A vivid dream comes to life when a young girl wakes up on an average morning
|I wake up that morning like any other. Before I even open my eyes, I remember the dream. The colors, the sounds, the sights, all come back to me in a rush. It was like another world, more intense than this one in every conceivable way. I pull my mind back into the present, trying to remind myself where I am. I almost don’t want to wake up but I begrudgingly open my eyes.
Before I could forget the vibrant dream, I grab my nearest journal. There is always at least one within reach. I have notepads, folders, and binders full of random ideas and thoughts that come to me throughout the day. I carry a pen with me wherever I go and my musings have no reason. It’s almost as if my thoughts are planted by someone and I must put pen to paper to unscramble any hidden purpose behind them. I scribble down the first words I can think of to describe my dream best:
“Spirited. Animated. Vivacious. Revitalized. Jubilant. Content. Satisfied.”
And the list goes on. I had never had a dream that made me feel this way. Normally, it takes me quite a while to feel this refreshed and awake without my morning caffeine.
Before getting out of bed, I sit in silence for a moment and close my eyes. I want to remember the details before they slip away like sand through my fingers. My mind’s eye brings up an image of a clock. It ticks away and seems to slow down the more time passes. I hear the gentle tick tock, tick tock, tick…tock…tick……..tock. The clock is giant, but there is only a face with the minute and second hand ticking closer and closer to noon or midnight. Just before the second hand reaches the top, I lose the picture I see.
Another image appears as I meditate. This one is of a field of flowers. All wild, all beautiful and full of life. The field goes on for miles in every direction, any color one can imagine and enjoy. There are various shades of yellows, blues, pinks, and greens, as far as I can see. The sun shines intensely on them and they seem to gladly drink in its nourishment, as if they are prepared to grow before my eyes. I remember my dream self leaning in to smell the delicious aroma that surrounds me in the never-ending field. I peer closer at a giant sunflower to my left, almost as tall as I am. Then, a yellow-gold petal is released from the flower and drops slowly to the ground. As I watch, the other petals do the same, one by one, falling, falling until there is only one left.
The image changes again and I see numbers. So many numbers, what seems to be all the way up to infinity. No lights, no sounds, just thousands of glowing numbers floating around me, almost silver in color. I see some flip, zip, and fly up to a nonexistent ceiling and others are all the way down by my feet, which I cannot see, but I know must be there. I watch the numbers soar and flutter, some slow as if enjoying their flight.
As I observe, I see a nine slowly start to fade away until it is gone. It was a bright silvery white, a hovering number nine right in front of my eyes until it grew dimmer and dimmer and its light seemed to go out. I scan this strange room and notice that all the nines seem to have disappeared at the same time. Suddenly, the eights did the same. And then the sevens. All the way until only the zeroes around the room were left and the darkness was almost complete. Before these shining lights were totally exhausted, the image changed once more.
In contrast to the darkness I was in a moment before, this sunny scene is almost too much for my eyes. At first thought, I wonder if I were back in the field of flowers until I hear something. There was no noise in the field, not even the hint of the wind. But here, wherever it is, there is music. But it is not just any music, it is practically angelic. My ears have never heard such a stunning sound and I cannot not identify the source. I blink my eyes a few more times, trying to adjust to the brightness around me.
I finally see a host of people, the first I’ve witnessed in this dream world, all strangers. They seem happy, ecstatic even. They glow so brightly that I can only make out their faces, but not any other details. I cannot even tell what clothes they are wearing. But I do know that they are enjoying the music as much as I am. I walk over to the nearest line, for they are all standing in rows, the tallest in the back so I can see them all. This close, they are very difficult to see and I squint to study the person closest to me because he or she is shining so brightly.
The more I try to remember this part of the dream, the more I lose the few details I have left. All the faces in this immense crowd blur and I only know that they were there but not what they did next or if the dream continued past this scene. I vividly remember the pleasure of the music but cannot tell what genre it was or what instrument may have been playing. Piano, harp, trumpet? I cannot recall. The only thing I know for sure is that before I woke up, I heard the crowd of people say my name.
“Jane…Jane…Jane…” they chanted.
I open my eyes and look around my small bedroom. I am sitting on my bed, wearing my old Spider-Man pajamas, my auburn hair in a messy bun, like always. Nothing unusual has happened in my reality but everything has changed. I could not put into words the reason why if someone had asked me, but I know with my whole being that life is not the same as it was before this dream.
What is it about last night, this morning, that made my brain create such a vivid world while I slept? The scenes that I saw in my mind are like nothing I have ever seen while awake and I already know that this has changed me.
I move to stand and set my bare feet on the maroon, fuzzy carpet that covers my bedroom floor. I feel dizzy and sit back down on my bed. It is almost as if I don’t feel…real. Like a part of me is not in this world and is working its way back. I feel my head, my arms, my face. I am here, mentally and physically, it seems. But something in me is missing, at least for now.
