Chapter 1: Make a Wish
December 15, 2010
Ever since I was a little girl, I was always told that if you wished upon a star, that one thing you most desperately wanted just might come true. To this very day, deep down, I still believe it. However, I know that I had to do my fair share to make whatever I wanted become reality. I understand that life is not a fairytale, if it was, then everything I ever wanted would be mine at this moment, even if I did not know what to do with half of it.
In this case though, wishing was all I could do, for I knew the one thing I have wanted since I was three-years-old could never happen. What surprises me is that even though I am of the age of twenty-one, I still find myself making that silly wish. Perhaps the child in me has yet to see the reality of it all.
My story begins on another humid but rainy morning in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The continuous sounds of everyday life could easily be heard from my bedroom window. My best friend, Jackie, was here for a week during her winter break. At this moment, we laughed and joked as I constantly pushed her over with my bare foot while she sat on the hard tiled floor with her suitcase wide open in front of her. Every once in a while, as she added more clothes and souvenirs in open places, I would tell her of things I experienced or situations we went through since we moved here.
My parents and I had only been living in our new apartment since the end of October when my mom had officially retired from the military back in Virginia. I will admit that moving to Puerto Rico was a big step for the three of us and that it was quite unexpected, but probably necessary with all we had been through. What made a move like this a challenge, is the mere fact that everything ran differently here. Of course, we had already learned some of it the hard way.
Since we moved in, there were still a few boxes I had yet to unpack because everything had been so hectic: dealing with both the water and electric company, getting groceries on a daily basis, helping people we met through our real estate agent get rid of stuff; the list goes on. I figured since I now had time, that I might as well unpack at least one of them so I did not have to worry about it later on. Sitting on my bed with one leg stretched out, I began to examine what was inside the heavy box I had literally dragged out of my small closet. I soon noticed that it contained all of my VHS tapes and DVDs that Mom had mailed down a week prior to her arrival.
While one end of my bed became cluttered with random movies and television series I owned, one movie in particular instantly caught my eye. I glanced carefully at the luminous cover, and at that precise moment, I could feel myself transporting back to my childhood.
"What's that?" Jackie asked when she gazed up from packing her suitcase. With my usual goofy smile plastered on my face, I handed her the DVD. "The Great Mouse Detective, man I haven't seen that movie in years. I'm amazed you still had it packed up. Actually, I'm amazed you had it in the box at all."
"I know me too," I agreed once she handed it back to me. "It's been my favourite Disney film since I was a kid. I remember I constantly watched it whenever I was at Grandma's back in Upstate New York."
"The only thing that I can really remember is that creepy bat. He always frightened me for some reason."
"Same here, in fact, Fidget terrified everyone as far as I know. If I was watching it alone, I'd simply cover my eyes, but if someone else was there with me, I'd come up with an excuse to walk out of the room." I paused for a brief moment while I set the movie next to me. "I'm surprised no one caught on to that," I commented mostly to myself, but loud enough for Jackie to hear.
"Did your cousins watch it as frequently as you did?"
"No, for them, it was mostly something princess related. They weren't into it as much as I was. However, Sissy seemed to enjoy it as much as I did, which is also why Juan can't stand it anymore." Before continuing, I began taking out the rest of the movies and placed them in the growing pile behind me. I watched when several began to slowly slide down the pile before turning back around. "When I was moving to Virginia, I made sure that movie came with me. Since the first time I saw it, I was hooked and for some reason I always wished that I could enter their world."
Trying to hold back a laugh, Jackie smiled widely. "Hey, maybe if you wish one last time, it'll come true," she joked. Giving her a sinister grin, I grabbed one of the pillows from my bed and attempted to hit her with it. Unfortunately, she grabbed it and tried to strike back, but did not succeed.
"Um, don't you think we're a bit old to believe in fairytale dreams like that?" I questioned with a slight hint of sarcasm in my tone while I tossed the empty box to the other side of my small room, listening as it hit the wall and fell to the floor with a big thud.
"You're the one that's obsessed with the movie!" Jackie exclaimed before she paused and glanced down at the case, "and him," she added, placing her finger on one certain character.
Laughing happily, I followed her gaze. "You know, it's not my fault that Disney had to make Basil incredibly handsome!"
"Even if he's a mouse," Jackie quickly added.
"More specifically, an anthromorphic mouse, beside, I'm not that obsessed."
She glared at me with a big smirk on her face and her arms crossed. "Bull," she stated.
