Everything vanishes; the television, fireplace, sofas and various accessories all disappear into the ground, dropping out of view entirely as if I’ve taken the elevator down. Shawn, Noah and Gavin are gone. My view becomes a warm, summer beach. I watch the waves on a steady sway back and forth, reminding me of the lake by my house. Birds chirp and the sun beams across the rippling water. I feel at ease until I hear, “What the heck are you doing here?” She doesn’t sound happy to see me, but then she squeals, “Marley, I missed you.”
Kimmy rushes up to me and hugs me fiercely, nearly cutting off my air supply. She is dressed in her favorite yellow bikini and has a slight tan to her already tanned skin. “Kimmy.” I hug her back, just as fiercely.
I can’t believe my eyes. My best friend is standing right here, right in front of me. But I was just in my living room with the boys. Somehow, I must have travelled to Aeaea, again—the island inside of Limbo. “How am I here, right now?”
“You’re not dead, I hope.”
“No,” I tell her.
“Then I don’t care how you got here. I’m just happy to see you.”
“I thought I could only come here when Gavin was here.”
“Guess not, but this is fantastic. You can tell me how everything is going back home. I mean, I got to see Shawn for like a second in the mirror this morning—”
“Is that because he was with Noah?”
“No, he wasn’t with Noah at the time. Why?”
I shake my head, aiming my eyes down at the sand. I stare at a rock nestled in the grains and try to figure out how I get myself into these messes. “Well, Noah and Shawn are at my house right now.”
Kimmy’s eyes go wide-eyed. She looks like how I felt when I first saw them. “So, he knows. How is he?”
“I was just trying to explain everything to him. He’s a hard-headed boy, that one.”
“Can’t argue. What else?”
Where do I even start? My life lately is like I’ve fallen into a well and every time I scrape my fingers and toes along the sides and reach the top, someone or something is there to kick my butt back down.
“Let’s find Circe first,” I suggest. “It’s so good to see you, even under these circumstances. I’ve missed you.”
“I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever.”
“To you,” I say, “I guess it’s been a while. It’s only been four days up there in the land of the living.”
“Wow. So, what do you think of my surprise soul mate?”