It’s day fifty-one. Paul has been in my thoughts all this time. I’m bed ridden. I’ve nothing else to do, but long for home (what we call Dimension Alpha) and Paul’s crummy, basement lab. I would take a day in Dimension Alpha over all the money in all four dimensions right now.
I’m staring at the ceiling and hoping that maybe Paul is missing me at least as much as I miss him. It’d be nice to have someone from home miss me. I never had a lot of friends. Paul was all I had. I never thought we’d get this close. I never thought a day would come where I’d miss him so much.
When I first entered Dimension Delta, I thought I had this. I was overcome by curiosity and needed to see everything this dimension had to offer. How naïve I was. I couldn’t believe it, it was so beautiful. I had no idea that one day I’d find myself here, staring at the ceiling, unable to go home. I wish I had listened to Paul’s warnings. He had told me that what we were doing was risky. You can’t just hop through dimensions and expect no ramifications.
He called the Door a proto-type and told me it may not open again. He told me, I would be stuck here forever if it didn’t open again. I was so blinded by the prospect of seeing new worlds and being the first to do so, that I never even thought I’d find myself in this position one day. Paul I’m so sorry for not listening. I wish I’d listened to you–How I wish I had listened! Perhaps Paul and I would still be together in his dingy little lab. I hate myself for the decisions I have made, especially the one that wound me up here–in this bed.
“Paul never ever open the Door. No one can know what I do or what we both know to be possible. They cannot know of me or the dimensions. This knowledge is more dangerous than anyone can ever know. I have torn holes in the fabric of the universe. Paul, can you ever forgive me?” I say this to the ceiling. No one can ever find me. I must die here; alone. I have one wish: to see Paul’s face one last time, but I know that can never happen. I turn my head to face the wall as I shed one broken-hearted tear. “I miss you, Paul. I miss home.” I close my eyes and feel myself slipping away into possibly my last slumber.
Paul had been sitting for hours. He should’ve had a working Door by now. Why wasn’t it working? He had nothing to show for all his hours of work and research. He had tried repeating the process from the first time, but still nothing. He had sent Anna to her death and there was nothing he could do about it. She had no one in the world to miss her–no parents or anyone to call family. He was it and he had betrayed her. He sat with his head in his hands and raked his hands through his hair. He couldn’t give up; he couldn’t stop until she was home… with him. He had to find her no matter how long it took.
He sat there in his lab when he heard an oddly familiar sound. It sounded almost like whirring–like something was opening. He looked up. Dare he hope? Was it possible? But the Door? It wasn’t working. He saw something step through it. It was… definitely a something. It looked almost human, but had little spikes all along its back and reptile eyes. It opened its mouth and began speaking in broken English.
“We…Anna…leave. Go…find…Door.” Paul stared at the creature. What was it? How could it speak English? It handed Paul a little device. What was he holding?
“Portal…open…jump.” Paul almost cries. This creature in front of him had opened the Door with the device in his hands.
The exotic flowers woke me up that morning. Their familiar scent reminded me of a perfume from home. I tried getting up, but nothing. I’m so weak that I just lie down and close my eyes. None of their medicine could help me. They had stopped visiting me except for a young girl that would come in, fluff my pillow and bathe me as best she could. I was alone in this little hut. No one deserved this.
After the young girl had left, I hear a bit of a scuffle outside. I wonder what’s happening? Not that it really matters much to me. I try to turn on my side, but I can’t seem to feel my legs. Lying in one position is extremely painful. I always tossed and turned in my sleep. I closed my eyes and sighed. I heard someone sit down next to my bed. He must be sitting on the floor since there aren’t any chairs in here. I feel someone grab my hand and open my eyes to see who’s actually visiting me. Is it the young girl? Am I really going to die so soon?
“Anna?” It’s perfect English. That’s a change. I try to lift myself up to see who it is, but I can’t lift myself. I just fall back down and groan. Then I feel hair on my hand and tears. I turn my head and see a familiar messy mop of hair. I must be hallucinating.
“Guess, I really am going to die. I’m seeing things.” He looks up and I can see his tear-stained cheeks.
“Well, if I am going to die, at least I get to see you one last time even if you aren’t really here,” I sigh, “You were right, Paul. No one should know what I do. I have to die here and everything I know with me.” He’s still crying when I close my eyes. I feel hands on my face and then they move to wind through my hair.
“I’m real, you idiot.” He whispers. I close my eyes with a smile on my face. How could he be real? I feel his hands on my body and then he is lifting me.
“We’re going home.” Hallucinations don’t pick you up. I must have lost so much weight, he’s not even breaking a sweat. “Everything will be alright, Anna.”
“I’m so sorry, Anna. So so sorry. I should never have left you.” Why was he feeling guilty? He huddles me close to his chest.
“I was stupid, Paul.” I take another deep breath and go on, “I… never believed… you.” I close my eyes again and grip his shirt as I fall asleep in his arms. I must be really thin–Paul is such a weakling. Has he been gymming, perhaps? He carries me through something that sounds a whirlwind. Am I home at last?