Vanished

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Chapter 2

I hear muffled voices. I sense danger. I am out late at night, making my way home. It’s pouring with rain. I am drenched. I quicken my pace. I start to run. It’s too dark, that I feel off balance. I fall to my knees. I hear footsteps behind me. A threat. Was it directed at me? My heart is racing. I am beside myself wishing that I can move. I feel like a deer in headlights. A loud sound reverberates all around me. I cannot breathe. I am panting for air. Fighting for survival. That is when I hear it; a gun fire explodes out of nowhere. I am screaming, screaming for my dear life, I am in pitch black dark to only realise that I am in the comfort of my bed. I try to calm my nerves. To slow my breathing, to regulate the beating of my heart.

I reach out to my lampshade, to fill my room with light. My legs have turned to jelly. I glance at my clock it’s just gone past 6:30am. I stay in bed until I feel I can stand up. A few minutes later, I make my way to the bathroom. I need to wash my face with cold water. There’s evidence of what happened last night. I have panda eyes but surprisingly I do not feel bad. I am fortunate that I have never suffered from a hangover in all my life.

I start to question the purpose of this nightmare. I can feel that it’s troubling me .I cannot even remember when was the last time I had a decent nights kip. I feel so disorientated. I give myself a firm mental telling off, to snap out of it. I tell myself it’s only a dream. It surely cannot mean anything. I run the water to have a soak in my bath. I need to find a way to relax. I bask in the feeling of relaxing. It sure has calmed my nerves. I rinse the bath and wrap my dressing gown around me. I contemplate on what needs to be done as tomorrow I will be back to work on my early shift. I decide on going out, I need fresh air to help clear my mind. I grab my jeans with a polo t-shirt and team it with my flats. I grab my phone whilst making my way downstairs. I see one message from Chrissie which reads: I have reached. Will give you a call tomorrow. Love c. x. The other message was from the company Chrissie and I work for, finest jewels. It’s a small boutique that sells jewellery of high calibre. It was a reminder that both Chrissie and I would be opening up the shop, promptly at 5am. I decide on having a cup of coffee before I set out to have a stroll wherever my feet may take me. I grab my jacket, phone and bag with my keys and head out.

I decided on stopping at my local library. Maybe I may find answers as to why people have reoccurring dreams. I enter my library on Sunday at 10am and head straight to different sections of books. I know have to determine would dreams be considered as a spiritual experience or psychological. I scroll through the genre of books. Finally I have found a few, but they are called the book of dreams and meanings. I am very sceptical whether I would find answers and end up scanning the books. There is nothing on re-occurring dreams. I put that one particular book away and found another, but I ended up not finding anything that would help. I stayed in the library reading up on anything other but dreams. After an hour or two, I decide to make my way to go to a grocery store. I need to stock up on food. I end up going to Sainsbury’s. Trolley in tow, I buy all the necessities I need; milk, break, butter, eggs, sugar and additional items that may come into handy when I am starving. As I am making my way to the check out, I thought I might have seen that mystery guy again, but when I looked closer, it was not him. My mind was playing tricks. I really ought to snap out of it. I paid for everything I had purchased, bagged all the items and was on my way back home. It took 30 minutes until I was back on my road. I could hear my phone ringing in my bag. Whoever it was would have to wait until I was in doors. Once in doors, I took all the bags into my kitchen and put the items away in there designated area. I checked my phone. The missed call was from none other than my partner in crime, Chrissie. I called her back.

“Christina, how are you this morning?”

“Nadine, I feel so out of it, how many drinks did we have?”

“Too much Chrissie, but I thought you can handle it?”

“I may have lost my touch. What have you been up to?”

“Well put it this way I woke up again to that nightmare for the ninth time, it’s becoming bothersome, I know I should not worry, as it’s only a dream but how can I make it stop? I ended up in the library trying to research about it but to no avail. Then I remembered I need to stock up on my grocery. How was your night? Bet it was eventful!” I giggle.

“Nadz seriously! You cannot control your dreams no matter how much you would want to. I get that it is concerning you but remember it’s a figment of your imagination. Did you watch any horror shows? Maybe that would explain it. Oh do you really want to know about my night?”

“Chrissie how could I have watched anything scary? I was out with you remember? Yes do spill. Everything in your life has been eventful from the get go.”

I hear her groan, trying not to get into hysterics, I wait for her response.

“Well, I woke up thinking what in the world had happened. We ended up getting intimate before we reached my flat.”

