Atlas was the first to exit the photobooth. Midori was still a little dumbfounded by the situation. She shook her head to get her head back to earth and exit the cabin as well. When both were out, Midori tried not to look at Atlas’ face. Atlas cleared his throat and got closer to the booth again. There was a small space where the pictures were in. Atlas took them and put them in his pocket. Sine Midori wasn’t looking at him, she didn’t notice what he did. After a few awkward minutes in silence, Atlas decided to talk.
— There’s- —he cleared his throat again— there’s a place I’d like to go, it’s a place that I haven’t gone before. Do you want to come?
Midori turned to look at him.
— All right.
Atlas started to walk first, Midori following him closely. It was already dark, so Midori tried to walk as closely to Atlas as she could, still feeling a little nervous about what happened before. After walking for a while, they arrived to a place that looked like a neighborhood. There were houses in both sides. It was one of those movies like neighborhoods where all the houses looked the same except for their colors. Midori was surprised, she wasn’t expecting that in a place like that, they could find a neighborhood, which didn’t seem like it belonged there. Lost in her thoughts and with her eyes everywhere but forward, she bumped into Atlas.
— It’s there.
Atlas pointed to the end of the street. Midori’s eyes opened up in surprise. Just the size of that place made it clear that it was different from the other houses. There were lights everywhere, and a fountain in the middle. Atlas looked at Midori and took her hand, making their way to the mansion. The entrance was protected by a metal gate. Atlas laid his hand on it and gave it a small push, it as open. In front of them was the fountain that they saw in the distance. The lights surrounded the place. Passing by the fountain, they encountered a huge wooden door. Atlas turned the knob and just as easily, the doors opened.
Midori couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She’s never been in such a luxurious place. Everything was completely clean, a complete contrast to that cabin in the woods.
— Do we split to see what’s in here?
Asked Atlas. Midori agreed. Atlas then proceeded to walk towards a set of stairs that were at the back. Midori swiped her hand over a small table that was next to the door. It felt estrange. She observed and analyzed the place. It was incredible. She made her way to the same stairs Atlas went up, but instead of going up, she went down.
When she arrived to the basement, she encountered a door. She got closer to it and pushed it lightly, it was open. “It seems that everything is going to be open” she thought. She slowly made her way inside and noticed a pool table in the middle of the room. She started to walk inside and stumbled over a volleyball ball. She stood up with the ball in hand. While she continued to walk around, she noticed how many more games were in there.
She exited the room after a while and went up the stairs. Besides it, was a sliding crystal door. She looked outside and without thinking it twice, slid the door and got out of there. There was a big pool outside. It was illuminated thanks to the little lights that were at the bottom of it. She sat down at the edge and carefully submerged her feet. The water was cold but that didn’t bother Midori. She supported her hands on the floor and leaned back, looking at the starry sky. She sighed.
— Midori, this is a dream.
In that moment, she quickly turned around after hearing the sliding door behind her.
— Did I scare you?
Atlas asked, making his way to where she was and sitting down by her side. He mimicked her pose and when he submerged his feet on the water, he started to tremble.
— Oof, do you like the cold water?
— Not really, but it feels good.
Right after that, a strange noise was heard. Midori looked at Atlas and chuckled.
— Are you hungry?
— Well… yeah.
— If you want, I can cook you something, I saw the kitchen when we arrived here.
Atlas nodded and both stood up and shook their legs, trying to get them a little drier before entering the mansion. When they arrived to the kitchen, Midori started to check all the cabinets looking for something to cook.
— Do you know how to cook?
— I do my own lunches, so yes.
The results of the search were a small pack of pasta, a few tomatoes and ground beef. Midori took an apron that was hanging from one of the cabinets and put it on. While Midori cooked, Atlas decided to look for something to drink. He looked everywhere but couldn’t find anything. He exited the kitchen and right in front of him was a door. He went inside and what he found was a wine cellar. Wine of all kind. Without thinking it too much, Atlas took the first wine he saw, he didn’t have much knowledge about them so he didn’t have any way to distinguish if they were good or not.
He went back to the kitchen and left the wine on the table. Midori turned around and looked at the wine and then at Atlas. He just shrugged. Midori playfully rolled her eyes and kept cooking. After a few minutes, the food was ready. Midori served two plates and left them on the kitchen table.
— It smells delicious. —said Atlas, sitting down and taking the cutlery—.
— Thank you.
Midori served the wine in two glasses as well and then they started to eat.
— Cheers? —Midori raised her glass—.
They clinked their glasses and took a small sip. Both of them scrunched up their faces, it was still a new flavor for them. They continued to eat their food while talking about everything and anything, taking few sips of their wine along with it. When they finished, Midori tried to get up but she was felt a little dizzy, then she just started to laugh. Atlas tried to get up too but he was feeling the same way. Midori laughed at him. The wine was having its effect in both of them.
Midori started to run all around the kitchen, Atlas ran after her, following her game. Both were laughing like all their problems were inexistent in that moment. On their chase, Midori somehow ended up in the second floor and went inside the master room. She stared at the huge bed that was in the center of it. Atlas bumped into her.
— I gotch-
Midori ran to the bed and climbed on it. She started to jump as if she were in a trampoline. Atlas did the same and started to jump with her. After a good while, both of them were completely exhausted and flopped down to the bed, next to each other. Atlas raised his hand and reached out to Midori, he moved a stray lock of hair that was on her face, gently placing it behind her ear. Atlas started to slowly close his eyes, falling asleep, his hand still cupping Midori’s face. Midori laid her hand over his and closed her eyes, falling asleep by his side.
TO BE CONTINUED.