Double Reality Door
Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved to read. Whether it be fantasy, crime, chick-lit or even a classic, I flick through it in a mere couple of days. For this reason, I always found it extremely hard to answer the question: 'what's your favourite book?' Having read so many, it was impossible to pick just one. That is, it was, until the day my friend told me about a series of books she was thinking of reading.
The author: Stephenie Meyer and the series, the Twilight saga.
From the moment I first picked up that black, red and white cover and started reading, I knew I'd found it. My favourite novel.
I devoured the first three books in three days, frustrated at the idea of waiting a year and two months until the final instalment.
In the two years following that pivotal moment, I've read Twilight so many times that I've lost count. The words would flow into one another like the most natural thing in the world, time flew by without me so much as noticing, or caring, and the love story between Bella and Edward remained as wonderful as it was all that time ago.
So, whenever my life would stress me out or when things became so difficult that I felt the urge to escape from it all, I'd turn to my favourite book to make it all better. My bible, my retreat. Yet, there were days when I would wish, more than anything, that I could move past merely staring at a page. That I could be there. In Forks. In the world of fiction, witnessing it all.
I guess I should have remembered the whole 'Be careful what you wish for' warning.
"You're reading it again. Ashley, can't you try something else for a change? I know you like it but aren't you sick of it yet?" My mum stared down at the book in my arms as she collected the dirty washing from my sister's and my shared bathroom.
I lowered the book quickly, feeling like I'd just been caught doing something I shouldn't.
Smiling, I turned to face her. "Nope, I'm not and I don't think I ever will be, to tell you the truth."
Mum shook her head in exasperation, "Okay…" she said as she took the hamper in her arms, leaving the conversation at that. I waited until her footsteps had stopped creaking down the hallway stairs before closing my bedroom door again and leaping excitedly onto my bed.
Getting myself comfortable, I sighed happily and turned the first few pages back to reveal the preface. My eyes flickered back and forth across the page taking in the foreword on the events to come.
All of a sudden the bedroom door was thrown open, my sister coming into the room.
My sister Chloe is eleven to my fifteen – well almost sixteen. She's tall, round faced and always seems to be on the move or doing something, even if it means completely annoying me to death.
"Chlo, get out." I snapped, annoyed. "I'm reading."
"Guess what," she told me, her voice clearly showing that she was choosing to ignore my previous request.
"I don't care, get o–" I began as she cut me off.
"Steph's coming over tomorrow for a sleepover," she talked over me, a wide grin across her face at the idea of keeping me from whatever it was I wished I were doing instead.
"Whatever you may think Chloe, I honestly don't care who you have coming over. Now get out of my room!" I yelled the last part as I got up to begin shoving her out the door.
"Hey!" she yelled as I pushed her out into the hallway and slammed the door.
So far my afternoon of relaxation wasn't going as smoothly as planned. Anybody else want to come and talk to me about something before I attempt to sit down and read again? I thought out into the universe.
Protesting against the whole being thrown out thing, Chloe pushed against the door. With a sudden burst of force, she threw it open and positioned herself in the doorway.
"Get out," I fumed.
"I'm not in your room." She said in a sign-song voice. "Technically, I'm in the hallway. You can't throw me out of the hallway."
I grinned bitterly, "Well, last time I checked this was my door. So I am using my given right to close my door. Goodbye." I shut the door hard, knowing she couldn't do anything to stop it. Eventually, she'd give up and go bother someone else. Perhaps, our dog.
I walked briskly back to my bed and planted myself in the middle again. My eyes darted to the first line of chapter one just as a loud rattling noise echoed around the room. I flicked my gaze up as my brass coloured door knob began to rattle violently. It was the sort of noise made by a door when someone was trying to throw it open but had instead found it frustratingly stuck.
Standing up, I stomped across the room. "Chloe, if that's you again I swear to god I will kill you." I yelled angrily.
Without warning, the door swung open and I found myself face to face with someone very different to what I had been expecting. Stepping through my doorway from a room that looked nothing like my upstairs hallway was a girl. She was a few centimetres shorter than I was, average weight, pale skinned and had long, curly, brown hair. At first I did a double take. I knew I had never met the girl before but somehow she seemed very familiar to me, like someone I had pictured in my imagination or a reflection seen through the rippled surface of a pool of water.
She raised an eyebrow, widening her chocolate eyes and taking in a scene which clearly surprised her just as much as it did me.
"Umm…who are you and what are you doing in my dad's house?" She asked, confused. I frowned, stumped at what to say to this/
"I could ask you the same thing." I shot back. "What are you doing in my hallway?" At my words, I peered past her into the confines of a fairly clean and uncluttered bedroom. I had no idea where it was but one thing was certain, it definitely wasn't my upstairs hallway.
"Your hallway?" She walked forwards into my bedroom and looked around. "Okay, this is a little weird." she said, looking me over, her eyes lingering on the Twilight novel in my hand. Looking down at the silver title, my brain had a synapse.
Wait, but she couldn't be…
"I'm sorry, this is going to sound really…odd, not that things could get any weirder right now, but you remind me of Bella Swan." The words had sounded stupid inside my head but coming out my mouth, I realised, they sounded even more ridiculous.
"How do you know my name?" she asked, looking affronted. I froze.
You have got to be kidding me.
