and my couch will ease my complaint,
and terrify me with visions,
rather than this body of mine...
She leaned over and reached for her touch lamp. Instantly, the nightstand corner flooded with a florescent light, reaching into the dark corners; a small reassurance that everything was all right.
It was just a dream. Miranda thought.
"Just a dream," she repeated again aloud, the sound of her voice comforting her.
She was still in her small apartment on the second floor, away from the chaos of downtown Los Angeles.
Faint music could be heard...most likely the college students partying again. She could feel the vibrations, every "boom" corresponding and conjoining with the pound of her heart.
Though she was in a familiar place, Miranda realized now more than ever, how lonely she was in her apartment. She no longer had a roommate. Ever since Jenny had transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, Jen's room had been empty. Landon, her best friend since high school, had offered to move in, but she had decided against it. Even though they were best friends, no matter how honorable their intentions were, it would be too hard living together alone under those circumstances.
Miranda took a deep breath, sighing. Landon; with his messy copper brown hair and brown eyes that sparkled when he was amused. Landon, who never failed to call her every single day, no matter where in the world he was.
Maybe he saw her as nothing more than his best friend since junior high. But Miranda had always felt something more...
Automatically her first reaction was to pick up her cellphone and dial his number, but she knew it would be pointless and selfish of her to be waking him up at this time. The two hands on the neon green wall-clock Miranda had gotten on an impulse at a garage sale were at 4:16 AM. In about two hours, Landon would be getting up for work, and then classes. She really didn't want to disturb and have him worry about her. If she even hinted to him that something was bothering her, he would drop everything and rush over to her.
No -- This could wait until later. But as hard as she tried, she couldn't shake the images out of her head. So vivid and real, the memories of her latest dream filled her mind. Just like the lamp had voided the room of all darkness.
Yawning, Miranda concluded her attempts to try to go back to sleep would be in vain. So she slid off her bed, her bare feet touching the dingy carpeted floor. Her soft blue slippers, which she had been told matched color of her eyes, lay next to her bedroom door, along with her matching robe.
Now why is that on the floor? Miranda wondered.
I thought I had hung it up on the hook last night...
Her eyes followed a trail to her open window, the venetian blinds pulled up revealing the dawn sky. There was no breeze, but she figured the weather had calmed down since then. Next time she would be careful to close and lock her windows...
Across the horizon there was a streak of orange, reminding Miranda of the summer she had spent with her aunt in Orange County. That had been the summer she met Landon. Ever since, she had begged her dad not to force her to spend her high-school years in the small Arizona town where he lived.
When the time came to apply for college, the University of Phoenix had offered her a large scholarship to go to their school. Her dad had not hid his displeasure in telling her he thought she was making a big mistake when she chose California instead.
"You're wasting your life away!" he had angrily said when Miranda had come to pick up her old furniture from his house. It now sat in her tiny room, taking up most of the space.
The four steps leading down to the kitchen area creaked noisily. Dirty dishes were overflowing in the sink. Feeling famished, Miranda decided to wash her hands and fry an egg. She lifted the faucet handle up, waiting for the hesitant flow to adjust to a more reasonable heat. Even though the tap was on full blast turned to the hottest temperature, the water was still only a luke-warm trickle.
A piercing ring startled her. It was the phone. During times like this, Miranda desperately wished she owned a cordless phone, but she had yet to upgrade.
She walked halfway across the room, and pressed the receiver against her cheek.
"Hello?" she said groggily.
There was no reply.
Finally, a voice echoed back, "hello?"
"Who is this?" Miranda asked, her voice shaking.
Another second passed.
"Who is this?" the voice replied again.
"I think you have the wrong number," Miranda said, starting to hang up.
Again, the voice repeated her words.
"That's strange. That's my voice. The phone must be acting up again," she thought to herself.
Just as she was about to place the phone back in the cradle, she heard the slow haunting voice once more.
It was her voice. But she had not spoken that word.
"What is going on?" Miranda dropped the phone, the short spiral cord not reaching the floor. The phone dangled in midair, spinning in circles.
Then, there was a dial tone...