"I'm not," I denied once again.
"Okay, so, how much do you want to bet on that, Paula Marie Méndez?"
"Nothing, because I know I'll lose," I hastily replied before adding, "It's a great movie!"
"Maybe so, but still-"
"All right, fine, you win! I'm obsessed with the movie! I'm obsessed with Basil! I will shout it to the world, because I don't care!" We both laughed loudly while I stood proud and tall on my mattress with my arms above me. Out of nowhere, I suddenly had the urge to set my gaze at the time on my iHome that was placed on my wicker dresser. "Hey, Jackie, what time does your flight leave again?"
"Quarter past two," she answered reading it off the paper she had with her, "why do you ask?"
"Oh snap, it's almost noon, so we need to get going." Heading to the closet once again, I snatched my brown flip-flops and slipped them on. "Do you mind getting lunch at the airport? It'd make more sense because traffic is probably going to be lethal on the way."
"Sure, I just need to pack a few more things and I'm good to go."
As predicted, we were stuck in a major traffic jam right on PR-26. It also didn't help that back at the apartment two of the elevators were out of order, which meant that we had to walk down the staircase since we were in a bit of a rush. All around us, drivers beeped their horns or merged dangerously into lanes attempting to get ahead. Waiting impatiently, I checked to see if anything good was on the radio, a few familiar songs here and there, but nothing else. After a while, I reached into the glove compartment to retrieve my small black CD holder. Opening it up, I grabbed the first one I saw, which was a mixed CD that contained some of my favourite Latin artists. The sound of the loud brass and rhythmic beats blared through the speakers causing the windows to vibrate while little by little we moved down the overly crowed highway. Eventually, we finally got through the lunch hour traffic and to make up for time lost, I sped up a bit, cautiously paying close attention to the careless drivers around me.
Roughly, fifteen minutes later, we arrive at the airport in San Juan. After grabbing my little ticket stub from the machine beside me, I drove up the ramp looking for an empty parking spot. A few short minutes passed and I spotted a dark green dented up SUV pulling out and quickly took it before the other vehicle that was waiting for it could. Just in case of there being any conflict, Jackie and I remained in the car snickering to ourselves, waiting for what we soon discovered was a mini grey Prius drive passed. We laughed even harder as we watch the driver of said Prius flail his arms in the air, obviously not thrilled about my quick manoeuvre.
"You are incredibly lucky they didn't get out of the car and chew you out just now," Jackie commented as she stepped out and waited for me to pop open the trunk.
"Oh, I know," I began after rolling up the windows and turning off the ignition, "but there's always the chance that they would have done the same if the tables were turned." Stepping out of the car, I locked the doors and helped Jackie haul out her bags.
Luckily, the airport was not as hectic and crowded as it was when Jackie first arrived. In perfect timing, we managed to get all that needed to be done and head to the nearest food court. Grabbing McDonald's, we sat down and relaxed while reminiscing about all the fun and crazy things we did throughout the week. When it finally came for her to leave, we headed towards the checkpoint where the line already began to grow by the second.
"Check in with me once you reach Atlanta," I told her as I embraced her.
"Will do, I'll let you know if anything comes up." Nodding, I waited until she made it through the checkpoint before heading back home.
It was about midnight when I received another call from Jackie informing me that her flight had finally reached the airport in Richmond, Virginia. She had called me earlier telling me that her second flight was delayed due to snow and wasn't departing until further notice. After getting off the phone with her, I decided to watch a movie since I was not the least bit tired.
Before doing anything, I organized my movies on some of the shelves in my closet. When I was finished, I grabbed the remaining DVD and placed the disc into the drive on my laptop. I smiled when the familiar caption reading "London 1897" came up and disappeared while the scene zoomed forward. However, not even seven minutes in, my eyes began to become heavy. With the best of my ability, I did all I could to keep my eyes open, alas, I failed to do so. Looking away from the laptop, I glanced up into the night's sky. One of the things I never really liked about living in the city was all the lights that shined at every inch of the area. But tonight, I noticed the strangest thing, above all the bright lights of Bayamon, I spotted a bright star that seemed to make itself known. For a second, I thought I was mistaken it for a helicopter or an airplane, but not once did it move from its place. With the clear sound of my favourite mouse detective's voice from behind me, I closed my eyes tightly.
"I wish I could see his world," I mumbled until seconds later, I fell fast sleep.