There always seems to be something that wakes me each morning. Just once I wish I could open my eyes on my own terms. Yesterday I had my cat sit on my face. The day before I'd forgotten to close the blinds before going to sleep and the sun woke me up. The morning before that my phone began to ring. You get the picture. I'm a light sleeper. I have been all my life.
This morning was a little more odd. I woke up to a television.
I know what you're thinking right about now. How is that odd? Plenty of people have televisions in their bedroom. Surely I just forgot to turn it off and fell asleep to the sounds of some late night talk show host.
I sat up in my double bed and stared at the screen, currently displaying static, dumbfounded by what was in front of me.
I don't own a television.
I never saw the point in owning one when I was in possession of a computer and the Internet. Everything worth watching is available online.
My gaze was torn from the soft glow of the household appliance as I looked to the walls. They were a faded blue. It looked as if they hadn't been painted in fifteen years. This isn't my room. I'd just finished painting my walls yesterday. I'd chosen a color that would look very much like the shade that was on the surfaces that surrounded my current presence.
This isn't my room.
I looked down expecting to see my double bed only to find that the bed I was currently sitting in was smaller than my own. This isn't right.
Hurriedly I leapt from the bed in fear. How did I get here?
Glancing down at myself, I noticed for the first time that I'm fully clothed. Not once in my life have I fallen asleep in my clothes. Something's wrong.
I ran from the bedroom in the direction of my kitchen. It was still intact. Well, structurally speaking. The small window-less room was a mess. It appeared as if a small hurricane had wreaked its custom brand of havoc in the even smaller room.
This can't be my house.
It wasn't simply the level of destruction that appears to have fallen upon my home. If it were, the answer was simple: burglary. But there was more. And it kept becoming more and more clear to me as I checked every room. All of the walls were faded. Appliances were falling apart. Pots and pans were covered in rust. Windows were broken. There were even holes in some of the walls.
It was if no one had been here in years. It looked like everything had been left alone for more than a decade.
Something sounded different in the area. Things became quieter. Then I realized what changed. I rushed back into the space I'd woken up in. The television had been shut off.
I froze in my steps as I entered the room. The television hadn't shut off. It was gone. My eyes caught something that I hadn't seen before.
The bed was covered in blood. I could see people standing around it. Well, I could see ghostly shadows of them. They were all standing there, but I could see through their transparent forms. However, there wasn't a body in the bed. Everyone appeared to be mourning, but for whom?
Suddenly I recognized everyone.
Standing at the pillow was Norah Lee. She and I have been dating for years now.
Next to her were Paul and Sara. My parents.
Opposite of Norah was Michael. My brother. He's only thirteen. Why is he there? He can't handle the sight of blood.
I was seventeen at the time. He was eight. It was my night to make dinner for the family and Michael had wanted to help me cook. I let him handle the assembly of everything, while I took care of anything involving sharp objects. Well, I was chopping the vegetables and sliced off the tip of my thumb. Blood poured over the wooden cutting board. I immediately grabbed a handful of paper towels, wrapped them around my thumb and applied pressure so I could stop the bleeding. Michael turned to see the pool of blood on the counter and passed out as soon as he realized what it was.
As Michael stood over the blood-soaked bed, he looked as if he were about to vomit. Sure enough, within moments of the thought, he did.
Norah and my mother were in tears with my father making an attempt to comfort them. It was obvious that he was the one that needed comforting. Not them.
I couldn't take this anymore. The pain was too much to watch. I loved all of these people dearly. Who would do something like this to them?
I felt like I was going to be sick and turned to leave the room. Upon exiting I moved towards the front door. I needed to leave this house. I reached the door and turned the knob only to meet resistance.
It wouldn't turn.
I backed up about ten steps and ran at it with my shoulder, only to be bounced back to the floor, feeling pain in my back as I hit the cold surface.
I shot up in my bed, gasping for air. My vision was blurred as my eyes adjusted to the light. Frantically, I looked around my room.
Everything was normal; exactly as I'd left it.
I can't take this dream any longer. I've lost count how many times I've experienced this. I need it to stop.
I took a deep breath and reached to my nightstand for the gun in the second drawer.