I know what you’re thinking. I told you nothing life changing happened to me. And yes I know most of you would think a car crash would effect me in some way, and you would be right, it did. But I didn’t live my experience. I dreamed it. And in my opinion that isn’t a life changing event. It’s my brain trying to make sense of what had happened to me. Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
I woke up in my bedroom wrapped in my favorite purple no-sew blanket, lying diagonally across my bed. I sat up slowly, looking carefully around my room. It looked the same. The same light blue walls. The same dark hardwood floors. The same queen sized bed that I was laying on, with the same comfy dark purple sheets and six pillows. All of which were set up the same way I had left them. My dresser still had my pictures, the ones I had taken, and my little “knickknacks”. One of which was a toy lifesaver. It still contained the same clothes, as did my closet. My bookshelf still looked as if it had my millions of books, organized by author, of course.
Everything was the same. Everything. Not a thing out of place. I walked over to my bay window, and sat down the way I had as a child, spreading my curtains and staring outside. It was dark outside, the moon was full and high in the sky. I had always liked nighttime, I’m definitely a night owl. My street looked the same as well, and I was starting to wonder if it had all been a terrible dream. I think everyone has weird and terrifying dreams every once and awhile. But even as I tried to reason it to myself I knew it wasn’t true.
Just then I saw a shadow in front of the moon. It was flying across the sky. Really flying. I blinked rapidly, thinking maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me. But no the shadow was still flying. And it looked like it was flying toward my house. Toward me. I know that sounds paranoid, but I could just tell. Have you ever had that feeling? Like you just know whatever is happening is going to happen to you. It’s almost like a sixth sense and I think we all experience it at some point.
Anyway, the shadow was getting closer. And closer. And closer. And then suddenly it landed on the roof outside my window. It walked forward and suddenly I could see that the shadow was a boy. Not a boy really, a teenager. He walked forward and knocked on my window. I jumped so high I fell off the seat and onto the hard floor. I could see his lips pull up into a smile. He knocked again. This time I reacted more… normally. I got up, not very gracefully, and sat back down. I looked at him for a second, just studying him.
He was pale, almost too pale. I guess that should have been my first clue. He had ruffled chestnut hair, and beautiful sea blue eyes that were currently shining. He was tall and lanky, and if I looked closely I think I could see the hint of a tattoo peeking out from the edge of his black long sleeved t-shirt. His ensemble was finished with artfully ripped skinny jeans, which weren’t too skinny and black boots.
Apparently tired of waiting he motioned for me to open the window, I complied. He stood there for a moment staring at me. Stupid me! He wanted in. I blushed and moved to the right giving him room to get into the room and sit. He smile was growing bigger by the second. He stood in front of me looking down at me.
“So, you're new here. How’s it been so far” The blue eyed teenager asked.
“Where is ‘here’ exactly? Because this looks like my bedroom. Everything is in it’s place, exactly how I left it this morning. But something just doesn’t feel right. Somethings off.” I responded looking around the room and reaching a hand out to pick up a pillow, which I held to my chest.
“Where? In your bedroom, of course. Right where you think you are. Right in your tiny town of northeast Ohio. Well not technically. We tend to end up where we’re most comfortable. Sometimes it’s home. Sometimes it’s a park. Hell, sometimes it’s even school! Why someone would feel most comfortable at a school is a mystery to me.” His grin was contagious, I finally let him have a small smile.
“So I’m home. That doesn’t really explain what you're doing here does it? Care to explain?”
As if it was even possible his smile seemed to get wider. “You’re quite the brilliant little thing aren't you? Already putting the clues together.” He paused a second as if to make sure I was okay. “I’m here to act as a, well for lack of a better word, a guide. I’m here to take you to where I take everyone else.”
I laughed, a guide. A guide who wants to take me where there are more people like me. Doesn’t sound suspicious at all. “So let me get this straight. You want to take me out of my house, and to where you took everyone else? Because that doesn’t make you sound like a serial killer of something. So where is this mystery place? Canada? England? Oh shit, not Antarctica. I mean I like cold, but not that much cold.”
