“Get the water,” An old mans crackled voice ordered. Although I had regained my conscious, I felt warm and cozy, but it wasn’t home. I slightly opened my eyes to peek into a calm colored room of dim lights that hung from an extremely tall ceiling; I finally opened my eyes all the way to escape from the blurriness of my half shut eyes.
“Are you alright, miss?” A woman wearing a long white coat started for my hand gently to check for my current pulse, “She seems to have regained her energy, but I wouldn’t take any risks. She should have more rest for the time being,”
“Yes, doctor,” The man quickly paid for the doctor bill. She bowed gracefully and returned her eyes to mine.
“Your niece is very beautiful,” She smiled. Niece!? The woman finally left the large room.
“I know what you’re thinking, miss,” The man noticed the confused look on my face, “It was only necessary to claim you for the time being,”
“Claim me!?” I rose up quickly and felt the blood rush throughout my body, “I have family,”
“Of course you do,” A deep voice from behind the old man crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. His dark blue eyes stared deeply into mine with a passionate hint of joy. His long black hair was pulled back into a ponytail while his bangs were curled down to his jaw line. His skin appeared smooth, his eyelashes were dark, and his lips weren’t too big or too small. I wonder if his personality is prettier than his looks.
“What do you mean by that?” I rested my head against the wall behind me to prevent me from falling back from the dizziness I got myself caught in from sitting up too fast.
“Why wouldn’t you have family?” He laughed. His teeth appeared evenly straight with a clean color of white, “But I just so happened to have come to my secret hiding place to find a sleeping cat inside my world of comfort,”
“Your secret hiding place?” I paused and thought about what I had found when I was searching the area that I had claimed to be my hiding place.
“My beauty stretches far across the solid land to where the far ends of Europe and China touch from the deep ocean floor that connects a whole world of what explains my beauty and passion for peace,” The seven year old me traveled past fresh, fallen leaves and finally came upon a wooden house that was burnt ever so slightly. My face lit up with adventure, “Wow, a castle!” I ran to the entrance and examined the old, broken door that was open just a crack. I bowed to the door and opened the door slowly to prevent it from breaking. The area was empty, but a small figure sobbed with sadness while leaning more and more into the dark corner.
“Go away!” The figure screamed with raging anger, “I said leave!”
“Are you alright?” I stepped closer, but when I tried to confront the figure with comfort, he snatched my hand and pulled me towards him.
“Don’t go,” He cried on my shoulder and held me tight. He was my very first friend at heart, but by name and face, we were complete strangers.
“Yes, my secret hiding place,” He pushed himself away from the wall, “I’ve finally found you,” His eyes traveled around my face.
“What?” I looked at him with a complicated face.
“You have grown enormously beautiful since the last time I saw your friendly, glowing face,” He kept watching my every movement, “Why did you leave me?” His face changed to a more intense mood.
“I was young,” I turned my head away from him so that I wouldn’t see the sadness in his eyes that made me feel guilty for something I can barely remember.
“You have no excuse,” He sat right next to me and continued to stare at me and to gain some of my attention.
“Why is it so important?” I asked as I looked into his eyes and saw every mixed colors of blue and green that appeared to change every time the light hit a certain angle of his iris.
“It must’ve been very important that it brought you back to the place where it all began,” He took his hand and he put the pieces of my hair, that was in my face, behind my ear, “Want to know something?”
“No, but I’m sure you’re still going to tell me anyway,” I looked away from him once again and listened to his laughter in my ear, I also felt my chest beating against me as I couldn’t help but smell fresh pine from his hair.
“You were my first friend, actually I take that back, you were my first love,” My eyes widened to the word that had always seemed so confusing through my eyes.
“Love?” I felt my stomach begin to twist and my body began to grow warmer with every second that passed, “But you were young and so was I. How could you possibly fall for a stranger? I don’t know you!” I pulled the blanket off of me and got out of the bed to see a door that seemed to be the only way out of this room.
“Where are you going?” He rushed to the door that I was aiming for and he was blocked my only way of escape.
