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I twirled my pencil between two fingers as I counted the seconds ticking by on the clock. Just a few minutes and I was finally out of there for the whole summer. My mind wandered to what would hopefully become of the three months I got to spend in the Dominican Republic with my best friend Lacey. I suddenly focused back in on my math class in time to hear the release bell ring. I ran out of that school as fast as I could without looking back. I had endured months of drudgery looking forward to this summer.

   My hands were sweating as I waited to board the plane. I knew the Dominican would be nothing like the small town in Michigan where I had lived my whole life. I’d made sure to pack anything I could possibly need for a six-hour flight. Books, headphones, chargers, blankets, and a plethora of snacks ranging from savory to sweet.

    A nice woman sat next to me who looked to be about in her twenties. She looked over to me and I knew the dreaded small talk was bound to follow.

   “Hi! My name is Nanci. You look pretty young to be traveling on your own.”

     “Oh,” I responded. “Yeah, I’m going to visit my best friend. My names Violet by the way.”

     The violent shaking of the plane woke me suddenly. My heart pounded against my chest. I knew the outcome of this situation and all I could think to do was pray. In the chaos that unfolded around me, I sat serenely with my hands folded in front of me.

     In a mere matter of seconds, everything stopped. The shaking, the screaming, the anxiety. It was over. We were all dead.

    I regained a dazed consciousness with barely any ability to recollect any of the events that had just occurred. I looked around bewilderedly as did the other passengers. Finally, a brave man stood hesitantly and yelled for the pilot. A man sauntered out with a maniacal grin spread across his wrinkly cheeks. He was the same man I had seen getting on but something felt different.

    “Follow me homosapiens,” the man exclaimed cheerily. He sounded as though he was attempting to be comforting but just came off as a menacing tour guide. Reluctantly everyone departed the plane after the man.

     Outside stood trees that were hundreds of feet tall and stretched on in patches for miles. Even taller buildings touched the sky painting an incredible horizon. Colorful flowers and plants were scattered throughout the fields. Even more beautiful still were the futuristic skyscrapers that stood on every street corner. This place, wherever it was, seemed to be a beautiful version of Earth. Although, I couldn’t be sure that’s where we were.

    I didn’t have to wonder much longer. “Welcome to the Bermuda Triangle!’ Everyone gasped in shock and disbelief. “We know you all have questions. And we would be happy to answer them all. But first, let us show you to your rooms.”

    I’m not sure why but I was eager to follow them. Either this was real or I was officially losing my mind. We strolled through the streets of the Bermuda Triangle which was nothing like I had imagined. Colorful buildings lined streets of titanium.

    The man took a sharp turn and led the group down another street into a tall building. “Now if you all go to the front desk they’ll get you settled. If you have any questions just call the helpline and someone will assist you right away.”

   “But what’s the phone number for the assistance line,” A woman in the back of the group asked.

      “Just pick up the phone. It’ll call whoever you want. As long as they’re in the Triangle of course,” the man laughed. “My name is Evard Dresden and if you need anything just give me a ring!” And with that Evard was off and the group was left to our own devices.

      Slowly everyone made their way to the front desk and received a room key. In groups, we went into the elevators to our new homes. A voice whispered in my ear, ”Please be my friend. I was on this trip alone and now I have nobody.” I turned suddenly to face a girl about my age with an anxious face.

     “Yeah. I could use a friend too, ”I responded trying not to sound too relieved.”I’m Violet.”

     “Thank God! I’m Jade,” she said flipping her jet black hair over her shoulder. She edged toward me in the crowded elevator and I was overwhelmed with happiness to have a friend. The elevator dinged and we stepped off into a long hallway with gray walls and hideously orange colored carpets. Slowly we made our way down to our rooms which were coincidentally close.

       The door opened to reveal a room with a small kitchen and living room. The decor was disgusting but I figured I’d have the rest of my life to fix that.

     Quickly a terrible realization flooded my mind. I would never see any of the people I loved ever again. Sure I had only ever loved Lacey as she had been there for me when no one else was. And now I would never get to her again.

