Rachel shivered as the wind blew past her. She pulled her coat tighter hoping the weather would warm up sooner rather than later. Her backpack became heavier and heavier as she approached her apartment.
The building gleamed a brilliant white in the bright spring sun. If not for the wind, it would be a very nice day. Rachel opened the door just as Aiden was stepping out. He smiled at her holding the door for her.
"Hey Rachel." He said.
"Hey Aiden." She replied. She smiled, but quickly turned away, hoping he wouldn't see her blush.
"I was wondering if you had any plans tomorrow night." He said before she could make it too far.
"Um, not that I can think of."
"Oh, cool. Maybe me and you could like catch a movie and dinner or something."
Rachel thought for a moment. Tomorrow would mark the three year anniversary since her return. "I would love to. Where and when?"
"I'll stop by your apartment at six." Aiden sounded relieved.
"Alright. See you then." Rachel waved.
"See you." He smiled once more before continuing out the door. Rachel smiled too and continued up to her apartment. There her roommates eagerly awaited her return.
"Was class that good?" Cassie asked when she stepped through the door.
"No, I mean yes class was good, but that's not why I'm smiling." Rachel explained.
"Oh. Do tell." She slid over making a spot for Rachel to sit down on their worn couch.
Rachel told her about her date and Cassie squealed with excitement bringing Laura and Georgia to the living room. Rachel quickly retold it so they could join in the happiness. Georgia than had to leave for class and Cassie for work. Rachel went to her room to work on homework, though she accomplished little. She was too busy thinking of the next night and what wonders it might hold.
The rain splashed on her window making it difficult to sleep. Or it could be left over energy from her date. Aiden had been amazing and he had asked her out next week too. Rachel smiled and rolled over trying to get comfortable. She had class tomorrow and it was review for finals. It had taken a lot of work, but she had managed to catch up on several years of school and graduate on time.
Lightning flashed outside and Cassie began snoring loudly. Sighing Rachel turned to the other side. She had so much good in her life, but deep down she still missed it. If only there was a way back, but so far she didn't know of any. Tears began to form at her eyes as she thought of it. She shut them tighter and forced the memories away. Time made them no less painful.
Just as consciousness was slipping away, Rachel thought she heard something outside. Sitting up, she quickly grabbed her phone and turned on the screen. The faint light showed nothing, but banging came from out in the hall. Deciding to investigate, Rachel got out of bed and slipped on some shoes. Quietly she slipped out of her bedroom and made her way towards the door leading to the hallway.
Taking a deep breath, Rachel whipped the door open, finding nothing. She stepped out into the chilly hallway and looked in both directions. A shadow moved suddenly towards the stairs, and Rachel ran to catch it. It looked familiar. Something she hadn't seen for years.
As she reached the stairs she glimpsed the shadowy figure running upwards. She began taking the steps to at a time hoping to reach it. The shadow continued upwards which worried Rachel. These stairs led all the way to the roof.
She passed the top floor of the building and still pushed onward. She knew it would be cold, but she had to see it. She heard the door open and caught it before it could close. Rushing out into the rain, Rachel got her first real view of the figure. She gasped, her suspicions confirmed.
"What are you doing here?" She asked the creature. It stopped and faced her. She then realized how stupid she was as it couldn't speak.
It began walking towards her. She instinctively began backing up, but at an angle to avoid the stairs. She reached the edge of the roof and stopped. The shadow continued it's advanced. It reached out its hands towards her and she felt herself bump into the guardrail.
"Wait. You'll make me fall." She pleaded. It continued towards. Once it got within a few steps, it held out its shadowy hands. Reflexive Rachel leaned back and before she knew what was happening, she fell off the building.
A million thoughts were flying through her head, but above them all was the one question of why. She closed her eyes, but then everything changed. It felt like she was flying upwards not down. The rain disappeared and bright sunlight burned her skin.
Opening her eyes, Rachel found herself lying in a field. A field which looked strangely familiar. Hope filled at the thought. Could she be back? Realizing she was still in her pajamas and soaking wet, she decided to find a town. Looking around, she saw trails of smoke in the air. At least it was a place to start. Standing up, Rachel made her towards the source of smoke.