A Little Taste of Heaven

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"My mind sends me into oblivion." (1)

We arrived at the school I used to hate and love at the same time — Harrison Private Middle and High School. The Neo-classical mansion was built from 1899 to 1906, and it used to be the home of the late General George Harrison, a philanthropist. He decided to share the value of art, science, education, and etiquette. After a few years, when the Great War started, the building became a base for soldiers. When Sir George Harrison passed on after the Second World War, Katrina Harrison, his daughter, made their mansion into a school in 1946 with the goal of keeping the spirit of her father’s generosity alive. Noble, really, and with the renovations, the mansion extended to beaux-arts architecture. It is still so beautiful.

Our chauffeur idles on the middle school’s driveway as my siblings climb out of the car, and Dion opens the back compartment. Viktor gets out from the driver’s seat to help him get the boxes full of materials, and Célina slams the door, hurrying to her homeroom.

On the right-hand side window, I take a deep, shaky sigh.

Dion knocks on my window, and I roll it down. “Is there something bothering you?” he asks as he fixes the strap of his bag on his shoulder.

If I tell him, he might think I’m losing it. So, I shake my head and give him a reassuring smile that I will be fine.

He raises his eyebrow, and I know he was not convinced when he leaned closer, “you sure?”

I nod. “Yup, I just need to…” I inhale and exhale, “…breathe.”

“Okay then. You better hurry. I need to go to check on our booth,” Dion says, but I give him a confused look. “What? You forgot?” as Viktor gives him the boxes.

“What are you talking about?” I say, looking at him, struggling.

Dion looks at me seriously. Viktor closes the back compartment and puts the other boxes in the Middle School’s foyer, and then he gets into the driver’s seat.

“What’s gotten into you?” Dion says eagerly.

“Stuff?” I shrug. “I will be fine, promise! I just forgot about this week,” I decided to go along with this situation, despite not knowing what’s happening. Plus, the journal I have with me is not helping since there’s nothing written in it. My journal is the only way of knowing what happened and what is going to happen. I don’t even know if I should write in it!

Dion looks at me, obviously in doubt. “Well, I should go. Your phone is blasting. I daresay you didn’t notice.”

Spacing out is definitely not helping, so I open my bag and grab my freaky pink phone. I accept the call, and then Dion says “Later!” to me. Viktor drives me to the High school’s driveway, and I apologize to him.

“Where the hell are you!” barks Ros on the other line. “Why weren’t you answering your phone? We’ve been looking everywhere for you! You’re almost an hour late! Don’t tell me you forgot about the bulletin board you need to decorate?!”

I climb out of the car and run to the opened front doors. I walk inside and see all these familiar things around me. Everyone is so busy with this festival. I know this event was the best I had — er, will ever have, again.

“Hello to you, too, Ros,” I say, making my way on the grand staircase and hurrying to my homeroom. “I’m running! (Okay, not really) I’ll be there in a second.”

And just as I hang up the phone, I reach my homeroom. How can I ever forget where this classroom is? Up the stairs, walk to the right, pass through three rooms, and now my homeroom is there. It is where all the magic started.

I see my classmates doing tasks I assumed were assigned to them. I put down my bag on one of the chairs because clearly, I don’t remember which seat I sat in before.

April approaches me, holding the buckets for decorating and laughing evilly. “Feel the wrath of Ros Rodriguez!” and hands me the buckets. I couldn’t help myself and tilt my head as I eyed her with a puzzled expression.

“There you are!” says Ros, eyebrows high then furrows. “I’m sorry for being bossy, Mariana. But seriously, you need to move your ass and get on with the board already!”

I smile sweetly, seeing my best friends like this again, so young and vulnerable. I have to admit, I am pleased. “I’m on it, Roooose!”

She smiles back and goes on to scold another classmate. I grab my bag and drag April. “Uh, where is our board again?” I whispered.

She squints at me, looking worried. “Okay, what is up with you?” she says, putting a hand on my shoulder. “You were late, but you’ve never been before. You didn’t answer our call, which I believed is an impossible thing for you to do.”

I bite my lip, trying to control my frustration. I sigh as I say, “Please answer the question, April. Ros will kill me!”

She smiles, finding it hilarious cause Ros will definitely kill me. “Okay. Seriously, Mariana, yesterday, you were so excited to do this work because we all know you are good at this, AND you and Chandler are up for this project!”

I am surprised by this news. Everything is a blur right now because the last time I read my high school journals was when I was so homesick from college during my first year! And that was four years ago! In the REAL time of 16th of November 2018!

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