It was presumably some type of trip for a competition, my brain was decidedly unspecific about it. We packed up, the eleven of us, mostly shadow people from high school memories. Mark the short one, Pete the crazy one, it gets a little hazy from there. The trip up to Chicago for the ill-defined knowledge jamboree.
Until the plane crashed. At least one of them did, the larger just kind of landed. Fell out of the air anyways, taking the four of us (me, the short one, the crazy one, the one with no defining features) down into the worlds most tepid lake. Pete and I swam like rats through the pitch black looking for shelter, and came upon the perfectly squared edges of the lake we were drowning in, to find it was some type of giant Chicago public pool. When we looked back, we could see dawn rising behind the Beechcraft Bonanza that had put us here.
Time skipped and I was back at my house, trying to explain to the Chief of Police from Super Troopers why my mortgage payment was late (He could not understand why a plane crash in Chicago would have affected my ability to pay the mortgage and to his credit, I wasn’t bringing up any significant arguments). Then the first period bell rang and I knew I had to run (still soaking wet, apparently Chicago rescue workers are total dicks about towels). Pete was there and he told me that Mark grew up in Chicago, so the fact that he was missing was probably no big deal. No idea what happened to the other seven. I met up with Fargo on campus, and we went to his “shop locker” so he could get his books for next period. The area was covered in sawdust, and the only things in the cages were industrial tools. He took a scratchawl and a set of woodlathe spoons out and put them into his bag. I knew I needed a new shirt at least, so we were going to go by the gym and I’d put on my stinky but relatively dry gym clothes.
Though he was initially in a rush that caused him concern about whether or not he could follow me to my locker, we moved on to his dorm room and microwaved some ramen. When I asked him if it was really lunch, he told me that he just so happened to have misjudged his schedule. I looked at the clock and noted that it was only ten and I wasn’t sure why I was so hungry. He told me it was probably all the swimming.
Skip time. We’re back in my house, Fargo apparently keeps a dorm on campus only for ramen eating and smalltalk. I went into my room to get some nice clothes on, and when I came out Sara had stopped by. We sat in the front room to talk, and I asked her if she had heard about my fun in Chicago. She said she hadn’t in that way she does (“Oh, no what now”) and I heard Fargo laugh as if from another room… something about the scene wasn’t right. There wasn’t enough doghair on things. And Sara just dropped by to talk. And I tried to ignore it, I wanted to push in because it was such a fun story and I thought it would be charming and maybe she would want to hear more of my stories and maybe everything would just be right and we would laugh and have a good time and then I looked over at her to start explaining it, and she looked me in the eye, and I knew it was a dream.
Five fucking twenty three. I wasn’t really able to get back to sleep after that, just some tossing and turning. Delaying the inevitable.