Darkness surrounds me, nothing but it. I feel my head throbbing with pain, still caught up in the moment I was having minutes, hours, possibly days ago. It's only when I blink my eyes open that I realise I'm still here. They didn't kill me! Unless this is heaven...
I seem to be lying down, so I move into a more comfortable position, crossed legged. Dropping my hands in my lap, my eyes then flicker to my arm - a streak of what looks like burned skin lies on the surface. What happened?
I look around the spacious room. I seem to be in a rather grand living room, sofas covered with perfectly designed stitched covers, and multicoloured cushions scattered on top. A ginormous crystal-blue mirror hangs in the centre of the room, opposite me, over a fireplace burning away. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it in my life.
Suddenly, I notice someone appear at the doorway to my left. It's a guy, dressed in the kind of suit a prince would wear, his hair gelled back so much it looks flat on his head. With his dark mysterious eyes and lightly stubbled chin, I think to myself that he could be handsome if he got rid of the awful gelled hair. But I have more important statements to make.
"Where am I?" I ask, deciding that I might as well be blunt.
He walks further into the room, sitting down on the sofa with his hands between his legs, leaning forward. "Heaven."
I almost faint.
"What?!" I choke out.
"Just kidding." He chuckles to himself.
"Very funny." I shoot back, running my hand through my hair. It's now that I realise how greasy my hair is, how terrible I must look in front of this prince-like figure.
"So you're a prince, huh? And this is your mighty fine palace? And you've whisked me away into some random world that I don't know about. Are you sure you were kidding about heaven?"
He laughs. "Yeah right, and I'm sure."
My head physically throbs with confusion, my hands rubbing together out of anxiety. I wish he'd just tell me where the hell I am.
"You're in fact, still in your own country." He says.
My eyes dart to him. His dreamy ocean pools stare into mine. But I shake my head loose; it's not the time for this. Still in my country? There's no other option...
"I'm on the right side?" I manage to choke out, amidst my shock.
"Hell yeah you are! You were one of the unlucky ones, but seriously the right side is the place you want to be."
"But...but..." I look around at the surroundings, the modern design of the room, the size of the room. It isn't possible that the Other Side could be this different. I don't understand.
"I know, it's amazing right?"
"But it's so different..."
He shrugs. "Better different."
"And how would you know?"
He gets up and walks over to the wall on the right of me, where a massive cupboard lies against the wall. Yanking the doors to the side, the cupboard then turns into a holder for a massive plasma sized TV. No way. He grabs a remote from the side and clicks on the TV. Instead of a TV show appearing on the screen, a fuzzed up camera view pops up. Squinting, I notice the familiarity of it - the houses, the people, the area.
"You can see our side?" I stand, inching closer to the screen.
"Yup. Every single inch of it." It's almost like he's rubbing it in my face, but I don't really care; it's so surreal.
"How is that even fair?"
"Who cares what's fair?" He counteracts, "Anyway, what's your name?"
He rolls his eyes. "No, what's your real name."
Oh, so now they can tell when I'm lying too? This is just getting better.
He rubs his chin thoughtfully. "The brave, eh?"
"Brave. It's what your name means." I stare at him for a second. How the hell does he know that?
"What, do you stalk me or something?" I laugh.
"In fact, yes."
"What?!" I exclaim, horrified.
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding!" He holds up his hands, surrendering, and despite wanting to slap him across the face for not giving me enough answers, I feel myself warming to him. Is that stupid?
In a second he's walked across the room to me and he holds out his hand in front of me. "I'm Trent. Care to let me show you around this hell of a place?"
I smile, although my stomach churns with the agony of this journey. I actually made it. I made it to the Other Side. And although I don't know how, I don't care. I'm here, and somehow that's all that matters.
Smiling from ear to ear, my hand reaches up to clasp his. "Of course. Lead the way."