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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

The scariest thing ever is waking up alone, in a place you don’t know, with little memory of before and nothing but a hand book and the clothes you’re wearing. That’s what happened to me. It’s what
happens to everyone here. I’m not in Choice anymore, I found my Door, but my story is a little different. I couldn’t find a Door I wanted to live in, and that was a problem, especially in Choice.
By now you’re probably wondering what is Choice; well, no one really knows until they read the handbook and you can’t get a hand book anywhere but Choice. So where did I start? Where everyone
starts of course, waking up scared, alone and confused in Choice.

Submitted: February 11, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 11, 2017



Chapter 1

The scariest thing ever is waking up alone, in a place you don’t know, with little

memory of before and nothing but a hand book and the clothes you’re wearing. That’s what happened to me. It’s what happens to everyone here. I’m not in Choice anymore, I found my Door, but my story is a little different. I couldn’t find a Door I wanted to live in, and that was a problem, especially in Choice. By now you’re probably wondering what is Choice; well, no one really knows until they read the handbook and you can’t get a hand book anywhere but Choice. So where did I start? Where everyone starts of course, waking up scared, alone and confused in Choice.

I woke up with stinging eyes from a florescent light that must have faded in to

wake me gradually. I propped myself up on my hand and wondered quietly to myself, “Where am I?” I realized that I was alone. I was on a pretty comfy cot, in a dark, plain hallway full of a variety of unique doors. The bed was seemingly at the front of the hallway against a wall. I had nothing with me at all. I looked down and took note of the white tank top, black sweatpants and knock off black Converse I was wearing.

In the middle of gazing around, a book materialized under my hand. Looking it over, I saw that it was thick and heavy, like a big dictionary, with a faded cover that read, ‘Handbook for Choice, the answers to where, why and how.’ “Well,” I said, my voice accompanied by a slight echo, “might as well get reading.”

I assume hours had passed and I was almost done reading what was probably the most confusing book ever. The only stuff that made sense was the last thing that was in the Handbook… the instructions on how to enter the doors. Each time I stopped at a door, a key would appear on a hook beside it. I had to unlock, enter and lock each door. I was supposed to lock it because “some people regret choosing their door and try to get back to Choice to choose again”, whatever that means.

Seemed simple enough; unlock, enter, lock. I slammed the handbook closed and stood up, my long, wavy hair falling down my entire back. I carried the book with me as I approached the closest door, then stopped. It was a metal door with lots of bolts, screws and a myriad of things you would see on a spaceship or an old airplane. The key hole was barely noticeable just above my head next to a tiny hook in the wall beside the door and an equally small key that appeared on it. I took the key off the hook and held it in my hand, it looked unassuming, no different than a key that you would have for a mailbox. I held it up to the key hole and sighed, “Here goes nothing,”


Chapter 2

I opened the door to a room full of people, at cafeteria style tables, who seemed to be eating dinner. The room was huge and had massive pipes that ran down 3 of the walls. The last wall had what looked like paintings all over it. There was a long empty counter near the opposite wall. Glancing up I saw metal grate stairs and I stood on large white tiles. A noise above the chatter caught my attention “Hey Frank look!” yelled a woman sitting at the table closest to me, “We got a new Adventress!” I guess that’s what I’m called, “What’s your name?” a man with an old mechanics hat and a face full of smudges asked, who I assumed was Frank. “My name is Marissa.” I said. Continuing tentatively,” Where am I?”. “You’re in Aesah,” he replied. The woman who greeted me stood up and introduced herself, she wore a white t-shirt and light blue overalls with one strap buckled, “Sorry I forgot to tell you my name, I’m Mai. You may still be confused, that Handbook is useless, not to worry though. Sit. We’ll tell you all about this place.”

The dinner continued around me as I sat down. My stomach grumbled, turns out I had spent hours reading the handbook. I looked at all the food on the people’s blue cafeteria trays; surprisingly, it was just normal dinner food. So, after a couple of minutes of stuffing my face with all sorts of deliciousness, I turned to Mai, “so what does that name mean that you called me when I came in?”



