One woman's encounter with the strange and bizarre.
|Rena was on edge, but then again Rena was always on edge. She loved reading sci-fi books but in reality they always scared the bejeezus out of her, yet she kept on reading them. She was especially interested in the ones that spoke of alien abductions. Rena lived on Connecticut Avenue which was one of the "poshest" places to live in the District of Columbia. She loved to give people her address and watch the looks of surprise move across their faces. Yes, Rena was a snob but not in the usual sense. She did not think that she was better than everyone else, just different in a good way.
For all intents and purposes Rena was a good person. She gave to the less fortunate, she went to church on Sunday, she doted on her nieces and nephews, and was devoted to her elderly parents and made sure that they had everything that she could afford whether they wanted it or not. Rena had a few not so good habits, one of which was compulsive shopping. The other was the fact that Rena was never wrong about anything. That fact I find truly amazing. But Rena sure did love her sci-fi mystery novels. She was an avid reader and would get lost in the stories that the authors would spin creating her own parallel universe where anything that one could imagine was possible.
Rena believed that an alternate universe existed and that somehow she was able to communicate with her alternate persona. Rena also believed in aliens and abductions. She wasn't quite sure if she had been adbucted but felt that it was quite within the realm of possibilities. She would often recall the time that she had been driving down Interstate 95 going towards Richmond, VA when she lost track of time and space and when she did finally have conrol of her wits, she was just outside of Richmond but had no memory of how she got there. Richmond was not her destination and she was not only puzzled by this occurrence but she was extremely frightened. If she could not recall getting there she wondered if she was beginning to experience the beginnings of alzheimers. Oh, Rena feared getting any type of disease that would alter her reality in any way.
Rena was single and she lived alone but she was not the withdrawn type. She would speak to anyone. People on the street, those who made eye contact with her on the Metro, people who happened to telephone her in relation to business, anyone, anyone at all. She wasn't stupid though because she mostly spoke to women. Occaisonally she would speak to strange men but only if they were the aggressor or she had had a few "cocktails" as she called them. She was street smart as only those in the city can be and she was cautious and very aware of her surrounding which was why the Richmond episode troubled her so.
One day Rena was sitting at the bus stop near her apartment reading a novel by Dean Koontz and another woman sat down next to her. The woman commented on the book that Rena was reading and soon they were engaged in a very pleasant conversation. As Rena would later describe the woman, she was well dressed, very articulate and well mannered. She did not appear to be one card short of a full deck. The woman got around to asking Rena if she believed in aliens, she said it so matter of factly that it took Rena by surprise. Rena had to really think about that before answering. Finally, Rena said that yes she did in fact believe in the existence of other intelligent creatures occupying the universe and yes she did believe that they observed earth people from time to time. Although this observation was done from a distance and that they did not mean the earth people any harm. They just wanted to understand us and the things that motivated us as a people.
The woman's name was Theresa, she turned and looked Rena square in the face and said that she herself did firmly believe in aliens and that she and her mother had been abducted once during a cross-country driving trip not long ago. She further stated that since that initial abduction, she had been abducted many times. She was quick to say that she nor her mother were harmed in any way. Rena slowly looked up at Theresa and saw that her face was pleasantly smiling as if what she had just said was normal chit chat. Now Rena loved sci-fi but she wasn't crazy and this was a totally bizarre statement for a stranger to be making to her. Rena couldn't figure out if she should just get up and walk away or what.
Rena stayed. She asked Theresa what made her come to the conclusion that she was abducted. Theresa replied, that she was driving and they had just left Arkansas and that she and her mother had decided to get something to eat and would take the next ramp off of the Interstate that advertised eating establishments. But Theresa said that the next thing that she remembered was passing a sign that said El Paso, TX. That would have meant that she had driven hours to get to that point and neither she or her mother remembered the drive. She could not remember stopping and eating anywhere or taking a restroom break at any time. Theresa said that if she had been alone she would have chalked it up to being tired from the drive but her mother could not possibly have experienced the same phenomenon as she had. She further stated that for two entirely different people to experience a memory loss of this magnitude was unheard of. Rena immediately thought of the 4400. That cable television show that chronicles the lives of people who had been abducted and the suddenly returned to earth many years later with no memories of having been abducted. But on that show the people who were returned possessed special powers.
Rena wondered if what Theresa was saying were true, did she indeed have special powers too. Rena struggled with herself and finally decided to believe what Theresa was saying. Theresa further stated that since that time she has "lost track" of huge chunks of time but never felt any stress in relation to those disappearances or escapes from reality. Theresa was certainly credible. She informed Rena that what she did discern from her abductions was that they meant us no harm and that instead of fearing the unknown that we should embrace it. She believed that many of the popular authors of sci-fi were somehow in tuned with the other world and struggled to bring it alive for us through their stories. Interesting, to say the least.
Theresa suddenly rose and politely thanked Rena for listening to her. She walked on down the street and disappeared into one of the office buildings on that block. Rena sat there for a while, she had missed several buses while sitting there talking to Theresa. She thought long and hard about what Theresa had shared with her and decided that quite possibly she too had been abducted. She looked around her, people were still milling about and the time indicated on her watch was what it should have been but for some reason she was shook to the core. Was Theresa real or imagined? What was going on?
Rena slowly put her book down and sat it next to her. She looked at that book for a long time. Whatever had just happened, Rena never picked up another sci-fi book. In fact, she left that book right there at the bus stop seating area. She got up and walked away, in the opposite direction of Theresa. She decided that if indeed she was abducted, she did not want to know anything about it and she most certainly was not going to tell complete strangers about her suspicions. Was Theresa crazy, well Rena didn't know and didn't care she just hoped that she never ran into her again!