Sunday, February 25th, 2029
I hear whispers around me and I turn my head slowly to face the source, but there doesn’t seem to be any, they’re coming from every direction. I stand up and nearly fall over. I keep pressure on my head and breathe deeply. I bend over to grab Sarah’s notebook and I immediately regret it. I fall to my knees and my vision goes blotchy.
I take another deep breath and reach my arm down. I grasp the spiraled binding of the notebook and pick it up. I get back to my feet and begin running for home. I don’t remember half of the run back aside for constant motion and horrific fear. Shapes come into view and leave just as quick. If I wasn’t running off of pure adrenaline I’m not sure if I could have even moved at all.
It isn’t long before I’m opening my front door, not caring how much noise I’m making. I run through the living room, not noticing that nobody is even in the room and I make my way to the cupboards for anything to help. In the first cabinet I don’t find anything. I’m rushing over to the second while my mind is racing at a million miles a minute. In the second cabinet I find some medical gauze. I begin wrapping it around my head.
I’ll admit that I have no idea what I’m doing. I look at my watch and see that it’s almost four in the morning. Was I really out that long?
To be honest, I’m not surprised my parents were too busy arguing to notice I was gone all night. What am I supposed to do about this? Telling my parents won’t help me do jack squat except maybe get another bruise from dad, I guess. No.
I decide to just keep today’s happenings to myself. I don’t know how I’m going to hide my wound from my father, but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. After I clean up the wound and wrap it up fully I head up to my room and then I crash on my bed. I lay the notebook beside me, the picture of the city sprawled out beside me as I lay my head back carefully and slowly. I begin to close my eyes. The toils of the day all coming to a close, I feel myself losing reality and succumbing to dreams.
[ | ]
My dream is confusing to say the least. I see the three towers in the distance and it’s as if I’m back at the boardwalk again. It’s night out as I can see the moon perched high up above me. I know better this time to not step near the towers. I hear a sort of chant in the background, it is not unlike the whispers I had heard when I was here the first time.
The next thing I see is a man appears out of nowhere, he is slightly taller than me. His dirty blonde hair is illuminated by the moonlight. He looks at me and smiles and I see he is wearing a mask. It’s completely white and it has a crooked and wide grin carved into it. It looks similar to that of a jack-o-lantern.
His eyes shine bright through the eyeholes of the mask and I can see the numbers through his eyes. One thing that catches me off guard is that his pupils are entirely white, so he looks totally abstract.
[ | ]
My eyes open and I’m staring at my ceiling. I look at my watch and it says it is about noon. I sit up. My head still hurts, but it is tolerable. I think that doing some research on these numbers might do me some good. I stand up and grab my coat. Something falls out of my pocket, a slip of paper. I open it up and it’s a phone number.
It takes me a moment to remember my dream from the previous night and I remember seeing Sarah give me a slip of paper. Could this be that paper and if it is…is it Sarah’s number? I don’t dare call it. Not yet, at least. One thing is sure, I need to find out more about these numbers and maybe even this strange man, or what Sarah’s drawing has to do with all of this. Sarah’s drawings. I look back to the notebook on my bed. I walk over and pick it up and hold it in my hands.
My curiosity getting the better of me, I flip through the pages. I start from the beginning and the first sketch is a self-portrait. The detail in the drawing is phenomenal, the hair parts just as it did when I saw her and her blue eyes seem to pop off of the page. It’s dated in the corner, “01/22/2028.”
So, she started this more than a year ago. I flip to the next page and see a sketch of a beautiful sky. The clouds edge along the edge of the paper and it almost looks like they’re skating across the paper. It’s dated for “01/29/2028.”
I turn the page and drop the book at the third drawing. My jaw nearly drops to the floor and I look at it with disbelief. It’s not a finished drawing, but I can get enough out of it. It’s a drawing of me.
It’s not even fully finished with the base sketch, but looking at the sketch of the face alone is like I’m looking into some sort of mirror. I look down to the corner of the paper and see that it’s dated “02/05/2028.”
I put on my coat and head out the door without another thought. I need some answers and maybe this phone number might give me some.
My father is standing next to his chair, staring at me when I make it down the stairs.
“Where were you last night, Jonathan?” His voice is stern and malicious.
“I was over at a friend’s house.”
“Friend? What friend? You don’t have any friends.”
My heart begins pounding.
“And your head?”
“Oh…it was just an accident, sir.”
My palms are becoming sweaty.
“Come home late again and there might just be another accident,” he says as he hobbles into the kitchen.
I let out a breath and slide out of the door. It’s quite chilly outside, just like the previous day. I’m glad that I had brought my coat this time. I’m still contemplating on whether I should call that number. I mean, if it is Sarah’s what would she think? Some creep she just met somehow found out her phone number. Yeah, that’ll blow over well.
Then again, it could have some answers.
After some more internal debate I pull out my phone and dial the number. It rings for a few seconds and I hear a familiar voice pick up.
“Hello? Who is this?” Sarah answers in a confused tone.
I’m shaking. What do I say? How do I explain this?
“H-Hello Sarah.” I am slapping myself for how stupid I sound.
“John? Is that you?”
I tense up. I don’t know what to do, I’m sweating.
“That means...you got my note?” she asks and I am somewhat speechless. This takes me for a loop. She...She knows about the note?
“How did you know...?”
“Meet me in the park in ten minutes and I’ll explain,” She hangs up.
Is it possible that we...did we actually...? No, of course not. We couldn’t have had the same dream? Those kinds of things just don’t happen in real life...don’t they? I put my phone away. I put my hand to my forehead and I’m sweating bullets. I turn back to the house and run inside. I jump up the stairs up to my room and step inside. I snatch the notebook off of my floor and head back outside.
I start jogging to the park, I can make it there quicker if I sprint, but the pain in my head won’t let me do that this early. Whatever answers await me in the park I’ll be ready for them. It’s better than no answers at all.