“Well, girls, when they are going through Choice are called Adventuresses, like yourself, boys are Adventri and collectively you’re called Travelers,” she clarified.

“Am I the only Traveler here?”

“You’re the only Adventress, but we do have quite a few Adventri. You can meet them tomorrow if you want,” Mai offered.

“How much can you tell me about Aesah?” I asked.

“How much do you want to know?”

“Start with the whole hallway-door thing. The handbook was very confusing!”

“Ok,” she started “so obviously you know that the hallway that you woke up in is called Choice, the name itself extends over the whole process. The goal of the process is for each person to choose the dimension that they like best. In order to do this properly, the founders thought it best to take away the bias everyone has from their memories, almost a nature vs. nurture situation, which is why you don’t remember where you came from or you family and things like that, although you may remember what Earth or you home dimension was like.”

“I remember nothing of my home dimension or anyone there and i only remember things about Earth when I'm trying to understand what I’m seeing.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well with the key to the Door here, I didn’t just not have an opinion about it but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what a mailbox looking key looks like until I looked at it.”

“Hmm, that’s a little odd but everyone does remember to different degrees so I guess it’s not impossible. I’m sorry I can’t give you a straight answer, a lot of smaller, important details about Choice’s beginning have been lost to time so we don’t know the exact process or what the limits of reality are, but we do know that each dimension was created according to the individual creator’s personality.”

“Limits of reality?”

“When you get around the dimensions a bit, you’ll find out that some are more supernatural or have magic while others are still confined to the natural laws of Earth before choice.” She explained.

“I can’t even begin to think about what that means.”

“I get it, it’s a lot but you’ll understand in time. Any more questions?”

“Yeah, uh, you mentioned creators before so who created Aesah?”

“Our history says that a man named Tomas Sheadom created Aesah about 300 years ago, I’m guessing he really liked space.”

“How long have you been here?”

“About 15 years, I went through Choice when I was 16, how old are you?”

“I’m 17.” I paused. “Will I ever get my memory back?” I asked.

“Yes, when you officially choose a door, your memory gets restored.” She paused and sighed “it’s quite bitter sweet actually.”


“Because you realize what you left behind like your parents and friends but then you’re happy because you found a place to live that you love more than where you came from.”

“I guess that would suck,” I realized.

We must have gone back and forth for an hour or two I mostly let her talk about her life here since I didn’t have much to add. I was very happy to find out that Mai was my guide/mentor kind of person for my time in Aesah. We cleaned up and walked across the dinner hall, past the paintings I saw before, went through big heavy double doors and turned right. We came to a fork in the hallway and a sign with little arrows pointing left, right and straight. Left led to the permanent residences, straight led to the Adventri’s rooms and right led to the Adventress’ rooms. Since I am the only Adventress here I got the first room in the hall. Mai opened the door and motioned me in, “I’ll be right back,” she said. I flicked my head back and quietly said, “K.”

My room was pretty cool. It wasn’t too big (it’s not like I had anything to put in it). A huge bed filled most of the room and everything was made of metal. Then I looked out the small porthole window and was confronted with infinite inky blackness dotted with stars. I was in space! ”Amazing,” I said with a nervous smile, “I’m in space, Oh My Gosh I’m in space!” that was a detail Mai left out. I mean she mentioned space before but I thought she, meant aesthetically.  I snapped out of my wonderment and continued looking around. Along with the giant bed there was a bench chest, acting as a chair and dresser at the end of the bed. A small desk stood in the corner with a tall floor lamp beside it and a clock, one of those that have the cards that flip, sat on a bedside table. A cubicle to the side turned out to be a washroom with a toilet, shower, metal sink and a washer and dryer. The last two must be for if you were here long enough I guess.

I looked at the time just as Mai popped in, “Better get to bed, everything starts early here. There are pajamas in the bench chest. Goodnight!” she stated. I put the handbook in the bench chest, changed and climbed into bed. It was so comfy I fell asleep instantly. Sure beats a cot.

