The sudden blackness and rays of light were over almost as soon as they had started.
“Waa, waa…what was that,” Peter stammered, turning to look at Adriana with a look of absolute shock upon his face.
“Oh my gosh,” Adriana exclaimed, burrying her face in her hands, “How could this have happened?”
“Don’t get mad, Adrian,” Ursula said, coming closer to the front of the van, “He didn’t know.”
“Right,” Jessie agreed, “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?” He looked like he could cry any minute.
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. “We’re gonna take you home.” For a flicker of a moment she thought of not taking him back, but, that was irrational, and Adriana hated to think of herself being unreasonable.
“Link,” Jessie said quietly, “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 the problem is. 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. Some people tell me I'm not too bright, 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.”
“How am I going to explain,” Adriana asked herself quietly.
“Link,” Jessie asked, after a few moments silence and seeing that Adriana was at a loss for words, “why don’t you try?”
“Okay,” began Link, “I’ll try.”
Link then 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 said to Peter after Link had finished his explaination, “and I understand you want to go home, but it looks like you’re going to have to spend a bit of time in the year 2000 until we can get the devise fixed and take you back.”
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, and now that we will be spending more time together, I will gladly spend more than a few days in this time.”
Adriana smiled and 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, and Adriana and her friends had answered them with laughter and patience. Now that they were back, the topic came up of where Peter was to stay.
“Well,” Adriana said, pushing her hair behind her ears, “I guess he could stay with me. I’m the only one who has the room.” Ursula lived with her parents and sister, and Jessie and Link both lived at home with their parents as well. Adriana had taken over the rent to her parent’s condo when they moved to Chicago after her dad’s job got transferred.
Peter looked shyly at Adriana. “I have two bedrooms and plenty of room. You can be the roommate I never had,” she said.
“Wow, what’s this,” Peter asked as he walked into the spacious living room at Adriana’s home 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. “Missing Links Vol. 3” 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 you press them.
“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, moving to take Adriana’s hand and lead her to sit on the couch with him.
For a moment there was nothing but the sounds of “Wild Horses” and her own heart beating as she moved to sit beside him. Half 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 asked, changing the subject.
“Sure,” he said, “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. “I love that movie. My mother took me to see a reshowing of that at a theater when I was little.”
“It’s one of my favorites too,” she said as she showed him how to work the contraption.
“What’s this called again,” he asked.
“A VCR,” she answered.
“Man,” Peter said laughing, “things in the future must move really fast. Everything is abbreviated.”
The two spent the night watching movies and listening to music. She decided against showing him too many movies, it could cause too much confusion, but music hadn’t changed too much over the years. He liked hearing the CD versions of all his old favorite songs he remembered.
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.
The warm August days had been spent enjoying the simple things in life. Things that were consistent in any time. Going to the park, bike riding, swimming, playing sports, and talking with friends. She longed to be able to show him 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. “What’s going on,” she thought.
Peaking her head 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 an episode!"
Peaking around the corner again, she saw Peter put his head between his hands and sadly sigh as he watched what he thought was himself kiss "Valerie" on the cheek.
It had to be explained.
“Peter,” Adriana said gently, stepping up behind him.
Peter jumped 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 answered. “I knew you were going back so I thought it was better that you didn’t know.”
“That I didn’t know,” he asked. “You thought it would be better if I didn’t know that everyone in the past years were filmed by strangers who then pass off their lives as television and video entertainment?”
“Peter,” she said reaching for him, “wait.”
“No,” he said with an uncharacteristic rise in his voice, “everything is on these tapes. The ‘episode’ 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, folding her arms, “are you done?”
“I guess so,” he said, tears once again forming in his eyes, “but you owe me an explanation.”
“I suppose I do,” 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 (as they were known now) 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.
“Well,” Adriana said with a 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 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’m sorry I got angry,” he said, reaching out to touch her arm.
“It’s okay,” she said placing her hand over his. “I can’t begin to even understand how difficult this must be for 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 like you Peter,” she began, “I really do, but I just can’t get too attached.”
"Why,” he pressed, turning her face back towards him.
“You’re going back home tomorrow,” she said, “and if I let myself feel what I think I want to feel, I’m just going to end up disappointed.”
Adriana then broke away from him 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 things floating around 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, “are you two ready to go?”
“I guess I slept a little late,” Adriana said, opening the door to invite them in. “We’ll be ready in a few minutes.”
Thirty minutes later Adriana, Peter, Ursula, Jessie, Link, and Peter 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, everything occurred as it was supposed to and the next thing they knew, they were once again on the beach in California.
“Ahh,” said Peter, stepping out into the sand, “It’s good to be back.”
The five of them were then bombarded with the voices of Mike, Micky, and Davy, who had been combing the beach nearly non-stop for the three days looking for any trace of their friend.
“Peter,” they all shouted, running to where the van had appeared.
“Hey, guys,” Peter shouted back, running to hug his friends.
“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 said, looking at Jessie, “I knew I shouldn’t have come with.”
“Boy,” Mike said to Peter and the others, “do you 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,” Micky said, clasping his hands together and looking up, “the future, and alternate universe where I’m a thstar!”
“You’re not a star, shotgun,” Mike corrected, “the alternate Dolenz is.”
“Shucks,” Micky said snapping his fingers, “I had such hopes.”
“Groovy,” Davy said, “I’d love to go to the future.” He turned to Ursula and commented. “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, “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. Babbit’s been hounding us for the rent all week. We got an eviction notice today.”
“Yeah,” said Micky, “if we don’t find a place to stay soon we’re gonna be out on our butts faster than you can say ‘crayon’.”
“Huh,” everyone asked.
“Nevermind,” 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. They looked back at her as if to say, “the choice was in her hands.”
Adriana sighed a deep sigh. “Well, you better start now,” she told the four guys, “you’re gonna be packing for a 34 year trip.”
Go on to part three...
Or, go back to the library
Or, go home (don't you love having a choice?) :-)