"Safer? Mom, it's not like we're in danger. Are we?"
"N-no, I didn't mean to say it that way, it's just, well, you and I both know it'll be better for us. With your father gone, there's nothing left for us here. It's not like we can go and dig up his fossils to get us money."
"Mom, you've already been working at Jesse's sandwich shop for over two years now, I don't see the big deal. We're living on just that amount of money. "
"We'll be there just for the summer, April, I promise we'll come back soon."
I sat on the kitchen table. "What are you making?" I said wanting to change the subject.
"Omelets. I hope you like it, it's my secret recipe." she winked.
I was surprised. I've never seen her act that way in so long. She was a whole new person today. I was glad, and thought maybe everything was back to normal.
"Secret recipe eh? Well, I sure do hope it's good." She laughed and I did the same. She handed me my plate. I sniffed the omelet and realized how hungry I was. We sat down together and ate our meals. I'd missed that teenage part of her. It was like she was a friend of mine, not my mother. We sat together and watched Disney Channel. We watched Disney Playhouse and laughed at the ridiculous dialogue Mickey Mouse had and Handy Danny. I remembered watching these shows as a kid, and how interested I would be in it. Then suddenly I remembered my dad and how he would always play with me and how we would wrestle together and laugh. The thought of him saddened my heart. I felt like I was scarred for life. That man was my best friend, and losing him was like losing a part of me. There was nothing I could do because I knew that he was gone forever.
I didn't want to disappoint my mom by showing my emotions. She suggested we play Go Fish. I thought it would cheer me up.
"Your turn." I said.
"Hmm," she put down a two. "Go fish!" she laughed. I laughed too as I got another card.
Suddenly the doorbell rang.
"Who could it be?" she asked.
"I don't know. What time is it?"
I set my cards down. "No peeking." I said, as I got up to see who was at the door.
As I opened the door, Jessica popped in and gave me a hug, "April!" she sounded very enthusiastic, as always. Her grandma died last month, and she said it was better that way, because her grandma was a good person, so now she could enjoy heaven. Jessica was from London. When I moved here, she was the first one to welcome me.
"Hey Jess, come in. Mom, it's Jessica!"
"Hey sweetie, come on in!" my mom said.
"Thank you Mrs. Spalding, but I just wanted April to come with me to the carnival that's going on in London Square. It's a fairly large carnival. Would you like to come as well?" said Jessica with her British accent.
My mom sounded excited, "Well, I'd love to come, is your mother going?"
"Why yes, she is, she'd love it if you'd join her."
"Well, I'd better go get ready. April, you can change quickly and go with Jessica, I'll catch up with you guys."
"Ok, thanks mom." I saw my mom rush up the stairs.
"Woah, your mom is in a good mood today?" Jessica was also surprised.
"I know right? I don't know what happened, it's like she forgot about everything. I don't know, but I kind of like it this way better."
"Well, go on and change, we'll talk on the way there."
When we got to the carnival, it seemed to me like it was the first time I'd gone. I hadn't felt so free like I felt at that moment in a long time. As we were walking something hit me. I fell to the ground. I had hit lamppost, and never realized it.
When I opened my eyes I saw people walking down a road. The carnival had transformed into an old, dull place that seemed to be ghostly. The sky was suddenly dark and cloudy and it looked as if it was going to rain. What happened? Am I day dreaming? But I wasn't. I was sure I wasn't. I was seeing this. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. Fear rose in me as I realized I knew no one. The people were all ages and sizes, tall and short, young and old, but they were all wearing the same thing; black, dirty robes with hoods that covered each of their faces. Heads down, they were all racing somewhere. I could see the sorrow and fear that was inside of them. It was as if they were running away from something. I wondered what their story was, but I knew that their stories wouldn't do me any good at the moment. I needed to know where I was and how to get out of here. I squinted to try and recognize one of them to see if they could help me but they all had unfamiliar faces. "Hello? Who—who are you people?" Silence answered my curious question. No one even slightly turned their head towards my direction. They were all focused on making it to their destination it seemed.
Suddenly someone turned. A girl. She seemed to be my age, or a bit older. Her blue eyes stared as she began to move towards me. I began to slowly step back. Her movement towards me was rapid and swift. "You," she whispered in relief. "I have finally found you. You're finally here! "
I was puzzled. What was she talking about?
"You are the only one who can help us," she continued. "Please, please you have to help us. You are the only history seeker! But—"
"But what lady, I don't even know you! What am I doing here, send me back! What did you do?" I said. I was furious and scared, but I needed to know what was going on. She put her head down and returned to the rest of the people, without saying a word. What was going on?
Suddenly everything and everyone turned to sand and vanished into smithereens while the carnival returned to its place and the sky regained its blue color once again. Everything was back to normal. "Are you alright?" Jessica asked.
" Oh gosh, what happened?"
