How could something so delicate and juicy take me away from everything I’ve ever loved? Take me from everyone I’ve ever loved? I never really believed in shit like Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit and the snake that was the root of everything evil until today. I should’ve listened. I should’ve been more careful.
It was 1996 in Kansas City, MO. No this is not a rural town. I lived in the city by many lights and many houses. The streets were always busy. The world around me was so live until one day when it just wasn’t. I had a crazy group of friends that was always down for the ride on any occasion. We were stuck together like peas in a pod, until one day we just weren’t. I heard that there was going to be a huge party after the game that night. We had the Center Yellowjackets vs. the Raytown South Cardinals. We were in the last quarter of the game, 36 - 24. Of course Center was in the lead per usual and we took the game home! It was a cause for a celebration. Darrel always had the parties out at his family’s house by the lake. It was so spacious and everyone always had a fucking good time so what do we say to a good time? Let’s get this party started!
‘This Is How We Do It’ played in the background while we all danced the night away. This was a sweet victory seeing how they were talking big stuff earlier that week about how they were going to get us back for winning the last few games with them. As you can see the winning streak was still present. I looked around at my friends as we stood around the bonfire while we all took shots, laughed, danced, and screamed the lyrics to every song that blasted its way through the speakers. Nyla decided that since it was our senior year that she wanted to go back to the place where we all initiated our friendship. So the six of us slithered away from the party and a little deeper into the woods behind the lake house.
“It’s too dark and we’re a little ways from the house don’t you think? I can’t hear the music anymore.” I’m pretty sure I was scared for my life. I mean I watched scary movies and documentaries on killers for a living. I was just being a little cautious. I was hoping they’d listen to me for once, but they all just laughed it off. Yeah yeah yeah, we were drunk but I seen things for how they were and I did not want to end up on the late night news for being someone’s easy kill. “Whoa what the hell is this?” George charged this tree that was in the middle of nowhere. Sitting right on the spot that we had first met. “Um, it’s obviously a tree dumbass. What else would this huge chunk of wood be sitting in the ground for?” Mariah was always so slick and witty with her words. I miss her. This was actually more than a tree. It was surrounded by something soft and kind of mushy. I picked it up to smell what it was and I said out loud, “These are pears. This is a pear tree, maybe?” And here goes Howard wanting to taste the pears. I mean we’d never seen a tree like this out in the city. He used his flashlight to check the pears as he gathered them for us all to feast on. I didn’t actually want to take a bite of something I had never seen in this state but why not? I mean we were drunk and willing to do just anything in our last days with eachother. “On the count of three we are all going to sink our teeth into these apples and go crazy.” Alana was the party animal and the down girl. She was so cool and free with life. I aspired to be like that. “They’re pears, but who gives a damn. Three!!!!” Darrel yelled out three and we all took a bite. That was my last ever memory of them. And poof. They were no where in sight. Just like that my family and friends were all gone. I was completely gone.
By the time my eyes had opened the sun was beating my back in. I used my hands to block the Sun from my eyes. I looked around to find myself laying in someone’s backyard with chicken pecking at my hair. I rise up in a panic screaming my friend’s names at the top of my lungs. Where the hell was I and why the hell did I wake up here? I walked to the nearest corner store to call my mom but I didn’t see a pay phone. I feel completely lost and alone. I seen different vehicles I’d never seen before. These stores looked so advanced and bigger than I remembered. People dressed in Lees clothing. Where the hell was I and where were my friends? I stepped on a newspaper that was scratching at the ground as it was blowing past me. When I picked it up, the date on there stunned me. It said that I was standing in the year 2026. This was completely absurd.
My brain is pulsating through my head. I have the most vicious migraine. Where the hell am I? Is this a joke? Hopefully I’m having a nightmare and I’ll wake up and this will all be over. Like where do I even start? I have so many questions and so little answers. My friends are nowhere in sight and this damn newspaper is claiming that I’m in 2026. I mean things are definitely off. These cars aren’t touching the ground. They’re soaring to heights I’ve never seen. People have these screens that aren’t really screens that they’re talking through. I feel like I’m on an episode of some delusional show. I continue to pinch myself to try and wake up, but I am still here.
I finally got ahold of a phone and I decided to call my mom. There was no answer on the other end. I tried my dad and I got the same result. I am in complete shambles. There is only one way to find out if this is a dream. I have to get hit by a car. Maybe that will wake me up. As I stood in the middle of the street I waited for a car to bombard me. To take this very life from me because I was a loss. I still didn’t understand how and why I would end up here in 2026. I spread my arms as if I was soaring. I heard a honk and the next thing I knew, I was back at the pear tree.
Alone in the woods with nothing but my weary thoughts. I looked around to see no one. I waled back to the lake house and the party was still going on, but none of my friends were around. I screamed for help and I got no reaction from anyone. I yelled in people’s faces and I shouted from the rooftops. I began to get a little ticked off so I went to grab a drink and throw it in this girl’s face, but my hand went straight through. I went to smack the girl and the same thing happened. I must be trapped here. I must be a ghost in a world that is filed with so much noise. How did I get here and how do I get back?