I don't hear voices, but somehow I just know they are there. I peep out through the long window pane. I see them on the top step having quiet conversation with each other. I'm not sure why, but everything in me stops except my feet and my brain. I scoop up my son and make my way around to the back stairs in the kitchen and go up; it's enclosed and I may not be seen. Almost all the lights are on and the windows are all wide open in the dead of Fall. There are too many to even think about closing; I feel no temperature anyway and I know they will get in. I just don't know how. I pass through a few rooms. I'm holding my baby and he's feeling lighter than ever, almost like I may have picked up a stuffed animal and not a toddler. My mind is playing tricks on me. The two who couldn't see me almost in front of their faces before, can see me now with a storey in between us. They were trying to get in when they could have just climbed right through a window. They figure it out in fury. I hear no footsteps, but feel their presence coming up the main staircase. The only thing separating us and them is a wooden banister. I didn't close the bedroom door. As a matter of fact, every door in the house is open. I step into the small dark linen closet backwards. It's the only place to go. I pray my child stays quiet. I look into his eyes and plead for his silence with mine, knowing that if I put my finger to my lips and imply "shh" he would cry out. I'm terrified when they walk into the room; all they have to do is turn around and see us right there behind them. They do and I feel queezy and I'm visibly shaking. I shit and piss on myself mentally although there is no odor nor any actual excrement. I feel like I will vomit as well and am promptly sweating from pure fear. My knees are weak and my palms are slippery. I dry them one by one on my denim shirt while a loud thud comes from the attic and distracts them. They both investigate. I know it's raccoons, but they don't. I run down and out in slipper socks. Feel the night air on my face. Our street is a cul de sac that is divided by a small strip of trees. I dash across it to my closest neighbor's house, but she isn't home. Her car is gone and her home is locked. I try the next neighbor. They are there and they are awake, but they aren't safe. "Officer she's over here," I hear them say as vomit finally escapes my throat and lips. I'm all alone now. No baby, no husband. It's not even me that they want. Everyone disappears when I finish heaving with relief. It's finally out. I'm finally out. Neighbors and the secret agents are gone. I'm alone on an empty island of residential homes in the dark, physically and mentally wondering how in the fuck to get out for good. My son is sitting waiting for me on the main steps of the ferry. I forgot to worry about where he was and I let my throat, nostrils and eyes burn with hot tears that I now feel in real life as I wake. How could I be such a wayward mother? I would continue to dream this dream in many different forms for eight years during an FBI white collar crime investigation. Now that it's all over, almost to the point that it's never existed and I'm comfortable in my new, I still dream this same dream in different ways from time to time. There were many involved (I was just a wife) and I refuse to believe that I was the only one with human feelings of terror.
My tummy feels funny. I haven't felt this feeling in so long, but it feels like it was here just yesterday. I know what it is, but I'm carrying on a conversation with myself instead of going to the bathroom like I know I should. I'm comfortably laying in bed with two fetuses in a state of panic and worry. Twenty-six year old me (with a two month fetus) is staring at twenty year old me (with a four month fetus) wondering how we ended up here twice in such a short amount of time. The older one is scolding the younger one with looks of disdain. Pure fear is coming from the younger version. It has to be done, they say at the same time. I can't hear most of it, but I can feel the shame of the conversation. They look away from each other and stare at a room that looks very different through the other's eyes. Twenty year old me sees a soft yellow room (heirloom rose - I picked it myself and painted it as well, wish I could go back to that day. I would do things differently, I say), white porcelain framed bed with pretty pink flowers painted on it. Fluffy yellow and white comforter and pillows. The room I always wanted. Twenty-six year old me looks around at the soft salmon colored walls and eggshell ceiling, mock fireplace and grey stone mantle, marble night stands covered in cologne, jewelry and finance books. They are two completely different worlds; an actual toddler lay in between them both. Where is he? They both ask me about two different men. I'm in a dream state, but I can answer them both easily with thought if they just stay quiet and listen. Although, the best explanation that I have is that they are both away and I will never have neither one of them because they don't really want me. We are all filled with sorrow and in that moment, I realize the feeling is cramping. It's getting more intense and unbearable. It's my period. It's here. I sit up and it's here in real life. I've bled heavily through my pajamas to the point where i have to change the sheets and remove the changing pad that I used to keep between the mattress and everything else. I feel like a little bit of a monster every time it happens, yet they were the three choices I made for myself that entirely changed the course of my life. Two abortions by twenty-six and a hysterectomy by thirty-seven. One because I had to for my health and two by choice, because that's what I deemed had to be at that point in time.
I have many dreams. Most of them are thankfully pleasant. Some of them I can't even decipher. However, these two seem to haunt me still from time to time. We all do our version of terrible awful things. The hope is that we use our nightmares and dreams to fuel a better reality.
S W E E T D R E A M S, JAS