The dense forest had ancient trees towering around us like great stone pillars, just waiting to be nudged forward, a slight topple, which would slip and fall, slip and fall, until we’d be covered in large bits of stone and thick sheets of dust. I was the only person who knew the landscape of earth—having gone to university for science and environmental studies—and this made me valuable to Japan Station No. 1’s rescue squadron. However, having this knowledge about earth, also, created a lot of pressure on me. I needed to perform, not just well, but exceptionally.
I took off my white helmet and loosened the straps of my astronaut suit, as CJ and Tori opened the hatch off the time machine-ship, a light, white mist smothering the outdoors, like a tarp covering the woods. I put on my blue baseball cap and unplugged my heat-sensing tracker from the power outlet. I turned on the tracker and waved it up and down, trying to catch a signal, something, anything to find Bryan. I didn’t know much about this guy, just that he had fallen in love with Abigail. Everyone, at least once in their life, had fallen for her. She was drop-dead gorgeous, just a beauty. I fell for Abigail to at one point. But she never really paid attention to me, in the physical attractiveness part of things, pretty much just kept me close for friendship. And in the end, I wanted more. You always want more, when you feel you’re giving and not receiving as much as your output. I should have left things the way they were, but no, I had to rock the boat, and tell her I loved her. She left shortly after my reveal.
Funny, now here I was, trying to find her all over again.
CJ poked me in the shoulder, waking me out of my day-dream. “You okay Zach?” he asked. His face looked concerned, and I felt bad for that reason.
“Everything’s good man. Everything’s just fine.” I said.
But was everything fine?
I didn’t know for sure, but I knew I would learn for certain.
Andy Tran is a young professional working and living in the Washington DC metro area. His work has been featured in The Virginia. Normal, Defenestration Magazine, and Calliope, and currently at Queens Mob Teahouse. He's a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, and he has a degree in English.