I saw it before I felt it. My eyes snapped wide open as I realized I was about to fall into what appeared to be a water fountain in the middle of … a garden?! I hit the water with a loud splash. I sat up slowly, prepared to be shivering and wet with broken bones. Instead, the water felt warm and I was unharmed. I stood up to look around and was immediately enchanted beyond my wildest dreams! The colours from my mirror vision danced on and around me like the Northern Lights. My hand shot up to feel my head – I was actually wearing the flower crown! “What is this glorious place!?” I exclaimed in excitement. My eyes continued to take it all in.
It was the most amazing place I’d been in my entire life. I bent down to touch the reddest rose I’d ever seen. I was in disbelief – the soft texture of the petals, the grass touching my feet, I was in heaven.”I wish I could glue my eyes open!” Every blink felt like a wasted moment. I drank in the view of the glistening water with the birds singing all around me. Somehow I knew the garden must be located in the middle of the city – but the noise of the busy metropolis we occupied was nonexistent. All of a sudden I felt as though I was floating through the air – like a fairy wandering around her own personal secret garden. “I wish I never had to leave this place,” I thought, my heart filling up with serenity. Suddenly, I realized that this experience was not real! It couldn’t be, could it? My rational brain couldn’t let me comprehend it. “This place is too good to be true, wait, how did I find this place? How did I get here? I don’t remember!” I jumped up in a slight panic. “How will I get back home? Is it a dream? Aren’t dreams supposed to be in black and white?” I looked nervously around, realizing for the first time that I was the only person here. But who needs people when all these vibrant colours are more alive and comforting than fifty loyal best friends! “What if it isn’t a dream?” My mind was traveling a mile a minute! The abrupt sound of a bell caused me to freeze in alarm.”Why is that so loud?” I thought. Irritation at being jerked away from my deliberations replaced feelings of alarm. As I tried to locate a bell tower, I noticed a slow, dark blue fog begin to roll over the park. I felt a sudden drowsiness as I watched. I walked toward it with my hand outstretched. It enveloped me, and I fell softly into its mirky depth.
I left early for work the next morning. “It’s not as busy as usual.” I thought. Not a pedestrian in sight. I took a sip of coffee as I walked down the sidewalk. It occurred to me that I’d been walking this same route to the office for the past 3 months. The regularity, it seemed, had blinded me to my surroundings. “Today will be different,” I thought to myself. I turned a corner and all of a sudden I DID notice something I’d never seen before! I broke my stride and stumbled to a halt in surprise! There, spread out before me, was the garden from my dream. There was even a water fountain right in the middle – exactly like the one in my dream! “How have I never noticed this before? For MONTHS I’ve been walking past this beauty and never noticed it?” I couldn’t believe it. How was it possible that I had only visited the garden in my dreams? Almost instinctively I began walking towards it. I needed to feel that soft grass between my toes again! I wanted to hear the birds sing and smell those lovely flowers! For the first time in forever I WANTED to live in a carefree moment. “Am I still dreaming?” I wondered in excitement. My grip on my briefcase loosened- I kicked my shoes off from my feet and flung my coffee into the gutter! I was running now, almost at the gate! “I don’t even care if it’s not real!” I swung the gate wide open and instantly I knew – real or not – I would never leave the garden again.
Paralyzed, I looked directly into the bathroom mirror. I slowly backed away from my identical apparition. “Am I completely out of my mind?” The glorious colors in the mirror seemed to be alive with a feeling of warm nostalgia. I took another step back – suddenly I felt the floor begin to tilt dangerously toward the mirror – before I could catch my breath to scream, I had slipped soundlessly into the colorful kaleidoscope.
Written By: Xtrina Jewell ; Edited by: Maruf Hossain
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