Chapter 2: In Search of Lost Time
I woke up feeling the grass underneath my body. My head was spinning a bit, but I was able to get up and pull myself together. I don’t remember much other than the fact that I was clubbing, and then I woke up somewhere else. It was quiet, and the cold wind was blowing everywhere. Darkness overshadowed everything, so I wasn’t able to see much in sight. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I was able to see a few feet around me. All I could make out were bushes to the right, left, and behind me. The bushes ran down creating a path, but I was only able to see a few feet of the path.
I yelled out “Alice, anyone… Is anybody there? Hello!” but there was no reply. I started to feel scared and alone because I didn’t know where I was or what was going on. I stood up and tried to reach for my phone. All my belongings were still in my pocket, so I quickly grabbed my phone and dialed Alice. The phone rang and then someone picked up. I asked “Alice… Where are you… What’s going on?” Soon after, the words I just uttered on the phone played back to me. I hung up and quickly dialed the police for help. After someone picked up, I quickly shouted “I don’t know where I am or what’s going on, but please help me!” Right after, a soft female voice said “Look forward and walk.” At first I questioned “What do you mean? Can you see me? Where am I?” The voice replied, “Jay, you have no choice but to proceed forward.”
I proceeded to walk the dark path that seemed to be shrouded only in darkness with my phone screen being the only light I have. Then it occurred to me that my phone has a built in flashlight. I hung up and quickly turned on the flashlight. Once the light started to illuminate my path, the ground shook with much force and my phone dropped onto the floor. As I reached and tried to grab it, it got pulled into the ground. I tried to feel around the grass, but I eventually came to accept the phone was absorbed by my surroundings.
At this point, I didn’t have any choice but to walk down the path that was set. As I walked down a few minutes, I saw a single light in the midst of all the darkness. I ran towards it thinking I had reached someplace with people. As I ran towards that light, I noticed the size of the light remained the same. While that did confuse me, I continued to run towards that small light until I saw a shroud of pink. I knew right away that the light came from a phone. And that phone belonged to Alice. The pink color was from the pink shirt she was wearing. If it’s one thing I knew about Alice, it was that she loved the color pink to the point that her skin is the only non-pink thing about her. I shouted Alice’s name so loud that she recognized me and shouted back “Jay, where are you? I’m over here!”
Finally, I gave Alice a giant hug and asked her if she knew where we were. Alice replied “I’m not sure… but we need to get out of here soon.” I asked her if she remembered what had happened at the party. She nodded her head no, so it just made me a bit more worried. Alice said “let me turn on my phone’s light so we can see what’s around,” and I quickly grabbed her phone and said “NO! We can’t do that…” I remembered what had happened to my phone. After explaining that to Alice, she understood.
I realized that I could use Alice’s phone to check the time. Her phone displayed 9:53am. I thought to myself how that might be possible because it’s so dark. Then I looked at Alice, and I noticed she looked extremely scared. I asked her “Alice, what’s wrong… We will be okay.” And Alice said “Jay, look up at the stars, what do you see?” Ever since we were little, Alice had always been fascinated by stars and constellations. She even folds paper stars every day out of her passion for those burning balls of gas above. I stared at the sky and told her “nope, I don’t see what’s there.” Alice then told me “I don’t recognize any of the star patterns or constellations… They aren’t normal…” Then I started to panic a bit because I suddenly had a quick flashback with the same star patterns I saw in the sky. I’m not sure if I really lived the flashback, or if my mind just made it up. I kept thinking to myself and wondering what had happened in the past few hours that we can’t remember.
I recalled a story I read in class by Robert Proust that was titled “In Search of Lost Time.” There was a moment in the story when a character ate a madeleine, and the eating experience triggered a certain memory. Was my flashback a similar experience compared to the madeleine? I’m not sure why, but I felt uneasy and worried about what was to come. I looked over at Alice and told her “Let’s go! We need to find a way out of here!” Then Alice pointed in the darkness and asked me “what should we do?” I looked at what she was pointing at, and I replied “I don’t know…”