“Waa, waa…what was that,” Peter stammered, breaking the silence and turning to glance at Adriana with a look of absolute shock upon his face.
“Oh, my gosh,” Adriana groaned, burying her face in her hands, “How could this have happened?”
“It’s alright,” Ursula said, coming closer to the front of the van, “He didn’t know.”
“Right,” Jessie agreed, nodding quickly, “we’ll just reset the date thing and take him back.”
“Take me back where,” Peter asked, looking at his traveling companions for answers, “What’s going on?”
Adriana turned and placed her hand on his shoulder. His light brown eyes glassed over with the threat of tears. “Peter, it’s okay,” she said reassuringly, but making more of an effort to try and reassure herself. “We’re gonna take you home.”
But, for a flicker of a moment, she thought of what life might be like if she didn’t take Peter home. What would it be like to have her favorite Monkee here with her in the year 2000?
“Link,” Jessie said quietly, breaking into Adriana’s thoughts, “why don’t you go ahead and set the date back to 1967.”
“Sure,” Link said, grabbing the calculating device and typing in the information. He then reached forward and pressed the button behind the rearview mirror. They braced themselves for the lights, but nothing happened.
“Oh, great,” Ursula said, “now what?”
“I don’t know,” Link said, hitting the calculating devise with the side of his hand. “The problem appears to be with this devise here. It doesn’t seem to be computing the data that I put into it correctly to transfer to whatever leads to the button on the mirror.”
“Can you fix it,” asked Adriana, half pleading.
“It shouldn’t be too difficult,” Link said, examining the devise. “It’s more than likely a problem with the memory. I would have to take it to my office and figure out exactly what’s up. It doesn’t look like we’ll be going anywhere tonight, at least not outside of this time period.”
“Hey,” Peter spoke up, “would somebody please tell me what’s going on? The guys are always telling how I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but one minute we’re on the beach and now we’re sitting in some sort of parking lot next to a highway, with no beach in sight!”
“Link,” Jessie asked, after a few moments silence and seeing that Adriana was at a loss for words, “why don’t you try?”
Adriana sat in silence for a few minutes while Link began to explain, as best as he could, how the group had gotten to the year 1967.
“I know this is a lot to handle,” Adriana finally said to Peter after Link had finished his explanation, “and I understand you want to go home, but until Link can get this thing fixed…I think you’re stuck here for awhile.”
Peter sighed and looked down at his hands. “It is a lot to handle,” he answered. “And I’m not sure I totally understand it all, but I was really sad that you had to leave. We...well, we don’t meet a lot of girls who wanna hang around all of us too much. I think it’ll be cool to spend some time with you…and everybody.”
Adriana smiled, blushing a bit as she started the engine, “Well, I guess it’s time to introduce you to the year 2000.”
Adriana pulled into the Ment’s driveway once again. Peter had been excited and full of questions all the way to Ursula’s home. Adriana was surprised that Peter was taking the time travel shock so well. The more she thought about it, the more she began to realize that this Peter, obviously being from the television dimension of the Monkees and not the real actor Monkees, his mind was much more open to things of fantasy than the average person. She smiled as she thought to herself how what she had experienced the past few days seemed totally impossible and unthinkable before.
After this, she doubted that she would ever question any phenomenon again.
Soon the topic arose as to where Peter would be staying while he was there. Ursula lived with her parents and sister, and Jessie and Link both lived at home with their parents as well. Adriana, however, had taken over the rent to her parents’ condo when they moved to Chicago after her step-father’s job was transferred.
“Well,” Adriana said, nervously pushing her hair behind her ears, after a bit of debate, “I guess he could stay with me. I’m the only one who has the room.”
Peter looked shyly at Adriana. “I have two bedrooms and plenty of room. You can be the roommate I never had,” she said, shrugging off nagging thoughts as she laughed at the idea of Peter Tork as her roommate.
“Wow, what’s this,” Peter asked with awe as he walked into the spacious living room at Adriana’s apartment later that evening. “What’s what,” she asked, tossing her keys on the counter and flipping though some mail.
“That,” he said, pointing at her CD player.
“Oh,” she said, setting down the mail and walking into the living room, “that’s a CD player. It plays music.”
