Orjuwan Mazi

Beautiful Nightmare

I remember running away from him, running away from those wide dark eyes filled with fury. His eyebrows grew closely together wrinkling his forehead. His teeth clenched together, and his face was red coloring his pale skin. He had his hands formed into tightened fists, trying to control his anger. His heavy steps on the hard wood floor appeared to be taking the same route as I was, causing terror to spread though my entire body. Exhaustion overtook me as those steps seemed to ring louder in my ears. I did not have the strength to fight him off. I was not prepared to face him again, not now, not ever. So, with sad teary eyes, trembling lips and a wary look on my face, my feet led my figure to the nearest exit. Truly, I was taking the easy way out, I was escaping his domination.

Where was I going to go? How can I get away from him? What was my getaway card?

A glassy double door was my only escape from this dispute. Pushing through the doors, I was able to see the peculiar scenery that was once shielded from me by the wooden framed door, more clearly. Right there before me laid a long empty watery street, announcing to me that it had rained earlier that night. I could vaguely smell the scent of damp water slipping away from the atmosphere. Evergreen long trees were crowding the sidewalks; white oval Japanese lanterns dangling from their weeping branches, casting a marvelous yellow glow onto the street. I began to make my path through the lonely street, finding comfort in the shadows of the night. The sound of the echo composed by my footsteps was a mistuned symphony to a nonexistent audience. The gushing wind surrounding me caressed my sensitive skin and blew my hair away. Turning my head left and right, I could not find a soul around me. I was oblivious to my destination, so I starting skipping through the sidewalk aimlessly as the runaway that I was.

Time seemed to fly by as I kept running. I was unaware of the minutes or maybe hours that I spent fleeing from my nightmare, or what I thought it was. All I knew at that moment my lungs lacked the oxygen I need. A burning sensation embraced my chest which made me stop at a halt. I stood next to a nearby brick wall, using one hand for support, while my other hand was clutching onto my knee, trying to catch my breath and to clear my blurry vision. Taking a look around me, I found a tall building with its main door ajar. I took a swift look behind me to be sure that I was not followed, and then I headed to my latest target.

Within minutes, I reached to the scarped wooden open door; pushing the door further in, darkness was all that met my eyes. I made my decision to follow my path into the building when I heard a clicking noise make its contact with the ground. After stepping inside, I waited for my vision to adjust to the gloomy darkness. Finally, when I started to see inside the building, I had discovered from the ripped wallpapers and broken armchairs that it was an abandoned house. Nevertheless, I still kept going deeper and deeper into the house. The silent darkness brought back the five year old in me who hasn't gotten over her fear of utter blackness yet; it was dreadful. All thoughts of me growing up and getting over my childish fears disappeared into thin air, and I was a trembling kid again dashing toward any source of light.

Accidentally, I walked into a stairs rail. The collision caused the dust to fly all over the place making me sneeze. I started to make my way up the stairs hoping to perhaps find a lit room through a window. The five year old who came back to life in me started to climb the dusty old creaky stairs faster and faster; she couldn't tolerate the darkness. I reached the last of the stairs gasping for air, with wary weak knees. A door stood in front of me, which I had assumed ushers toward the roof top. It turned out that my assumptions were true, but what shocked me breathless was the scene before me. Collapsed bricks, walls, and ruins occupied the entire roof top. The surface of it all was still watery from the rain. High up in the sky, the full moon shined next to the million stars up there, its lights reflecting on roof top creating a disastrous beauty that was mind blowing. I felt heartbroken for enjoying such a sorrowful image, but I was in over my head.

I explored my surroundings looking for anything familiar but I found nothing. The chilly weather made my body shiver. So, I tightened my sweater around me and tucked my hands inside my pockets. As my hands started to worm up inside my pockets, l felt the edges of something very thin. I took the object out to reveal a photograph of a huge mansion with two tall towers that had spiky edges. Grass covered most of the ground in front of the mansion except for the pathway covered in tiny stones towards the entrance. Even though I couldn't figure what this place in the photograph was, I felt a sense of belonging to it. It felt like home. The feeling of terror had finally subdued. I was overwhelmed by comfort and safety; but only for a moment.

Now I say for a moment, and only a moment, because suddenly my world had come trembling down, literary. I felt the grounds beneath my feet starting to shake and everything around me starting to fall apart. A sickening feeling was in the pit of my stomach and tears were threatening to fall. I was lost, and I was afraid. What was this place?, that was my last thought as the pieces of floor began to break down. I felt my whole body being pulled away, right after I heard a loud thump and everything turned into blackness.

My eyes flickered rapidly before my dark eyes were met with soft gray ones. The smile on his face was soft and his dimples on both cheeks made him look like a peaceful child. Only he wasn't a child. Under all that, concern filled his face demolishing all his attempts to hide it. It was quite puzzling to me, how he was so worried about a stranger he pulled out of a disaster. With his deep voice he asked, "Are you alright?". As simple of a question as it was, I didn't know how to answer it. Was I alright? My thoughts echoed. "I don't know," was all that I could muster to say to him. Curious to know I asked him, "Who are you?". "I am your guardian angel." He answered me jokingly with a grin plastered on his face. If I weren't so dazed about what was happening, I would have probably grinned back at him. However, it looked like I couldn't show any emotions at the time.