"Your name?" I scoffed. "You mean you're Isabella Swan? No, that's not possible. You're a fictional character and fictional characters do not talk and walk around my bedroom." I shook my head, realising that I must have been going insane. This was completely impossible. Normal people did not have lengthy conversations with fictional characters.
"Fictional character? The last time I checked I was perfectly real." Bella protested, giving me a look that showed she too was questioning my sanity.
"Okay, I've finally lost it. I've snapped." I told myself. "This is what I get for reading Twilight too many times. Mum always told me I should be reading something different for a change."
"Right…" Bella took a step back. "Well, at least tell me your name. You appear to know mine…somehow."
I paused for a moment, thoughtfully. "I'm Ashley Gill but I don't see how that matters. Considering that I've gone insane and you're a figment of my imagination, you already know that. Right now, I'm probably just having a conversation with myself." God forbid anyone in my family happening to walk in on me at this moment in time.
"You're not real, you're not real." I repeated the words over and over again, closing my eyes. Counting to ten, I told myself that when I reopened them, Bella Swan would not be standing in my bedroom. I opened them again to find her still standing in front of me. "You're still here!" I exclaimed in a panic. "How are you still here?"
"Ashley, I have no idea what your problem is but I'm telling you, I'm a real person. How I got into your room, I don't know, but as for my existence, I think you can take my word on it." She snapped, somewhat frustrated.
"Alright then, tell me something I couldn't possibly know." I said, coming up with the only possibly way I could think to prove I wasn't going completely ga-ga.
"Excuse me?" She stared at me blankly.
"Anything! Tell me a fact, something about you or the world that I couldn't possibly know. Just prove to me that I'm not bloody hallucinating!" I raved hysterically.
"Okay, okay, okay, hold on." She sighed, making no attempt to calm me down. "Oh, how about this, the four phases of mitosis are prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase."
I resisted the urge to groan. Of course she'd resort to Biology.
"I already know that one, try again."
Searching her memory, she'd tried again. "Odontophobia is the fear of teeth." She told me proudly.
I stopped, relief seeping in. "There is no way I could possibly have known that one."
I walked towards her and then poked her with my index finger.
"Ouch," she exclaimed, jumping back.
"Sorry, I was just, you know, checking." I smiled sheepishly. "My god, you're real. Bella Swan is real. And this must be your bedroom." I gestured to the room on the other side of my bedroom doorframe.
As I walked slowly into the room, she trailed quietly behind me. "Well, it is now. I just moved here to live with my dad for a while." She looked sad and anxious, just as I remembered from her point of view in the story. Wait, she just moved here?
"When did you get here?" I asked eagerly.
She shrugged. "About an hour ago actually and it's already raining." Glancing out the window, she sighed. I headed over to it and gazed out onto the street. There it was in the drive, Bella's rusty, old, red truck.
"Your truck," I exclaimed, a feeling of uncontrollable excitement beginning to build inside my stomach.
"Yeah, it's probably the only thing worth looking forward to about tomorrow." She mumbled, eyes fixed on the carpet.
"We really are at the beginning of the story, this is incredible." I breathed.
Bella raised an eyebrow, "Half the time, I have no idea what you're talking about." She admitted.
I laughed, thinking of what she had to expect from the future. "Considering you're going to be spending the rest of your life with Edward Cullen, you better get used to confusing responses."
Picking up on the unfamiliar name, she frowned. "Who?" she asked, confused.
"Oh right," I said, whacking a hand against forehead at my stupidity. "You don't know who that is yet."
"Hey, your accent, what are you? British?" she asked, rapidly changing the subject to something that made me want to hit her. Americans, really. Was it so different to tell us apart, we sounded nothing alike.
"I'm Australian, actually." I corrected her.
Her expression brightened. "Really? Australia? Wow, I've always wanted to see Australia. You're lucky. I wish I could get away from here from a while. Starting a new school, having to live in this…place," she shivered. "I'm not looking forward to it. And besides," she walked back into my room and looked out my window. "Here it's sunny." I remembered Bella's affinity for sunshine and view on Forks being some sort of alien planet. As I thought about this, I noticed the appearance of a small change in her eyes, as though a rash decision she hadn't completely thought through had just come to mind.
All of sudden, Bella rushed towards the door through which she'd joined our two worlds, both fictional and real, and slammed it shut behind her.
I ran for it, hitting the wood with a thud as it bounced me off onto the floor. Getting up as quickly as I could, I bashed against it heavily.
"Bella!" I yelled, "Open the door! You can't leave me here! Hello! Hey!" I pulled at the doorknob until eventually it swung open, my body thrown face first into the carpet below. Removing my face from the fuzz, I looked up to find myself lying in the middle of an unfamiliar hallway with carpet eerily similar to that of Bella's bedroom, poised in front of a pair of worn, black boots.
Not good, I told myself.
At the sound of a loud cough, I gazed up from the shoes and into the face of a surprised and confused man dressed in a police uniform; a man who could only be Chief Charlie Swan.
Oh god, what have I done.
I swallowed, my heart rapidly beating against my chest. Not only was I lying in the middle of a permanent fixture of fictional Forks but I was within the immediate vicinity of a man with a gun strapped to his belt.
And boy, did I have a lot of explaining to do.