Brightside Up

What would you say if I told you that there was another world that existed parallel to your own? What if I told you that there were a select few that could dive between these; that could experience the colourless world below and that which you live in, Brightside?

Myself and Alex are two of those with this ability. This is our story.

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2. Alex

As soon as I walked into my dorm, the cool air and clean smell hit me. I dropped my bag by the door and chucked myself onto my bed, squishing the pillow. 

"Asleep already? What happened to our little visit we'd planned for tonight?" asked a sarcastic yet familiar voice.

It was Alex. She was standing in my bedroom looking just about as beautiful as a person can get, hands on hips with one eyebrow raised. The first time I'd met Alex was when I was seven years old. 

 

"Go away James, I have to finish my last piece of training of Ms Soun will kill me!" I hollered at my closed door. I had suffered through the torturous five hour training session that had become a regular part of life on the day of my seventh birthday. Exactly ten years before the Regulating. Of course, I found the whole thing rather stupid seeing as I had already taken my first Dive four years ago. Not that I could tell anyone. 

I sat on my bed, head in hands, with a pounding headache. All the noise got to me. Silence was what I craved. 

"Hey! Who the… Where am I… What…" murmured a little voice from the corner. I lifted my head sharply; no one else was supposed to be in my dorm. A petite girl with shiny brown curls and big chocolate eyes looked up at me. All that her eyes showed were fear. Pure fear. 

"Who are you? Where am I?" she demanded. I took a step back.

"How did you get into my dorm?" I asked her as a response, narrowing my eyes suspiciously. 

She took a shaky breath and begun telling her story. She spoke for half an hour, telling me how she saw herself in mirrors, pools, glass. She told me how she saw herself in a grey world. One with no colour. That day, she touched the glass when she was brushing her teeth. She had arrived in a white space. Then here. 

 

We'd been best friends ever since.

"Agh, I completely forgot. Honestly, I'm just so exhausted. Why on earth do we need to 'train' continuously for five hours a day? Their training methods are so pathetic, it's almost as if they don't want people to Dive. I mean, for gods sake, why do I need to slap a bucket of water for 30 minutes!?" I mumbled into my pillow.

Alex's small mouth lifted at the corners and her eyes wrinkled. 

"It's times like these that I'm the happiest about my situation," she said, walking over to me, "How about we take a two second hop into Limbo and then come back? That always cheers you up."

I didn't even reply, I just got off my bed and walked to a cup of water I had in the corner. As soon as my finger broke the surface and I looked at the image on the top, I was torn. 

I dove into Limbo, allowing it to wash over me, fill me from the inside and spill from my ears. The pure, white, soundlessness of it all allowed me to calm, and the headache that had pounded in my head for days was gone. While no sound was made as she Dove in, I knew she was in here with me. I was glad. At first, I had thought that having another in Limbo with me would take away from the whole xperience, but honestly, I liked it. Her being in my sacred place made it feel more like home and made our bond stronger. I knew it was time to go; the longer you stayed in Limbo, the less you could exist in either world, and so readied myself for the dive back Under. 

I plinked into the room, Alex already sitting on my bed- she was always better at Diving than I was. The speed in which she could Dive in and out of worlds was almost unheard of. Not that anyone had heard of her. 

Alex lived Brightside; in the world of colour and ignorance. People up top, they had no idea about Under. No idea at all. Of course, we were pretty sure Alex wasn't really a Bright, that was impossible, but our most popular theory as of then stood that her Murk mother had Dived right after she'd been born and left her up Brightside in an orphanage. That meant that she had never had any training, making the fact that she got down Under at all that much more incredible. It also meant that no Murk would acknowledge she existed.

Except me.

But, like I said, I'm an anomaly.

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