“Home, where else?” I harshly answered him. His eyes had the look of Is this really the girl I’ve been spending my whole life looking for? “I’m sorry, but I just want to be left alone. I’m currently being punished for something I don’t know,”
“Punished?” His hand loosened from the doorknob and gently stayed by his side, “If there’s anything I can do, please, tell me,”
“No, I don’t want to burden you anymore,” I refused and started for the doorknob.
“You’re not burdening me,” He replied softly, “You were the best thing that ever happened to me. It was the day you found me crying and screaming at you to go away, do you remember what you did? You came closer without hesitation,”
“I was a curious child,” I twisted the door knob, “I should be getting home,”
“Sure,” He sounded very disappointed.
After I left the house and started down the path that seemed more familiar with every step I made which made me realize that this wasn’t the first time I’ve been here. I finally began to remember little images of my childhood past.
“This way,” The little boy whispered.
“Where are you taking me?” I held onto his hand as I followed him onto a path that felt very soft beneath my feet.
“A castle,” He smiled and then stopped. In front of us was an enormous mansion that was big enough to be called a castle.
“Wow,” My face lit up and my heart began to pound. I hadn’t realized that our hands were still tightly attached, almost as if our body was complete.
“Oh,” He reached for his pocket and pulled out an ocean like colored ribbon that was made of pure silk, “I’ve been meaning to give this to you, but I couldn’t find the right moment to give it to you,”
“What?” I felt beneath my feet the same feeling I felt when I was seven years old, “He couldn’t possibly be that little boy I knew from my past, but I thought he left,” I followed the path and finally reached an ashy, grey concrete that became the part of the road that led back to the school parking lot. I sighed as I continued down the road of an unknown mystery that’s been leading me to a direction of my hidden past. Why am I remembering now? I’ve grown up, I’m in high school, I’m fifteen, and I’m entering a world that I once feared to enter. The reality zone.
***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
“So, it has been set,” Mother marked the thick calendar on the date of August 31st, which is only two days away.
“What’s going on?” I stared intensely at the market square.
“The date of the school trip,” Dad answered as he lifted the calendar to his face and examined the day of our school trip.
“What school trip?” I asked.
“Your mother and I have decided to take your whole school Marcadia Island,” He smiled at mother and looked over at Bill, “Does it not sound exciting?”
“Of course it’s exciting!” Bill laughed and looked at his quiet son.
“Marcadia?” I turned around to face a picture of my family that I’d never met before. The picture seemed ancient by the way the photo was torn and faded. An old man wore a furry coat that looked to fit the body of a coyote, he also wore knee-high leathered boots that would be required in battle or worn while riding horseback, and the cloth beneath his coat seemed rich and royal like what a king would wear during public gatherings. A woman next to the man seemed happy and relaxed. She wore royal clothing, just like the man next to her. Her rich, silky purple colored dress touched the sand and almost seemed camouflage as the glitter on the woman’s dress matched with the shiny, glittery white sand, “But we haven’t been there in six years, what if it’s messy and not suitable for a school trip?”
“No need to worry, daughter,” Father touched my shoulder, “Alan already contacted me, he said the island is in perfect condition,”
“If you say so,” I smiled, “I’m going to the beach, is that alright?”
“It’s fine with me, dear,” He lifted his hand from my shoulder and moved over to mother’s side. I smiled and departed from the living room.
“Marcadia, huh?” I thought continuously of the island as I felt the soft sand cover my feet. I slowly walked towards the beach house while in search of an answer to why my parents picked Marcadia.
Six years ago, there was an island called Marcadia, it was named after my great, great grandfathers middle name. He was a high ranked general who marched through many conflicts without a hint of fear in his eyes; he was extraordinary. Marcadia was an island that my great, great grandfather discovered after the loss of his second child, Preston Dean. Some believe he was in search of a piece of treasure, but many believed him to be crazy or psychotic. Actually, no one knew exactly what happened to Preston, all we know is that he disappeared for many years without contact, but the question lied within Marcadia. What led my great, great grandfather to discover such a mysterious island?