I peer at the alarm clock on my dresser that shines bright red digital numbers across the room. My mind goes back to the flying numbers I saw in my dream. What could they mean?
But I force myself back to the present and read the clock again.
“I’m going to be late!” I exclaim.
I rush to find a t-shirt, socks, and a clean pair of jeans somewhere in my messy room. I find one sneaker under my giant teddy bear in the corner of my closet and scan quickly to find its match. Eventually, I spot it next to my backpack which I snatch up once the shoes are properly on my feet.
Before I rush out my front door, I glance at the grandfather clock in the entryway of my home. I remember the giant clock face in my dream and shake off the dizzy feeling that still hasn’t gone away. I jog the two blocks to my bus stop and make it just as the school bus is stopping to pick up the other five or six high schoolers that are already there.
I find a seat towards the back of the bus and am secretly grateful that my friends don’t ride this bus with me. I need some time to think. I quickly realize that I forgot my lunch in my rush to get to the bus stop on time. But then I think, “Is it really that important? It’s just lunch. In fact, what does it matter if I ever eat again? Or go to school, or do anything…”
But wait, that doesn’t sound like me. What has this dream done to me? It was just a dream! I don’t know why I am suddenly acting as if it is the only thing that matters. My family matters, my friends matter, eating lunch matters.
“I really have to get this off my mind…” I mumble to myself.
“Time is running out.”
My head turns to the sound of the voice.
“Who said that?” I ask, sitting up in my seat.
The kid behind me leans forward to look me in the eye. He has ears that stick out and sandy brown hair that needs brushed. I have seen him around but don’t know him personally. I think his name is Horace.
“Time is running out for what?” I ask.
He blinks but says nothing more. I turn back around in my seat and wonder why a stranger is telling me that time is running out. But for what? We aren’t going to be late, the bus was right on time. What else could I be late for?
Then I have a weird thought. What if he knows about the dream? But that’s impossible. Except as soon as those words came from his lips, that’s where my mind had gone, before I even knew who said it. I feel haunted by these images, they are showing up in everything I do.
I am exhausted even though my day has barely begun. I sit in silence for the rest of the bus ride to school, almost expecting the weird kid behind me to say something else. But he doesn’t and when the bus arrives at the entrance to the main building, he picks up his backpack and walks down the bus steps just like everyone else. I wish, not for the last time today, I’m sure, that I were back in bed, alone.
My morning goes by in a blur, a headache joining the dizziness that continues to plague me through my first three class periods. I have a study hall before lunch, a free period that I usually use to sit in the library to catch up on homework that I did not finish the night before. Today, I sit in an empty classroom with a granola bar I bought from the snack machine down the hall. Since I skipped breakfast, I should be practically starving. I have a late lunch, the one that combines eleventh and twelfth grades. But the weird thing is, I am not hungry at all. I just bought the granola bar because I am hoping it will help my head to stop pounding.
I force myself to eat the tasteless snack and I hear the handle on the classroom door. In walks a teacher. Well, I guess it’s a teacher. I’ve never seen her before, but she looks familiar, somehow. She’s tall with long, dark brown hair, almost black, that she has pulled back in a high ponytail. She wears strange clothes for an educator, dressed all in black. She has tight pants and a long sweater that reminds me of a cape. She gives off an air of authority, shutting the door behind her and walking quickly toward me.
“Time is running out,” she states.
“Why does everyone keep saying that?” I ask confusedly.
She sighs and seems to slow down a little. I hear her high heeled boots click as she passes the first few rows of desks and chooses the one across from me before she sits down gracefully.
“You have to come with me,” she says simply.
I take a quick second to study her now that she is closer to me. She’s young-looking, maybe thirty. She has smooth creamy white skin and a long, straight nose. It’s her eyes that are most stunning, the brightest blue I’ve ever seen. But the more I think about it, I have seen that color blue before. Her eyes are the exact same color as the flowers in the field from my dream…
“Why?” I am flustered but curious to hear her answer.
“I guess I should explain,” she begins quietly. “My name is Aislyn. I’m from…somewhere else.”
“What do you mean ‘somewhere else’?” I am beginning to think she is not a teacher after all.
“It’s a different world, somewhere not quite like this one. There’s similarities but it’s kind of like…” she hesitates. “It’s like a new dimension.
I’ve tried to send you messages but it’s difficult to communicate from there to here. Time is running out because…we need you.”
I consider Aisyln’s startlingly bright blue eyes and feel something familiar.
Spirited. Animated. Vivacious. Revitalized. Jubilant. Content. Satisfied.
The end of the dream I couldn’t remember this morning suddenly comes back in a rush.
Confidently, I stand.