Reality is Relative

Raelan awoke sweating. Darkness surrounded him, his clock ticking slowly. Everything was in order. Just a nightmare... he sighed. Thank goodness they only happen inside my mind. Looking around, he made sure everything was in its place. Shrugging, he slouched back under his comforter and pulled the sheets up to his face, adjusting every so often, and soon fell back asleep. The pictures of his past dream flickered back to him, in pieces, but were soon replaced with the pictures of a new dream.

Alarms sounded and a constant annoying blaring noise kept playing in Raelan's head. 6:00. He fluttered his eyes open and attempted to reach the snooze button on his clock. Missed. A second try sent the noise away, and Raelan let his hand fall over the side of the bed, his head still in its same position on the pillow. Maybe I'll try getting up earlier tomorrow... Raelan thought as he halfheartedly got into a sitting position. He sat there, staring at a blank wall, his eyes not even all the way open, for a good five minutes. Shaking his drowsiness away he shoved the sheets aside and turned to place his feet on the floor. He stumbled getting up at first; his legs buckling under the weight. Regaining his composure he wiped his eyes and walked ten feet to the bathroom across the hall. Flicking the light switch, Raelan jumped. Reaching for his glasses sitting on the counter, he saw what made him startled. Figures. It's just my reflection. Guess I'm a little jumpy after last night. What a nightmare! He took his black rectangular glasses off again and placed them on their normal place on the counter, left of the sink, next to the rest of his normal morning routine toiletries.

Raelan stood next to the shower, his hand under the running water. Not warm enough. He thought. He took his hand out and shook it, the excess water going in a manner of random directions. He ran that hand through his slightly curled light brown hair. Testing the water again, it seemed fine. He stepped in, letting the steam and warm water wake him up fully.

I can't believe the nightmare I had last night. He thought as he tipped the shampoo bottle back right side up. It's definitely something Drakara will want to hear. The water clicked off as he lifted his hand off the handle. He dried off with a warm towel he laid out, and dressed. Jeans, t-shirt, sweater; perfect. After checking on everything; teeth brushed, hair done, glasses...on, he left the bathroom, and made his way down the stairs, into the kitchen.

No one in his house was awake yet, he got up for the bus before anyone. His older brother was in college, leaving just him and his parents. An only child, just what he wanted. His backpack, and his lunch made last night, except for a few refrigerated things, and his books were all sitting on the table. Thanks mom. He smiled. Getting up in the morning was not something he enjoyed doing. High school wasn't helping either. Flipping open his cell phone, he read the screen.

1 New Message it blinked. He pressed the open button and read it.

Hey Rae, it's me Drakara. Just making sure you don't forget to meet me by the front doors.

Love you, see you then!

He smiled. Drakara was his best friend, and she was his memory; literally. He couldn't remember the simplest things. She was always there to help him remember schoolwork, even dating back to when they first met in the seventh grade, when she was assigned to be in his group for a project.

Opening his front door, the crisp April air hit him in the face. It wasn't quite cold enough to snow, but not warm either. The sidewalk wasn't frozen, for once. It always snowed in the spring. His breath was a cloud of white against the dull morning. It was not nearly a block to the bus stop, and he walked it in less than ten minutes.

It was quiet, as his neighborhood normally was in the morning. Something wasn't right. He flipped around, nothing there. He shrugged and turned around again, walking in a straight line. Probably just psyched out from last night. I mean, come on, a dark day, no sunlight, right.

The yellow bus screeched around the corner, and stopped right on time, at the intersection. He showed the driver his student ID and sat in the first available seat, five other people boarding behind him. Once everyone was on, the driver slammed the doors and took off. Could those doors even slam? Why the hurry? Raelan thought. We're 25 minutes early. The yellow bus rushed down the long straight street that led to Vista High School. Cars didn't seem to be going as fast as the bus, which wasn't speeding. Something again wasn't right. He just shook it off, leaving that thought in the back of his mind. The bus rounded the sharp turn and hurried up the hill towards the school. The sun wasn't up, strange. Stopping in front of the doors, he slung his back pack on and stepped down the steep stairs, then walked down the short path past the flag pole, towards the front doors.

A reddish-brown haired girl closed her phone and looked up to greet him.

"Hey, you okay?" She spoke, her voice a little worried. She always did care about his well-being.

"Yeah, fine, just a little tired." He responded, and started opening a door, Drakara following.

