Have you ever had a dream that seems to shake you to your core?
One that seems so real, it is difficult, at first, anyway, to determine that it was not actually real, but just a dream?
And, though I said dream, I more meant nightmare…
Last night, – rather, early this morning – I suffered one of these nightmarish, lifelike dreams.
I live in a house that also houses a religious space (like a chapel, but of a different faith) and a yoga studio.
This morning, starting very early, long before sunrise, there was a special morning meditation being hosted.
I was not attending, but I knew about it – similar morning meditations happen regularly.
However, after some recent events, in which one person who comes here regularly did not follow proper protocol for arriving, for cleaning up, nor for closing up after classes, I now always have a slight concern regarding this person’s reliability to fulfill the necessary tasks to keep the location, and, therefore, myself safe.
And so, last night – early this morning, after a potty break around 1am – I had an odd combination dream.
I was living in a different house, but it was clearly meant to be this same house, with me in my top floor apartment/area.
It was this morning, and I awake in the dream to find that no one informed me of the fact that the morning meditation was taking place on the top floor – aka in my room, which is not community space, mind you – but several people have already arrived and are participating in the morning meditation, and my things have all been moved out of the way and rearranged while I was asleep.
It is dark outside, still, due to the early hour.
Eventually, I participate in the meditation, as well as in welcoming new arrivals, and helping them get set up to join the meditation.
At some point, the meditations is ending, but I have to leave, possibly to go to work, and so I am not present for the end of it.
When I arrive home later, everything has been moved in my room to all new places – yes, even different from what had happened early this morning – and nothing makes sense.
Two people are still in my room, and comment, clearly somewhat bothered, on the fact that I am moving my bed to elsewhere in the room (aka where it had been in the first place).
One of the people is that unreliable individual.
I am too tired to care, and I need to go to sleep, because I know I have another very early morning the next day for the gym and work (as usual), so I go to bed and to sleep, while they are still discussing plans for something or other, still in my room for whatever reason.
I fall asleep rather easily, as I am so tired.
Suddenly, hours later, I awaken with a start and a sense of near-panic, as all my hairs are prickling all over my body.
The two from earlier have left.
But someone is in here.
Someone I don’t know.
I knew instinctively that the unreliable duo had not locked the doors to the house properly…
I was in trouble, and I could feel it.
I turn to find a woman in black suit, hair almost shaven, her skin only a few shades lighter than her suit, and her face showing a terrifying emotionless expression… almost animal-like… something in the back of my mind mentions a wolf, like the one from “The Never-Ending Story” a typically I like wolves, but this one was not cool…
Her entire presence speaks and oozes cool rage and the explosion of a pistol – she emanates a silent, fear-inducing aura, and her facial expression never changes… she looks and somehow sees me, and I know she sees me, but she doesn’t acknowledge me… it is clear that she has known of my presence and has been waiting…
My brain processes quickly, and decides to aim for pulling of a guise of ignorant kindness..
‘Hi! You’re here for the event, right?! I’ll take you to it – it’s actually downstairs. I’ll show you. What’s your name? How are you doing today?’
I carefully take her left arm arm in a casual yet ready grip, and then hold her opposite hand’s thumb with my left hand, so it looks like we are arm-in-arm, and then holding outside hands across our bodies… really, I am being extremely sweet and physically loving as a means to keep track of her more effectively – danger is the feeling of her.
Somehow, in this piece of the story, there mixed in a small portion of my trying on clothes for the morning… I currently had on a jacket that I was not going to wear to work, because it was too restricting and tight… and I did not have on my knife, because I was only trying on the clothes, and it was still attached to my actual outfit that I had been wearing… my phone was by my bed, and I missed the chance to grab it when I first jumped up to grab her arm…
I was evaluating my steps, and found concern in my lack of safety, but I couldn’t let go of her now and turn back – I could feel how that was the wrong move, even more so than the others.
And so, we ventured downstairs, arm-in-arm, as I chattered away, and thought of what options there were for me.
No one was awake, so I would have to find a way to get out of the house or call 911 as soon as possible, but without alerting the woman.
I flipped on a light switch st we reached the kitchen…, except that it wasn’t a light switch.
It was a sort of fan, a loud fan… one that could muffle just about any normal sounds.
Bad move – get it off!, I said within myself.
As I reached back to get it back off, I almost lost grip on her.
Before I could get it off and a light on, she was slipping entirely from my grasp, and making a move, stepping away and turning toward me to attack.
Just as I was preparing to run for the knives and then out the door, – I was ready to spring – the real Hannah jolted awake in her bed, sweating everywhere, breathing heavily, goosebumps all over her body, terror-stricken…
It took the real me a while to realize fully that it was a dream – I had to check that no one was in my room… I felt immediately better knowing that I also had locked my specific door before bed.
I was filled with something akin to outrage at the unreliable individual, as I sorted out my feelings and my personal safety, figured out what was dream and what, if anything, was reality.
Even now, as I think back on it, I still find myself wanting to avoid picturing that woman’s face – its lack of expression was frightening, almost like possession…
And the reality of the situation, that someone’s inattention actually could put me in such a situation (because I go to bed reasonably early, and I don’t always get to check all the doors after everyone leaves at night), is still frightening, is still shaking me ever so slightly on the insides…