Covered In My Thoughts by Journey Mongold

Before I begin, may I share. I am a normal teenage girl going through normal things and here’s a story hard to believe, but I have to share. Taught a life lesson. My name is Maria by the way.

I slammed my door out of anger. My mother could never understand that my mentality is the reason I have no motivation. We never came to an understanding in our arguments, so I always would just walk away. Otherwise it was a waste of time. 

“You better not slam that door again.” She shouted. I ignored her out of spite. I had to find a getaway from my anger, so I decided to set up my PS4. Earlier today my mother and I went thrifting at goodwill. My mother found clothes, and I found a PS4 for $100, which is a little more than half off, so we brought it home with us.

Dust flew everywhere. It floated in the sunlight that shone through my window, and into my eyes. I rubbed my eyes to refocus again. “Hopefully this actually works”, I thought to myself. It seemed untrustworthy, but it’s worth a shot. After pulling out the PS4, along with its cords, I started to connect cords and find where to set up everything. I bent down to plug it in for the final outcome. 

“Will this even work?” I thought, plugging it in. It felt as if it was stuck. I tried pulling and pushing to try and budge. The only thing I could do out of anger was to attempt yanking the cord from the wall, but not a budge. I decided to try and shove it in. “Come on, just go in ” I shouted. Sparks flew from the outlet. My body started to tingle and go numb, from my feet all the way to my head.

My voice echoed “ouch” as my sight went blank. Nothing but darkness filled my eyes. My body felt as if a big whiff of air passed through it.  “How am I still- am I unconscious?” I questioned myself. My body was still capable of moving though, as I turned my head to see nothing but black. Not a noise, a person, or a light in sight.

I didn’t want to run or make a noise, so I slowly stood up to see what I could do. As I rose up a strange noise echoed from above. I raised my head to find a neon orange light striking down over me in a circle-like shape, along with my name floating above me in a glowing-white color. Beside my name it said, “best of luck.” I looked up higher and found a huge glowing white sign that said, “waiting for other players”. 

I couldn’t comprehend very well. I knew it wasn’t real, at least that’s what I thought. I stood there kinda freaking out, then out of nowhere three more strobes of light, one by one, struck down in a circular shape. A neon green, pink and yellow light. I stood in the neon orange. Noises from above were echoing down. I found myself waiting for something to happen. 

Something fadly was floating down inside the lights. It was people. They didn’t seem alive. They seemed as straight as a board and eyes closed. I was thinking “Maybe these are the players joining the game” They touched the ground all at once. They opened their eyes. When they landed, names shown above: Bailey, Luke and Austin. Each one of them was moving and kicking their legs around as if they’ve been paralyzed for years.

 I was analyzing all of them. They were all doing their own things like looking at their hands, looking up and down at the other players. “Can you guys talk or see me”? I asked them. 

They all looked at me, standing in shock. I was guessing that they were so intrigued by themselves. They couldn’t focus on anything else. Bailey asked with a big smile. “What is this? You think this is weird too?” I asked. “How wouldn’t it be weird?” Austin rhetorically asked. I respectively ignored him “So, Luke, do you talk”? I asked. He stared away from all of us. “Okay, then what-”

  I was cut off by the voice of a lady who sounded almost like Siri from Apple. “Welcome to “The Land Of Free Will”, what the four of you will discover will not be spoken to you in words, but what you will find in your feelings and in your true selves. You will recognize something here that you wouldn’t have in your real lives. May you have fun and discover what may hurt to learn, but is for your future benefit”

The darkness turned into the most beautiful light one could ever see. All four of us together stood outside of what looked like a bright world in front of us. No one else was around, but the four of us. There was a large gate covered in gigantic-diamond rhinestones. It glistened from the dazzling sun that lit up our faces.

There wasn’t a worry nor a care in the world, although it was only us. We spent our day walking down the streets covered in beauty. Flowers were blooming, and everything was well put together. It seemed to us, as if it was our dream come true. “A free world. Who could ask for anything better, in a perfect world. Am I right guys?” I said.

“Yeah, this is what I’ve honestly needed. I mean, shoot. I play video games 24/7. What’s being in whatever this stimulation is, gonna do?. Like it is a way to get away from my parents” Austin replied.

Though I didn’t know Austin what-so-ever, I related to how he was feeling. “Maybe this is why we’re here. Does everyone else feel the need to be away from their parents to be happy?” I asked. They all agreed in sync. Everyone felt a relief from the thought of figuring out what was happening. The weather was beautiful, the world was filled with beauty and we all had something in common.