“How,” Peter asked, walking over and sitting on the floor next to the table it rested on.
“Gee, I forgot, the farthest advance you’ve seen in music is records,” Adriana said, laughing to herself. She then pulled a CD off the shelf. “The Birds, the Bees, and the Monkees” it read. “Nope,” she thought to herself, “I’ll save that for later… Or maybe not at all. Dr. Brown on Back to the Future always said it’s dangerous for a person to know too much about his or her own future. But then, it’s not even his real future. It’s his real counterpart’s future. Man, this is getting too confusing.”
On second and third thought, she pulled down “The Best of the Rolling Stones”. Bringing it over to Peter, she showed him the disk and explained to him how the lasers inside the machine were able to play the music, almost like a needle did on a record player.
“Wow,” he exclaimed as she showed him how to place the disk in the drive and what the different buttons do when they are pressed.
“Wild horses, couldn't drag me away….” Mick Jagger sang in with his raspy voice.
“The Rolling Stones are great,” Peter said as he listened to the music coming out of the multiple speakers in the room.
“Yeah,” Adriana said, closing her eyes, finding herself falling into the music like she always did, “I think so too.”
"I know I've dreamed you...I have my freedom, but I don't have much time. Fate has been broken, tears must be cried. Let's do some living after we die.” “Wow, the music seems so much clearer now,” he said with a smile. “The sound is amazing.”
“I spent one of my first major tax returns on this setup,” she said, leaning back on the couch and closing her eyes. “It was a splurge, but totally worth it.” Peter and Adriana sat in silence as the music played on. She smiled contently at how nice it felt to be with someone that she admired so much, who even accepted her and shared so much of what she loved. However, once again, the thoughts of this not being the real Peter Tork invaded her mind as she looked over at the innocent face tapping out a beat on his knees. This Peter Tork would never have to endure the rejection of being laughed out of the studios for wanting to play his own music on Monkees albums, in fact, this Peter Tork probably wouldn’t make any albums at all. His life consisted of what was on the television show. Simple, classic story-lines about good guy/bad guy conflictions, haunted houses, and trying to find a gig in time to pay the rent. Nothing that couldn’t be solved in thirty minutes. Was there more to him, though?
“There has to be,” Adriana thought, closing her eyes again. She fell in like with the Monkees as a combination of the characters they played on TV, as well as their own, real-life personalities. This one sided Peter Tork had to have as much, if not more, heart as the real Peter.
When the song ended and another started, she opened her eyes to find Peter had taken a seat next to her on the couch. Part of her wanted something to happen as they sat there listening to the song, but the other half wanted to bolt out the nearest door when she turned and saw the way he was looking at her. What did she want anyway?
She felt the heat flood into her cheeks as she dropped his gaze and got quickly got up to turn off the music. “Why don’t I show you the VCR,” she suggested, changing the subject.
“Sure,” he said, sitting up and listening, “what’s a VCR?”
“Well,” she answered, walking over to her entertainment center, “it’s a unit that plays movies.” She moved back to the shelf and grabbed a video. Looking at the title, she quickly put it back and searched for something he might be more familiar with. “Ahh, here we go, ‘Wizard of Oz’,” she said showing him the videocassette.
“Ooh,” he said, clasping his hands together in delight. “I love that movie. My mother took me to see a re-showing of that at a theater when I was little.”
“It’s one of my favorites too,” she said, smiling again at their similarities, as she showed him how to work the contraption.
“What’s this called again,” he asked, furrowing his brow.
“A VCR,” she answered patiently.
“Man,” Peter said with a laugh, “things in the future must move really fast. Everything is abbreviated.”
The two new friends spent the rest of the night watching movies and listening to music. She decided against showing him too many movies, it could cause too much confusion, but most of her music was from the 60’s, so that was no problem.
More than once that night, she could hardly believe her good fortune in having one of her favorite icons in her home. She could barely dream of what could become of it all.
Adriana rolled over in her bed and squinted at the clock. “Three thirty,” she said to herself, “why am I so awake all of a sudden?”
She stepped out of bed into her slippers and put on her robe. “Thank goodness it’s the weekend, or I’d have a heck of a time getting up in the morning.”
