This morning I woke up half expecting her to be lying next to me. I had been dreaming of her again, as I have done for what seems like an eternity. She was distressed, she called my name, and I ran towards the sound of her voice. I ran in every direction, but I couldnÕt find her, I couldnÕt see her at all, all I could see was darkness. She kept screaming louder and louder, shouting my name, it was driving me mad, and yet, I knew it was all a dream. How you ask? Because I have had this dream many times before. I know it well, too well. Sometimes I let that dream go on for hours, so that maybe once, one time I would get a glimpse of her, but itÕs insane, listening to her shout, like she was sitting next to me at that very moment. Most of the time I like to think, pretend it is real, like sheÕs calling out for me from beyond the grave.But, I awoke, and she was not there, she was but a faint echo of a dream, like she had been for the past twenty years. Has it only been twenty years, why does it seem like itÕs been a thousand? But that doesnÕt matter, because I have so much more to tell and I fear I have too little time to tell it. After I woke up, I went to the bathroom, like I do every morning, shaved my face and stared at the old man that looked back at me from the mirror. As I stood there, I heard a noise from downstairs; it seemed to be coming from my kitchen. This startled me, since I live alone and have done so for the past two decades. I rushed down the stairs, or moved as fast as an elderly man could, to the kitchen to find the cause of the noise. It was silent now, but I could feel a distinct presence somewhere around me. Suddenly, I heard another noise, but this one came from outside. The neighbourÕs children were in the yard adjacent to mine, running like little idiots, playing and screaming and giggling about God knows what. I canÕt stand the sound of their laughter; itÕs like fingernails grating on a chalkboard. Plus, to add insult to injury, the neighbours think IÕm a senile, sour old man. I see the way they look at me, the way they stare. Everyone stares at me. ThatÕs why I donÕt find it necessary to leave the comfort of my own home. They think IÕm not all right in the head, and I wonÕt give them the opportunity to talk about me, and stare at me like IÕm a ticking time bomb. And once again, I find myself off track, and there is definitely no time for that. At that time, I had not found the cause of the noise, because foolishly, I had forgotten all about it. I had become enwrapped in thoughts of neighbours and giggling children, but I couldnÕt forget for long. Soon, there came another noise, yet this one was louder and closer to me. It sounded like glass had shattered in my sitting room. I jumped at the sound of it, and stood up immediately. I was certain that there was someone in my house. I crept slowly towards the sitting room, trying to peek in, to see if it was a burglar. My heart was racing, I wasnÕt quite sure what I would have done if there was someone in there, but I needed to find out. So, I looked, and saw nothing but my favourite chair, my old TV, and a picture frame lying on the floor in front of the fireplace. That was my biggest fear. I shouted and fell to my knees before it, picking up the photo inside, trying to avoid the shattered glass, and thanking God the photo wasnÕt damaged. It was our last photograph together, we had taken it on our boat, she was smiling and I wasnÕt, but I hardly ever smiled, and now I donÕt at all. I had my fishing hat on, and she wore her pearl necklace. I remember I complained about her wearing pearls on a boat, but she never listened to me, and now, I canÕt imagine her without them. As I stared at the photo, wondering what on earth could have caused the frame to fall, I could hear her calling me. It started off calmly, like it always did in my dreams. At first I thought I was only remembering the sound of her voice, but as the sound grew louder, it was harder to separate dream from reality. I remember whipping my head around, being certain that there was someone, or something behind me. I couldnÕt see anyone, but I knew I wasnÕt alone. I glanced out the window, and saw that what had seemed like a beautiful summer day had quickly changed. The sky was a deep purple, the clouds were whirling in the strong wind, and the water outside was greatly agitated. I had never seen such a tempestuous scene in my life. I just remembered at this very moment that my neighbourÕs children had seemed to disappear instantaneously. I could have sworn that they were there a minute before. Stupidly, I thought nothing of it, since storms often pick up very quickly on the lake and really, children are of no importance to me. So, once again, I stood, my knees cracking and aching as I did, and