Chapter 3

I woke up at 8:00 to Mai holding a pile of clothes “Good morning Marissa,” she exclaimed “ready to have fun?”

“Sure,” I said through a yawn, “What’s first?”

“I was thinking a quick tour then after breakfast, meeting the children and we might even run into the Adventri on our tour as well.”

“How many Adventri are there?” I asked.

“Around 20. Here you go,” she answered, handing me the clothes, “get dressed and we’ll walk and talk.” I put the pile of clothes on my bed and laid everything out. In the pile was a white t-shirt, dark skinny jeans and black ballet flats.

Finding my way around was pretty easy, since there were signs everywhere. First Mai took me back to the dinner hall (where I came in), and showed me it in more depth. Of course there were tables lined up in rows and Mai talked about who sits where, but since I was new, I could either sit with her or with the Adventri. Then, we came to the wall where all the paintings were that we passed earlier, of all the past mayors of this, I guess, space city. Just as Mai had told me, the dates under the paintings showed that this place was 300 years old, “Whoa.” I exclaimed quietly looking at all of the faces. Eventually Mai spoke, “you’re probably still hungry, right?” I looked to her and nodded, “Yeah sorry about that, yesterday you came right at the end of dinner time. We don’t usually get travelers that late so most everything was put away, and you didn’t get to see how it works. The long counter at the back,” she said pointing, “gets filled up with food then everyone lines up buffet style. Oh and breakfast is in half an hour so let’s hurry with the rest of the tour.”

We left the dinner hall by going up some metal grate stairs, turned left and came to another hall. To our right, there were more doors and I heard lots of noise coming from behind them. Mai said “This is the gym. It sounds like the boys are playing a little basketball before we eat.” She opened the doors and they gradually stopped playing. “Hello boys! This is Marissa, she came in last night and I’m showing her around a little.” “Hey Marissa” They shouted collectively. I nervously waved back and squeaked a response. One of them approached me and we locked eyes. I became unaware of anyone else as I found myself staring into a familiar sea of blue grey with golden flecks something clicked into place in the back of my mind and there was a spark of recognition like I had known him forever but hadn’t known him at all. I felt myself almost step closer, then he introduced himself, “Hey” he said as he nervously ran his fingers through his hair “My name’s Dean….” We kept staring at each other until one of the other boys broke the silence with, “you can sit with us later if you want.”  I looked to Mai, she gave me a little nod and smile, I turned back, “S-sure,” I stuttered. After a few awkward seconds Mai clapped and loudly said “Ok! Time to move on we’ve got one more thing to see before breakfast.” As we left I mentally kicked myself for being so nervous around Dean. Seriously, what was that?

We left and continued down the long hall, went past the daycare, no kids were in there at the moment, and came to yet more doors. “These are the doors to ‘outside’ aka the shops and offices and things where everyone works.” Mai said. “Whoa, really?” I asked “So you don’t just live here you live here”. “Well yeah we are in space, we still have to live.” She replied. Mai looked at her watch, “Whoop, time to head back.”

Chapter 4

We took our time getting back and as we stood in front of the doors to the dinner hall, I calmed myself. My hands were shaking and the noise from inside wasn’t helping.

A bell rang and Mai pushed through the doors. The scene exploded with noise from conversations and clanking dishes. Looking down on the scene made it look like there were more people than at dinner. “How many people are here?” I asked as we descended and started walking towards the food bar. “About 2,500. I know that seems small but there are three other groups called sectors that have a lot more. The sectors are set up as the cardinal directions. We are the “northernmost” one so we’re sector 1. We have the Door and house all the travelers. Then most, when they Choose, move to the others.” “Huh, cool!” I expressed. We got our food and walked to Mai’s table. She started talking to her friends just as Dean showed up. He saw us and signaled for me to wait as he rushed to get his food. He put his tray down when he passed his table then raced toward me and confirmed, “You’re sitting with us right?” “Totally” I said smiling, “I was just about to sit and wait.” He smiled back, “Awesome! Come on!”

