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Feelings of Lost for Both Worlds
This narrative wouldn't be possible without the support of my English teacher, Ernesto Cisneros, and my classmates.
I slam my desk and crumble my paper and fling it at my bucket full of bad story ideas. It bounces off the mountain of failures, which makes me even more irritated. Four cans of Red Bull and five bowls of my mom's famous Borsch (Best soup ever). I swipe the cans and bowls off of my desk and proceed to walk up the basement door.
The door squeaks as I open my basement door. I yawn with exhaustion as I greet my parents. "Morning Mama… Papa"
"Look who came out of her dungeon" Papa picks up a bottle of vodka and takes a swig. " Alina, get me another bottle. Now!"
I open my mouth to protest but I see the corner out of my eyes that Mama was looking at me. She was basically saying "It's not worth it". I stop and look at her. My mom comes up to me, grabs my hands, and looks at me dead in my groggy eyes. My shoulders loosen up at that moment.
“You need sleep, my princess,” she said in her deep Russian voice. I grab my mom's hands and give her my stare.
“I just need a walk outside mama,” I say.
I head to the kitchen and grab a cold bottle of water before reaching for my backpack full of notebooks of future book ideas. I kiss my mom's cheek and proceed to leave
"Dmitri! Be careful, I heard that people have been disappearing. It might be the ghost of the Russian Army."
"Oh, mama, that’s just an urban legend. They disbanded way back at the end of the Ukraine and Russian war."
"Still, be careful dear."
I assure her I will be fine and head outside and begin walking towards my favorite park.
As I walk down the sidewalk, I enjoy the beauty of the Kyiv landscape and the sounds of modern life. I close my eyes and let all of the sounds enter my sleep-deprived head. I breathe in and out deeply over and over before opening my eyes again.
My stomach gurgles so I head for my favorite deli that is conveniently near the park.
Ding, Ding, Ding. Privet, dobro pozhalovat!
It is the best welcoming voice chime in the whole world. Fun little fact, the voice saying “Hello welcome!” in Russian is my mom.
“Yo, Dmitri! That you?!” a familiar voice calls.
I can recognize that old American accent from anywhere.
A frail old man emerges from the kitchen and walks up to me with his cane to hug me.
"Cecil!", I call back
I hug back and look deeply into his wise eyes.
"How have you been, Dmitri?" He says.
"Fine, I guess. I came here to get some food so I can go to the park and dream up some new book ideas." I explain.
"Whatcha want? The usual?" he asks.
"No thanks, how about some coffee with a grilled cheese sandwich?", I ask
He goes back to the kitchen to make it.
Rumble. Seems like stomach agreed with me. I turn embarrassed and quickly sit down at a nearby table and pretend that nothing happened. A minute later passes
"I heard that." I hear someone chuckle.
I turn to see Axel approach me with a platter of my ordered food.
He nonchalantly places my food on my table and sits down with me.
This man is my definition of a dreamy boy. Long curly Red hair. Green eyes. A fit body. And an amazing fashion sense in my terms. And a charming personality.
"Well, are you going to eat what I prepared for you?" He asks with a dreamy stare.
I feel my cheeks rise dramatically in temperature as I stare back at him.
After 5 minutes of silent eating, he makes some small talk.
"Have you been sleeping lately?" He asks.
"No, I have been trying to find the perfect idea for my book. You look troubled yourself."
His happy expression turns serious and he turns his gaze towards the window. Something was terribly wrong.
He turns back to me and sighs. "Personal and none of your business."
"Hey, don’t worry, you can tell me. I won't tell anyone."
"I'm not worried if you tell anyone, I’m worried about your reaction. Knowing you, you would make a scene."
"First of all, that’s false. Second of all, It is my business, you’re my friend and I care about your well-being."
After some convincing, I manage to get him to tell the secret he was keeping from me.
His expression changes to sorrowful and he gestures me to come closer. I do and he whispers something that hurts me from everywhere.
During those few moments, my fond memories of this place start crumbling away. Emotions start filling in my head like a flood and I feel tears swell up in my eyes. I cover my head in my arms and start sobbing quietly.
Axel just sits there, staring at me.
Cecil comes to the kitchen and sees me crying. He comes to my aid and stares at Axel.
"Whatcha do to Dmitri Axel?" He asks Axel in an angry tone
"I had to break the news to her. She pushed me to answer her. Sorry, gramps." He says.
Cecil's temper was short-lived. "It’s fine kid. Hey little bun, I had to. I-"
"This isn't just fine! This is terrible! You promised me that you would stay with me together with Mama and replace that dirtbag of a father! How can you do this to me!—"I clear my throat and continue my tantrum—"This is my childhood right here!"
