Welcome to the Twilight Zone

January 29, 2012
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A glass breaks, a bike crashes into a tree, someone trips down stairs, strange pecking at the windows, and yelling. Then, Henry. I am running towards him as everything turns dark and someone screams, “Noooo!”
I woke up with a start, knowing that I had had a horrible dream, but I could not remember anything except for the time of 3:52 PM. As I was summoning the courage to climb out of bed, I heard the sound of glass breaking. I jumped out of bed and rushed into the kitchen, where I found my mom picking up shards. When she saw me, she smiled and informed me that her hand had been a little too shaky. She then proceeded to decline my offers of help and encouraged me to eat breakfast.
I had some Lucky Charms and by the time I was finished, the rest of the family had made an appearance. Hating all of the noise they made, I took the rest of my orange juice to my room, where I finished it and set the empty glass on my bedside table. Then, the preparations for the day began.
After I was all ready for the tiresome day at school, I could not help but look at my reflection in the mirror. I was tall, but certainly not the tallest girl in my school, and I had muscle on me. I had hazel-brown eyes and thick, brown hair that I always pulled back into a ponytail. I was wearing a light blue shirt with jeans that had a big hole on the right knee. Disappointed in what I saw, I turned away.
At that time, mom was practically shoving me out the door. So, I grabbed everything I needed and began the walk to my stop for the bus. It was a pretty day in late autumn, but I could tell that a harsh Iowa winter was ahead of us.
As I walked, I passed by my neighbor, Ken, an interesting little boy that never played with the other children. We acknowledged that the other existed, and then I continued on my way. Suddenly, I heard a weird noise and I turned around to see that Ken had crashed the bicycle he was riding into a tree. I hurried over to him and asked if he was alright. After he confirmed that he was, I continued on my merry way.
When I reached the bus stop, a weird sensation overpowered me. I had the feeling of Deja Vu. But I couldn’t have lived through the accident before! For the life of me, I couldn’t remember Ken crashing into anything before. I couldn’t dwell on the subject any longer because the bus had arrived, and I climbed on.
I immediately started searching for Lily’s characteristic shoulder length blonde hair and hazel eyes. She was found at the back of the bus, talking to the boys in the seat ahead of her. When she saw me, she stopped talking to the boys and made room so I could sit next to her.
After I sat down, we started discussing our weekend. One of Lily’s faults was she could talk forever if she wanted to, and she really wanted to now because she was in the boy-crazy stage. I didn’t care for all the immature boys at school, except one, but because of Lily, we analyzed every single move that they made. I only participated because she was my best friend.
During the middle of one of Lily’s stories about seeing a boy at the mall, I realized that someone was missing.
“Where’s Henry?” I asked, interrupting Lily’s story.
“Oh, a friend gave him a ride to school,” she replied, continuing the story immediately afterward.
Henry was athletic, handsome, popular, and my best friend. He had messy dark brown hair, shockingly blue eyes, and a crooked smile. All of the girls at school had major crushes on him at one time or another, including me. Yet, he had never been on a real date. Henry somehow found time with all his other activities to hang out with Lily and me, his two best friends, which I was glad of. I was actually friends with Henry first when he introduced me to Lily, his next door neighbor.
By now, we had reached the school, and I was in the process of telling Lily the stories of the breaking glass and Ken crashing into a tree as we entered Wacona High School. We walked into the cafeteria and sat at an empty table as we waited for the dreaded school day to begin. Henry joined us shortly and asked us how our weekends were, and Lily launched into one of her many stories. Then the ball rang, announcing that the school day had begun.
Together, Lily and I went to class downstairs and upstairs. As we were walking downstairs for our next class, I heard a little shriek and saw that Lily had tripped down the rest of the stairs. She was standing up as recollection hit me. The dream came flooding back, and I knew that I had lived through this event before. First the glass breaking, then the bike crashing into a tree, and now someone tripping down stairs! All these events occurred in my dream in the exact same order! If my dream was correct, next there would be a pecking at the windows, yelling, and then Henry. I would be running towards him and then someone would scream, “Nooo!”
