Chapter 16 - A lucid nightmare
I sprang from my bed and gasped, sitting on the bed in the dark. I placed a hand on my chest, feeling my heart racing through the ribs.
I sobbed. “N-no. I thought this was over! I refuse to have nightmares like this anymore! I thought I got rid of them!” tears soaked my cheeks. “N-no, I don’t want anyone to die, no longer.”
The dream was so realistic. What if it actually happened? I freaked out, not Having Pablo’s, nor Mizuki’s, nor Mai’s phone number.
I hope they’re okay. O-o-of course they are... Calm down, calm down. I thought I could deal with this on my own... Maybe I was wrong.
Taking my phone from the nightstand, I lighted up the sitting cat lamp and checked the device. It was nine o’clock, forty minutes. I wiped my tears.
My device had wallpaper with cute kittens on it. I adored cats, yet also every cute animal. I reached to her nightstand once more and pulled a jar with some pills from the drawer.
I entered the kitchen and filled a cup with water, throwing one in my mouth. I drank some water from the cup and kept it there for a while. I swallowed, feeling like I’m going to throw up the object anyway. “I hope they will calm me.”
My eyes fell on another jar on the kitchen counter. Pills for forgetting... they don’t work. I do need to forget, but can I? Should I? The medicine never worked. I’m not sure what do I want anymore.
Not to mention these were the pills your mother took. Your mother, who changed suddenly. And mistreated you.
“Shut up,” I answered the voice in my head. The voice continued, though, “They are driving you crazy. You don’t even know what they are made from. Pathetic.”
“Who are you?” I frowned, “Are you Shinshu?”
“Nobody cares who I am. Just saying you shouldn’t use something you know nothing regarding.”
“I’m desperate. The nightmares seem to be coming back, the memories, don’t tell me the voices, things nobody else can see, and extreme mood swings too...”
“Of course. You’re crazy, girl. Keeps talking with voices in her head. What would your best friend know if he acknowledged your secrets?”
I refused to think about that. “See? You’re pathetic and stupid. And who would love a girl like that? Nobody. Nobody will ever date or truly love you. You’re absolutely nothing after her death. Only a living body without a soul, because she died and something with her in you did too. And of course, won’t you kill yourself if you don’t find true love?”
“Shut up... Shut up...” I placed my hands on my ears, “No, not again.”
“And the body lying in the puddle of blood... You didn’t do anything to help her. You only stared... Her death became your fault. You are a murderer. And having no family is the price you have to pay.”
“No! No!” I cried, “just leave me alone already!” To my surprise, the voice stopped. Nevertheless, I knew it would return and haunt me. The emptiness came back, swallowing all of the other feelings. I wish to isolate myself and be alone.
I shook in fear, gulping my tears before calming down and sighing. “Life is so difficult.” I undressed from pajamas, dressing in underwear and off shoulders black sweater. I also wore a dark blue pleated skirt and white knee socks.
My wide plain black choker was already wrapped on my neck; I never took it off. Now I placed my hand on it. “This was the only last thing left I got from her. This choker is my memory on her, memories I refuse to forget. Or do I desire to?”
I slipped in my black winter boots with silver buckles attached to them. Those were my favorites shoes, always wearing them no matter the season - even in summer.
I left my apartment and walked downstairs, past the building, and to the subway.
Wait for a second... Where is their residence? I’ll try to find a way there. I remember it’s Sanazawa Street, number block fourteen.
Unable to get the voice’s words out of my head, I did my best not to think of it. I knew the voices, extreme sadness, and hyperactivity might come back. It always comes back unexpectedly.
I waited for the train at the station, sooner finding myself on a seat, watching the nature behind the window. Somehow, I remembered the way to get to my friend’s place. How do I remember? Possibly I am going the wrong way, anyway.
I couldn’t stay at one place, feeling upset, not focusing on anything, worried if everyone is okay, and regretting I didn’t stay home, pushing myself actually to visit my friends.
I found myself standing near Sanazawa Street later. I could see it from the place I stood and entered the block, freezing. The property appeared in flames, as my eyes widened in shock. I gulped, shaking sweating over my face.
No... No... Anything, not this. This can’t be real. None of this is real. Yet the smoke appeared real... I realized I am standing and doing nothing and suddenly ran as fast as my legs carried me, stopping in front of the building.
A disaster... Everything is in flames...
I hid my head in my hands, kneeling on the ground. No. No... Anything, not this. At this moment, I forgot about myself, only remembering the terrible emptiness. My tears made no sound falling on the ground.
I never desired another person to die. Multiple people are dying. Instead of going into the house, I’m just crying on the pavement? What am I even doing?
I heard someone’s steps behind me. “Are you okay?” a voice asked, coming from a long distance.
“What is wrong with her?”
“Why is she crying?”
“What happened?” Someone asked, worried. I couldn’t recognize the voice.
“HERE!” I yelled.
“What do you mean? No home is on fire here.”
I quickly and sharply raised my head. The building ignited... And in the next second, flames disappeared.
Everything was fine. No fire, nothing. It must have been my imagination. I got up. What does this mean? No. Maybe medicine. I ought to stop taking them... Are they drugs? Did my mom take drugs?
The stranger in front of me seemed scared. “Are you okay?”
“I-I’m fine.” I smiled slightly, thinking this is another lucid nightmare.
Is medicine the reason why... No option. You’re probably not related anyway. It’s fine; you should stop using your imagination this way. I inhaled and exhaled deeply before opening gates from bamboo and walking in the yard.
I waved to the stranger, feeling stupid. I hid behind the doghouse in their yard, wiping my tears with tissues.
Once I pulled myself together, I dashed up to the doorbell, hoping they will listen to it. Some people in Japan would keep their homes permanently locked or hide and wait until they go away. I pressed their doorbell and waited. Someone unlocked the door, and I, with Mizuki, locked eyes. She shot me a smile. “Hi!”
“Miz!” A wave of relief rolled over me. Everything is okay, except for my imagination.
“Hi, Ku! You’re here kinda early.”
“I’m sorry. I must be acting disrespectfully.”
“No, it’s fine. Come in!”
Mizuki held the door, and I came in, slipping out of my shoes and making them face the door. I changed into guest slippers pacing through the hallway, Mizuki accompanying me. She sat at the table with me on the opposite side.
“You surely woke up early.” Mizuki smiled.
“Yeah. I’m sorry for bothering you.”
I couldn’t tell her what I saw. What would she tell me? That I’m crazy or was it just a dream? What if the stranger, who is probably their neighbor tells her, how I cried on the pavement?