I tossed and turned and I couldn't sleep. I had the most vivid dream. It was like I was really there and it terrified me.
It was me as a kid, and I was running. No, I wasn't running, someone else was running and I was in their arms.
I poked my head up and peered behind the woman's shoulder. Behind us there were buildings engulfed in flames. I could hear the crackling of the fire and the screaming of the people. I turned away and huddled in the woman's chest.
"Mummy," I said, "Why are they doing this?"
"It's okay sweetie, its okay." My mother had said.
There was a sudden bang, a gunshot echoing all around me. I peaked up and met my mother's blank expression. She whined as her face screwed up in pain. She shrieked and fell, I fell too – She dropped me as we both crashed on the ground. I stared at my fingers, my hands were caked in blood.
What happened? I asked myself. I stared down at my mother's body lying on the ground. Her clothes had a rip on her back and blood was pouring out of the gaping hole. I pushed her onto her back, she wasn't breathing. I breathed out a shriek. I got up and started running, with tears running down my face. I don't know why I ran, I should've stayed and helped. I turned and saw men running after me with guns in their hands.
I kept running and running
I woke with a screech and felt around me. I was in my bed – sort of, I was half on the floor with barely any blankets on. I gave a small squeal as I fell off the bed. I hit the floor with a thud. The dream was pulsed with the shock that still traveled in my blood.
I awoke to my senses and snapped out of my thoughts as soon as my dad, Henry, came barging in.
"Stephanie, what happened?" he asked.
"Nothing dad," I answered "Just a nightmare"
"Alright, Stephy, It's okay." He sighed
"It's alright?" I yelled. I scrambled onto the bed and pulled the covers over my head.
Dad sighed and walked out; he knew I got like this when I had nightmares. I had gotten a lot lately. I tried to get back to sleep, but my alarm set off before I could. Whining, I dug myself out of the covers and glanced at the clock. It was 7:30.
"Damn!" I muttered. I probably could have stayed home that day, but I needed to get out. I rushed downstairs and ate breakfast after getting into my tracksuit.
At school I couldn't concentrate, I kept thinking of the dream. It was more vivid than seeing with your own eyes. I can remember every detail and how it felt – it's not something you could easily forget. I could have sworn that I was there. I could feel the warmth of my mother and the smell of the flames. I could taste the embers in the air. I didn't talk to anyone today, nor did I walk home with my friends as usual.
At home I was very quiet and I watched T.V all night, although I couldn't tell you what programs were playing.
I went to bed early. I kept waking up but I finally gave up and turned on my computer. If I couldn't get to sleep, I might as well do something. It was 2:30am and I found myself searching at random on Google.
The first thing I had looked up was 'nightmares'. There was no help with the general definition. But being stubborn, I didn't give up. I searched everything I could think of on the topic of nightmares. When I typed in "What causes nightmares?" I found a website that explained, "Nightmares can be caused by trouble, stress or trauma in your present, past or future"
I felt like a huge weight had been lifted and the word 'past' struck me hard. I didn't have any memories until I was eight years old, which was probably the age I was in my dream.
Was it possible for my nightmares or dreams to be memories?
"Memories..." I breathed
The next thing I searched was amnesia.
Again, the definition gave me no extra information.
'What causes amnesia?' I typed.
'Amnesia is a memory condition in which memory is disturbed. The cause is either, organic or functional. Organic causes can be damages to the brain by trauma or disease. Functional causes may include psychological factors such as defense mechanisms.'
"Trauma?" I said in shock.
All my dreams were of extremely traumatic scenes, could that have really been me?
Could my dreams be the re-awakened memories of my amnesia? I had no idea. I re-read the passage at least seven times.
I yawned, and checked the clock. It was almost time to get up. I hadn't even gone to sleep yet!