Fear hit me in the stomach like a fist and I had to lean against the wall for support. I couldn’t think anymore about the subject because Lily was approaching me, so I suppressed my new found knowledge. Lily, impatient to get to class, was approaching me to try to convince me to move, but she faltered when she saw my expression.
“Anne, are you okay? You look really pale,” she asked cautiously.
“Yeah. It scared me seeing you trip down the stairs,” I lied.
“Well, I’m telling you that I feel fine. So, are you ready to go to class?” she replied with more of her regular tone.
“We shall proceed to thy classroom,” I said, feigning happiness.
“You are a freak, Anne,” Lily replied as we walked towards class.
The next class passed normally until the birds came. There must have been at least ten of them on the other side of the window. They were small birds of many different species and they were pecking against the window as if they desperately wanted to get in. All of the girls, except me, screamed and all the boys laughed them. Suddenly, all of the birds flew away, and the teacher made a comment about how the birds probably wanted to eat us before returning to the grammar lesson.
Luckily, Lily and I had classes on opposite sides of the school, so I had time to think about what had just occurred. Now, four events had happened in correlation with my dream. Now, there was only yelling and Henry. One part of me told me that my dream was going to happen in real life and I needed to warn Henry. Another part of me said that I was being stupid. That I can not predict the future in a dream and that it is impossible to do so. I knew that I would look crazy if I tried to warn Henry, so the doubting part of me won, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the dream.
Soon, I found myself heading to lunch, where I sat with Henry and Lily. Lily was babbling about the birds, the story of which had circulated around the whole school. To think that I had known that would happen! The thought made me dizzy, and I started to second guess myself. Out of my reveries, I heard Henry ask, “Anne, are you alright?”
Pulling myself back into the present, I replied, “Yeah. Of course I am fine.”
“I fell down the stairs this morning, and Anne seemed to be more affected than I was,” proclaimed Lily. “She is probably still shaken from it.”
Turning towards me, Henry gently asked, “Did it scare you that much?”
“Yes. I have seen way too many movies where people die after falling down stairs,” I answered. “I certainly don’t want Lily to die.”
The conversation turned back towards Lily, and I sank back into my reveries. I could not tell Henry. The way he looked at me and gently asked if I was okay! I couldn’t lose that. He felt something for me and I wasn’t going to say something to make him think I was crazy.
By the end of lunch, I was resolved, and I went to my classes with a resolution not to think about the dream again. This all changed when I went to my last class of the day. Mrs. Morrison was passing out papers at the end of class, and when she was finished, she marched to one boy’s desk and started screeching about him not turning in any assignments. It was chaos in that classroom with all the yelling and giggling, and through the confusion, I caught Henry’s eye. He was looking at me as if he was attempting to calculate my reaction. Suddenly, I started laughing and then he started laughing with me. It seemed like a special moment.
Eventually, everything calmed down, and Mrs. Morrison left the room to compose herself. All of the students started talking. I realized that I was being selfish by not warning Henry, and I was almost positive that something bad was going to happen to him. All the other things in my dream had become real. I was going to warn him, even if he thought I was crazy. I intently walked over to where Henry was standing with a group of boys.
“Henry, can I talk to you for a moment?” I asked, followed by a chorus of “oohs” from the boys surrounding Henry. Like I said, immature.
“Lay off,” he said, looking at the other boys. Then turning to me, “Sure.”
He followed me to a corner on the side of the room.
“Listen, I know this is going to sound weird, but I have to warn you,” I began.
“Warn me about what?”
Before I could say another word, the bell rang, telling everyone that the school day had finished.
“Anne, I have to go, but I’ll talk to you later. Okay?” he asked as he started to rush out of the room.
“Okay.” I called after him.
I gathered everything I was going to take home, and walked out to the buses. After meeting Lily on the way, we boarded the bus and sat together at the back. I waited anxiously for Henry to board the bus, but he never did. As soon as we were leaving the school, I asked Lily where Henry was.