“Why Marcadia!?” I threw my hands in the air and sighed loudly as the wind returned its strong blow across the ocean’s surface and then it pushed the ocean waves further up the shore. The cool, salty water splashed my legs with a playful crash. I looked around to see if anyone was around and saw that no one was there. I smiled and then raced the waves as it quickly moved up towards the white sand, the cool water felt normal upon my feet, “I wish everyday could be refreshing as it is now,”
***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
I approached the entrance to the beach house and turned around to glance at the ocean that seemed to welcome me anytime I needed comfort. I sighed as I entered the familiar room and then I closed the door behind me when I breathed in the sweet scent of cherry blossoms.
“Hey, Kathleen!” I was startled at how quickly Gregory appeared before my eyes.
“Gregory!” I felt my heart skip a beat, “Shouldn’t you be with your father?”
“No, he’s taking care of business,” Gregory smiled. Gregory was the son of Mr. Monee, our driver. He’s seventeen years old and is a senior at a school called The Bridge High School. It’s a school that is no different from our school, except they rarely get to do anything fancy like prom or to go to long distant field trips, “I was just enjoying my vacation and thought about visiting since it’s almost been a year,”
“A year?” I was amazed with the speed of time, “Wow, I can’t believe it has been nearly a year since I last saw you,”
“I guess when we’re busy,” He paused, “We tend to lose track of time,”
“I agree,” I laughed and noticed how different he looked, “You look different, do you have a girlfriend?”
“A girlfriend!?” He slapped me on the shoulder and laughed out loud, “Kathy, there is not a single girl in this town that fits my list,”
“Your list?” I never thought that guys had a list, but it seems like time really has lost its tracks, “What is on this list of yours?”
“I can’t tell you,” He brought his finger to his lips and grinned, “It’s a secret,”
“Since when have you ever had a secret?” I curiously asked.
“I’ve had this secret for a while,” He turned around and chuckled mysteriously. This was probably one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me with the people I knew almost my whole life.
“Okay,” I ended his moment of laughter and walked past him to go to the kitchen to find something sugary.
“You’re thinking the same thing I am,” He rushed over to my side, “How about the freezer?”
“Alright,” I closed the refrigerator and straightened my back to reach the freezer that was right above the fridge. I opened it with a hope for something good and tasty, but the most unexpected breeze stung my eyes to the point of denial. How in the world did homemade coconut ice cream get into my freezer!? I said nothing as I stared at the container full of vanilla ice cream mixed with shreds of coconut.
“I didn’t know you ate this stuff?” He cheered with surprise and then grabbed the container. I don’t know what happened, but my body worked on its own and grabbed the container away from him, “What’s wrong, Kathy?”
“I don’t know,” I felt dizzy as the cold frost began to stick to the palm of my hands, “Sorry, here,”
“Are you feeling alright?” He placed his hand on my shoulder with a great concern in his voice, “You look pale,”
“I’m fine,” I lied, “I just need to rest, that’s all,”
“Alright,” He place the ice cream back in the freezer and followed me to the entertainment room where most of the electronics were put. A couch that stood closest to the television looked rougher than it really felt like and the pillow was extra silky with a color that matched the mood I was in, red; the color that represented anger and stress. I suddenly heard a buzzing noise that came from Gregory’s pocket, “Oh, so it’s that time already,”
“What is it?” I looked into his eyes to find a hint of disappointment.
“Father’s calling for me,” He closed the phone and returned it to his pocket, “Maybe we can catch up some other time,”
“Yeah,” I sounded a bit disappointed that the only friend I knew, who understood me better than anyone else did, was leaving just when he had just arrived to see me.
“Are you doing anything tonight?” He finally smiled.
“Nothing at all, why?” I grew curious.
“Meet me at the park by the lake where we used to go to when we were young,” It was silent for a moment, “Around seven o’clock pm?”
“I’ll be there,” I watched him leave as it were only moments of laughter, but it felt good to have a friend return when I really needed one in my current situation. Amy’s a good friend, but if I told her what I was going through, she would tell me to do things that would be natural to her, but wouldn’t be natural to me.