I sat on the bench, staring at the note saying ‘Don’t leave’. Written on a yellow post-it, it confused me. Then I threw it. “I ain’t gonna wait for anyone.”
I started to get up, but something tugged at my back. My jacket sleeve got caught in the bench. As I pulled on it, I heard a soft rumble. Then the rumble grew louder, and the ground shook. Yet no one else was affected by it. I shouted for help as the earthquake reached its pinnacle and people started to stare.
And I started to fall.
I screamed as I fell, noticing there was no ground in sight. I pinched myself to see if it was a dream, but I was still plummeting into the darkness.
Suddenly I was standing on solid ground. I was in a rock cavern with a wooden balcony. On the balcony stood a man with a scar under his eye. He wore a crooked and untidy business suit.
“Don’t leave,” he smirked as he turned around and disappeared.
My eyes opened and I was back on the bench.
“Thank god, that was all a dream.” I told myself.
But I was mistaken. The rumbling started again. This time I didn’t yell. I prepared to descend into that hole.
And barely a few seconds after tumbling into the hole, I was standing in an ornate hall.
At the other end, there was the man again.
I ran towards him, but the hall just grew longer and longer. The man gave a lopsided smile.
I was back on the bench.
“What’s happening?” I muttered under my breath.
This time, there was barely any rumbling and I hadn’t even fully started to fall when I was transported to a bare wasteland. The man was in front of me.
“Don’t leave,” he laughed.
“Who are you?! What’s happening to me?!” I lunged and grabbed his shoulder before he could turn around.
“Look around and you’ll see.” He threw his head back and laughed like a maniac.
The bench. Back again.
As before, I anticipated the rumbling, but it never came. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, trying to make sense of what was going on. I went through his last words. What did he mean by ‘look around and you’ll see’?
I decided to follow his instructions. I then observed.
I was witnessing a car crash.
A new BMW sped across the red light and crashed into a Volvo.
Suddenly, I felt my eyes opening. I was in a white place, lying on a bed. The air smelled of sanitizer. Next to me there were other people sleeping, and a worm of doubt sneaked into my mind. I got up and nearly collapsed from the pain. But I had to confirm my suspicion.
I stared into a mirror, and the man waved back.
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