So there I was, on my bed, reading to two professor’s daughters during open house, when Luke Larson asked why I didn’t go caroling with everyone else. I said it was because I didn’t want to go anywhere, and besides, my mom was coming in soon!
Then Thandi came and convinced me that I needed to go explore something with her. “It will be quick,” she said.
We went downstairs in Gerig, went towards the Passion Pit, and found ourselves outside on the shore of a very very green lake. I started walking across a rickety bridge with green railings on either side. Suddenly, the bridge started to lean down into the water on the left side, so I grabbed the railings.
“Are you afraid?” Kate Camara said. Her sister just laughed at me.
Just then, the left railing gave way and splashed ominously into the water. I clutched the right railing and pulled myself to the end of the bridge. Then, because it was the obvious next thing to do, I jumped into the water with Thandi.
“Good grief, you were only under the water for like two seconds. You don’t need to overreact!” said Meredith when I emerged. I swum towards a half-submerged Army jeep and clambered into the middle seat. “Is anyone sitting here?” said Norbs. “No,” I said, and she sat down. Abby Hove and Hilarie were in the back seat, and Michelle was in the front.
Then Jessie Riley waded over. “Are you going to drive?” I asked her.
“Yeah!” she said, “Of course I am.”
So she started the vehicle and we began plowing through the water. As we started to go uphill towards the bridge, she made a disclaimer. “You know, I’m not sure I’m the best person to drive this. Because when we really need it, I might go too fast, and we might go under.”
“No, no, no! Let me out! Someone else drive!”
“Chupp, chill out, it’s fine,” said Abby. And Jessie started the Jeep again.
We got up the hill to where the bridge was, and then turned a sharp right and plunged down, down, down, straight down. The force of the Jeep caused all the water to start flowing away, and pulling us with it, too. I instinctively reached up and grabbed a root from the shore. Then I reached down and grabbed Norbs’ hand. Somehow, we all made it out alive.
Now the green lake was no longer a lake, but a hill covered in blue carpet, and it also uncovered an old creepy factory, resided in by old creepy people. “Hey, this is where I got my research for my New Moon paper!” said Thandi. “And my research for my Michael Jackson paper!” said Molly Farris.
We kept exploring. We wanted to know where all the water had gone. We went past the blue carpet, past the factory, past the used car dealership, all the way out to a highway intersection in Texas. There were steel gates in front of us, and it all seemed so similar to me.
“Is that where the water is?” asked Abby.
“YES!” I had figured it out. “The last time this happened to me, when we needed to get the water back in the lake, Heather and Terri and I just opened these gates. Then of course we had to run away like mad, but …”
Just then, the gates opened. We braced ourselves for a wall of water, but there was nothing behind the gates. Nothing at all, except for a man who had seen us waiting and wondered if he could help us. I turned away in embarrassment.
As we began to walk back, Hilarie suggested, “A whale could have swallowed all the water.”
“Now that’s a cool idea,” I said, “but where would we find a whale out here?”
Just then, we came to a small crevasse in the parking lot. The used car manager stood across from me. “Does she close?” I asked, wondering at my strange choice of words.
“Yes she does!” declared the manager. “Close, Bessie!” And with that, we heard a groaning from beneath the parking lot as the crevasse closed itself. As we stepped over the now non-crevasse, the manager went on to say, “Yes, this whale has been a great addition to our dealership. The only bad thing about her is when she blows her top.” In the distance, we saw several geyser-like bursts of water shoot through the concrete, carrying cars and then dropping them suddenly.
“I knew there was a whale!” said Hilarie.
“The main question,” continued the manager, “is how in the world the whale is able to contain this much water!”
“Oh no,” I whispered, “the lake. How do we get it back?”
But we put that question aside and went back to the shore, where Thandi was reading over her paper. “Dang it,” I said, “I wrote the wrong paper!”
“No, it’s okay,” said Thandi, “See, we’re going over this section called ‘Spanish and Regular People’, and you have the section titled ‘British and Rich Guys’.”
After thanking Thandi, I went back to Gerig, passing through a newsroom on my way up to 3G. There I found Alyssa talking to Meleca, telling her, “You really should stop doing Women’s Ministries at Taylor. No one needs it.”
But there, in Big Suite, was my mom, sitting on a chair, holding her suitcase. I asked her if she was alright.
“Yeah, I’m alright … That was just a bigger presentation than usual.”
And with that, we decided it was best to go to bed. And so we did.
And then I woke up.