“Wait, what are you trying to say? You had done it in the back of a cab?” I was in shrieks of laughter.

“I was so drunk and off my head, I just went with it.”

“Didn’t the cab driver say anything? Did he not protest?”

“Well we didn’t exactly do it, there was a bit of foreplay, his jacket was very handy,”

“Oh, so what you’re saying is that he got you off in the back of a cab?” I couldn’t stop giggling.

“All I have to say is, is that he is skilled with his fingers”

“You make it sound like he was playing an instrument or something.”

I was absolutely in stitches. My stomach was hurting from Chrissie’s antics.

“By the way, did you find out his name before you told him to sling his hook?”

“I was so drunk, but somehow managed to see him out and completely dozed off to sleep”

“You’re so classy, Chrissie! By the way did you receive that message? We have to open up finest jewels promptly at 5am?”

“Yeah I just received it, got to shoot off now but will see you first thing in the morning! Love you nadz”

“Love you too Chrissie. See you tomorrow and make sure you get your butt to work, bang on time. If I can make it there well before the time so can you.”

I decide to cook something basic to eat. I rustle up a Spanish omelette whilst flicking through the channels. I’ve kept it on comedy central, I am a huge friends fan as there’s a marathon of it throughout the whole day. I have my omelette with some bread which I devour in less than 10 minutes. I wash the dishes. It’s nearly 5pm. I know that I would need to get to sleep early. I have to be up at 2:30am. I decide to call it a night at 7pm. After watching a few episodes of friends. I drop Chrissie a text message to make sure she is there on time. As I make my way upstairs, I get into my pyjamas and get into bed. It takes a while for me to sleep, I look up endlessly at my ceiling, thinking of what tomorrow will bring. I slowly start to dose off, in the back of mind hoping that I can have a blissful dream.

I am shaking uncontrollably. My clothes are wet. I feel like a ton of bricks. Something is weighing me down. I cannot move. All the feelings in my limps have become numb. I am willing myself to move, but afraid to. Tears are stinging my eyes. A sensation of loss is tearing through me. My heart is racing. I am crying for help .Screaming as loud as I can. I hear my scream as high pitched echoing in my room. I have managed to wake myself up from this nightmare and soaked in sweat yet again. I feel nauseated, sick to my stomach. The feeling of unease remains deep in my mind. The sensation of loss is hard to ignore. This dream was much different. I gather my thoughts still in bed. I glance at the clock it’s nearing on 2:15am wishing that these nightmares would end.

I decide to get out of bed, shower and wash my hair. I decide to wear whatever blouse I can get my hands on, it’s a shade of purple, the finest of silks. A skirt or trousers? I contemplate; I choose the skirt, specifically a pencil skirt matched with killer black suede heels; to complete the look. Whilst heading downstairs, I drop a text message to Chrissie to wake her up. I straighten my hair and apply minimal make up. I call my regular cab, which always picks me up at around the same time 3:30am. I have a bowl of cereal with a cup of tea. Whilst I am waiting for my cab, I watch the news with the local weather forecast. Until my phone rings. I answer knowing it’s my cab to take me to work. I lock up everywhere. Turn the TV off. Grab my jacket, my bag, my flats which I put into my bag and my phone and most importantly my keys and head out.

As I step outside my house, the roads are a blanket of fog. It reminds me of a ghost town. I jump into my regular cab, thankful that the driver has warmed his car. I try not to drift off to sleep, worried that this nightmare may continue. The journey does not take long to get to work as there is hardly any traffic on the roads. He makes small talk as always. I am grateful for it. I reached Gatwick at 4:45am. I thanked the cab driver and handed his money. I briskly walked inside of Gatwick airport to south terminal. It was very quiet, only a few people were there but were fast asleep. I make my way through to security as finest jewels are located on airside. Once through security, I head straight to our office which is on the side of where the boutique is located. Both Chrissie and I have a key, that’s if we were to ever have to work on opposites shifts which rarely happened. I turned on the lights in our office, it was very compact. There were a few amenities such as a kettle, microwave, TV, table with a few stools. I needed another coffee before I had to open the store. Just then Chrissie walked in. I greeted her with a hug.

“Look what the cat dragged in” I joked.

“I just want to get the day over and done with.”

“Same here, I have hardly slept that much. I am sure you can figure out why.”

“Oh not again. The same exact dream or has it slightly changed?”