"You hit that lamppost and fell to the ground. Are you alright?" Jessica said.
"Yeah I'm okay, that was weird." I got up and gagged. My head ached a lot. I put my hand over it and couldn't help but remember that girl. I remembered that look on her face. Terror and horror filled her eyes…she was somehow dependent on me. But I still didn't understand. I was positive that it was only a dream.
My head stopped hurting when Jessica and I got ice-cream cones. I've always loved ice-cream because it always made me feel good. I saw my mom come at last as she went with Jessica's mom. Me and Jessica rode the mini-rollercoaster that was meant for little children. We went to all the different booths and I won a big stuffed rabbit. At around 6pm, I saw Justin.
"Oh my God! Jessica, Justin's here." I had always thought that he was very cute, with his green eyes and his golden brown hair, and most of all, his cute British accent.
"Golly! Talk to him." Jessica said.
"No way! He'll think I'm a creep!"
Jessica laughed, " You're so funny! Boys aren't like that, especially boys like him. Now go talk to him!"
"Alright, alright! Don't push." I was blushing already. He was standing next to the 'hit-a-target' booth, on the phone with someone. I went over only when I was positive he was finished with his conversation.
"Hey Justin." I smiled with my face redder than ever.
He noticed me, "Hey, what's up April?"
"Nothing, you wanna play?" I was too nervous.
"Sure, while I'm waiting."
"Who are you waiting for?" I was hoping from inside of me that he wasn't waiting for some kind of girl.
"My mom, she's gonna come pick me up, my house is too far from here." He chuckled a little.
I sighed of relief, "Well, let's play." We both played 'hit-a-target' together. He obviously won.
"What would you like, young man?" said the booth monitor.
"Well, what do you want April?" he asked me. I couldn't believe it. He wanted me to pick his prize. I hesitated, but a stuffed dolphin caught my attention.
"That dolphin's nice." I tried to be as calm as possible.
"Well then, I'd like that dolphin please."
The man untied the stuffed animal and handed it to Justin.
"Here you go." Justin handed the dolphin to me. I was so flattered.
"For me?" I asked shockingly.
He smiled, "You chose it, and it's also part of being a gentleman. April Spalding, I hereby give you this dolphin. Will you accept it?" I couldn't help but laugh.
I took the dolphin, "Why thank you Sir Justin Drew. I accept your gift." I tried to curtsy but I failed at it. He laughed. I liked his laugh. It was formal yet very cute. I loved his accent so much as well. It made me shiver in a good way.
"Well, that's my mom, it was fun playing with you April, see you later." I turned to see his mom coming towards us.
I smiled, "Bye Justin." I watched him leave with his mom. He was such a good guy. I went back to Jessica, and when she saw me she smiled so hard, "April!"
I laughed, "Look what Justin gave me!"
"Oh my God, he totally likes you!" said Jessica.
"No, he doesn't." I said, knowing that it was maybe true.
"Fine, whatever you say missy. Anyway I have to get home, my mom just called. She said your mom went back home. And my two younger brothers are back from pre-school. My mom said, they had an all-play day, and they can't be left alone in the house. You want me to walk you home, or are you gonna stay?"
"No, no, I'll go back home. And yeah, thanks, can you walk me?"
We walked back home together, "Thanks Jessica, I'll see you tomorrow, yeah?" I said.
"Sure, bye April!"
I went inside the house, "Hey mom! I'm home!"
"Hey honey, how was today?"
"Fun," I said as I went to the living room and sat on the couch next to her and watched T.V. for a while, "I'm really tired. I'm going upstairs to sleep."
"Now? That's not the usual you, especially that it's summer and all."
"I know I'm just really tired."
"Alright honey, see you in the morning."
And I could've sworn I heard her mutter something that sounded like "good luck". I went upstairs. I didn't feel like changing into my pajamas. I thought my purple shirt and jeans were fine. I jumped onto my bed and stared at the ceiling. My eyes shut slowly and I fell fast asleep.
I dreamt of my dad again. He was with me for a long time. I was so happy. Then I woke up…again. The next day, I went over to Jessica's house to help babysit her two younger twin brothers. The day after that, I saw Justin at the library and he invited me to his birthday party. I, of course, agreed. He said it was on the 5th of July, the day of his birthday. The next day I decided to stay at home and spend time with my mom. My days were starting to gradually become extremely boring. I had nothing to do anymore. The next day, Jessica, Stephanie, and Mark invited me to the beach. Stephanie and Mark were also my classmates in 9th grade last year. We were all in the same high school, with Justin of course. Beach day was fun, but not as extraordinary. I went to the beach almost every day, along with getting a tan. Summer had barely started, and I already wanted it to end. I went to sleep that night, tired and exhausted, yet I couldn't help but feel that something was missing, like I had forgotten something. I tried to ignore that sensation and shut my eyes, the quiet surrounding made it very easy to just slip away and escape reality.