I combed my hair and glanced back at my brothers whose hands were meaninglessly going up in the air. But then, by natural instinct, my hand started going up in the same timid way. We were waving at one of our friends out of the window, when a thought suddenly crept into my mind – why should we go? I had always thought of the dome as a pointless white tent, a waste of money and a tourist trap. That’s why I had suggested to my brothers that the dome should be converted into a place of new inventions and technology.
This idea was the one I wrote in the schools newsletter monthly competition although I knew that the idea would be dismissed by one of the teachers like they did with all my other ideas over the past months. My brothers thought that my idea was very rational though they preferred the original idea of the dome. I thought that was fair enough. I didn’t want to visit the gigantic marquee just because my brothers did. Why should I continue to meet everybody’s expectations and act as my brother’s carbon copy?
The three of us brothers spent everyday together sharing the same fair appearance, hobbies and friends. Everyone knew the three of us as either Kav, Harsh n’ Bhav or Bhav, Harsh n’ Kav. We very much liked the attention as we were knew to the country and got to meet many people and make new friends. My brothers usually seemed calm as they normally as they usually hung around together but inside they felt protected when I was with them although they didn’t like the idea of the three of us being together, so we decided to spend the next day apart.
Eventually the day came, I felt a salty droplet trickle down my cheek and onto my tongue, but I hastily wiped it off with the brand new sweatshirt I was wearing to prove to my friends that I could spend a day without seeing my brothers. I was so used to spending the day with my brothers that I wasn’t even able to spend one day alone. I sat on the uncomfortable brown plastic chair gazing pointlessly into space wondering why all schools seemed to have such tasteless faded velvet curtains in assembly halls. This was the thought I would usually share with my brothers but I remained silent. My thoughts were interrupted by a voice of a youngish man with bleached blonde spiky hair, big baggy trousers and a beanie hat who was obviously trying to appeal to a younger audience but I thought he was failing miserably.
After he introduced himself, he performed a short, low-budget one-man performance of a supposedly informative play. As I was thinking for meaningless moral to match his performance I couldn’t help thinking about my brothers and what they would be doing – were they having more fun than me? I trailed my Nike trainers across the playground as I trundled into the smelly changing rooms to change for my least favourite lesson, P. E. Usually, I would skive off with a few mates but I wasn’t up for it – did I start to like the lesson or was I missing my brothers?
I thought it was just because I was missing my brothers. The teacher was very unpleasant and obviously doesn’t practice what she preached. I think I would have got stuck into an exhilarating game of football or ice hockey than jumping and hopping around doing star jumps and step-ups. At lunch, I joined the cafeteria queue, ready to select one of the many greasy dishes available on offer. I couldn’t help thinking about when I would normally sit and eat with my brothers, but this time I was only with my friends. I was nearly in tears.
After I had my lunch I headed across the road to have my regular chat with Mr. Patel at the newsagents. I gathered from his facial expressions that he was surprised to see me alone. I bought my favourite magazine, which is called ‘The Supernatural and the Paranormal’ to read in Geography and headed back to school. During Geography, I had finished my work and took out my magazine to read when our teacher, Mr McNally came along and confiscated my magazine. I asked him ‘why’ a couple of times but I received no answer from him.
I thought we were normally allowed to read when we had finished our work. At the end of school, I headed home. I sat alone on the bus. The old creepy driver puffed non-stop on his cigar. I had wished that the bus had air-conditioning in it. At my stop, I hopped of the bus, contented that I had survived the day. At home, I waited till my brothers came home, I wouldn’t have been able to survive another day without them and I hoped they were feeling the same way. I sprawled my athletic body over the couch and stretched to the table to grab the remote.
As usual, I watched the kid’s programmes and the soaps until tea was ready. I was starting to get annoyed by the kid’s programmes so I turned to the soaps. I turned off the television after half an hour and played some loud rock music. I changed into my baggy pyjamas before quickly scribbling down the answers for tomorrow’s science questions. I eagerly awaited the return of my brothers. In some ways, I hoped they had a miserable time in a hope that they wouldn’t talk about their day for the next decade.
I pondered over what could be in the next part of the magazine that I bought form Mr. Patel’s newsagents. I wondered why buying it and reading it had got me in detention for one hour. We were normally allowed to read a magazine after we had finished our work. I wondered why all teachers were spoilsports and I came to a conclusion that they only confiscated things they found interesting. I heard the key enter the keyhole as it began to turn and open. I quickly ran to the door as my brothers came in. We all sat on the couch and they told me their day from different point of views. I found it very boring although I didn’t mention it.
Luckily, for me, they were miserable too and didn’t enjoy their day. We all decided to go to the Dome together tomorrow, although, I still didn’t like the pointless white tent and I still thought it was a waste of money but I didn’t mention anything to upset my brothers. That night went rapidly and we all slept very soundly. After breakfast, it was time for us to leave for our trip to the dome. As we reached the auditorium, my youngest brother sat on the shiny, yellow plastic chair and my other brother and I sat on the chairs either side of him.
