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I found myself in a tunnel. It was a tunnel made of dirt and it wasn't exactly tall enough so I had to bend down to fit. It smelled of dirt and grass and rotted meat. The smell was sickening. It was almost completely dark in the tunnel except for little beams of light from the surface. The only thing I could do was walk forward because it was a dead end behind me. I got down on my hands and knees and started to crawl. Beneath my hands there were huge slimy earthworms and bugs I didn't recognize. It was very quiet in the tunnel. Peaceful, almost. As I was semi enjoying my surroundings I heard a small yelp. It sounded like a puppy's cry for its mother. I stopped crawling and listened again. I heard it again. It was coming from farther down the tunnel. I started to crawl again, faster this time. I wanted to help whatever was crying at the other side of the tunnel.
The yelping started to get louder and more frequent. Finally, I found the creature making the yelping noise. It was a little baby, no older than two years. I wondered how this baby got here and where it came from. It was very small and covered with dirt and bruises. I picked it up and cradled it in my arms to comfort it. It stopped yelping. I kept going through the tunnel, feeling like a hero. I was carrying the baby in one arm and crawling with the other.
I looked down at the baby's face. It had rosy cheeks and red plump lips. It was beautiful. Then it opened its eyes. What a sight it's eyes were! They were a bright yellow with a green ring around the outside of the iris. I marveled at how such a dark skinned person could have eyes like that. I wandered through the tunnel for a little while more and then I started to see a faint light coming from the opening of the tunnel. "Yes!" I thought. As I approached the light source, the baby cringed at the brightness of the light. I covered its eyes with my hand. I was almost there.
"Just a few more steps and you'll be home safe and sound." I cooed at the baby.
I then reached the opening of the tunnel. As I arose out of it I saw something that puzzled me. I wasn't in San Diego. In the strange land I was in, the roads weren't paved, but instead dirt paths. There were no brightly colored buildings or moving hot dog venders. There were no prissy little girls in their miniskirts and high heels. Instead, right in front of my eyes, there was a smallish town with women with scarves draped around their head and shoulders walking around. They were all speaking a foreign language that was definitely not Spanish. The buildings and houses were either made of stone or tarps. The doorways were arches and the whole place was a whole mess of tan color.
It wasn't until a few seconds later that I noticed that everyone stopped doing their business and were all staring at me. I could practically hear what they were thinking. "Oooh, she's so different looking!" or, "Why is she carrying a baby?" I smiled shyly and people started laughing. They were literally laughing at me in front of my face. "Screw this." I thought and I climbed out of the tunnel and started to ask people if this was their baby. I don't think the people could understand what I was saying because they just nodded and smiled at whatever I said. Then finally, I found someone who could speak English.
"Hello." He said, "I can't help but see that you are in need of help. I am Amit. Do you want any help?" Amit asked. He had tan skin, blue eyes, and short brown hair. He was at least a head taller than me and probably weighed at least double. His big stature and muscles were kind of intimidating, so I just timidly nodded my head.
"Okay. So you are American girl?" Amit asked with flirtatious eyes.
"Haha, yes." I said giggling. He smiled and linked arms with me and started to walk. "Now who is this?" He asked wiggling his finger in front of the baby's face.
"I don't know who he is. I found him while I was in that tunnel." I said pointing behind me.
"Okay. What were you doing in that tunnel?" He inquired laughing at me a little bit.
"Actually, I don't know how I got there. I just woke up and there I was in a tunnel." I said simply.
"Well that is odd. Anyway, what do you need help with?" He asked scrunching his eye brows up in concern. How cute is that, he really cares about me!
"Oh I just wanted to find this baby's mother." I said looking down into the baby's sleeping eyes.
"Hmm, that shall be difficult." He said rubbing his chin. "But I'm sure I'll be able to do it." He said to me, smiling. Amit said he could definitely find the baby's mother and told me to stay where I was. I saw him move through the immense crowds of people, holding the baby up high so it wouldn't get squished. I waited for about ten minutes, just observing the city and its people. Then I saw Amit pushing through the crowds. The baby wasn't with him, so I assumed he found the mother.
"Did you find the mother?" I asked, standing up.
"Yes, I found a woman claiming to be the child's mother. She had the same yellow eyes as he did, so I was pretty sure she wasn't lying. I just wish you could've been there to see the gratification on the woman's face when she saw me coming towards her with her long lost child."
"Well thank you so much Amil. That was very helpful of you." I said putting my hand on his arm.
"No problem. I think that I was put on this earth to serve others. I mean charity work is practically my life." When Amil said those two sentences my heart froze. Dad. Those were the exact things he said to me. "American girl, are you alright?" Amil asked bending down to my eye level. "It can't be." I said to myself. "I must be dreaming."
"American girl? American girl? American girl?" Amil's voice started to sound different. It kind of morphed into my mom's.
"Lazy girl? Lazy girl? Lazy girl?" I jumped awake. I opened my eyes to see my mom's warm smile bringing me into a new day. "I guess that whole thing was a dream." I thought to myself.
"Lazy girl, it's time to get up." She said pulling the covers off of me.
"Mom, I had the weirdest dream. I dreamt that dad wanted to move to Israel for charity reasons!" I said cracking up. A look came on my mom's face. It was a look that said "Honey that was most definitely not a dream and we are moving to Israel."
"No. NO, NO, NO! Mom are you seriously going to take dad's side on this!?" I screamed.
"Honey, it's not that simple-" My mom started to say something but I cut her off.
"Yes mom, it is that simple. I don't know what's so complicated about just saying NO!" After I shouted that at my mom she became silent.
"Honey...go look outside." My mom said quietly. I climbed out of bed and pulled open the curtains.
No way. No way could this be happening. Instead of the apple tree that's in our front yard, I saw a dirt path. There were no brightly colored buildings, or hot dog venders. There were no prissy little girls in their miniskirts and high heels. Instead, right in front of my eyes, there was a smallish town with women with scarves draped around their head and shoulders walking around. They were all speaking a foreign language that was definitely not Spanish. The buildings and houses were either made of stone or tarps. The doorways were arches and the whole place was a whole mess of tan color. It looked just like the town in my dream.
"Mom, where are we?" I asked frightened.
"Israel, honey." She said softly.
"HOW DID WE GET IN ISRAEL!?" I screamed even louder than before.
"Oribelle, I'm sorry okay! I didn't know what to do so I just went along with your father's plan. We gave you some sleeping pills and moved to Israel. We took everything from your room, you bed, your posters, your sheets, your lamps, your clocks, your computer-- everything." My mom said with a scared look on her face. She seemed genuinely sorry.
"Whatever. You're lying. I am dreaming, I know it. I'm going back to bed." With that I pulled the covers over my head and willed myself to sleep. In the distance, I swore I could hear a faint whisper, "American girl are you alright?"
Raleigh, North Carolina
Green Bay, Wisconsin
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