No. Not again. This couldn't be happening again. I was running through the same woods; those familiar dark woods near my house. I twisted my head back to look behind again and again. It felt as though something was chasing me, but I couldn’t be sure. I am never sure if I’m running from something or towards something. Or maybe even someone. Dreams never do make sense and this recurring one of mine is top of that list. My friends wonder if I’m having a premonition each time I have it, given it’s always the same dream. Nothing really happens except me running for my life and not knowing why. The not knowing is the worst part. I can see everything so quickly, I can feel myself thrashing in my bed but I can’t wake up. I can never wake myself up until I reach a particular part of the forest. But then nothing. I hit that clearing and I wake with a start, never able to fall asleep again.
It doesn’t make sense. Nothing in my life makes sense anymore. Say this is a premonition - not that I believe in such things - what is it a premonition of? Because last time I checked, fantasy creatures and people didn't exist. This is usually the part of the story where you get told you’re a witch or some supernatural creature with super human strength and abilities, but I’m in a dream. There is no one here but me. No one around for miles. Except whatever is chasing me - if anything is chasing me.
The overwhelming sense to breathe crashes over me and I halt next to a large tree, which isn't hard to come by here. But that’s when my senses are on red alert. I’ve never been able to control my movements like this and think so freely. Something is different. Maybe even wrong. I have to figure this out while I can. Maybe this time my dream will make more sense.
I survey my surroundings not that there is much to see except the dark, the twinkling stars, the bright moon hanging high in the sky, illuminating streaks of light across the ground and the never ending cascade of trees overhead. My breathing finds a sense of norm, despite me not feeling normal or calm in the slightest and I look back the way I came, wondering why there is nothing coming after me. Granted I should be relieved at that fact, but for some reason it unnerves me further. At least if someone came towards me right now, I’d know I was running from something, that I am always running from something.
A snapped twig turns my head the other way and I stare into the darkness, my heart beat rising again. I move around the tree to hide myself and peer around it, squinting as if it will help me see further than ever before. Like I will suddenly manifest the supernatural ability to see in the dark.
“Charlie?” A voice calls my name, but I don’t recognise it. I can’t let them see me. I have to stay hidden. “Charlie?” They call again and I stay rooted to the spot.
I’ve never encountered anyone else in this dream before and I’m not about to start doing so now. Yet if I want to know what is going on, maybe I need to. Even if it ends tragically, it is only a dream so I’ll still wake up in my room, in the comfort of my bed. What is the worst that can happen?
I make my way out from the tree and stand in a small clearing. The clearing I realise, is the same one that is usually the point I wake up. I stare ahead of me as the voice calls again, and yet I still can’t place it. I don’t know that voice. How can I dream about someone I don’t know?
“Charlie!” A face appears before me but I don't move. “You’re here!” He smiles and pulls me towards him, but his smile falters when I stare back at him blankly.
“Who are you?”
He lets me go and swallows hard. “I am your future.” He takes a quick scan behind him and looks back at me. “We don’t have long.” He pushes me back to stand behind a tree. “You have to find me. Promise me when you wake up, you will find me. Our lives depend on it.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” I push him away from me. “I don’t know you and this is just a dream. That’s all it is. A very tense and unsettling dream, nothing more.”
“A dream you can never willingly wake up from. A dream that you keep having. Your subconscious is tying to tell you something Charlie. Are you going to listen to it?” He rests his hands either side of my head, leaning on the bark, trapping me between the tree and his body. “I know you and soon, you will know me. But you have to find me first.”
“H-how? I don’t know you. I’ve never seen you before.” As soon as the words leave me lips, I know it’s a lie. Something in the back of my mind tells me I have seen him before. Maybe just in passing, never really taking enough notice. But he’s been there. I’ve seen him out the corner of me eye and now somehow he is in my dream, communicating with me like this is real life.
“Yes, you have.” His voice is low. “You know you have. I can see it your eyes you know that now.” He places hand on my face and kisses me. A fire comes alive inside me and I want to stay here forever like this. In his arms. He pulls away too soon and moves back from me. “You’re about to wake up.” He runs a finger across his lips as if he needs to savour the moment. “Just remember to find me."
“I will.” I nod frantically, watching him slowly back away, as I reach out for him. I need more information. He can’t leave like this.
“We need each other, you and me. We can’t face the world without each other.” He looks behind him before looking back at me one last time. How I know it’s the last time I don’t know, but he smiles at me, almost sadly. “Everything will be fine, as long as you find me, Charlie.”
“I promise I will.” I practically shout.
“Then, I’ll see you again soon.” He turns from me and walks into a cloud of mist. A cloud I didn’t notice was there before.
I feel the need to follow him, go after him. Just stay here and find him. Why can’t we just stay here in this dream together? If we need each other so badly, why did he leave me here all alone? I try and take a step forward, but something pushes me back. I reach out a hand and a glimmer of light shines for a moment, before falling to the ground, like a forcefield. Trapping me here. Not able to get to him.
Promise me when you wake up, you’ll find me.
His words echo through my mind and I step back into that same small clearing that usually causes me to wake up. I look around and keep hold of that tender moment between us. I am your future. His voice stays with me as I close my eyes and tell myself to wake up. I don’t know how, but I know what I saw was real. Somehow he was in my dream for real and his presence allowed me to take control.
From now on, I will always be in control. “I will find you.” I say aloud and my eyes burst open to the familiar surroundings of my dark ended bedroom.
“I will find you.” I whisper and I reach up to touch my lips, the feel of his on mine still there. I have to find him. He is my only answer to what is going on.
Knowing I can’t waste any time, I jump out of bed and grab the first clothes I can find, pulling them on while dialling the number of my best friend. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to need help. And most importantly, a lift.
I keep his words with me, keep his voice with me as I head out into the early morning, with barely a plan in mind except that of his own words. Promise me you’ll find me…
And find him, I will.
Whether it takes days, weeks or months, I’ll find him.
I am going to find him!
Merci pour la lecture!
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