I get up and grab a couple of beers from the refrigerator and place a couple of bucks on the counter and leave the shop without finishing my food.
I feel their eyes burn on the back of my neck as I leave. Tears start to run down my cheeks as I run away from the Deli and towards the park.
I finally reach the park and go to my favorite bench in the park. I reach into my purse and pull out a church key to open up my beer.
Negative thoughts start to fill in my head as I ready to pop open the beer.
You shouldn't be drinking. You know how weak your drunk resistance is. Did you really have a tantrum? You are still your high school self, having temper tantrums for dumb reasons.
I cling my hands to my head and start having a mental breakdown. Before it got worse, I use the church key to pop open the beer.
I chug that beer all the way and everything starts to get funky. Before I knew it I was acting up with fits and speaking my mind to nearby strangers.
After a couple of hours, the remnants of my drunk self fade out of my mind, and my real self starts to shape back up.
The moment I came back to reality, I found myself laying under my favorite tree's shadow in the warm air of the afternoon. I start to relax but all of sudden, my stomach twists and churns inside, and I felt all of my breakfast and mom's borsch rising through my throat and towards my mouth. I jump up and ran to the bushes to let out of my mushed-up breakfast.
After a minute of barfing, I finally settle down and start walking out of the bushes.
I look down to find the ground cracking?
Why is the ground cracking?
My thoughts and questions were short-lived. The ground broke and I started falling. I screamed my lungs out as I fell. All I saw now was flashing colors and roots. And then I fainted.
I opened my eyes to find myself in a jungle. I look under me to see what cushioned my fall.
I got up to realize that this jungle was certainly not a normal one. The flowers that saved my life were soft and bouncy. The trees were a mix of colors and the leaves were all sort of shapes. I notice it was hot despite the clouds that conquered the sky. The river flowing was red. The sun was changing colors periodically.
Where am I? Am I in a dream? Did I drink too much?
I kept on asking myself these questions as I continued to explore cautiously around the jungle. I find my backpack that had loosened off my back during the fall in a patch of sunlight under the shadow of tall flowers.
I snatched my backpack and I look through to see if anything had gone out during the fall.
Chills run down my spine as soon as I hear the sound come from behind me. I slowly look behind me to find the plants drooling a substance out of their mouths. The substance touch the ground and it started melting the ground.
I stagger up to my feet and try to run but a twig trips me over a twig. I have the back of my head against the tree, filled with fear as the flowers lean in to consume me.
Well, this is it I guess. I am really gonna die, aren't I? I may as well do an inner monologue while I'm at it like those anime protagonists that are in life or death situations.
The plant stems are all cut off at that moment and I turn to see a young man approaching me.
Ghost of the Russian Army?!
I tremble with fear as he approaches me. He stops mid-way, observing my face. He drops his weapon and slowly approaches me with his hands up.
He has his hands up? Why?
He reached his hand out to help me up with a reassuring smile on his face. I had mental red flags going off in my mind but the rest of me felt safe. Realizing my position, I turn embarrassed and accept his offer.
I grab his hand and he pulls me back up. His arms are super ripped so I let go due to the fear of my hands being squished by his tough hand grip.
Well, at least I found myself an inspiration.
I grab my head with embarrassment and hit myself due to what I just thought.
Why did you think that? Stupid author instincts.
"Uh… Are you okay?" the guy asks
I do a 360-degree turn and look at him with disbelief.
"Yo-, you, yo- talk?"
He smiles and starts laughing uncontrollably. I take a few steps back and try to recollect my thoughts.
This guy gives me the hibbe-jeebies just looking at him. Not to mention that his shirt is in tatters exposing his crazy ripped body! But… He does look hot.
"Why did I think that!"
This stops the guy’s uncontrollable laugh. He wipes the tears off of his eyes. He comes up to me with a confused expression.
"What did you think?" he asks as he searches his pocket for something.
I notice he was talking to me. "Oh, nothing,"
Should I ask him for directions? Should I stick with him? He can protect me. Yeah, I think I’ll do that.
He takes off his glasses to take a closer look at me.
"Sorry to bother you-" I said before noticing his rainbow pupils. I stare in disbelief at the beauty of his eyes.
He stares me right in the eyes with the same confused but unbelievable expression as I have.
"Woah. Those are beautiful eyes that you have. Did you genetically modify those eyes? Were you born with them? " I ask
“I could say the same for you.”