     Bile filled my mouth and I ran to the bathroom holding in all my vomit until the last second. Finally, I let it all out with one hand holding my hair back and the other on the edge of the toilet seat. When every last bit of food had left me I dry heaved as tears rolled down my cheeks and onto my lips.

       Jade ran into the room in a panic,” Oh my god! Violet! Are you okay? What happened?”

        Sitting on the floor of the bathroom I told her everything. My whole story. I was in foster care my entire life with one friend, Lacey. A few months before I was adopted by an abusive couple she had left with a rich family. They moved to the Dominican Republic to help the poverty-stricken families and left me here. Every now and then I could sneak onto the family computer to email her and we planned this trip. In fact, the couple that adopted me didn’t even know I had left.

     We sat a few minutes in stunned silence before she broke down into tears and hugged me tightly. She explained how her parents had died when studying abroad and she was flying to the funeral in the Dominican Republic. Together we sat there and cried and eventually we felt better.

     That night we had a sleepover in my room. We figured we should stay together and keep each other company in this difficult time.

     Before I knew it bright sunlight had shone through the thin curtains on the side of my bedroom and I awoke from the best sleep I had ever had. To the right of me, Jade had sat up yawning. In front of us on the television stand, were two piles with notes on top. One said my name and the other said “Jade.”

     There were piles of clothing for each of us and a letter explaining how every morning anything needed for the day would be provided. I had a toothbrush, hairbrush, clothes, and a handkerchief.

     Jade and I stared at the handkerchief baffled at what I could need it for. I figured it would be a regular emotional breakdown and stuffed into the purse I had gotten with a phone and some cash.

     Jade took her clothes into the bathroom and we both changed into our daily wear. She came out in a pastel pink skirt and black spaghetti strap top. I wore a more simple sunflower graphic tee and light denim shorts.

    We slung our purses over our shoulders and headed out for a day of exploration. The bright blue sky stretched on for miles over us as we stepped in the warm air. The huge buildings I had seen before were there and everywhere was bustling with people.

    I couldn’t help feeling happy in this mysterious town. I had a friend, an apartment, and free money! We walked down the street to some boutiques that sold adorable clothes and knick-knacks. A lady in one of the boutiques explained that we only got new clothing for the first month and after that, we could buy our own.

    In a small pub next to the bookstore we settled in for some drinks and snacks. We shared an order of nachos and drank the most delightful root beer floats!

    As we walked back to our rooms reminiscing over a day well spent we passed a large electronic sign. “New passengers have arrived!” Could be read in large flashing letters.

    We curiously strolled into the building behind the sign in time to see a plane land in a small clearing. We could hear the same talk we had gotten after we landed and suddenly passengers were cautiously exiting the plane.

    Out of nowhere, some familiar long, wavy, blond hair stepped out of the vehicle. A sob billowed out of me and before I knew it, Lacey and I were running at each other as fast as we could. She jumped into my arms and we fell to the ground crying tears of joy. Not far behind, her mother followed with tears brimming her eyes but obviously not wanting her daughter to see her cry.

   Jade walked near us slowly. “Oh! Lacey before we catch up, this is Jade,” I managed to get out before collapsing into Lacey’s arms once more.

    “We were worried when we heard your plane had crashed. So we came back home to collect your things and take them back with us. On our way back the plane crashed and I was devastated. But now I’ve found you I can finally be happy again!”  

    “That’s the cheesiest thing I have ever heard,” I said laughing with tears streaming down my face. I grabbed the handkerchief out of my purse and dabbed away Lacey’s tears and my own.

    Jade and I showed them around, pointing out all our favorite locations and even our room. Lacey guffawed at the dark green dresser in my room next to my purple curtains. “The Violet I know would have never allowed this!” We laughed as I explained my plan for redecorating.

    Everyday Lacey, Jade and I would spend all our time together. No one could name a better trio than the “Bermuda Triangle Besties.”

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