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"Yeah!!" Kevin yelled, excitedly.
"All right!" Ler shouted back, with the same enthusiasm.
I had to join in, so I yelled, "Woohoo!" And then each of us grabbed something heavy from the back seat, and marched towards the house. The three girls did the same, although without the added vocals.
We were heading to Linka's house party, bringing in drinks and munchies for everyone. I dropped my bag in the kitchen, and continued into the house. It was my first time here. There was already some noise, coming from a vague direction.
I found myself further away from the music, and noticed an open room. I peeked inside and then entered, looking around the room.
"Hey Linka," I said, and dropped on her large bed. She was busy with her make up, in front of a full-body mirror. She did not respond, immediately.
"How do I look?" She turned around, her flowing dress bouncing, and a face that was almost a painting stared at me.
"You look awesome," I said, and grinned, knowing that I had no eye for aesthetics. She frowned angrily, and then smiled as well.
"Thank you," she said, and moved to lie on the bed beside me, sighing loudly. She made the mattress bounce, so I lost my balance and dropped, now lying down, like her.
Looking at the ceiling, I got a strange feeling. As if I just woke up, after a long rest, only without the actual resting. Maybe I was getting too excited about the party. I quickly sat back up, leaning on my hands. Linka did the same.
"I feel sick," she said, and looked worried.
"You will be fine, Linka," I tried to calm her down. "It's a great party. I heard all the noise, on the way down here. People are already having fun. And you look great."
"Yeah," she answered, somewhat convinced. "Let's go up! We are already late," she said, and stood up, grabbed me by the arm, and pulled us out of her room.
We marched through the long hall, and climbed the stairs up.
"That's odd," she said, and kept climbing.
I was about to ask her what was so odd, when we reached the end of the spiraling stairs, and saw the next hall. Not a corridor. Not even small enough to be a room in her house. It was a vast space, full of stalls. Like a giant marketplace, with people shouting the prices of goods, and potential clients roaming and negotiating.
|An unfamiliar place.|
We both stared. There was no music. Just people speaking. None of whom we knew, I was certain.
"What..." Linka started, and I failed to answer. She grabbed my hand, and looked at me. "What is this?!" I saw the panic grabbing her. More than panic - amazement.
"I don't know," I answered. "Where are we?"
Linka pulled me on, and walked both of us through the stalls. She ignored the stalls, but I let my eyes wander, seeing so many different and new faces, and all sorts of snacks, fruit, and bizarre colorful items for sale.
"What is this place..." I wondered aloud.
"Come on, let's find the way out," Linka dragged me on, until we reached another staircase.
Unlike the former, this staircase was a square shape, and was open-walled, to let us see through to the odd bazaar, while we climbed up. We moved onwards, but there were not any floors, and the more we climbed, the more of the vast hall we could see. It was as large as a stadium, and then some.
Finally, a hallway appeared in front of us, and we entered it, slightly hesitating. I took the lead, not having anything else in sight, and started wandering about. Several rooms on the way were open, but they did not seem special or interesting. Just empty bedrooms.
"Look there," Linka pointed to an open room, at the end of the hall. "Those people just leave all their bedroom doors open, like that."
"Yeah," I said, wondering, and continued now only toward that room. It drew me to it, I could feel it now. "Look, this one looks different, right?" Linka peeked inside.
"It's my room!" She exclaimed, and hurried inside. "It's my room! Why is it here?!"
"Good question," I answered, and lingered at a large mirror that covered most of the wall ahead. I touched it. "I think this is it," I said.
"What?" Linka asked, as she sat on her bed.
"Can't you feel it?"
Linka rose up to approach the mirror. She stared at her reflection, and then turned to look at mine.
"I don't have such a large mirror in my room," she said.
I touched it, and I could feel it tremble under my fingers.
"Come on, let's go!" I grabbed her arm, and drove us into the mirror. As we passed, I could see the foreign market place, with all those people shopping. And then we dropped down, fast, into a darkness below.
We both sat up, on Linka's bed, at the same time.
"Did you just..." Linka started asking.
"Man," I whispered. "Don't ask me."
"Come on, we're going to be late to the party!" Linka hurried to get up, and hauled me up, by my hands. I let go of one hand, but she grabbed on to the other, holding it over her shoulder, and dragging me out of the room, and to her birthday party.
I was happy to know that Linka finally arrived safely to her eighteenth-birthday party. A party I never got to see.