“Coral, you’re going to be late for your first day!” Mom yelled. I grabbed my bag and walked downstairs. “Here you go, sweetie.” She handed me a bagel with strawberry cream cheese. She knew those were my favorite.
“Don’t mention it. You don’t say it much, but I know you’re nervous for your first day of high school.”
“Yeah, I guess.” I wasn’t going to admit to anyone I was actually nervous.
“It’s okay. High school can be a little rough, but you have to make it good. Come on, I’ll drive you in today.”
“I can walk, really.”
“Are you sure, sweetie?” I shook my head. “Well, be careful.”
“I will. Here’s to a new year of 2026!” I said sarcastically.”
“Love you too, Coral. Have a good day.” While I walked to school, I cherished my bagel. I was pretty sure that was the only thing keeping my nerves down. As I walked, I noticed a strange man. He looked like the classic creepy guy in a trench coat. I kept seeing him at the end of every block. Eventually he came up to me.
“Excuse me, miss. Do you have some time?” he asked strangely.
“No, I have to get to school.”
“No, you’re coming with me.” He then grabbed my arm and injected something into me. The next thing I knew was falling, and he put me in a car.
I woke up in pitch black with my head spinning. It felt like I had been asleep forever. Then, light started to pour in. The bright light felt like it was burning my eyes. After a few seconds, I readjusted my eyes. I sat up and looked around. I was in a small room with no one around. I got out of the hard bed and walked forward. I stopped in my tracks and froze. There was a small group of people watching me. Why were they just staring at me? I should had been the one staring at them. The way they were dressed looked a little crazy. Not to mention the hair.
“He-.” I could barely say anything.
“Hello, Coral.” I jumped at the sound of a familiar voice. “It’s okay, you’re fine. You’re going to want to keep calm. We did your tests before you came out, but there could still be some complications.” I turned around and saw the same man that had taken me away.
“You-.” I still couldn’t talk.
“Coral, please. Everything is alright. I’ll explain everything to you in just a few moments. Come along with me and I’ll tell you everything that I can.” He walked up closer to me and tried to grab my hand. I pulled away quickly. “It’s alright, please just come with me.” He did the same thing again and I pulled away again. “You must cooperate or I will have to inject you again and I know you won’t like that.” I didn’t want to go with him, but I didn’t want the injection. I shook my head in response. We walked out of the room and into an office. There was a small couch, which I sat on and the man pulled up a chair to sit on. “Drink this, it’ll help to talk.” I took it and hesitated, but once he said drink, I couldn’t resist. I didn’t realize how thirsty I was. It tasted like sweet cotton candy. “Better?”
“Yes, thank you.”
“I’m sure you have many questions. Ask and I’ll tell.”
“Why am I here?”
“You were chosen for a museum exhibit.”
“What? A museum exhibit? You’re joking, right? I never got asked about being in an exhibit.”
“You see, you weren’t asked, you were chosen.”
“Over my consent?”
“I’ve never heard of a museum where you stare at people. I want to go home.”
“Home is far away,” he said amusingly.
“Where are we?”
“We’re still in San Diego, just 500 years later.” 500 years later? This had to be a joke.
“Okay, I get it,” I chuckled, “Mom, where are you? If you wanted to scare me, you did it. You can come out now!”
“Coral, your Mother isn’t here.”
“Where is she?”
“She’s dead. I told you already, we’re not in the same time.” How could this be?
“No, I was just on my way to high school until you injected me with something and took me away.”
“I knew this was going to be hard, but I wouldn’t have chose you if I didn’t know it was going to be a challenge.” He got up and walked over to a window, clicked a button and what looked like shutters started to pixel away, and turned into daylight. “Come over here.” I got up and stood by the window.
“Everything looks different, like… “ I trailed off.
“Like we’re in the future.”
“Yeah,” I said quietly. He then turned the outside back to shutters. “You never told me your name.”
“Dr. Keel, but you can call me Chris.”
“Huh, that sounds like a pretty non futuristic name.” I said sarcastically.
“Chris chuckled, “I come from a long line of Christopher’s. I’m Christopher the 15th.”
“Jeez, your family must like the name.”
“Yeah.” I couldn’t just be here for a museum exhibit. There had to be more to this story.
“Why am I really here?” I asked.
“What do you mean?”
“It just seems a little inhumane to just pluck someone out from the past, bring them here, and say you’re in an exhibit. I mean, even 500 years later that would still seem like people would get upset by it.”
“You’re a smart girl. You’re right. You’re not really here for an exhibit. You’re here for a future rebellion.” A rebellion?
“What do you mean?” I asked in total confusement.
“I had brought up the idea to a group of very important men about bringing a random person from the past. We would put you in a museum exhibit for everyone to see. They would physically be able to see you and how you acted around others. It was going to be a great experiment.”
“Wait, so I’m actually going to be staying in that small room for the rest of my life?”
“No, you’re only going to be in there for a few hours of each day. That way the museum will get more business for a while. The other hours of the day you will be my responsibility.”
“Meaning that I will be teaching you everything there is to know about today and eventually you will be one of the leaders for a rebellion. It seems crazy right now, but you’ll understand soon, I promise.”
“Why me? Of all people in the world, why me?” I had a good life going for myself.
“As you know, your father passed away when you were six. And your mother was becoming very ill.”
“Yes, I know all of that.”
“The day you left for your first day of high school, your Mother had fallen and hit her head on the bathtub. It was very hard and she had no access to get help. And with her disease…”
“Chris, what are you saying?”
“She passed away that morning. And since you didn’t really have any other close family, you were going to be put into a foster home.” She died? No, that couldn’t be. “I’m really sorry, Coral. I just didn’t want you to go through that, I really didn’t.” I didn’t say anything, I couldn’t. “No one knows about what my true plans are for you. And so I want to make it great. I know you, and I know you like to do great for anything you possibly can. Your journey will begin here now.”