I followed him to an empty table a couple of rows down. I put my tray down and sat across from him. We started staring again just as the other travelers came in and joined us. The same boy from earlier snapped us out of it again by sitting next to me and sparking up conversation. “’Sup Dean, anything new?” he said chuckling. “Oh hey Sam,” Dean said absent mindedly. I shrunk into my chair and looked away from Dean. Sam turned to me, “So Marissa, how you liking Aesah so far?”

“Oh, it’s great. I haven’t seen the ‘outside’ yet but I think that’s what I’m doing next. So, how long have you guys been here?’’

“Dean’s been here the longest, three weeks, and the rest of us, about a week. We managed to come around the same time over a few days.”

“How come you guys seem to fit in so well?” I asked in between mouthfuls of eggs. I noticed Dean taking quick glances at me whenever I looked away. I could tell he wasn’t really listening to what we were talking about.

“When you’ve been around as much as we have you learn to make friends quickly.” Sam replied.

“Do you know what kind of door you might want to choose?” one of the other boys asked.

I turned to face him “I don’t know… I remember nothing from before. Mai said that it was a little unusual but not totally impossible. How ‘bout you?”

“I may just pick Aesah, as Sam said we’ve all been around the dimensions a bit and Aesah seems to be the best choice.”

“What about you Dean?” I said as I turned to face him. He tensed up like he was caught off guard and we accidentally locked eyes for a moment. “Huh? What?” “Do you know where you want to choose?”

“Right, uh, well, I’ve been thinking about choosing Aesah, it’s just there haven’t been a lot of travelers that have picked to stay so it would be a little lonely.” There was something about the way he said that, distracted and dazed like it was just an excuse for something more. What about Sam and the other boy? He wouldn’t be totally alone.

The bell rang again and everyone gradually made their way to the conveyor belt with their dishes. We all stood up and Dean extended his hand to me, “I’ll take your tray if you want, I’m sure you and Mai are on a tight schedule.” “Oh, thanks.” I handed him my tray with shaky hands. When Mai walked up to our table, I was busy watching Dean and his friends leave. “You ready?” she said with a smirk. “Yup!” I replied as I jumped up, the sooner we saw everything the sooner lunch would come and I could see him again.

Chapter 5

I followed Mai back up the stairs to the hall and we slowly made our way with the crowd of people heading to work. We first came to the daycare where parents were dropping off their children. “First stop, day care. Just like any other daycare, any child not in school stays here.” She said as I followed her in. We stayed there and played with the kids for a couple of hours, turns out i really like kids, then went through the doors and ‘outside’.

It was crazy busy below us since all of the sectors were mingled. There weren’t any cars but there were street cars that took everyone to their respective jobs. It was strange seeing city and county so close together without houses to break it up. Mai said, “Other than the setup, everything is pretty much how you would expect.” By set up she meant how the city is one gigantic circle with the farmland surrounding it and each sector had a long and tall staircase leading down from the doors to a road in the city. She continued “The farmers grow all of the food for all of the sectors and more people make the meals.” Seeing the look on my face from the stairs she added, “Don’t worry, the stairs become an escalator when the meal bells ring.” “Phew! That’s good, cause you know, I wasn’t looking forward to climbing all of these.” I said wiping mock sweat from my brow. Mai chuckled, “Do you want to go look around? We have 2 hours; we could go walk around the stores.” “Yeah sure I think that would be fun.” I replied and started the long descent.