Peter had been in the year 2000 for three days now. It had taken Link longer to fix the devise then he had expected. A special memory chip had to be ordered from a company across the US. Even with express mail, it was taking a long time.
She longed to be able to show Peter everything that had gone on in the 33 years that he knew nothing about, but she knew she couldn’t expose him to all of that. And she definitely couldn’t tell him that he wasn’t the “real” Peter H. Torkleson.
Opening the door to her room, she saw a light flickering off the wall of the living room. Peaking around the corner she saw Peter sitting in front of the television, with a shocked look on his face. “When I was young, I was embarrassed to talk about kissing. But now I can talk frankly about S-E-X.” "Oh no," Adriana exclaimed quietly to herself, slipping back around the corner. "He found a Monkees episode!"
Looking around the corner again, she saw Peter put his head between his hands and sadly sigh as he watched himself kiss "Valerie" on the cheek.
Adriana could avoid it no longer. It had to be explained.
“Peter,” Adriana said gently, quietly stepping up behind him.
Peter sat up with a jolt of surprise when he heard his name called. Standing to his feet and flipping off the television, he pointed at the screen.
“When were you going to tell me about this,” he began.
“I..I..I didn’t want to tell you,” she stammered. “I knew you were going back so I thought…I thought it was better that you didn’t know.”
“That I didn’t know,” he asked, his eyes narrowing in disbelief and confusion. “You thought it would be better if I didn’t know that everyone in the past years was filmed by strangers, who then pass off their lives as television and video entertainment?”
“Peter,” she said, reaching for him, wanting to slow him down as she realized what he thought he saw, “wait.”
“No,” he said with an uncharacteristic rise in his voice, “everything is on these tapes. The one I was just looking at showed my relationship with my ex-girlfriend, Valerie. I watched another one where I made the mistake of selling my soul to learn to play the harp. Man, those were private moments in my life. How many other people have seen these? All of our music is on here too. I feel like my whole life has been invaded. And you! No wonder I felt connected to you. You know all about me! But, not because of a special connection, but because of these stupid videos!”
“Peter,” Adriana said, feeling awful, “please let me explain. Can I?”
“I guess so,” he said, tears once again forming in his eyes, “but it better be a pretty good one.”
“I’ll do my best,” she said as she sat down on the couch and began to explain to him that her and her friends had traveled to 1967, but not the 1967 that corresponded to the year 2000 that they are in now. The 1967 they had visited, the 1967 that Peter was from, was an alternate 1967, where the fictional television characters of the Monkees were real.
“So you mean that everyone’s lives in the past were not filmed and documented for the future’s entertainment,” Peter asked quietly, after a few moments.
“Well,” Adriana said with a small smile, “I know some paranoid people who always feel like their being watched, but no, not everybody’s lives were recorded. See, in my time you and the guys are a TV series. Kinda like “I Dream of Jeanine”, you remember that?”
“Yeah,” he said, managing a smile, “Davy really dug that Jeanine character.”
“Figures,” Adriana said, rolling her eyes. “Now imagine that in an alternate universe, Jeanine, who you had been watching on television, actually had that life for real. That’s how it is for us.”
“Oh,” Peter said, nodding his head slowly, “I think I get it.”
“Good,” said Adriana, breathing a sign of relief. “I know it’s a lot to take. I’m even having trouble sometimes understanding it all, or even pinch myself to wake me out of this in case it’s not real.”
“Really,” Peter asked.
“Yeah,” Adriana answered, blushing a bit as she pushed up the sleeve of her robe to reveal a couple of tiny bruises on her arm. “Hey, I tried everything. It is a totally real, but totally unbelievable honor to meet you guys…especially you.”
“Wow,” Peter breathed, “I always wanted to meet my biggest fan.”
“I’m sorry I got angry,” Peter said a few moments later, reaching out to touch her arm.
“It’s okay,” she said, carefully placing a hand over his. “It has to be really hard for you to be away from everything that’s familiar to you.”
“You’ve made it easier,” Peter said, looking at her again that certain way that made her face flush.
Adriana managed to smile at him, thinking that it would be so easy to do what part of her wanted to do, but she slowly dropped her head and turned away.