“This dream was not the same, it felt much more intense. I can’t describe it.” I peek at Chrissie, she looks exhausted.

“Want a cup of coffee?”

“Please, I could murder one right about now.”

We both downed our coffees.

“Time to get this day over and done with. What do you say?”

“Amen to that.”

At approximately 4:50am, I take the keys and open the boutique. The key automatically opens the shutters. Normally at the start of the shift both Chrissie and I do till checks, check which latest product is on promotion and makes sure we sell as much as we can. Chrissie then joins me and we get started on doing the tills checks. The float has to be £150 which is spot on. Costa coffee is right opposite us. They open well before us. The staffs within the airport are beyond friendly. Sometimes when Chrissie and I are beyond tired, we sometimes get coffees on discount or for free which rarely happens.

“Chrissie, you like you could do with another coffee. Why don’t you go and get two from Costa’s, I’ll pay you back. ”

“You know you don’t need to pay me back, what drink do you want?”

“One cappuccino please with 4 sugars.”

Whilst Chrissie went to get the coffees, I decided to check the stock and complete the stock count and turned on the music player in our boutique. I had turned up the volume to wake myself up. Chrissie made her way back with the two cups of coffee and a sheepish grin on her face. What on earth was she beaming at? Especially at this time in the morning. Only a couple of minutes ago she looked like she had been suffering from a hangover.

“How is it that a couple of minutes ago you looked like you were suffering from a hangover and now your grinning? You look like a cat that has just got the cream.”

“You know me nadz. Remember the guy from last night? Somehow he dropped me a text message and is keen to go for round 2 for later on tonight.”

“Oh! So will you be seeing him tonight? What was even his name? Do you even remember? Or were you so drunk out of your head that you couldn’t put a sentence together?”

“Well he was skilled with his fingers. Honestly I was drunk out my head, he didn’t mention his name but hopefully by tonight I’ll be screaming it. Then I can tell you what his name was Nadine.”

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. We both downed our second coffees in the day. It gave both of us an energy rush.

“Seriously, the things you come out with Chrissie. It’s so unexpected.”

“Me and my wild stories eh. Glad to know I can always make you laugh despite my tits up experiences.”

Passengers started entering air side as the first flight would be departing at 5am. The terminal had many shops such as Accessorize which sold jewellery, handbags and scarves. Boots which was a pharmacy. Books which sell novels. Dixons which sell gadgets. Goldsmiths is our main competitor. Hmv selling DVDs and cds. La senza sells lingerie. World duty free sells anything from confectionary, liquor and cosmetics. Gatwick is the only airport that has fast food outlets: Mc Donald’s and Burger king.

A few passengers enter our boutique; they scan the items that we have which are fairly overpriced. But we know the customers that do come in our store are more browsers than buyers. The time where the boutique gets busy is mainly on our late shifts and just before we finish on the early shift. I end up cleaning a few of the display shelves to maintain the standards of the boutique, whilst Chrissie serves the customers. It’s nearing on 7am. It has been fairly quiet. There have only been a few European customers who have window shopped, and one out of 4 made a purchase on one of our watches.

The boutique is empty, my stomach starts to growl. Knowing that I had a bowl of cereal at 3am and now its 7am. I feel hungry.

“Chrissie, do you want to have your first break now or later?

“Nadz, you always go on your break at around the same time, on all the early shifts. Shoot off will you? I can manage for an hour. We both know that no one will come till after midday.”

“Thanks Chrissie.”

I need to get some money so I head straight to the office. I take my purse and ponder on what I should eat. I decide on having krispy kremes doughnuts. The finest doughnuts you will ever taste. I walk past our boutique and Chrissie wolf whistles at me. I scoot off even faster. I hate attracting attention as a few onlookers are glancing at me. People would probably get the wrong impression. I make my way to krispy kremes outlet and order three original glazed doughnuts with a hot chocolate to go. I quickly walk back to the office, walking briskly past the boutique. I can see that Christina looks preoccupied. Two male passengers are animatedly talking to her, god knows what about. I am thankful that they are there otherwise she probably would have tried to embarrass me. Once I’m back in the office, I turn all the heaters on as it’s slightly cold. I sit in the lounger and eat my two doughnuts, leaving one for Christina. This should give me another energy burst. I turn on the TV, a yawn escapes from my lips and I feel my eyes slowly closing. I can barely hear the TV. I snuggle up on the lounge in a comfortable position and drift off to sleep.

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