It was early in the evening. Mum had returned from a day out shopping and was showing my brother and I what she had bought. She held up a black cold shoulder top with a lace up front. We couldn’t hold back our disdain at her new favourite top – we told her it was far too young for her and was a bit too revealing, but she didn’t listen, and hopped upstairs to change into it. Mum and I were going to Oxford to watch a play, and she wanted to dress up for the occasion.
Oxford was no busier than usual, and we got into the theatre with no problems. Half of the seats were empty; I don’t remember being excited to see the show. Something about a war in the middle ages, I think.
The lights dimmed, and 3 giant spotlights lit up the stage. The set was decorated with grass and leaves, and under each spotlight at the front of the stage stood a man covered in a sheet of burlap, with only his legs visible, like three unmoving ghosts.
I wasn’t too interested in the play, I didn’t watch much of it. I moved away from Mum and found another seat next to a girl that looked exactly like Luna Lovegood. She offered me some snacks as she had brought so much with her.
The play ended, and I shuffled out with the rest of the crowd; the show was pretty underwhelming. I saw Ollie outside the venue anxiously waiting for me, panicking because he hadn’t heard from me in a while. We walked to the bus stops, and as I was checking which stop we needed, I noticed a group of people I went to school with. One of the boys approached me with a yellow bucket and started sloshing it in my direction, splattering some of the murky liquid on my yellow top. Horrified, I asked, “What the hell is that?”
“Oddiments” He replied. A woman nearby spotted the puzzled look on my face and grabbed the bucket. She read the label on the side “It says it’s a combination of animal product and waste”. The boy looked at me like it was obvious. I moved away from the group and watched them all clamber onto the bus that had just arrived.
Ollie wasn’t sure which bus to take but I assured him I knew which one would take us home. It was night time now and pitch black, the road was packed with buses and their headlights illuminated the whole street. We hopped on a bus, and half an hour later we found ourselves in New York City!
Ollie was freaking out, but I was captivated by the city, wondering where we should go and what we should do first – I had always wanted to come here and never realised it was this easy. Ollie suggested we get some food before we figure out what to do next, and he insisted that we ate somewhere cheap. We walked up and down the streets until we found a small tucked away restaurant.
Walking in, I had a sinking feeling that it was going to be expensive; a huge chandelier hung from the ceiling and every piece of furniture looked too expensive to use. I could hear faint chatter and jazz music playing in the background; this did not look like what Ollie had in mind. He marched straight up to the bar and asked if they sold cheap food, and the man behind a bar gave us a menu. They didn’t have a theme and instead served a bit of everything: Steak pies, hot dogs, and Japanese noodle soup – and it was all 9 dollars each.
And then I woke up.