A Little Taste of Heaven

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"Is this real life?"

Oh, thank god, it’s a dream!

I gasp for air and sigh with relief. While my eyes are still closed, I search for my glasses on the edge of my bed, but they are not there. So, I move my hand wildly until I reach the floor because I suppose my glasses fell while I was asleep. Who wouldn’t move so much when you just had a dream like mine?

But I fell. Hard.

Wait a minute. Seriously, how did I get home? Strange. My bed is always on the floor, just like how typical Japanese people place their futons. I had done it when we were staying at a hotel in Osaka. I moan and open my eyes. The sun is already up, so I can quite see my room, but there is something eerily different. So strange, where are my 1D posters? Did I put them down already? AND why can I see things clearly? Did I get some superpowers like Spider-Man? Why does my stuff look brand new? What the hell is going on?!

I am searching for my phone now. Where the hell is my iPhone??? I see my bookshelf is not where it was supposed to be. I go to my bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. I grab my robes and look at the clock. Wow, it’s still just seven. Maybe, I’ll sleep more. I look outside my window and notice that I’m in our mansion at Hampton’s.

But the loud continuous knocks on my door are interrupting my slumber. Mum is shouting, “Mariana!? Mariana!? What are you doing there? Don’t you have a plan on going out??”

My eyebrows furrow. What is mum saying?? In addition to the noise, mum is making with her banging, I heard what I’m guessing is my alarm or ringtone. I haven’t heard it for a while now. Whisper by Evanescence is blasting, and I look for my phone, tossing my pillows and bedspread aside.

Mum keeps on rambling, “don’t take a bath. You are late already! Open the door!”

I am confused. So, I open the door, and the music stops.

“Why are you not in your uniform??!” asks mum bewildered, and she rushes downstairs, “get dressed already you!”

As I yawn, I see Dion walking out from his bedroom, holding his buddy bag and a baseball bat — and wearing our middle school uniform! In the middle of my yawning, I choked at the sound of his high-pitch, squeaky voice, for it is not what I am used to at all! “Come on, now, sis, we’re gonna be late!” and he goes downstairs.

Célina rushes and hands me a sandwich, “seriously, Mari, why are you still not changing??” She, too, is wearing the school uniform. “Viktor, our chauffeur, is waiting for us in the driveway.”

“Is it Halloween?” I ask and take a bite, hmm, tuna sandwich.

She looks at me as if I’m trying to be sarcastic.

“Are you still dreaming?” She rolls her eyes and heads downstairs, but I stop her. She raises her eyebrows.

“Wait, is that hot cocoa?” I ask.

She looks at her cup, “Yeah, why —?”

I grab the mug and drink all of it. When it’s empty, I hand it back to Célina and ask, “Can you please get me another one?”

She glares at me and goes downstairs. While she’s at it, she adds, “Hurry up before mum gets really annoyed.”

Then Mum shouts from below. “Mari!!! Get dressed already! Your classmates are looking for you. They kept calling on the phone asking for you!!! MARIANA LORRAINE GREEN HURRY UP OR SO HELP ME GOD!!!”

I walked into my closet, and what I saw shocked me. All the clothes I donated years ago are in front of my eyes. I hurry to my door where my Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Vamps posters should be, but none can be found! Just my sketch of an anime character, Kanata is her name, I guess, which I know, I did years ago! Even the other side that is supposed to have four posters of 1D all over are gone! I look in my full-body mirror near the door of my closet and am surprised to see how slim I look; and my face, my freaking face! It’s rosy, stress-and-pimple-free and my hair! Oh, my God! It’s all long, dark brown, silky, shiny, healthy and perfectly wavy! I don’t have to say I’m freaking out, but I AM TOTALLY FREAKING OUT!

“Miss Mariana, are you feeling well?” says Martha, one of our housemaids, knocking on my open doorway.

I couldn’t answer her. So I look for my yellow-orange journal on my study table, but it does not exist! Then I see my old neon pink journal, and it looks totally brand new, and when I flip it open, I see nothing but empty pages. The last written is the 15th of November. Oh, my god, it wasn’t a dream! AND MY PHONE! Oh, my god. That’s why I kept ignoring that phone because it’s not my iPhone. There was no iPhone! It’s my pink Nokia slide with keypads! Oh, no, oh no, oh no, oh no!

I look at my journal and read the last thing written on it:

15th of November 2010

Kyaa!!! I’m so happy! Ryan talked to me today! Kyaa!!! Célina said when I was singing on stage, someone tapped Nate, and then he smiled. Kyaaa!!!!! My face is so red right now! Anyway, about Ryan, OMG!!! HE IS SOOOO CUTE!!! I COULD EAT HIM UP! LOL. I couldn’t look him in the eyes, though. I am so shy and probably red as a tomato! I AM SOOOOOOO HAPPY! He also asked me how I was feeling because of what happened last night at the mall. It was so embarrassing that he had to see that. Anyway, all I know is he’s so cute, his smile is enough! HE CARES ABOUT MEEEE! OH, MY GOOOOOOOD!!!!!!

Oh, my God! The ‘I love pink’ days! I got curious, so I want to read what happened. I might have documented it, but Célina impatiently screams my full name. Martha helps me change into my uniform, and she hands me my bag as I tuck the journal in it. I ran to the driveway and into the backseat of our black Cadillac Escalade.

My sister is furious at me for being so slow. I mean, how can you blame me??? Just yesterday, I failed yet another job interview. Oh, I know, I just got my diploma from the administration office after I finished all my school requirements, and now, I’m with my siblings in the backseat, driving to the school we used to study in! Am I back in time? Am I, really, a 23-year-old woman in my 15-year-old body??? One more second, and I might go crazy! I need time to process all of this.

“Thanks to you, big sis, I will miss my first period,” Célina scowls from the left-hand side window.

Dion is between us, sitting in the centre, and I see him rolling his eyes. I am still shocked at the sound of his voice as he says, “it’s not like we have the first period. Our teachers suspended the morning classes, walking dictionary.”

“Why you!” starts Célina.

I have so many things to deal with, and this is not going to make the cut. “Stop it, you two.”

“Ugh! Since when did you start acting like the mature one, Mari??” Célina crosses her arms. Her voice is so annoying. I couldn’t control myself and had to roll my eyes. “It’s your entire fault I am going to miss the meeting —”

“Watch out!” I gasp when I see a dog passing by.

Viktor presses the breaks fast enough not to hit anything. The next thing we heard was a loud descending horn and a continuous horn from the car behind ours. He panics as he looks at us. “Kids, are you okay?”

“What the hell, Mari!?” shrieks Célina and shoves Dion’s arm away. “Are you trying to kill us??!”

I look at them. Maybe I looked terrified and freaked out.

“We’re okay, Viktor, thank you,” Dion says and then touches my shoulder. “What’s wrong, Mari?”

My eyes are wide open. I am having trouble breathing.

“Oh, great! Now, she has a panic attack!” butts Célina, pointing her hand to me, and then crosses her arms.

“Shut it, okay?!” Dion says to Célina, who was in complete shock. “You’re not helping.”

I continue to catch my breath, still processing that I am a 23-year-old stuck inside my FREAKING 15-year-old body! Viktor rolls down the window to apologise to the drivers behind us before we continue our way to my old High School.

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