Once we reached the bottom a lone streetcar was waiting for us. Then it started to take us to the mall. On the way, we passed tall, clear windowed skyscrapers, seeing the people working inside busy at their desks; little shops along the main street stood wall to wall, old style barber shops sitting with quaint bistros. We soon arrived at the mall, got off the streetcar and it disappeared down the street. At first glance the mall had an interesting look that I admired as we walked. It was big and ornate, small and simple and medium and contemporary all at the same time. “Whoa,” I exclaimed quietly, “Trippy”. Mai chuckled, “Yup. I don’t know how the builders managed it but this is basically the crowning jewel of the outside.” We entered through automatic doors to a moderately busy corridor with a vaulted ceiling full of skylights letting in so much light that the floor seemed to glow. “This is the Grand Corridor” she introduced. I saw all the Adventri down the hall and as we gradually approached them, we passed clothing stores, one of which was selling the same outfit I was wearing, and reached where they were standing. I saw Sam first then spotted Dean making his way from the opposite side of the group. “Hey! Whatchya boys been up to?” Mai asked enthusiastically. “Oh ah, Frank told us the builders are adding to the stain glass gallery for the construction of the mall anniversary. We were just heading back.” Sam replied. “That’s wonderful! The displays are always gorgeous,” Mai exclaimed. “What’s stain glass?” I asked Mai quietly. Dean must have heard me because he spoke up, “Its coloured glass arranged into pictures, and when light shines through it, it makes the room all colourful.” “Sounds magical!” I exclaimed. “Do you want me-us to show you?”


Meanwhile Mai, Sam and the other Adventri had started talking to each other, so he got Sam’s attention. “Do you mind if we circle back and show her the gallery?” “Actually,” Sam replied, fake remembering something, “remember Frank said he needed help with something in the gym? But you go ahead, we’ll cover for you.” “Wha-“Dean started but Sam was trying to signal or something. After a painful 10 seconds Dean caught on and like an awkward android said, “oh right, ok, you guys go and we will stay… here… and… see… the… gallery.”

They began walking away, so we turned around and started across the mall to the gallery. The almost dead silence of the mall was filled with their fading voices, but once we got far enough away, complete silence. Dean and I walked surprisingly close together but he kept his arms tight to his sides resisting his natural arm sway to avoid brushing mine. I had my arms bent as I played with my fingers.

After an unbearable couple of minutes, I finally gathered the courage to speak. “So, what do you remember from your home dimension? Mai says she remembered what her parents looked like and her last name but nothing else. I don’t remember anything but my name and the instinctual stuff you know? Like what I like and dislike but it doesn’t come to mind until I do something.” “Same with me except I remember I have a sister for some reason but I couldn’t tell you her name or anything.”

After another awkward minute of silence, we came across a sub shop. “Do you like subs?” Dean asked while we stood outside the entrance. “Haven’t had one yet,” I returned with a timid smile. “Do you want to try one?” He held up a thin plastic disc and smiled. “Y-yeah, sure” I noticed the disc, “What is that?” “Oh, it’s how travelers pay for things here, you can’t go crazy but the city pays for it. The Adventri have a few we pass around so we don’t always have to be in  a big group, Mai probably has one for you but figured you would always be with someone else.” “Hmm, I’ll have to ask her about that.” I said taking a mental note. “Anyway,” He started with corny charm, then gestured into the shop, “Shall we?” I replied with a grin and a little air curtsy, “Of course, thank you.”

We walked slightly more comfortable beside each other, but just barely. “Find a seat and I’ll get the food” Dean invited as he passed in front of me. I turned to the tables to debate my choices. A booth or a normal table would raise the question of whether or not he would sit across from me or beside me which could lead to an awkward back and forth, and a bar style seat would guarantee he sat beside me but then I’d look presumptuous. I stood there so long that Dean returned.

“Something wrong?” He asked.

“Uh…no!” I responded a little too quickly. I made a snap decision to sit at the bar, walked over to it, Dean followed and I continued, “Just lost in thought.” I did a little jump up onto my stool and he did the same albeit smother “Ok,” he started, placing the sub in front of me, “I got you one with a bit of everything so the whole ’learning what you do and don’t like” thing can go quicker.

“Good thinking. What’s on yours?”

“Meatballs and marinara sauce.”

“I’d say ‘sounds delicious’ but I have no idea.” I said with a chuckle.

