Into Another World | Teen Ink

Into Another World

September 29, 2022
By Anonymous

Waking up on Tina’s big day, the day she looked forward to every year as all kids would. She frantically climbed out of bed with a broad smile. Rushing to get out of bed and get dressed for the day. She knew no one was awake for at least a good hour, so she would have the tv to herself with some peace, and quiet and no one exacerbates her, knowing once everyone is awake chaos strikes. Tina stumbles upon the couch, turns the tv on, and gets relaxed to watch a movie. A sudden squeal comes from her grandpa’s door and out walks Gene Tina’s grandpa. A staggering sigh right before Tina asked her grandpa what he was doing up since no one is normally awake at this time.

“Just couldn’t sleep I guess,” said Gene

“Okay, just wondering,” Tina said in a subtle sarcastic tone knowing she was confused because it was not normal for him or anyone but her to be awake at this time. 

She went on to put her movie on. Her grandpa made himself a cup of coffee as he always does in the morning, and he then sat on the couch and watched the movie with her. Chuckles and giggles went on as the movie played.

Soon, well enough creaking from the upstairs floor began as Tina’s siblings, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew woke up one by one. Tina’s brother Ted came downstairs and went to the den to hop on his game. Tina’s niece Jazz and nephew Andrew were next to wake up but they didn’t come downstairs instead they stayed in the room and played while Tina’s sister Naiya and brother-in-law Isaiah slept in a little longer than expected.

Tina’s movie soon ends. She makes herself some breakfast and eats at the kitchen table once she finished eating she heads upstairs to do her hair and put on her eyelashes. She hears her grandpa go outside, she just expected him to be smoking a cigarette as that's what he does but she heard the truck door open which she finds odd she then goes to look out the window and sees her grandpa put a bag in the truck and it wasn’t just any bag but it was a big duffle bag.

Tina’s sister and brother-in-law had finally woken up they stayed overnight and slept in ted’s room. They get dressed for the day and headed downstairs to start cleaning up the house for Tina’s big day. Tina heads downstairs after she had finished getting ready to talk to Naiya. 

“Naiya?!” said Tina in a loud but subtle voice

“Yessss, Tina!?” Naiya said charmingly

“Grandpa put a big duffle bag in his truck this morning, do you know anything about it or why he put a duffle bag in his truck?” Tina asked confused.

I don’t know. It could be a surprise for you or something for his work, just don't worry about it nothing austere or with him putting it in the truck.” said Naiya not worried one bit.

Tina tried to forget about it, it brought no attention to anyone else why should it bring attention to her? She then moved past it and swept it off her mind because she had other things to worry about with it being the most important day of her life.

Tina went and found Naiya they planned on making the cake together and decorating it. With everyone out of the kitchen, Tina and Naiya got to work on baking. The boys eventually came into the kitchen they got going on preparing the meat to grill, later on, the whole time Gene had sat on the couch watching tv. Time went on, and the boys finished prepping the meat and cleaning up, Tina and Naiya had just put the cake in the fridge to cool before they decorated it. Everyone went off to dawdle in the meantime. Tina went back to the couch to watch tv, no one was around but her grandpa who was watching tv as well, Tina had the chance to ask her grandpa why he had a duffle bag and why he put it in the truck but she didn't because she thought that whatever it was for wasn’t important. She didn't want to assume anything that it wasn’t.

“Hey, you want to go on a car ride with me?” Gene asked capriciously 

“Sure, where are we going?” Tina asked to know if this had to do with the duffle bag.

“I’m not sure, yet. I guess it's a surprise.” Gene said in a furtive tone.

Gene and Tina are on the road for a bit now with nothing around but land and trees for an hour they finally started ascending a hill. Tina’s now getting worried and scared not knowing where they going. She has a weird gut feeling but continues to act like nothing is wrong and that she's not worried. She watches out the window as trees pass by listening to the radio she then notices that there was wooden fencing. Wooden fencing indicated a house was near. Tina became a little less worried thinking that there wasn’t much going on as she thought. Gene pulls into a driveway of a house with a white wooden fence. The road leads to the house. The tracks of truck tires lead up to the very edge of the house. Tina knew something was following the tracks Tina was expecting him to stop and park as anyone else would but instead, he kept driving. He was going straight towards the house and wasn’t stopping. Tina’s stomach dropped to the ground as she gripped the door handle with every muscle in her body. She closed her eyes.

The realization of them still driving, that they haven't crashed was a big relief for Tina. She opened her eyes and looked all around they went from being in the countryside to be in a city. She was relieved but was still very confused and scared.