I was laying down on my back on a bed that was barely standing and he was sitting on a crooked chair near me. A feeling of uneasiness encircled me under his gaze. Therefore, I decided to sit up. At first he tried to stop me, telling me that I needed to rest; but I was having none of that. As I sat up on the edge of the bed, my eyes shifted toward my hands. That is when I remembered what was in them before and I panicked. The photograph, was all that crowded my mind. It was something so small yet it held so much in my heart. Who could have thought that something so simple could mean so much to me? Was it because of the feelings it brought?

So, I tried to form words and sentences to ask him about it, except I was too flustered. Fortunately, he understood the cause of my anxiety from my actions. I watched him swiftly get up to a dresser which I didn't notice before. He took something off of it and came closer to me.

"Looking for this?"

He asked as he handed me the photograph. I stared momentarily at it before I seized it and made sure it was safe in my hands.

For the next few minutes or so, I kept staring at the photograph wanting to restore the feelings of comfort and safety once again. I wanted to go back there, but I didn't know how. I had to get away from this horrid place. I took a deep breath and let my feet carry me of the bed and to the door.

"Where are you going?" his low voice stopped me.

"I want to go back home. I want to go back there." I pointed at the photograph.

"Wait!" He stood in front of me with a determined look. "You can't go back there!".

Bewildered by his behavior I asked, "Why not?"

He answered me a bit angrily and timidly "You just can't go there!"

It looked like he was the one who was flustered this time, but nonetheless he startled me. I answered him with as much poise as I could gather under these circumstances and said: "I'm sorry, but I need to go. I can't stay here".

As I walked hastily past him, I found out that I was still in the same building I marched in earlier, yet it wasn't really the same. It was more broken than before with fallen walls and with extra steps missing from the stairway. Going through the ruins blocking every exit was a challenging task, but I managed to find a way out of there. Once again, I was met with same lonely streets and weeping trees as my companions on this journey back home. I didn't know which direction I should head to, so I went wherever my heart sent me. Unanswered questions clouded my mind making me lose track of time. Who am I? Where was I? How did I get here? Where was I going? What would I find there? All those questions occupied my thoughts and I wasn't aware of who was fallowing me until I was yanked by my shoulder. I swirled around frightened of who I would find in front of me, but instead I was met with same gray eyes as before. Relief washed over me as I knew that I wasn't actually in danger.

"What are you doing here?" I asked in a whisper.

His face looked sad and hesitant. He answered me very quietly, "I will help you." He paused for a bit "You only have yourself to blame if you don't like the consequences though."

My forehead wrinkled in confusion. What did he mean by that? Blame myself for the consequences? As much as he puzzled me, I needed him. I didn't know which way to go and he seemed to know the answers. Thus, I didn't question him and allowed him to lead the way.

Needless to say, our journey was awkward. There was so much I wanted to ask but I was too shy to do so. He was just walking beside me and his gaze focused on the ground. I stared at him for a minute and noticed how uneasy he seemed to be. He looked like was about to lose everything that is important him. I couldn't help but think that maybe he was regretting his decision. I wanted to save him from his misery just like how he saved me, but I was too selfish to do anything about it.

Surprisingly, going to the mansion wasn't a very long journey. as soon as it came into view, my feet were glued to the ground and my pupils were fixed on the massive mass of marble. It took me a few minutes before I regained enough power to drag myself closer to the mansion. The walk toward its double doors seemed like a thousand mile walk. Eventually, I was standing in front of it, yet I couldn't bring myself to ring the bell. Suddenly, he appeared beside me and rang the bell for me. He glanced at me with a sad smile on his face before he turned to door once again. Impatiently, I waited until those double doors swung open to reveal the same face that caused me nightmares. I was in utter shock. Having the advantage, his muscular arms encircled my waist and covered my mouth preventing me from screaming or running away from him. I struggled against his strong grip as I was dragged inside the mansion to come face to face with a bunch of people wearing white lab coats. One of them came towards me and inserted a sharp tiny object in my forearm. I felt the whole world around me spinning and my body was numb. Last thing I saw was my guardian angel looking at me with watery eyes. Then, darkness overshadowed me once again.

Later on, my eyelids tore apart, just like two identical magnet poles that couldn't be attracted to each other anymore, and my eyes were met by a white ceiling, white doors, white curtains, and a white bed. I tried to move but I couldn't. My whole body was fastened to the bed. At first, I didn't realize where I was and my breath was racing as I tried to undo my restrains. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by many people who were trying to ease my fear. Until I saw his face, it hit me like a rock: it was just a dream. Yet, I still could not get over the odd feeling I felt in my dream; it was consuming.

"Have you been having one of your bad dreams again, Alana?" he asked me.

"Yes," I answered him barely in whisper.

"Did you take your medicine for today?" he asked again.

I answered him truthfully "No, I guess I didn't."

He looked at me knowingly and said: "Well, this is what happens when you don't take it. I'll give you a dose now and keep you company until you fall asleep."

Finally, after I had taken the pills, my eyelids started to flutter pulling me into another deep sleep and I had one thought in my head: a beautiful nightmare.