Annie Goes To Heaven

The Story of Anna Banana
and Her Incredible Adventure

by Andrea Mercedes Born, as told to Gloria Barnes

She must have fainted again for a minute. She shook her head and opened her eyes. How did she get in the middle of all this fog?

"Whoa," she whispered to herself. "I feel good." She took a deep breath and sighed. As she exhaled, the mist evaporated, and she was in front of the elevator at the Saint Francis Hotel.

Up button"Ding" the elevator light went as the door opened. She got on with the rest of the people. The man next to her pushed a button—floor 26. He looked at Annie and said, "Going to the top, I presume?" and as she broke into a smile, he pushed the button for her.

Button topUp they went, up through the dark tunnel, then suddenly into the daylight, and she saw the panorama of San Francisco, just as it had been when she and her Mom first took the ride up to the top the day they went to see "The Phantom of the Opera" for her eighteenth birthday, before they took a cab to the Hard Rock Café.

She still felt disoriented. None of the people in the elevator looked familiar, although they were all smiling at her like they knew her. Was she meeting her mother at the "Land of Oz" at the top? She couldn’t seem to remember quite why she was here.

"Oh, well," she thought, as the elevator stopped at the top. She got off and started to walk toward the room where you could look all around the city, stopping for a moment at the full-length mirror to check her appearance. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Her hair was long, curly, and she loved the color. She tried to remember the name of the Miss Clairol she had just used, but then she heard a noise behind her and turned to see if it was her Mom.

Instead, there was a man holding a silver tray with a red velvet pillow. On top of the pillow was an envelope.

Andrea Mercedes Bornit read in her mother’s calligraphy. What was the occasion, she tried to recall as she shook her head again. She knew it was something really important, but she couldn’t think what it was.

She looked in the mirror again before she picked up the envelope. She didn’t remember this outfit, but she liked it. "Did I go shopping with my Mom?" she asked the butler, as she picked up the envelope and began to open it. "For your birthday, you mean?" he replied. She nodded "yes," remembering now that she had told her Mom she didn’t really care what she gave her. "We can just go shopping when I come home next time."

"Is my birthday already over?" she asked, suddenly annoyed that she couldn’t remember it. "Oh, no," he replied. "You’re going to have a party that you’ll never forget, remember?"

Inside the card was an invitation, engraved. Her name was on it. She couldn’t believe that her Mom had actually had a card like this made for her.

Invitationshe read. That was it, though. A piece of paper fluttered to the floor.

Noteshe read as she stook back up.

The butler was gone, so she couldn’t ask him any of the questions that were popping into her head.She ran over to the elevator and pushed the button with the down arrow. Once inside, she pushed Lobby. Down they went, her stomach dropping as they fell down thirty stories. At the bottom, the door opened. "Ding" it went. No one was waiting, so she pushed the Top button and went back up. This was fun. At the top, there was no one again as the door opened. She pushed Lobby again. "One" she counted to herself, and she went up and down, up and down. Down Lobby
Up Top
Down Lobby

Special Penthouse"Three" she said to herself as she pushed the Special Penthouse button. Funny, she hadn’t noticed that one before. Up they went again, as before, bursting out into the daylight up past 30, and right up into the sky.

"Whoa!" she yelled as she looked down at her feet. She was startled to see that she was no longer wearing her sandals, but now had on sparkling, sequined red slippers.

"Mom!" she spontaneously said, knowing instantly that her Mom must have picked out these shoes. They felt really good.

As a matter of fact, she felt really good all over. Up and up she sailed, through the clouds. She wasn’t afraid at all as she watched the Earth drop away beneath her feet.

"Where is my Mom?" she wondered out loud, leaning against the glass wall of the elevator, peering down to get a better view.

Winken, Blinken, and NodPast the elevator floated a bathtub with three children in it. They had name tags on. One said Winken, one said Blinken, and one said Nod. They waved at her and sprouted sunflowers around their faces.

"Wow," she said to herself, "this is a great dream. I hope I don’t wake up for a while," as she went sailing up and up in her glass elevator, past the moon, past the star.

Mars ballAs she got closer and closer to Mars, she could see some kind of big funny-shaped ball bouncing around on the surface. "Must be kids on Mars," she thought. "If there’s a toy, there must be kids there."

On and on she went, speeding more and more and more, until she decided to sit down on the floor. She glanced behind her, and there was her Papa-san chair. "Perfect," she thought as she hopped in.

TV and remoteNow the elevator started to change. It was more like a Star Trek ship. There was a TV, with a remote which floated over to her. PUSH said the one button. She pressed the button and on went the TV.

She saw her Mom, standing next to Tessie, singing the "Star Spangled Banner." There was Shaniko’s Dad, and Kathie K., and Paul S. They were all singing.

"Oh, brother," she thought, as she changed the channel. "My Mom’s not even here. I thought we were supposed to go shopping…"

Then she remembered that this was just a dream, and settled back to watch out of the giant window as they sailed past stars and clouds of colored lights. Up ahead she saw something that looked like a ribbon at first. As they got closer, she saw a gate.

The spacecraft slowed, and suddenly a flight attendant appeared. It was her Nonnie, only she was young, like her mother looked in that old picture she had that she had put in her "On Angel’s Wings" picture frame. "Nonnie!" She exclaimed. She was happy beyond belief. She never thought she’d see her Nonnie again. But, she reminded herself, you can do anything in your dreams. She made a mental note to try and figure out how to have this kind of dream every time she went to sleep. "I hate it when you do that when you’re dreaming," she thought again, realizing that this was the signal the dream was almost over.

"I wish this dream could go on forever," she thought, feeling a little guilty because she knew she had left her Mom back on Earth. "But she’s with her friends," she told herself as she turned back to ask Nonnie something. Nonnie was standing by the door of the spacecraft, which was now slowly opening. She looked so pretty in her American Airlines uniform.

Outside of the door was a bright, bright light. Annie blinked her eyes again, as she stepped out onto the brick pathway that seemed to stretch out ahead. It looked just like her mother’s yard and garden. Not wanting her beautiful dream to be over, she thought "Oh, no, all that space travel, and now I’m just back at home. Maybe if I shut my eyes one more time…" And when she opened them again, sure enough, the bricks had turned into a golden pathway, stretching out as far as she could see. It was a brick road, but the bricks were all twenty-four-karat gold (or so the sign said), spotted with jewels so as not to be too slippery. Sparkles of rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds caught her eye.

Yellow brick road
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