Hush my dear, it’s only a dream
I wear a long black dress with a veil as I walk down a dimly lit hallway. In front of me, I see people standing together and crying. Confused, I watch as they hug each other and whisper things I cannot hear. Where am I? What am I doing here? I wonder to myself as I walk further down the hallway.
Right there in front of everyone, I spot a white casket surrounded by flowers. I don’t know why, but I start to shake uncontrollably as I inch my way forward. I see my parents, my sisters and brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, everyone I know standing around and crying. Why are they crying? I ask myself.
As I am brushing my hair, there is a knock on my door. Sighing, I walk over and open it. "Are you all right, Moira? You look as pale as a ghost. Was it the dream again?" my roommate asks, looking into my eyes. "I am all right, Jessamy. The dream haunted me once again, but I can deal with it. I promise," I replied, grabbing my backpack and walking out of the room with her.
I pull up in my driveway and turn the engine off, sitting there for a moment and then taking a deep breath as I climb out and grab my bags. The front door opens and my brothers and sisters come running out, screaming happily that I was home. My parents walk out and smile at me as I head over to them. Placing my bags down, I hug them both and we walk inside the house. My brothers and sisters take my bags from me and run to place them in my room while I head to the kitchen to sample some of Mom’s special brownies.
"Moira, we are so glad you are back home. You have no idea how much we all missed you. Did you have a good year?" my mom asks me. I nod and swallow a bite of brownie before saying anything. "Yeah, it was all right. The usual thing just about every day and I passed all of my classes."
"That is great to hear, Moira. Now you can relax and enjoy the time off from such a hectic year. Have you had that nightmare again? You look so tired out," my dad says, looking closely at me. I nod and my parents wrap their arms around me. They knew about my nightmare ever since the first time I woke up from it. They sympathized with my feelings about it, but they didn’t know what it meant.
I went to sleep that night, praying that the nightmare wouldn’t return. It must have been around 3am when I found myself descending that dim hallway once more. Right before I reached the casket, I forced myself awake and found that I was covered with sweat.
I decided right then and there that I wouldn’t go back to sleep. Heading out of my room, I went down the stairs to the kitchen. Pouring a glass of cold milk and snagging a brownie from the cookie jar, I pulled out a stool and sat by the counter, eating and drinking in silence. When I heard a slight sound around me, I turned to find my parents there in the doorway, looking quite somber.
"Moira, I think it is time for us to tell you why you keep having that nightmare. This is really hard for us so we want you to promise you won’t be mad at us," they said to me. I nod and stare at them, waiting patiently for them to tell me why that dream kept coming back. "You see, there was an accident about 2 years ago, sweetie. You and your identical twin sister Sarah were heading home from a party when you were hit by a drunk driver. You suffered severe head injuries and your sister didn’t make it. She was killed instantly in the wreck."
Dad picked up where Mom left off and said in a choked voice,"You were in a coma when she was buried. She wore a long black dress with a veil so no one could see the cuts on her face. You two had just graduated high school three days before it happened. Once you woke up, you couldn’t remember what had happened and we couldn’t bring ourselves to tell you all of it. The reason you are having the dreams is because of your connection to your sister. All of us got to say goodbye to her, but you didn’t. You didn’t remember her or what happened to you."
Tears fill my eyes as I see images and everything comes rushing back to me. It wasn’t me in the casket, it was my sister Sarah. In a way, she was telling me that she was gone, but she needed me to tell her goodbye. I hug my parents and tell them I am all right, then head up the stairs to sleep.
Laying in the darkness, my eyelids close and I see myself standing in the hallway once more. This time, I take a deep breath and walk straight up to the casket. Looking down, tears fall from my eyes and I whisper,"I am so sorry I forgot, Sarah. Goodbye, sister. I will love you always and I promise to never forget again."
When I wake the next morning, I sit up and think about all that happened. The reason Jake and I broke up was because he was cheating on me with Sarah and I didn’t realize it until she told me. I never got mad at her for it and broke it off completely with him. I stayed close to my sister because that is how we were.
