I WOKE UP ON THE GRASS. It's rich green was slowly turning to white by falling ash. My head turned upwards to see the gray sky and by the time I looked back down, the ground was mostly covered. Putting a rag to my mouth, I pushed myself to my feet, looked around at the housing complex, and started walking back home. I saw a young couple coming out of a house, laughing. I am not sure why, since neither the woman nor the man looked dangerous, but I became nervous. I did not want them to engage me. I looked down, eyes on the road, and changed directions, walking away from where I lived. They saw me, called to me and, even though I was ignoring them, hurried their step to catch up. I did not want to relate my nervousness and tried to hide my concern as the girl cut across the lawn to meet me face to face. My nervousness and concern led me straight to fear.
dream : an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real
Both of them were a little too eager to engage or, as it seemed, to trap me. I desperately wanted them to leave me alone. Mind you, neither of them were large or intimidating in any way. In fact, she was smaller than me and even though he was a little taller, his frame was slighter than mine. Both had shoulder length brown hair that seemed salon cut and their clean clothes seemed right out of a department store window. Actually, their faces were not covered and neither of them seemed bothered by the falling ash. But I was bothered, I didn’t like them, and even more I did not want them knowing where I lived. Their attempt to converse frustrated me; what was I doing, where was I going, where was I staying. My replies, I hoped only related aggravation and not the panic I was feeling. I was sure if I showed worry or any weakness they would both pounce on me and I’d be in a savage brawl ending with a death. The girl pressed me on where I was staying. I lied, pointing in the direction I was headed. Even though it was not smart to run, I began to quicken my pace, looked over my shoulder and said ‘see you later’. They ran past me, one on either side, and started to turn to face me. I panicked, back peddled and spun, taking off across a yard, headed to the back of a house, and then over a fence. I could hear them calling after me. I kept running and eventually lost them. Or so I hoped.
Finding my way back home, through alleys and around buildings, I was straining to breathe. My chest felt heavy and the rag tied around my face began to smother me. I felt caked in dirt and my limbs ached in a heaviness that made opening the door to my building difficult. My thoughts returned to the couple and showed me a fear of being killed in my sleep. Closing the front door, I heard the automatic lock, and then began bolting the three other manual locks. Alone in this building, I wished no one else entrance. As I finished bolting the door, I heard a noise that could be feet on pavement outside. My exhaustion gave way to a slow terror, which made finding my apartment a most conscious effort. My shallow breathes caused my head to feel dizzy, making the rising panic difficult to swallow. I entered my apartment and closed the door, resting my forehead against the door, I sighed feeling a sense of safety. But before I could finish my breath someone banged on my apartment door. The vibration shocked me a step backwards. My eye shot to the door handle. I had not locked the door. Had the couple really followed me home, how had they gotten in so fast, and what should I do? Does locking the door now give a signal that I am weak? Will it be considered a challenge? I felt overwhelmed with angst. I wanted to cry but I also needed to face what was on the other side of that door. There was another knock, although not as loud. I reluctantly opened the door. The tall man with a black beard and dark brown eyes said nothing but looked directly at me. It wasn’t the couple, but someone already in the building. In sheer surprise and panic, I froze, and then woke up again. JOE