He rolled his blue eyes in exasperation. “To a little island.”he paused for a second, obviously deciding something. He hesitated a bit longer before adding “It’s called… it’s called, Neverland.”
I simply couldn’t contain my laughter. I exploded like a hand grenade. He looked uncomfortable for a second before regaining his earlier composer, he was all business. “Neverland!” I managed to get out. “You can’t be serious! Are we going to visit Tinker Bell? Maybe Captain Hook?” I exploded into laughter again “Oh wait what about Wendy? She was always my favorite.”
At the mention of Wendy he looked a little sad and I swear I heard him whisper “Me too.” But I wasn't quite positive. After a moment the sadness disappeared, and he spoke again. “Yes, Neverland. And Isabella, I’ve heard all the jokes, so if you would do me the kindness and stop.” He looked around the room studying everything from my collection of books to the many nerdy items placed around the room. “So, what can I do to convince you that, well, I’m here to help you. To take you to a place where there are people like you.”
I looked down at the pillow I was holding, which happened to say “Not all those who wander are lost”. Quite a lovely quote in my opinion. I followed his gaze, which was still looking around my room. His eyes went over my bed, side tables, shelves, dresser, and bookshelves. To my stereo, my CD's, and my rug. “I honestly don’t know. This morning my mother was complaining about the rain and how it had ruined the day she had planned. And my father, my father was being his usual self, which meant doting on my sister and treating me like, like a disappointment. Oh god, my sister! She was going on and on about her friend Cassie, who was recently dumped, and how she needed to be there for her. Too bad Ally caused it! I mean it was a normal morning! And then we got in the car and… and… and a car his us, on the drivers side. The side of the car I was on, my father too. We were in a car crash.” It was all coming back to me now. All the sudden I was feeling overwhelmed and just plain old scared. “I was in a car crash! I don’t remember anything past that. What happened to me?”
There was panic in my voice and I could feel my eyes widening. Suddenly the room wasn’t big enough and I felt as if i was being smothered. I threw the pillow away from me and brought my knees up to my chest trying to make myself as small as possible. And then there was a face in front of mine telling me everything was okay, that I needed to relax. How could I do that? I mean the world itself was closing in on me. The face with the lovely blue eyes was telling me to just look at him, to just focus on him. I was trying, I really was. But oh god! I was suffocating. The face kept talking to me, trying to calm me, but all I could manage to focus on was his eyes. They were a beautiful sea blue. Like the sea I used to visit as a child during the summers I spent with my grandma in Massachusetts.
“Isabella! Isabella!” The blue eyes looked worried. No. Not the eyes. The teenager they belonged to, he looked worried. And slowly my head cleared. The room wasn’t closing in around me. I wasn’t being suffocated. I was okay. I was Isabella Archer, a sixteen year old sophomore at a crappy high school, who had a terrible older sister and parents who couldn’t give a damn about her.
“So, do you want to tell me how you know my name?” I asked weakly, relaxing the slightest bit.
He laughed and instantly looking relieved. “No, not really. But I will make us even and tell you mine. Does that sound nice?” His voice was gentle, like he was scared I was going to break into a million pieces right there, which was probably wise because I felt as if I might. I nodded. “Okay, but don’t laugh. Got it.” He waited for me to nod again before continuing. “Peter.” I managed not to explode like I had before, but a small giggle did pass my lips. A mock hurt look crossed his face. “That’s quite rude! You said you wouldn’t laugh!”
I smiled and leaned against his shoulder. “I never actually spoke those words aloud, now did I? So your argument is invalid.” He laughed at me.
“Okay. I guess I’ll let you get away with it this time. So, what do you think?” Seeing the confused look on my face he decided to elaborate. “Are you ready, Miss Isabella, to go.”
“What? Where?” I asked still extremely confused, and honestly kinda fuzzy from my panic attack.
He smirked at me and chuckled before saying, “Oh to Neverland of course.”