I sat up with a start. I could feel the cool night air against my hot, sweaty neck, chest and flushed face. My sleep clothes and blanket twisted around me, tying me to the bed.
The dream – the nightmare – seemed so real. If I went back to sleep, the horrid dream would follow me.
So, I quietly lifted myself off the mattress in the half-darkness of the night light. I felt my way along the hall way, hand on banister. Turning at the end of the hall, I could see the faint light spilling out from the kitchen and into the hallway.
I took each step carefully as several squeaked and squealed. At the bottom, I could let go of the wall and follow my familiar way, heading towards kitchen and away from dreams.
The kitchen was bathed in the light of a full moon and the small led lights over the sink and stove. I found my favorite glass. I didn’t bother with the ice (too noisy), so I just filled the glass with water from the compartment on the front of the stainless steel fridge.
I needed to clear my head, to stop those dream images from playing on the screen of my mind.
I leaned my elbows on the kitchen island; the dreams had seemed so real: the pain; the tiny house; the prescription drugs; trying to rebuild shattered life; wasted time/years; poverty; remorse, fear; and dread.
Gently putting my glass in the sink, I left the reassuring glow of the kitchen and started up the blackness of the stairs. At the top, looking down the narrow hallway to the bedroom with the door almost shut, I grabbed at the banister. My legs were going out from under me, and . . .
I woke disorientated with a fluttering heart. The small rooms; the piles of paper; the meds; the failures; the insanity surrounded me – I lived in the nightmare; my dream self had a whole different life. I was her nightmare, and she was my ideal.