For the rest of the summer, I slept peacefully every night. The nightmare never returned and I managed to get my life straightened out. I never forgot my sister and in a way, I knew she would always be with me. She was my other half and always would be forever and ever. I finished college and went on to become a teacher, just like I said I would that last time we talked. She was my angel, watching over me when I was sad or felt alone. Always around me, I was always with her and I know that when my time comes, I would see her again. After all, she managed to come to me in my dream.
We head to class and I walk in silence, wondering why the dream kept returning every night. It was so real, so frightening to me that I didn’t know what to do. Would it come true? I shook my head, getting hold of the nonsense. It couldn’t possibly come true. It is just a fear manifesting itself in a dream, that’s all. At least that is what I told myself as I took my seat at the back of the class.
I would be on vacation for a whole summer starting the next day so I needed to get through the whole day without stress. After I went to all of my classes, I was walking back to my dorm to pack when I ran into someone I was hoping to ignore. "Hey Moira. How are you doing?" Jake asks, smiling cheesily at me. I rolled my eyes and replied,"What do you want, Jake? I thought we promised to not talk to each other again. You would stay away from me, I would stay away from you. Both of us would be happy."
Jake scratched his head and turned pink. "I was hoping we could give it another shot, Moira. I know I messed up the first time, but I still care about you." I shook my head and started to walk away from him. "We are through. We have tried 3 times and each time, you blew it, Jake. We are done and nothing is going to change that. Goodbye," I called out to him from over my shoulder. He hung his head and sauntered away as I headed inside.
Jessamy came rushing over to me with wide eyes. "Was that Jake I saw trying to speak with you? Or was it just my imagination?" she asks, keeping up with my pace. "It was Jake, Jess. I told him that I was not going to give him another chance though he wants me to. I am finished with him. I gave him 3 chances and each time he blew it. That is 3 strikes and he is out of here."
Jessamy started to giggle then stopped when I turned to her. "I’m so sorry, Moira. Is there anything I can do?" she says to me. "Yes, there is. You can help me pack my stuff and tell me what you are doing this summer,"I reply. She nods and we head to our room. She reaches over and turns the stereo on as I grab my bags and start to pack all of my stuff in them.
"I am going to be staying with my grandparents again. Mother and Daddy are in Hawaii celebrating the fact that their little girl doesn’t need them in her life. Not like they care about me anyway," Jessamy says sarcastically. "They still think they are teenagers and not two people who are in their forties. Thank God I don’t have any siblings."
I nod sympathetically and take my books from her as she hands them to me. Her parents never cared and whenever they got the chance, she was sent to her grandparents. They raised her from an infant and they also paid for her to come to college. Unlike her, my parents were thrilled I was coming home. That meant that I would be at home and chasing after my brothers and sisters like I did last time.
We blare rock music and get all of our things packed up so that we don’t have to rush tomorrow to get it done. I would be driving home while she was flying home and then come September, we would come back and go through the usual routine of getting up, getting dressed, having breakfast and going to class every day. On weekends, we usually found a party to go to or else we went to the movies.
That night, we spent one last hurrah with our friends and the next morning, we were on our way home. As I drove along, I thought about things like what I was going to do first when I got home and how I would spend my days so that I wouldn’t have to watch my siblings.
The casket is open, the preacher says a few words and all I hear is silence around me. I try to control the shaking as I go right up to the casket. Looking down, I cover my mouth and step back immediately. The person in the casket is me, wearing a long black dress. I scream and no words escape my mouth. I have no voice whatsoever and I turn quickly, rushing out of the room and back down the hallway.
All of a sudden, I open my eyes and sit up in bed. Another day, the same nightmare plaguing my mind. Shaking it off, I climb out of bed and open the drapes covering the window, the sweet tempting darkness slowly dissipating as sunlight fills my room. Grabbing my clothes I intended to wear that day, I head to the bathroom to shower and get ready for a new day.