Tate showed me around the forest for a long time. I hadn't realized how much detail I had actually put into it. The leaves had little veins, and bug bites cut out of them. The squirrels had fur and actually felt soft when touched. Everything was so friendly here in this world. It was an utopia for all those ridiculed and cast down on.
"Tate, where do I live?" Tate looked up from what he'd been doing, which to be honest was talking to a sketch-squirrel. The squirrel seemed to understand, and Tate understood it.
"Of course. The squirrel wished to welcome you."
"Oh, and how can you understand it?"
"All of us sketch folks can understand one another. If you wished to speak to any of us you could, you are our creator and you control in which tongue in which we speak."
"So if I wanted you to only speak in old English, you would?"
"I would have no choice." Tate whispered to me, taking me by the hand he led me from the forest onto a familiar looking street. I looked up at the roughly drawn house, and I realized it was my own from reality. "As creator you can change how this home looks."
"I like it." I whispered as I led Tate into the home. I didn't remember drawing the whole town so I turned to Tate, "Where do you live and where does everyone else live?"
"You didn't have to draw everything Jean. Whatever you picture in that wonderful head of yours, comes true in this reality. Do you understand?"
"I think so."
"Your parents will never know your gone, well not really. This is just a mental form of yourself. Your body is still on your bed in which you left it. Your parents will be unable to wake you as long as you wish to stay here. You will wake one day in a hospital bed because they diagnosed you with a long term coma, brought on by stress and unexplained trauma to the head. Do you wish to stay here still?"
"I do. When I wish to leave I will wake up." I told him. "You can't get rid of me that easily. How did you find all this out?"
"You thought up the solution yourself. You just didn't know it."
"What's this land even called?"
"Sketchland." Tate answered quickly.
"Do you have all the answers, or is it just me answering through your mouth? Am I just talking to myself?"
"No. I can think for myself." Tate said as he stepped closer to me.
"Prove it." I said bravely,
"Alright." He leaned down, and cupped my chin with his hand- he placed a tender kiss on my lips and he pulled away, just like that. The kiss was over before it even began. He stepped away and whispered, "See?"
"That was a kiss? That was a kiss you give your grandma." I said.
"Was it?" he grabbed me and kissed me with as much desperation and frustration as I was feeling being stuck in a world that I created, but didn't know existed until a few hours ago. I was in a coma. A coma! For Pete's Sake, why did my dream have to come true? Not that I wasn't enjoying this wish immensely; I kissed him back, memories of the real Tate slowly melting away until only this Tate remained. I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him closer, the kiss calmed down some, and went from desperate, to sweet, and gentle give and pull of lips, moving in a harmony that would put the best orchestra to shame. I was the first to pull away.
"So, what can we do besides kiss in this reality? I mean I know we can't have kids."
"Who says we can't, you? Biology and Physics do not apply here. This is a world of imagination, this is your sketchbook, your getaway. Whatever you imagine can come true, how many times do I have to explain that?"
"I don't know! I don't know Tate, I just woke up here okay? I didn't even know this existed until a few hours ago. I'm not used to you being nice, I'm not used to being in control. I don't know if I want to go home or stay because I don't know if I can come back. I want to be with you, but the real Tate he's a miserable creature and you're sensitive and kind, and well mannered. You don't slam girls into lockers or tell them to go kill themselves. I wish I could replace the real Tate with you. But I can't and that's what kills me because that's the only thing keeping me here. Because you aren't real anywhere else but here...I can't take you to my reality and blend you into the real Tate like I do with shadows and your eyes. I love you, I love you and know its crazy because somehow it means I love the real Tate too."
"Hey I'm sorry. SO sorry. I didn't know."
"How can't you know! You're connected to my head!"
"You keep things blocked. You're the most confusing, beautiful girl I've ever met. I wish you could take me with you I do, but even if you choose to go back, I will be with you, in your head and in your heart. I'm sorry I can't be the real Tate."
"Its okay. Its going to be okay," I whispered to myself more than to him. "Everything is going to be okay." I said more loudly.
"You have a decision to make Jean. Stay here, or go back."
"How can I make this decision? I love it here! But I miss my parents."
"Jean McAvory, you have to make your decision, make it before noon tomorrow." Tate disappeared, and I was left alone. How the hell do you tell time here?