since I couldnÕt see anyone, I listened intently for anything. I knew I wasnÕt alone. I tried to block out the whisper of her voice in my head, and it seemed to work, there was silence. I looked around, and listened as hard as I could. Then, I heard something else. I couldnÕt quite make it out, but it sounded like a faint buzzing of bees. I took a step, confused by what I had heard, and then it happened. In one second it felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks, and, my brain seemed to explode with fear! I was surrounded, surrounded by a crushing weight. I fell flat to the ground; my legs couldnÕt withstand the immense weight that had suddenly seized me. I heard incomprehensible screaming in my head, like drums, beating at my brain. I saw things I hadnÕt dared imagine before. There seemed to be a million people in my tiny sitting room! I cried, not understanding, the pain, the pain they all caused me! They didnÕt touch me; they just stared at me with eyes whiter than snow. They pierced my skin with their glares. They mumbled, all of them at the same time, making that buzzing sound I had mentioned before. They were closing in on me; with every inch I could feel more and more breath leaving my body. What do you want from me?Ó I shouted, gasping for air. Though I saw no one answer, I heard my name clearly called through the crowd. I recognized it instantly; it was she! She was in the crowd, she was trying to get through but they wouldnÕt let her. I struggled, trying to stand up against the enormous weight that had earlier forced me to the floor. But, that mass of soulless people wouldnÕt let me, they fell upon me like an avalanche, just more weight to keep me from her. Her voice grew louder, and at that time I knew it was real. It was pounding in my ears, blocking out every other sound in the world. All I could hear was her voice, and all I wanted was her. I tried to look away from the horrifying scene before me, but these creatures were everywhere, they stared at me, unblinkingly, and pushed me down. I could feel my heart pounding; it felt as if my chest couldnÕt contain it. I was terrified, at first because I could hear my heart beat so clearly, then after, because I couldnÕt hear anyone elseÕs at all. One of those merciless beings put his dead cold hand on my face, but I pushed it away. The pain was unbearable; I swear I would have died if I had to endure that torment for one more second. But I didnÕt die, because just then, it had ended as suddenly as it had begun. The people (if you could call them that), the weight, the breathlessness, and the screaming, even my sitting room, they all fell away into nothingness. I sat on my knees, broken and shaking in the darkness of my dreams. She was there; I could sense her. Nothing had happened for about a minute. My mind was chaotic; I couldnÕt grasp what was happening to me. I had concluded that this was death, and that those things, those wraithlike beings had taken me with them. I sat there waiting for something, anything to happen. Then it came. One word was uttered, spoken so softly I could hardly hear it and yet, it seemed to resonate so loudly in my head. Edward.Ó She had said my name, no panic in her voice, she whispered it they way she use to, when she thought I was asleep. Then, there was a flash of light, and for a split second, I saw her. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen; but beautiful things donÕt last, and she didnÕt last. In another flash, the colour seemed to rush back to earth. I hadnÕt moved once, and at that time, I found myself kneeling again on the floor in my sitting room, panting and wiping the cold sweat from my brow. I sat in that same place for hours, trying to take in, to make sense of what had just happened to me. There seemed to be absolutely nothing unusual about my house, there wasnÕt a trace that anyone but me had even been in this room. I looked outside, and the sky was a deep blue. I could see a hint of clouds in the distance, but they were nothing like the stormy ones that I swore I had seen less then ten minutes before. And once again, I heard giggles and saw running children in their back yard. I started to question myself, I had no clue if all I had just seen, felt and heard, had actually happened. I realized that through that whole ordeal, I had never once let go of that picture of us on our boat, and that I hadnÕt moved from that same spot. What I had seen was utterly impossible. And so I gave up, and declared myself a mad man. But I know now that I was wrong for questioning myself; I am not insane. I now know it was all real, because as I write these very words, I sense something behind me, and I can feel a million lifeless eyes upon me, and I can hear footsteps upstairs and the faint whisper of my name.