If you’re reading this, then I have probably Disappeared again. I hope you haven’t forgotten about me. I haven’t forgotten about you, and by the time you read this, I will be missing you very much.
I hope that I have been able to see you since I wrote this — if I have, then you know sort of how that works. Again, I am sorry it has to be that way, but since you’re reading this then you haven’t found a way to bring me back.
I don’t know how much I will be able to tell if we see each other. Things on this other side are so much stranger than they are there. If its taken you a long time to find this and you are mad at me because I haven’t told you what all is going on, I’m very sorry. Time is funny here, like I said, and it always seems to play tricks on me, cutting things short when I need them to stretch out, and making the time between dreams almost eternity.
Maybe that is my punishment for running away here in the first place.
It started when I was three. My mother brought me with her to Giza — I don’t have a dad (oh yeah, the professor sort of adopted me); I think he died before I was born or something like that. There was a sandstorm at the camp and the pack animals all got loose and one was going to step on me — I remember that clearly! I closed my eyes and when I opened them, here I was, on this Other Side.
I was in that gray place for what felt like a long time, and then I felt my mother’s arms around me again, and then I was laying with her in the hospital and there were doctors and shouting. I woke up, she didn’t.
They tried to do tests on me, but the machines kept breaking. One exploded, I think. So I try not to get sick.
It happened again when I was 9. My dad took me with him to do field work with the Sioux Indians. Somebody didn’t think I should be there, and Social Services tried to take me away. I had to run away. They looked for me, but those people didn’t come back, like they just forgot about me. The people with my dad didn’t know what he was talking about when he wanted to know where I was.
It was the medicine man that found me. I think I literally ran into his dream. It took him six months to find me again and bring me back. Him and my dad were the only two who knew who I was until then.
The thing about it was, they didn’t explain to me how it was they brought me back. I don’t know how I get here, so I don’t know how to come back. When I try, the closest I get are your dreams. I tried my dad but he is too far away and I’m afraid I’ll get lost. I can’t reach anyone else. Except sometimes Ellie. (She dreams an awful lot about ponies.)
It leaves me tired, and that kind of scares me, because there really isn’t a “tired” here; there is no day or night, and I don’t need to sleep, but touching dreams makes me sleepy. I don’t think that’s a good thing, like falling asleep here would be the same thing as dying.
Am I already dead? Maybe you’ll find my body there, somewhere. That would be really gross and scary and I hope I’m not and you don’t.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about any of this and you had to find out this way.
Please thank your mom and dad for everything they did for me, even if they don’t remember it.
If you’re reading this (and even if you’re not), Jack, you are my best and only friend in the whole world. My dad and I moved here because I wanted to live a normal life. I got that and so much more: I made a friend, finally, and was enjoying school for the first time. My dad thinks that maybe that is what keeps me here.
Aribeth Alexandria Leigh-Harrison
Before he left, my dad said something like “Sam Hain might be able to lend a hand.”
I don’t know anybody named that, though. Do you?
If you laugh at my name I will hurt you.