We both stare at each other for a few more minutes, admiring each other’s eye color.
He stops staring and clears his throat."Well if you do want to know, I was born with these. I hate them because they attract attention I hate getting,"
“Same here,” I said.
"Wanna stick with me? Looks like you fell from one of the various entrances that connect our realm and yours. You don’t have as much area knowledge as I do in this realm.”
I let out a sigh of relief. "Sure. I was going to ask you that anyways."
He gestures me to come with him and I oblige. As we’re walking, I search through my backpack for my notebook that contained all of my ideas and notes for a book. I find it and start jotting down everything that has happened so far.
I look up and he wasn't there anymore. I look to my side and I find him looking at my notebook.
"Hey!"—I close my notebook—"What are you doing?" I said
He smiles and looks at me with delight. "So you are an author. Cool."
After a few minutes, he tells me that we were almost there at his destination. After crossing a river, we arrive at the wreckage of a city. It looked like it recently got destroyed, seeing the flames still burning in the distance and the remnant smell of gunpowder. I see that a few people were cleaning up the rubble of destroyed buildings.
"What happened here?" I ask
I look to see that the guy was helping so women trying to carry a huge piece of metal on a dead guy's body. He lifts it up with ease and reassures the woman.
He returns to me and swipes some dust off of the rubble that was near me. He sits down on it. The rubble was now half of a logo that represented a hospital. My eyes start to form tears as I realize what the piece of rubble really was. He sighs and looks at me with sad eyes.
"Do you really want to know? The stuff I’m going to show you is pretty graphic. You might never mentally recover from this." he said
I Look at him with determined eyes, basically saying “I’ll face the music head-on.”
“Alright, don’t blame me for what happens,” he says in a cartoonish way.
Second doubts start to appear in my head after what he said.
He gets up, touches my forehead, and walks away
"What did you d-," I said before I blackout
I woke up laying on a floor I couldn’t see. I get up to see a holographic screen with a lever below it. To the left of the lever was a sign that said begin on it. I pull down the lever and the video starts. It shows the woman that the guy was helping was nurturing a baby in a bedroom. All of a sudden a man comes through the door scared.
"Honey! We got to hide! Invaders from the overworld are attacking our village!" the husband said.
He grabs the woman's arm and pulls her to a hidden bunker and they stay there for a little while
The husband informs the wife he was going to check out the house if it was safe. As soon as he leaves, the woman hears gunshots and struggles. The woman hears the invader’s footsteps approaching so the woman held their breath to not make a sound. After a minute of silence, the invaders descend the stairs. After a few minutes of more silence, the wife decides to leave the bunker. As soon as she leaves the bunker, she sees the wreckage of her homeland. Bodies everywhere. Blood splattered throughout the city. Hills of rubble scattered as far as the eye can see. The woman places the baby on the bloody crib and falls to her knees. The woman's eyes start to swell up with tears.
"Doma," she said. (Doma is home in Russia)
She starts to weep and the video stops.
I find myself back in the village in a bed with tears streaming down my eyes. I wipe it off with my sleeve and get out of the bed to head outside. The door opens to find the guy bringing in a plate of food. He stops when he sees me out of bed. He places the plate on a nearby coffee table and rests his back on the door frame.
"So do you know what happened now?" he asks
I nod and he gestures to follow me and I willingly follow. We head outside and start walking on a path that leads outside of the village.
"Where are we going?" I ask
"You'll see the effects of war," he said
We reach a cliff and he sits down on the edge. I sit next to him and look in the direction he looking at. In the distance, I see a raging fire that had the length of the trees. (The trees here are as tall as a mountain)
"What’s happening over there?" I ask
"War. Death. Bloodshed. Your people discovered our hugest entrance and now they are killing my people and other clans due to our racial differences. They think we are aliens that have used this realm to hide from you people. I've seen it too many times to count. Both here and at the overworld. It’s just common at this point for me. There are problems all over the world, here and in the overworld. Disease, Racial differences, and many more.”
I look at him confused about what he just said. "You've seen it countless times? Too many problems in the world? Who are you?"
He gets up and starts walking away. I look back at the ongoing battlefield with the feeling of loss.
"Who am I? I don't really know that myself. I have no recollection of being made by someone. I just appeared in this world with knowledge of my name and the mission to supervise the world. I just focused on the mission I had known since I was brought here. I haven’t thought of who I was except for my name. I believe that means something in your language… Akim. That’s who I am known as. Bye Dmitri"
I look back at him and he's gone as if he didn’t exist.
(Akim means God in Russian)