Midori couldn’t take her eyes way from that boy. He looked unreal, almost like an angel fallen from the sky. “Am I dead?” she thought. It was the only conclusion she could arrive to after seeing such figure. The boy was washing his hair, or that was what it looked like from the distance Midori was at. Two slow minutes went by before any of them decided to move. Midori took the first step. Without looking away from the him, she started to walk very slowly, making small pauses between steps.
The boy decided to do the same and stood up. His hair was completely soaked in crystalline water from the waterfall. He had white clothes. His shirt almost translucid thanks to the water, that gave a glimpse of his chest. Midori gulped down. She didn’t stop to think if that boy was dangerous or not, in fact, it could have been him who took her there. But those thoughts didn’t stop her. Her curiosity was bigger than her fear of whether or not he was a person she should stay away from.
The fresh breeze of the place made both their hairs dance in the wind. The long white hair of the boy moved along the sweet singing of the birds that were around. The sun was shining and the water sound was relaxing. Truthfully, this did look like a paradise to Midori, as opposed to her house. Both were walking at the same time, without looking elsewhere. They could only look at each other. The boy started to get desperate and to walk faster. Midori, by instinct, did the same.
The boy started to run without thinking it twice. Midori didn’t do the same, she stayed stunned seeing how he was running to her. She couldn’t move. Maybe this time the fear did consume her, but she wasn’t sure why she didn’t do the same as him. The boy extended his hand to her, wanting to touch her, but before he could, he disappeared completely in front of her eyes. The surprise in Midori’s face was very noticeable. Her eyes were completely open. Seconds went by before she could process what just happened. Touching the ground, she intuitively leaned back slightly. She blinked rapidly looking everywhere. The boy had completely disappeared from her sight. The figure that was a few meters away from here is no longer there.
– Wh… what… what is happening here…?
She asked to herself in a low voice. Everything seemed extremely unreal, and at the same time, she felt like she was physically there, in that paradise. She shook her head and slapped her cheeks softly. She couldn’t stay standing there all day. She took a deep breath and decided to keep walking. She first walked up to where the boy was, passing by a small river that divided it. Midori was unaware until that moment that she was barefooted. The cold water from the river took her by surprise but it felt refreshing. She bent down and could notice a few small fishes swimming with the current. For some reason that drew a small smile on her lips. A sensation she hasn’t felt in a long time.
She quickly went back to a neutral expression. It made her feel uncomfortable and weird to smile. She sighed and stood back up. She arrived to where the big rock was and noticed there were a few towels and a small basket on the floor. She slightly tilted her head in confusion. Sat down and brushed her hand over the towels. They were completely dry. Taking advantage of this, she dried off her legs. In that moment, Midori looked at herself, and she also hadn’t noticed the clothes she was wearing. She was wearing some jean shorts and a blouse perfect for the summer weather, matching with her hair.
– Where did these clothes came from…?
She finished drying off her legs and left the towels to the side. The next thing to do was investigate the small basket that seemed to have small portions of food. She put it on her legs and starting to look inside. She found a few apples and a portion of a bitten down sandwich. She analyzed the basket a little more. The last thing she found was a water bottle. She heaved out a small breath in relief, truthfully all of this had her thirsty. She opened up the bottle and started to drink the water, drinking it all in one sitting. “Aaaaaahh!” was what left her lips. It was a small quantity but automatically she felt better. She took the apple and stood up.
She looked around again. Didn’t know where to go. She squinted her eyes and in a small path she noticed how there was something far away, similar to a house or something resembling that. She shrugged, there weren’t many options. Cautiously, she started to make way to that place. While she was walking, she felt how something brushed her leg. She fell down with a scared shout. It was only a little lizard that was passing by. With a sigh she stood up again. Cleaned her legs and took the apple that fell down from her pocket. Took out a few leaves that got stuck on it and took a bite. She couldn’t remember the last time she ate.
She went inside the woods. Suddenly the place turned cold. She braced her arms, brushing her hands up and down looking for some warmth. Her teeth started to shiver; her clothes were not made to help with the cold. The closer she got, the colder it was. She squinted her eyes again, trying to decipher how far the place was. For some reason, it seemed like it was farther away than before. “Did I take the wrong path? But I walked in one direction…” She thought.
In that moment, Midori woke up. She panted rapidly. Instinctively, she brought her hands to her eyes, and there they were, the bandages covering her eyes.
– Was… was it a dream…?
She hit the bed. It felt real, however, it was only a dream. She took her hair tightly in her fists, pulling it slightly. She wanted to cry again, but the bandages on her eyes wouldn’t let her. She felt how frustration took hold of her body again. The reality of it all was a harder hit than she could withstand. One moment she was in paradise, in the other, she was in a hospital bed with her eyes bandaged. She laid down and tried to forcefully go back to sleep. That dream was more pleasant that being there in the hospital bed. But no matter how much she wanted to go back, she couldn’t make it. She couldn’t go back to that paradise that now will only stay on her head.
She heard her room’s door being opened slowly.
– What do you want? —she asked angered, with her head below the pillows—.
– I came to bring you lunch, Miss Midori.
– I don’t want the food from this place… I want to go home…
Midori couldn’t believe she was saying these words. Her house was the place she least wanted to go, but it was worst laying down, completely alone.
– But you need to eat, Miss Mido-
– Where’s my phone?
– I-I don’t know… —she answered nervously, wanting to get out of the room as soon as possible—.
– You don’t know? You probably took it out from my backpack! It was there before I came here! —she started to raise her voice—.
– Maybe it fell off in the impact… no?
– NO. —she screamed— I’M… I’m… I’m sure that I had it…
All the strength left her body and Midori fell back down to the bed. The nurse didn’t say anything else, left the food on the bedside table and tried to leave as soundlessly and possible. Midori spoke again.
– And… where’s my mother? Aoi? Someone…?
In her tone it was noticeable that she wanted to cry. The nurse didn’t say anything else and exited the room. Midori bit her lower lip. She got up the bed by impulse and threw the food that was brought to the floor. She fell down to her knees. In that moment she couldn’t feel anything. Pain, sadness, frustration… everything was gone. Midori didn’t move from there for an hour, maybe more. She didn’t have any strength to get up. With her right hand, she searched the floor for the food she had threw off. She could feel the exact shape of an apple and a piece of a sandwich.
She felt like her mind could be playing tricks to her, but this was exactly what she found in that dream. She assumed that it was a coincidence and tried to grumpily eat the sandwich. Midori just wished she could go back to that paradise.
TO BE CONTINUED.