by Megan Morgan
I've had the dream several times. I have compiled each time to try to make sense of it.
|I had a dream…
In my dream it must have been late afternoon but the fog blocked the sun. There were no breaks in the cloudiness but for a few strands of sunlight. Engulfed by the fog, I sat by the train tracks at an old railroad station on a rotting bench waiting for something or someone. I didn’t know which. I felt like I had been waiting a very long time.
I sighed. My breath hung in the air in front of me. I turned my head to the right. There was nothing there but the swirling mist. I turned to the left and in a millisecond leapt from the bench. I chuckled to myself and smiled in relief. I had caught a glimpse of myself in the window of the station behind me. At least… I thought it was me.
I walked slowly to the old, cracked bay window. “It’s dusty,” I thought to myself. The thought echoed for what seemed like hours. As I stared at the obscured reflection, I thought, “That’s not me.” I pulled the sleeve of my hoodie over my hand and rubbed the window to clear away the sediment.
A young woman of her late 20’s stared back at me. We glanced each other over, my “reflection” and I. She wore the same clothes as mine but they were aged. A bright blue hooded sweat shirt with a large, blurred, multi-colored symbol across the chest, jeans with the heels worn to shreds from years of being walked on, and black DC sneakers with the laces covered by the long jeans. I looked down at my own attire as my reflection did the same. “No, that couldn’t be me. I just got these clothes.” I looked back at my reflection and realized that the clothes weren’t the only difference.
She was taller than I am, but not by much. Her hair was different. Cut in short two-strand twists, not long like my braids. Her face is older than mine, not as girlish. I flash a grin; she does, too. The braces are gone from her mouth. No gaps or crooked teeth remain. Then it happened.
We locked eyes. Our eyes are the same color, size, and shape but they’re different. Her eyes have a spark of wisdom and knowledge, mine of innocence and inexperience. “You’re not me are you?” I ask out loud. She smiles at me. “Yes and no,” she says. Then, she turns and walks away from the window. I follow the sound of her footsteps to the door of the old station. We look at each other; I in disbelief, her in amusement.
“’Yes and no?’ What do you mean?”
“I am you but you are not me.”
“Are you the one I’ve been waiting for?”
“No. I have been waiting for you.
“Why didn’t you call to me? I was waiting right outside.”
“I was taking some time to remember what it was like to be you.”
“But you are me.”
“Not exactly. I have seen more than you have seen, I’ve done more than you have done, and I know more than you do now. Our experiences shape who we are so we are forever changing.”
“Well, why did you come back? Are you supposed to change something? Did something go wrong?”
“No. Don’t worry. I trust that you will find the right path. I did.”
My head was beginning to hurt if that’s possible in a dream.
“Well then why did you come back?”
She replied, “I just needed to remember what it was like to be you.”
“Ok. So, what happens now?”
“I can leave.” She pointed toward the sky. “It’s getting late.”
Then she turned and walked away down the path next to the tracks. I stood there bewildered, wondering what had just happened. I had so many questions. Who do I become? What would you have done differently? What do I do to make sure I’m like you? But, then I realized. This was all for her not me. I would find myself in time but she needed me to remind her of who she used to be. You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going. She looked back and smiled at me once more before disappearing into the sunset lit, amber haze.
Then I woke up.