A voice said, “I want to drive.”
“You are not sober.” “I’ll drive.” Another voice spoke up.
Everything took place in the dark. I couldn’t make out any faces and could only hear sounds.
“I don’t want to go home anytime soon. Turn the car around.” I hear the first voice again.
“Hey! What exactly are you doing? Don’t turn the wheel.” The second voice yelled.
“Guys! Guys! Be careful.” I could now hear another person, and it sounded like myself.
Then there was a big jerk, and I could feel the truck spinning out of control. I could hear tire screeching, metal scraping and shredding, and heavy shouting from three people. And then there was a loud noise, and everything fell eerily calm.
I jerked my eyes open, straining with irregular gasps. One hand instinctively reached for the water bottle on the bedside table, while the other tried to calm my irregular heartbeat. My hands were working on reflex. For the past three years, they had repeated the same deed after the same nightmare.
I peered around the room, drenched in sweat, to make sure I wasn’t in the car and on solid ground. Even if the nightmare occurred less frequently, it had the same effect as the first time.
I looked at the time, which was ten minutes to five. I got up and sat on my study table, turning on my laptop, realizing I couldn’t sleep any longer. Working on my final project thesis was the least I could do. I was finishing up my Master’s degree in Computer Science at Baron University. In four months, I would be graduating with honors.
The shrill of my mobile alarm pulled me from my work. I’m glad I didn’t turn off my alarm because I wouldn’t have had time to get ready. I sighed and closed the laptop, saving my work.
My friend Paige and I were sharing a modest flat near the campus. Many of the university students stayed here. Even there were a couple of professors staying with their family. As the realization of the advancing hour settled upon me, I gracefully gathered my clothes, proceeding with purpose towards the sanctuary of the bathroom.
I entered the kitchen for my breakfast and coffee. I need a heavy dose of caffeine to compensate for my lack of sleep. I saw Paige sitting on the kitchen island engrossed in a book with her breakfast. Making a toast along with a large cup of black coffee, I sat next to her.
Hearing my arrival, Paige looked up from her book with a smile. Her reaction changed upon seeing my face.
“Good morning, Paige!” I said to her.
“Good morning, is it the same dream again?” she asked with a concerned-filled voice.
I nodded my head, rubbing my tired eyes.
“Hanna, you need to talk to someone about this. If not your doctor, at least to your parents.” She said it back.
“No, Paige. My parents will be worried and want me to come back home. It will take us only four more months to complete the course. I don’t want any issues to arise at this time. Also, the frequency of the dream had reduced.”
“Is the impact reduced?” She hit right on target.
“No! But I can cope,” I said to her.
“But...” Paige tried to talk.
“Please, Paige. You know that this degree is my dream. I want to finish this course.”
She sighed, realizing that I would not change my mind.
“Promise me, at least you will tell me if this is affecting you too much.”
I touched her hand with a smile.
To divert her from the topic, I asked her the next question.
“How is your final thesis coming up? Have you finished?”
“Almost. I have submitted it to Mr. Robert. He had asked me to meet him today to discuss the final draft. What about you?”
“I have finished mine. But Mr. Michael is still not back from his break. I will wait for another two days, and if he is not back, I need to request for another professor to guide me.” I said to her.
She looked at her watch. “I have to meet Mr. Robert before the classes. See you in the first session.” With that, she finished her coffee and was about to move. She looked at me once again with a severe face.
“You need to come out of that. Three years is a very long time to mourn.” Paige said to me.
I did not answer, as I didn’t have one. Paige sighed and left the place.
I sipped my coffee as my thoughts drifted to the events that happened three years ago. I finished my bachelor’s degree in computers in my hometown and applied for a master’s here. Amy, Paige, and I clicked together, and we became good friends.
When I heard that Amy was also from my town, I was very surprised. I hadn’t met her in my school days or even in college, as we had studied at totally different institutions so far. After the first year, we went back to our homes during the summer break.
My mind jumped to the fated day on its own. It was the end of summer break, and we were waiting to go back to college for our second year. Amy’s sister, Ruby, had been selected for law school. To celebrate Ruby’s acceptance to the college, Amy, Ruby, and I went out. While coming back, we met with an accident, and Amy lost her life. I remember enjoying ourselves in the club, and after that, my memories were dark. Doctors said that it was due to the shock, and I would get my memories eventually. But it was three years, and still, I could not recall what had happened that night.
I was still in touch with Amy’s parents, Kelly and Mathew. They were also slowly recovering from their loss. But Ruby stopped speaking to me.
Amy, Paige, and I were in this flat initially. But after Amy, we never want another flatmate. I sighed, coming back to reality. Still today, Amy’s loss hit with a pang in my heart. She was such a lovely friend.
I locked the flat and climbed down. Many students are walking towards the university like me. Once entering the campus, I moved towards the main building when a voice stopped me.
I turned towards the voice and stood stunning.
A tall, handsome guy stood in front of me with a smile. His dark hair, neither long nor short, stood attractively. His deep, dark eyes can arrest anyone. A sharp nose and curved lips attractively enhanced the manliness in his face. Did I miss the jawline? No one can be this handsome. It is not possible.
I stood there with just a blink. God! Someone teach me how to breathe again. I came back to reality after hearing a chuckle. Realizing that the man caught me staring at him, redness crept on my cheeks.
“Yes,” I said, finally realizing I hadn’t answered him.
“Can you tell me where the administrative office is?” He asked me. His voice created sensations in me that I cannot explain.
“Yes,” I said to him.
“Okay…” He dragged with a confused smile.
Realizing this again, I pointed to the building. He looked back at me.
“Thank you. And it should be my lucky day.” He said.
“Why?” I asked him.
To get directions from a beautiful girl like you.” He said it with a smile, turned, and walked towards the office without waiting for my answer.
Only then did I realize I hadn’t asked his name.