The day passed by quickly. I guess when they say “The happier you are the faster time passes” is a true saying. Dusk was approaching; we were all having a blast. That day we ate the best foods we have ever had, walked, and had such funny conversations, ran in the warming sun, and the biggest one, we had our free will without any consequences.

We went to a carnival. With rides running, food stands and games. No one was around, but it ran as if it operated on its own. We took this as an opportunity for some more fun. “Guys we have to go in there.” Bailey squealed. She ran in, before anyone gave an answer, but of course we all followed her. We were in the best state of mind, meaning in the mood for all the fun.

We split into two pairs, Austin caught up to Bailey and I partnered up with Luke. “I know you don’t talk much, but it’s nice having us all here having a blast together.” I told him. “Yeah it’s great honestly. My parents back home have always brought me down and I feel so much happier making my own decisions. I feel more alive, you know”? He replied

“I don’t think parents really know the effect they have on us. The screaming, yelling and bickering. It hurts our mentals and burns us out, if not all the time, a lot of the time.” I replied. “Yeah I get that” he agreed.

That late evening we rode rides, ate lots of cotton candy and the boys even won us stuffed animals. Though I guess it’s not winning when you just hop over the counter and grab them, but hey we were having fun. 

After all the running around, we were worn out. At the time, Bailey and I had come together. On the ferris wheel, we began to feel off. We got into a deep conversation about how we started feeling down all the sudden. “Free will is nice and all, but I wouldn’t be me without my parents.” Bailey was telling me. I agreed with her.

It was almost like we would rather deal with being structured through love from our parents then, free will without them. After addressing that we found ourselves drifting off into the silence and starry night,  finishing the round of the ferris wheel we set off to find the boys. We talked about how beautiful the night was trying to hop off the thought of being seperated from our parents let alone our families.

We found the boys having a deep conversationI. They missed their parents. It was coincidental, even the boys felt heartbroken about how they put their parents down, when really parents are just doing their jobs. The boys stood to catch up with us. We were clueless on what to do so we took in the air and continued walking.

“Memory lane” A large sign that starred us down until we entered. “What is this?” I asked the group. Some shrugged and the other continued through. I took my first steps in. Wind blew through my hair along with the others. Scents flew up my nose bringing back fond memories from the beginning and recent memories of my time. It almost felt as if we were floating. Everything was a blur, and gravity seemed somewhat defeated. Walking inside everything was blurred,  memories of my parents and I. It was like a timeline. 

It started little short videos of memories replaying from birth to growing. Tears were brought to my eyes. Whether it was tears of joy or sadness, I wanted to be home. Towards the end there was a video of my parents breaking down. I took a closer listen and look. “I don’t know where we went wrong” My mom was telling my Dad. My dad looked toward the ground and the video paused in that moment as if that was the end. 

Everyone else around seemed so upset. I realized not only was I in a hard spot. As I confronted them. We came to the conclusion, everyone was seeing different things. They weren’t seeing others’ memories. They were in sight of their own memories, which made sense of why everyone was so broken. 

We needed our parents more than ever in that time and place. An oval shaped figure stole our attention. It’s like it appeared from nothing. It stood at the end of this “Memory Lane” place. It was glowing all the neon colors we stood in towards the beginning of it all. Neon orange, yellow, green and pink. 

We ran down toward it, but we didn’t want to touch or go through it. Bailey ran over to a fountain that had multiple pennies and grabbed a handful. “What is that gonna do for you?” Austin asked. She threw them without an answer. There was an answer to what it was or did. It was a transmitting portal. “But to where,” Bailey asked. “Guys, what if that is going to take us home” I cried. We ran without hesitating.

Austin, Bailey, Luke and I grabbed each other’s hands and ran into the portal as if there were no tomorrow. We didn’t look back. 

Austin returned home to his loving parents along with his siblings. Living a new live with newer meaning

Bailey returned home to her loving parents and her brother. Sowing more love and affection toward her loved ones.

Luke returned home to his loving parents, but with no siblings. Spending no time on his electronics, including video games, but more time with his parents and friends.

I returned home to my loving parents, also along with no siblings. I learned how to lose my attitude even in the hardest, most irresistible screaming moments. 

Living the way I do know and knowing that free will isn’t all that isn’t the key to happiness, but life is more focused on living even through the hard times, but with your own loved ones.I appreciate more and realize a lot more than I did before. Just by learning this valuable lesson and treating my parents differently. I created an unbreakable bond. I found a way to find everyone from the stimulation world, and they’re all doing just as great as me. I could say I was covered in my thoughts.

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