“What’s wrong,” Peter asked.
“I have to confess to you Peter,” she began, hardly believing her own boldness, “but I’ve had a crush on you since I was like, eight….but it’s not logical for me to get too attached.”
"Wow,” Peter whispered, “but, why?”
“You’re going back home tomorrow,” she said quickly, “and if I let myself feel what I think I might feel now that I’ve met you, I’m just going to end up getting hurt.”
Before Peter could speak again, Adriana broke away and quickly walked back to her room. Shutting the door behind her, she flopped on the bed and starred up at the ceiling, a thousand thoughts floating in her mind. Sometimes her feelings left her so frustrated, she wanted to cry. She wouldn’t allow it though, crying was weak, and she wasn’t about to cry over what she couldn’t have. She pulled the covers tightly over her and fell asleep.
Early the next morning the doorbell rang. Adriana got up to answer it and found Link and Jessie standing there with the calculator devise in hand.
“Hey,” Jessie said, poking her head inside, “are you two ready to go?”
“I guess I slept a little late,” Adriana said, groggily, opening the door to invite them in. “We’ll be ready in a few minutes.”
About half an hour later, Adriana, Peter, Ursula, Jessie, and Link had all climbed in the van and made their way to the rest stop where they had first taken the unexpected leap into the past. After setting the devise for 1967, the group sat back and got ready for the ride. This time, as Adriana pushed the red button, the flashing lights returned and soon, they were once again on the beach in California.
“Ahh,” said Peter, stepping out into the sand, “It does feel good to be back.”
Suddenly, the five were bombarded with the voices of Mike, Micky, and Davy, who had been combing the beach nearly non-stop for the days looking for any trace of their friend.
“Peter,” they all shouted, running to where the van had appeared.
“Man, Peter, where have you been,” Mike asked.
“Yeah,” Micky continued, “we were gonna send out the National Guard.”
“Ursula,” Davy said, walking over to where Ursula stood, “I knew fate would bring you back to me.”
“Ugh,” Ursula groaned, looking at Jessie, “I knew I shouldn’t have come with.”
“Boy,” Mike said to Peter and the others, “do ya’ll have some explaining to do.”
Looking at Adriana, who nodded with permission, Peter began, “Well, I guess we should go up to the Pad. There’s a lot to talk about.”
After explaining to Mike, Micky, and Davy exactly what had happened, and after the initial shock had worn off, a buzz of excitement floated across the room. “Wow,” said the cosmically-minded Micky, who was the first to believe the amazing concept, clasping his hands together and looking up, “the future, and alternate universe where I’m a thstar!”
“You’re not a th-star, shotgun,” Mike corrected, teasing at Micky’s attempt at a comical lisp, “the alternate Dolenz is.”
“Shucks,” Micky said snapping his fingers, “I had such hopes.”
“Groovy,” Davy exclaimed, “I’d love to go to the future.” He turned to Ursula and continued, “If the girls in the future are as beautiful as you, I want nothing more than to travel to this strange and wonderful land.”
Ursula once again rolled her eyes.
“Hey,” Peter said suddenly, “maybe you could come to the future. Maybe we all could go!”
“Oh,” Adriana said, putting her hands out in a stop, “I don’t know. I mean, think of all that could go wrong.”
“I’d like to think of all the things that could go right,” Peter said, looking at her pointedly.
“Well,” Mike said, “we certainly don’t have much going for us here right now. Babbit’s been hounding us for the rent all week. We finally got an eviction notice today.”
“Huh,” everyone asked.
“Never mind,” Micky said, placing his head down on the palm of his hand and staring off into space. “I think it would be really groovy to see the future.”
“Well..,” Adriana said, standing up and sticking her hands in her jean pockets, “I don’t know.” The thought of having all of the Monkees in the year 2000 with her sent a shiver of excitement up her spine, but there would be much explaining to do and who knows the problems that could occur with having them there. She wanted to help the Monkees, and she hated to think that after she left, the guys would be out in the street.
She looked at each of her friends’ faces. What she saw let her know it was her decision.
Adriana sighed a deep sigh. “Well, you better start now,” she told the four guys, “you’re gonna be packing for a 33 year trip.”
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