After a few minutes of eating in almost silence except for an exclamation from me on something I didn’t like or Dean remembering things he’d done with his friends to try to break the silence, all in vain, my experience with the sub was overall successful. The only things I didn’t like were the hot peppers and roast beef.

“All done?” Dean asked as he offered his hand to take my wrappers. “Yeah, thanks.” He hopped off of his stool and took everything to the trash and on his way back asked, “So, do you want to see the gallery now?”

“Yes, I’m dying to see what all the hype is about.”

“Well then,” he straightened an imaginary suit, offered his hand again, and flashed those familiar eyes at me, “Milady.” I gave a little nod, gingerly took his hand and slid off my stool. He ‘lead’ me out of the shop and somehow it didn’t occur to me that we were still holding hands until we were passing a furniture store a little ways down from the sub shop. Dean was talking about how Frank had shown him what one of the permanent residences in sector 1 looked like; he said it made his room feel like a broom closet. As we walked deeper and deeper into the mall, he continued to tell me more stories of his time here with the other Adventri. It was hard to believe they had done so much in his short time here. I didn’t care though; I was so entranced as he talked. He was in his element, almost seemed like he forgot it was me beside him and not someone else, not nervous at all, but he never let go of my hand. He finished a story just as I caught a glimpse of glass doors. He stepped in front and turned to me, “Ok, we’re here,” he stepped closer, “…close your eyes.” With my eyes closed my hearing was enhanced. I heard the door open and he led me in by both hands into the room. The door shut and all of the ambient noise from the corridor disappeared. It felt warmer, like the difference between sunshine and shade on a hot summer’s day. He released one hand, stepped behind me then took it back, hugging me from behind. I could feel him so close, my whole body was on edge, feeling a weird need to back away, and relaxed as though I could fall into his arms and stay there forever. Then, quiet as a pin drop, he spoke. “Open.”

I opened my eyes to a kaleidoscope of colour; more colours than I thought existed. I saw the richest blues to the daintiest pink. I let out the faintest gasp. The gallery was a giant glass house that was exposed on all sides to the natural light. Every wall or ceiling pane was a part of a pattern or landscape. There were also pieces situated on pedestals creating a maze of art. I hesitantly stepped away from Dean and toward a display. It was about 3 feet wide, 4 feet tall and showed a couple, dressed in late 1800’s style judging by the woman’s dress. The woman carried a parasol and the man a walking stick while standing on a small wooden bridge. Under the bridge was a busy looking river with a school of silverfish. I marveled the intricate work, the fact that someone could include such tiny details while using such a crude material. I walked around to the other side of the display to find a plaque with the name of the piece but found a multi-coloured Dean just standing there with an amused look and the biggest smile on his face. I back tracked to him, grabbed his hand and brought him over to piece after piece of beautiful art. We spent hours looking at the gallery, even getting a sneak peak at the newest installment that was still being crafted. Eventually we decided to leave; I felt as though I had forgotten what the real world looked like.

We left the gallery and continued down through the mall in silence once more but this time it wasn’t awkward. I felt almost complete, the only things missing were my memory and something I couldn’t quite name. I spotted a small booth tucked to one side of the corridor. “What’s that?” I asked.

“Oh, that little booth?” he clarified, “That’s a photo booth.”


“Come in here” he said as he pulled me into the booth behind the curtain. We sat close together on the small bench inside; he scanned the circle card from before, pressed some buttons and pointed to a black circle on the wall in front of us. “Just smile and look at that, it’s going to take 3 pictures.” He instructed. Just as I smiled I heard a faint click. I leaned my head on his shoulder, then a click. Before the third picture, he turned to me and I too him, leaning in until our foreheads touched. I got lost in the infinite sea of his eyes but all too soon the third click came and the moment faded away. “They uh, print out outside.” He said almost whispering. “Ok.” I almost fell as I scrambled out of the booth. The pictures were waiting for us in a little alcove in the wall of the booth. He picked them up and gave them to me. “Do you want one?” “Sure, uh…the first one.” I ripped the picture off and handed it to him and he put it in his pocket.