"Okay, well, just making sure. I wanted to talk to you about science."

"Why didn't you just text me?"

"I would run out of texts. I just don't understand something."

"Okay. Should we sit down somewhere?" Raelan scanned the open hallway, the narrow space filled with students.

"I say somewhere quiet and not filled with people."

Raelan wondered what had gotten into his friend. She seemed a little anxious. Everyone was. Wandering down the stairs into a pod marked "400's" she opened a large door that revealed a science room. It was empty. She set her books and side backpack down on her chair and opened a science book sitting on the table.

"What do you not understand?" He sat next to her, placing his stuff next to hers.

"Okay. Is there a day of the year where there isn't much sunlight?"

Raelan swallowed hard. "W-what do you mean?" He stuttered. "We're not studying that."

"I know. Today I woke up and there wasn't a sunrise. My house faces open space. I wake up every morning to blinding sunshine."

"I-I don't know. Why don't you ask Mrs. G?"

"She won't know! Or at least she won't tell me."

"Of course she will."

"Well, not without a lecture."

A smile found its way onto Raelan's face. Drakara hated being lectured.

"Well, it has to be in the science book somewhere."

"I looked all this morning. It's just going to drive me crazy."

Raelan felt nervous again. It was just like his nightmare. No sunlight. It can't be. No! No, that's ridiculous! What were the other things? Lets see, there was; All substitute teachers, someone dying from falling into giant cracks in the school leading down to a dark abyss...DARK ABYSS!? Raelan shook himself awake. That would never happen. The darkness is just a coincidence.

"Raelan?" Drakara tapped his hand. "Something wrong?"

"No, no its nothing, I'm fine."

Drakara POV

Is Raelan okay? Something's bothering him. He won't tell me, I wonder if— Her thoughts were interrupted by a violent shaking. Books fell off the shelves in her English room. Everyone screamed. It wasn't very long, but it was odd and more importantly, dangerous if it pursued. It could have been worse for those on the lower floor. Raelan! Her brain screamed to her to make her get up and find him, but her actions were thrown aside by a second tremor. She stood and stumbled toward the door.

Raelan POV

Okay. Something's up. I thought the sunlight thing was coincidence but being in 6th period and not having one of my teachers is crazy. Drakara is suspicious too, but she doesn't know why. I do and—The whole room shook, and everyone was thrown to the ground from their desk.

Oh no. Raelan attempted to stand, but a second shaking threw him forward into the aisle. He landed square on his hands, his face fine. DRAKARA! His thoughts went instantly to his best friend, on the top floor. Students were freaking out and making a mad dash for the door, a third and fourth tremor striking at shorter intervals. Raelan ran out the room and rounded a corner to the 500's staircase. He stumbled up the hard stairs, the shaking now harder and more frequent. Running and falling into walls, he leaned against the wall of the edge of the pod. He looked out and students were sprinting down the halls towards the doors, the Upper 500's empty. Drakara was in the 300's and she would have less time to get out before everything fell on her. Making a mad dash at a still point, he ran out into the hallway and stopped when he heard a cracking. In all of three seconds, he stopped, the floor collapsing in front of him. Where was Drakara? Suddenly a familiar voice rang from his left side.

"Raelan!" She clung to his side, the two finding a steady spot before the floor fell out from under them.

"Drakara! You're alive!"

"Yes, but not for long if we stay here!" She grabbed his hand and they took off, only fifty feet from the main doors. Raelan led and they seemed to be the only ones left, except for those hurrying out the doors. Looking back, he didn't notice a pile of rubble and stumbled. His hand left Drakara's and the two fell face first into the floor. Raelan hit hard, blood trickling down from his cheek. He looked back, and the situation seemed to be in slow motion.

"RAELAN!" Drakara shrieked, holding onto the edge of the floor's makeshift cliff.

"Drakara!" He ran to her and attempted to pull her up, handing her his strong right hand. She reached out one, and extended it to him, and he grabbed on, pulling her up, her other hand in his left.

Everything was shaking and the ceiling was coming down with the floor. A small piece of florescent lighting hit Raelan from the top, knocking him down, and Drakara's hands slipping from his.

Her screams echoed in his head as she fell.

"DRAKARA!" Raelan shouted, sitting up. Darkness. He looked around, sweating. It was his room. He sighed, and looked down at the clock. 5:30. He sighed and wiped the sweat from his forehead. Just a nightmare...