The way he said it made it seem like he knew something I didn’t. Like something bad was going to happen. The entire walk home from the station, I felt like someone was watching me. Thankfully, I reached my apartment building perfectly safe. I opened the door with a small sigh of relief and called out “Hey.” I got a “hey” in return. It came from the kitchen. Ellie was sitting by the table, tablet in one hand, an apple with the other. Her green eyes were moving left and right as she was reading an article of some sort. She’d done her hair in two thick braids today. A new look I think suited her nicely.
“How was school today?” I asked her as I placed my coat on the hanger.
“Fine,” she said with a shrug and took a bite of the apple.
“Is that schoolwork?”
“No,” she said matter-of-factly. “It’s all over the news. The president announced a full global disarmament.”
“So soon?” I asked in a surprised tone, but in truth, I felt nothing. I didn’t feel like that knowledge affected me at all. It seemed like just a formality. The whole world was finally at peace now, anyway. No wars, no poverty, no hunger, no disease. All under one federal government. A disarmament seemed like an afterthought at this point. “You ready to go to bed, though? You done with all your homework?”
“Yup,” she said as she locked her tablet. “I aced a biology quiz today. Is everything okay, Angie? You look pretty shaken?”
“It’s nothing. There was just this creepy guy on the train. I don’t really wanna talk about it.”
“Oh, another admirer?” she said with a grin on her face that she always used if she wanted to annoy me. “When can I expect him? You know, if you want me to print more breakfast you have to tell me beforehand.”
“Funny. And if you keep sassing me, maybe I can give Jeremiah’s mom a call and tell her about what happened at the Friday party you guys had, huh?”
“But nothing happened,” she pouted.
“Yes, and that guy was just a creeper I met. So let it go,” I said as I made my way to the bathroom. Before I completely took my top off, I stopped in my tracks and turned around to face Ellie. “Oh, right. Josh invited us both for a bike ride this Saturday.”
“O, happy day,” she said as she twirled one of her braids. “What a glorious turn of events.”
“Just try to be nice, okay? He is pretty nice, and I like him.”
I took a quick shower and went straight to bed. I was pretty exhausted. Traces of long lost memories swirled around my head, then some familiar faces. Ellie, Josh… And that guy on the train. In my dream, I was trying to run away from him as he followed me on the station. He kept wishing me a safe journey. All I knew was that I wanted to get away and I didn’t care for any journey.
That’s when I woke up. Or at least, I thought I did. I felt a huge pain in my head. Everything around me was white, though I was still in my room. It was some sort of light. A blinding white light so bright that I felt like I was floating among a huge white nothingness. The pain intensified. I then noticed a red glowing orb float out of my forehead. It looked like a red firefly, though it flew up in a straight path, further and further away from me, until suddenly, there was a rift in the whiteness. Flames protruded into twelve different directions, and in the middle of it all was what seemed to be a rainbow-colored eye. The eye opened wider and wider, the red orb of light heading right in the middle of its pupil. When it finally reached it, it was engulfed by the eye. The pupil became red and burst into a blue flame. The twelve flames started spinning and what seemed like a human silhouette appeared in the middle of the blue flame. Eleven human shadows appeared around me. Then I heard a voice. A completely featureless voice, that was for some reason extremely imposing. I started to tremble.
“The Contact is lucid. Commence operation.”
I woke up gasping for breath, cold sweat trickling down my spine. The sun covered the room in bright stripes as it shone from between the blinds. I’d never felt such relief. Something was off, though. The apartment was quiet – it must have still been pretty early if Ellie still wasn’t up. There seemed to be some sort of commotion outside, however. I approached the window and opened the blinds. A lot of people had come out to the street and pointed at the sky, talking to each other excitedly. I looked up to where they were all pointing. I didn’t need to look hard. The entire sky was dotted with countless white speck of light. Instinctively, I touched my forehead. The point where I’d felt the red light leave it in my dream. That somehow made me feel calmer. It made me feel more at ease with the fact that they’d come. Whatever was coming my way, I knew I could take it.