This is a story so bizarre, that had it happened to somebody else, I would have immediately dismissed it as a work of fiction, without giving it a second thought. Even as I recall my own experience, the things that I witnessed with all own six senses, I find it hard to believe that it isn't a mixture of my over-active imagination with mere coincidences. So, I hereby simply state the facts as I perceive them, and let the readers make up their own minds.
It started when I was fourteen I think. One find day, after a lazy afternoon nap, I found myself awake but unable to move a muscle. I tried to open my eyes to see where I was, but my eyelids remained clasped tightly. A wave of panic surged through me, and I immediately tried to call for help, but my mouth refused to open. I really couldn't move a muscle, until I drifted back to sleep. When I woke up again, I felt perfectly fine, just a little drained, and I dismissed this entire thing as just a weird nightmare.
But it happened again. And again. And so many more times that I lost count. I know what this is, and I presume you do too. Sleep paralysis. Although creepy with a capital c, it is perfectly common enough and perfectly scientific. So obviously, that's not the weird part.
The weird part is, every time I drifted back to sleep while paralyzed, I had such vivid dreams, that when I woke up, reality seemed surreal. The dreams themselves were of a peculiar type. It was of a guy I was absolutely sure I had never seen before. I never saw his face, it remained in the shadows even when we walked in broad daylight holding hands, or rode the rollercoaster, or crossed the busy streets. But I saw his eyes behind his white framed spectacles- his dark brown eyes with a look of such love and care and comfort, yet something else, something that sent a shiver down my spine. I could never put my finger on what exactly it was that this stranger made me feel, and why exactly I was dreaming of him. All I know is his eyes remained imprinted in my mind and haunted me in my waking hours.
Time passed. My sleep paralysis somehow left me alone. And I managed to forget all about this.
Fast-forward. I was twenty, when I met a guy. He was the perfect guy, everything I could ever hope and dream for, and we were very much in love, and very happy. And that's all that's relevant for this story- the rest is the stuff of romance novellas or soap operas that I'd give anything in the world to not go into, so let me skip it.
Let me tell you The Incident. It was the tenth of January, a Tuesday and a particularly cold winter evening. I had worn my jeans over my pajamas and a heavy woolen sweater over two shirts, but the air still felt chilly against the unarmed skin of my face. I held his hand tightly, and it was cold too, thanks to the extreme weather. But hey, when does a love-struck girl ever mind?
We walked to the subway platform holding hands like that, with the cold wind seemingly whispering malicious warnings against my ears, while he spoke about his game of basketball.
We waited for the train. Mine was scheduled to arrive ten minute before his, but of course his came early. We reluctantly said goodbye, and he got on the train, facing the glass doors that closed behind him and staring at me. I stared at him too, at his dark brown eyes with a look of such love and care and comfort, yet-
Holy mother of coincidence!
His train pulled out of the platform, and I watched it leave the station, as I finally remembered that I had seen those very eyes before in my dreams so many years back.
Yes, I know, you were expecting this. I gave it away at the beginning, didn't I? Actually, no. This wasn't The Incident. It was what happened directly after.
My train pulled into the platform, earlier than it was expected, and the noise snapped me out of my reverie of flashbacks and questions and uncertainties. I decided to go back home and think about it calmly, when I wasn't a bundle of nerves.
Except, I couldn't move. My feet seemed to be frozen in their place, as if shackled to the floor by invisible iron chains, and my hands no longer seemed to be under my control. My lips were pursed tightly, and they wouldn't part, and my eyes forgot how to blink. I had been staring at the huge electronic clock, and I realized, with the dread inside me steadily growing, that it too was frozen at exactly six p.m. If my senses were still working, then about five minutes passed, people got in and out of the train, and it left the station, while I remained stuck, with nobody seeming to notice me standing there like a stupefied statue. I had this sick feeling inside of me, like some terrible fiend was standing directly behind me, with a knife in its hands to carve my eyeballs out of their sockets, ready to make his move. I didn't know what to do. I waited patiently, hoping this was a nightmare and I'd wake up soon.
It wasn't, and I didn't, but finally I unfroze, and so did the clock. My immediate reaction was to turn around, and when I did, it was like being slapped in the face with bricks made of ice. He was standing, right there, like he was standing when we were talking, and he was talking, about his game of basketball like he had been, and I, I-
I just had one thought- what in the hell?
I glanced at the clock again, seeing the digit in the minute's place had changed into the time originally scheduled for my train. And then my train pulled into the station, he kissed me lightly on the cheeks, told me he loved me and he'll miss me, and said goodbye.
I think I managed to mumble back the love you, miss you and goodbyes purely out of habit, even in my state of extreme terror and confusion. I got into my train, and watched as the glass door closed behind me. He stared at me, smiling and waving goodbye. I stared back at him, at his eyes behind his white framed spectacles- his dark brown eyes with a look of such love and care and comfort, yet something else, something that sent a shiver down my spine yet again.
Needless to say, I broke it off a few days later. Years have passed, and I haven't dared to contact him since, unsure of where that might possibly lead. But even till this day, I haven't been able to make sense of The Incident, and I think, neither can you. Am I right or am I right?