“Wait, does it seem a little too quiet to you?” He mused. “Yeah, what’s up with that?” “It must be dinner time, oops! It’s probably too late to go back, what do you say to one more meal with me?” “One more couldn’t hurt. Where to?”

“I was thinking the ice cream parlor down the street.”

I half shrugged ”ok.”

We made our way back through the mall, most of the shops now closed. I caught a glimpse of the dusk sky through the skylights of the grand corridor and the streetcar waiting for us outside. There was a beautiful sunset when we got onto the streetcar, Dean said “You know that the sky right now is actually open space? During the day they put up a mirage sort of thing to make it look like daytime but at night, it’s just space.” “Wow!” I whispered as I gazed at the sky. We rode it for a few blocks, then it stopped in front of a tiny shop sandwiched in between two skyscrapers that appeared to have been built around it. As Dean opened the door I heard a bell jingle and he motioned me in. A booming voice came at us from behind the counter, “Dean! How’s it going man?” the voice belonged to a large, tall man in his 20’s in a white t-shirt, folded over stained white apron and a little white hat, who looked like a giant behind the tiny vintage style counter. “Hey Ian!” they did that handshake-half hug-slap-on-the-back thing that guys do, “I’m showing Marissa around” “Marissa, how do you do?” he shook my hand and continued, “What’ll it be?” “How ‘bout a couple scoops of double chocolate and a strawberry bouquet.” “Comin’ right up.” Dean pulled me to a table where we sat and waited.

“How often do you come here?” I asked.

“Probably too much.” He replied laughing.

“So where did you meet Ian?”

“We almost knocked each other over trying to reach for the last basketball at the sports store my first week here.”

“Order up!” Ian proclaimed from the counter. “I got it.” Dean stated. He returned with our order and set mine in front of me. I hadn’t thought about it but as the name suggest, my ice cream was arranged in a bouquet of little roses. “How did he do this?” I marveled. “He flattens it out on a cold tray and then rolls it up. Do you like it?”

“I love it! It’s almost too pretty to eat, almost.” There was a pause and I tasted it, “Oh my this is good!’ I exclaimed.

“I know! This place has the best ice cream out of all the many dimensions I’ve been to.”

“I believe it, I can’t imagine anything better.” I tried to savour it but alas, I finished and so did he. Feeling full I leaned back in my chair. “Ready to head back now?” “Ready.” We threw out or bowls and headed for the door, I quickly turned back to Ian and thanked him.

We stepped into the darkness outside, lit only by the scarcely placed lamps, and I leaned on his shoulder while we waited for a streetcar. I was able to see what Dean was talking about before; the view from my tiny porthole window in my room couldn’t compare to what I saw above me. The mirage of the daytime sky had faded away allowing me to see more stars than I thought could crowd the sky but I also spotted something resembling the milky way from Earth’s dimension far in the distance. “It’s so beautiful! Do you know if people here ever go out there?” I marveled. “Not that I know of.” He replied.

“Why not?” I was taken aback, how could people not want to explore so much unknown? “Probably because there’s nothing to find out there, no other planets or anything like that, just stars.” A wave of something came over me and a shiver shot up my spine. Just then the street car pulled up, we boarded and it took us back to the escalator leading up to sector 1.

Off the streetcar and on the dragging stairs standing hand in hand, we return to the 3 way fork in the hallway in silence. This time I spoke up, “This was fun.” “Yeah it was, see you tomorrow?” I pulled him into a hug, “See you tomorrow.” Another staring contest as I backed away and went to my room. I got ready for bed once again and tried to sleep but my mind was too full of thoughts of everything I had done and learned today. I found myself returning to that feeling I had earlier and realized what it had been. I didn’t want to stay in Aesah, as nice as it is and with Dean here. I felt too limited, too confined. I couldn’t live somewhere with such visible limits. Being stuck to the environment you saw knowing there was nothing beyond it. I was conflicted with what I felt about Aesah and what I felt for Dean. I tossed and turned until exhaustion or morning came first.

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