“Oh, he’s going to the park today with some friends,” she answered.
“Were you not listening at lunch today? He was talking all about it. Why are you so concerned anyway?”
“I have something really important to tell him,” I replied, “and he said he would talk to me later. I have to talk to him!”
“Try calling him.”
“His cell phone died during school today, remember? Do you know the names of the friends he is going with?”
“No. I just know that they are going to Regional Park.”
Sensing that I was in no mood for conversation, Lily started flirting with the boys in the seat ahead of us. I was distraught. Who knew what would happen to Henry if I could not warn him? I would feel guilty for the rest of my life if I could not reach him. No. I had to find a way to warn him. For the rest of the bus ride, I schemed, and by the time the bus reached my stop, I knew what I had to do.
When the bus stopped, I bounded off, sprinted home, and threw my supplies in the living room. I scribbled a note to my mom, telling her that I was going to Regional Park with some friends and that I did not know when I would return home again. I glanced at the clock before I left the house, and saw that it was 3:30. I had 22 minutes before the accident would happen, and Regional was 32 blocks away.
I ran outside and started sprinting. If I didn’t catch up to Henry and his friends, the accident would happen without any warning. What if Henry died? The thought made me fear even more for him, and I quickened my pace. All I could hear was the sharp intake of my breath and my feet striking the pavement. I had to reach Henry. I just had to before it was too late.
Time seemed to pass by quickly and before I knew it, I was a few blocks away from Regional Park. Then I saw a group boys turning a corner towards the park. I was so close! Suddenly, my legs started tiring, and I couldn’t carry on. It hurt to walk and it hurt to breathe. I couldn’t save him.
Then years of memories resurfaced. Henry’s look at lunch today, his voice as he was talking to me, the look in his eyes as we were paired for a school project. Henry and I had years worth of memories, and I didn’t want it end now. I didn’t want him to cease to exist.
Those thoughts made me push on. I didn’t care how much I hurt anymore. The only thing I cared about was Henry’s future. I turned the corner I had just seen the group of boys turn, and I could see them one street down, waiting for the cross walk signal. Dashing across the street, I started calling Henry’s name. I no longer cared what others thought of me. All I wanted to do was help Henry.
He saw me as the light was changing, and instead of crossing with his friends, he waited for me to join him. While looking curiously at me, he asked what I was doing there.
“I’m here to warn you,” I informed him. “A horrible accident is going to happen to you.”
“What are you talking about?” Henry asked as the cross walk signal turned again.
He started crossing, and when I didn’t follow, he turned back towards me, questioningly.
“Come on,” he said. “I’ll listen to you, but let’s keep walking to the park.”
I grudgingly allowed him to take my arm and start dragging me across the street. It was a slow process because I wanted to show my displeasure by being difficult, and Henry had to pull me across the entire street.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw motion that disturbed me. I watched as a red corvette, with a driver talking on their cell phone, ran the red light and was barreling ever closer to us. By now, Henry had seen the car, and we were both frozen with shock. At the same instance we both started to react, but I had already decided what I needed to do. Before Henry had time to push me away, I pushed him as hard as I could, and I was running to get out of the way. But I still had half of the car to go.
I saw that the car was attempting to brake, but it was too late. It slammed into me, and I flew off to the side, smacking my head on the pavement. I could tell that the car had stopped, and someone was running towards me.
I was about to cry. Needless to say, getting hit by a car hurts a lot. I could see Henry kneeling by me out of my peripheral vision, and I tried to stay above the dark water that kept threatening to pull me under.
“Anne?” Henry asked.
I tried, but the darkness overcame me, and everything went pitch black. That was when I heard Henry scream, “Noooo!”

I woke up with tears in my eyes. His voice was so sad and heartbreaking that I pitied him. Suddenly, my alarm clock started going off, and without watching, I reached over to turn it off. I could feel my arm bump into something, and I turned just in time to see a glass fall to the floor and shatter into a million sparkling pieces.

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