"Can I trust him?” I asked myself as I lay in bed in the middle of the night. It’s already 10:45 pm and classes starts at 7 am tomorrow. Still, I can’t shake the question off my mind. He's way different now than he was before and I feel like I need him with me now.
As thoughts flowed around my mind, I hadn’t noticed that I was drifting off to dreamland…
I was still in bed but something was wrong. I am currently staring in the light bulb of my room’s ceiling. I tried to sit up, to check the time perhaps. I knew I got up, I knew I commanded my brain to sit up and I felt myself doing so, I felt my body move but still… all I can see is that one light bulb. I pictured myself. Maybe I was already sitting up and I was just staring at the light bulb. But no, I found myself still lying in bed. Strange, I could’ve sworn I moved. I tried getting up again, but still all I see is that light bulb. I tried again, still the bulb. I put in all my strength to sit up and force my head to look somewhere else but nothing changed and I am still lying on my bed.
I tried several times until suddenly I felt a gush of fear overtaking my body. For the first time in a long time, I felt scared. This time, I knew, no matter what I try I couldn’t move anymore.
I tried to scream, to call out to my mom, but no voice seem to come out. My brain was arguing with my actions, I didn’t know what to do. Then out of nowhere, something peculiar happened. The ceiling and light bulb that I was looking at became completely distorted. It’s as if the ceiling was made out of a body of water and ripples were surrounding it. The ceiling’s texture swirled as if making a portal. Then something came out of it. A black hand… The hand was inhuman, it was beast-like with long fingers that looked like claws and had no fingernails. The arm stretched out, reaching to my face. The jagged arm reached out for my neck and started strangling me.
A body was coming out of the ceiling following the arm. It was too dark for anyone to see. All I could see were eyes with bright blue pupils. A pendant came into view too, it was a Gothic cross shaped pendant with black gems. As I observe my strangler, I felt the air thinning out inside me, was this is it? Am I about to die? I closed my eyes and struggled to give out one last cry.
“Hailey? Hailey! What’s wrong baby? Wake Up!” a voice… A warm voice, I heard it and I felt my body being shaken so I can break free. It was a dream and I’m still alive.
As I open my eyes slowly, I say my mom’s worried face staring back at me. She was sweating hard and had watery eyes. The moment I looked at her, she immediately embraced me and held me tight.
“It’s alright baby, it is over. Your nightmare is over” I thought to myself ‘I wanted to believe that too’ but without saying a word I hugged her back, just to let her know that I’m okay.
I couldn’t find the words to comfort her, I didn’t want to speak and break this moment. She’s frightened enough as it is, I’m not going to make her worry anymore. Her radiant eyes looked at mine and I smiled to her, she left for a while and got me a glass of water when she came back.
“Go back to bed Hailey, its only 3 am, or do you want to sleep in my room?” she said jokingly.
“I’m not a kid anymore mom, but thanks” I said and smiled sweetly at her after what seemed like a long time.
“If anything goes wrong, my door is always open” she said. She was actually serious about wanting me to sleep with her. It is funny to think that I got spooked with a bad dream at this age though. She leaned towards me and kissed my forehead then said goodnight. It's been a while since I felt this… warmth, this assurance that I’d be safe.
As I lay back in bed, I remembered my mom’s words “it’s over, your nightmare is over”. Little did I know, it was just the beginning.