As Tina looked around she realized that she wasn’t in just any normal city. It looked exactly like her city but the business had different names and we're businesses for different things. McDonald's was the same building, same colors, and same layout but the name was different it was named butchered trees. Wendy’s had everything the same as well but was a makeup store. Everything was off almost like it was another dimension. Gene kept driving he eventually came to a big building. It looked like a 10-story bank. Gene parked in the parking lot.

“Where are…” Tina says fading into sleep.

Gene, her grandpa had just drugged her. He then carried her and the duffle bag inside the building.

Time passes, and Tina wakes up in a bed she looks around and sees other little girls sitting on wall bunks staring back at her. She gets up fast and heads for the door but it was locked she couldn't get out no one could. The girls around her told her no one could get out even if they tried to, the girls also explained that they get 3 meals a day breakfast, lunch and dinner. They all share beds and one dresser. 

“How old are all of you?” Tina asked frightened

“I’m 5,” “I’m 7,” “She’s only 3,” said the little girls one by one.

All the girls called out their ages. Tina was in shock to hear how young these girls are she felt sorry for them, with how young they are and with what there being put through. Tina thought to herself and felt like she had to do something and help the girls out but she had other thoughts to get herself out. Tina starts looking around the tiny room she notices a tiny attic cut out that had been boarded up she then looks around for something to help pry the board off. She doesn't find anything but she had an idea.

“When is the next time we get to eat?” Tina asked with an idea racing through her head.

“We have dinner next, sometime soon,” one of the little girls said.

“Okay,” Tina said in a suspicious voice.

Tina sits on the bed watching the girls play with toys they made out of the things they had been given with their food, such as forks and spoons they had drawn faces on with a sharpie. Time goes by and they bring dinner. Instead of Tina eating, she took her fork and pushed it in between the board and the wall where the screws were. She got all four screws loose and pulled the board off she noticed boards were set up for someone to walk out of there without falling through the roof. Someone had the same plan as her before. She wondered if they ever made it out. She had to figure it out herself so she went on walking the boards like a tight rope making sure not to fall. None of the other little girls wanted to go they all wanted to stay. Tina made it out but she was scared. 

In a world, she had never been in before she didn't know where to go. All she knew was that the city was built the same as hers but all names were different. Knowing where everything was would not help her though because she was not tryna find how to get home in that world but how to find the house they went through to get into that world. All she could remember is they drove down a straight road to get here, the only turn they took was to get into the parking lot and the parking spot. She went close to the road and looked both ways she then spotted the places she saw coming into this world she started walking and eventually she came to the house. She didn’t how to go about walking thru the house so she closed her eyes and started walking. She made it through and forgot that the house in her world was in the countryside which meant she had a long walk ahead of her but that wasn't fixing to stop her. She set off by foot hoping someone drove by so she can flag down to get a ride. After walking for an hour she then sees a little white car heading the way she holds her thumb out as any hitchhiker would. The car stops and it was a little old lady.

“Hey ma’am I'm sorry to stop you but I kind of got stranded out here, is there any chance you can give me a ride,” Tina said praying in her head 

“Sure where are you heading young lady,” the old lady said.

“I’m trying to get home which is half an hour that way,” Tina was happy she didn't have to walk the rest of the way.

Tina gets in the car, normally Tina wouldn't get into a stranger's car but Tina was also really good at reading people's energy. If anything Tina felt safer with this random old lady than with her own grandpa.

Tina makes it home, she sneaks her way into the house and up the stairs to the room her sister Naiya was staying in. 

“Naiya, I don’t think grandpa is who he says he is!” Tina said out of breath 

Naiya and Tina hear footsteps coming up the stairs Naiya pushed Tina in the closet and closed the door and went by the bed as if she was making the bed. Naiya watched Gene take a step into the doorway without a single word and almost immediately turned his head towards the closet and started walking straight towards the door. Naiya watched realizing that what Tina had been saying all along was true and that Gene is acting oddly weird. Naiya looked away as Gene opened the closet door.

The author's comments:

(This is actually a dream I had) As someone who struggles with mental health, it haunts me, and as someone who doesn't talk about it and keeps it to myself, when talking about it or mentioning it to the family I feel judged or not heard or like people understand me. My grandpa is someone who grew up in a strict Hispanic household where emotions and feelings weren't expressed and he had to learn to keep them to himself and Tuffin up as a kid whos supposed to have emotions. Our generation now is a lot different and with all the things I've gone through as a kid and still go through to this day, I feel like my grandpa doesn't understand what to do or how to deal with it as I'm someone who shows emotions and he is someone who cares but seems very coldhearted.

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