The eclectic cocktail of faces from ages to races fascinated the three of us. The loud music began and many brightly costumed figures appeared from the scaffolding above. The acrobats and dancers were astoundingly good with a change of props and backdrops every couple of minutes. Although one of my brothers didn’t understand the plot, he was astounded by the performance and future ambitions of becoming a stilt walker came into his mind. At the end of the show, my brothers and I headed towards the Body Zone before it got busy.
The feeling of rushing around the metal barriers, knowing that later on there would be hundreds of eager visitors waiting in anticipation to enter the famous Body Zone crept into my mind. My brother was puzzled as to why the heart was next to the foot and why the organs seemed to be misplaced in the over-sized human’s bodies and felt disappointed when he realised that he’d learnt more in his last PE lesson. The thought rushed out of his minds as he got to the front of the queue and closed his eyes to relax when he had got in.
It wasn’t for long though as he was disturbed by a shrill voice – hey bro, lunch time! It was my other brother. McDonalds was the only feature of the Dome that my youngest brother had previously seen advertised – but his heart sank when he saw the queue was even longer than that of the lively school cafeteria. There was much pushing by towering school children that neither of my brothers or I would dare to have confronted them. My brothers and I ordered Vegetarian meals and waited patiently. I wouldn’t exactly call it `fast food’ – what happened to things speeding up in the 21st century?
My youngest brother’s feet ached and he needed energy to get him through the afternoon. He set his brown beady eyes on a comfortable looking chair about twenty metres from the cash desk. Hurriedly collecting the coins, he made a run for it, only to be obstructed and delayed by a careless Chinese tourist trying to take a picture f his family eating! My brother was just about five metres away, when a large palm reached out and a middle-aged man grabbed the chair to join his family. He looked around to see torrents of people flooding the entrance. ”What a disaster” exclaimed Bhavik.
We all ate, then journeyed through the Money Zone. My brothers collected their plastic swipe cards. They couldn’t wait to spend the money given to them, as they usually blew their pocket money the day their received it. My mind wandered as I dreamt of lining my bedroom walls with the hundreds of i?? 20 notes that covered the tunnel I had entered. Reality beckoned and I blew the virtual money on holidays and cars. Next, it was out of the Money Zone and into the Real World. We boarded the vehicle in the Home Planet awaiting the Guided Tour of Earth.
A chirpy, computerised character appeared, who explained all the natural features of the Earth and why they occurred. My younger brother thought that he learnt more in the action-packed excursion than he ever did in Geography and he actually got to feel the spine-tingling still of the Ice Ages and the scorching heat of volcanic eruptions. I thought this Zone made the McDonalds trauma worthwhile.
We sat together in the vehicle and after the 30-minute wait; I was determined to complete the course in a skilful time. I screeched round the corners with style before a dangerous smash into a bridge. minutes 15 seconds – not bad! I slammed the car door shut like a successful Formula 1 driver and stepped out to watch the replay on the computer screen. The feeling was sensational and my name had appeared on the screen, I had beaten the record of the day and I had possibly found niche in my life but I still had the entire dome to explore. My brother’s feet started to ache. The solution to the problem was found in the Rest Zone. We lay on the white concrete floor along with many other visitors. I looked up at the multi-coloured lights and listened to the soothing sounds.
Then my brothers looked up. I wished there was some sort of cushion or metal barriers between the unlevelled concrete flooring, but nevertheless, it was good to have a rest in a zone whose atmosphere managed to severely contrast to that of the Dome. We stepped out of the Dome and headed for the Bus Stop. My brothers wished that they could have spent longer there. They didn’t even get to read the Sky News like many people on the bus, but I really wasn’t up for it, I wasn’t interested! My brothers really enjoyed it.
I overheard them talking to each other about why it will be open for just one year. They were hoping to bring their children here one day if I wasn’t going to close. What will happen to it at the end of the year? I took one final glance at the dome and I was just about to turn my back to face the bus when I saw huge red and orange sparks in the sky above the structure. My brothers thought that we should stay for what firstly looked like a spectacular firework display but realising that it far more magnificent than the November 5th or New Years Eve celebration.
The huge human bodies that my brothers had been inside flew across the sky. I recognised the racing car simulator that I saw inside along with many other displays and exhibitions crashing into the ground. By now the Dome must be totally empty, but the structure was still standing. The journey on the bus was quiet, only a few people mumbling. Everyone was tired. When we got home, I headed to my room to get washed and changed in the bathroom,. When I came out, I found my brothers on the couch with my mum.
They were discussing the day and how the dome was. My father wasn’t back from work yet. One of my brothers was sitting on the single couch which was facing the door where I was standing. He called me over and my mum asked me about my day. I began to tell her my views about the dome. I mentioned what I thought of the dome, about It being a pointless white tent and a waste of money because, after all, I am entitled to my own opinions. I told her that I did enjoy the magnificent display at the end.