Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 165: At night.

The first time she was 7 years old.
Half asleep.
Half awake.
She saw a dark figure approach her bed and peer in close to look at her.
Frightened by this stranger’s face in the dark, she woke up and cried for her mother.
He was gone.
"Nobody was there," her mother told her, “it was just a bad dream."

The second time she was 23.
At the right side of her bed was an elderly man in a three piece suit.
He looked like he was from the 1800’s.
He seemed pleased that she could see him.
Again, noticing this person was in her room, she awoke.
Spooked.
Her bedroom was exactly the same as in her dream except he was gone.
Her heart beat fast.
Frightened and confused, she turned on all the lights.
That felt real.
Too real.
The next time it happened she was on vacation.
This time not just one person, but at least twenty children surrounded her bed.
Some stood behind the hotel patio door, too.
They were dark with
scraggly hair.
They looked sick.
Each of their faces looked at her intently.
As though they were trying to decipher if she could see them.
She woke up screaming.
The room as it was in her dream, but without them.
Her friend said, “Hey, are you OK? Did you have a really bad dream?”
She didn't know how to respond, so she nodded yes.
Over the years many more appeared.
Sporadically.
Their faces burned in her memory.
Lucid details of strangers by her bed.
All leaning in to survey her face with that same questioning look.
Every single time her fear woke her up.
One night, while babysitting, she heard a cry.
She ran to her bedroom where her niece was sleeping.
She tried to soothe her.
"What's the matter sweetheart?"
Her niece looked up at her and through tears said, “They were playing with my hair.”
“Who was?”
“The people near the bed.”

The color drained from her face as she said, “It’s OK baby girl, it was just a dream." 
She said it as convincingly as she could.

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