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Meeting the Dark Parts of Myself

I shut the door behind me silently and made my way towards my small, chipped and wearing night stand and set down the cold glass of water in my hand. I sank down with a heavy breath onto my full sized bed. The water droplets from the condensing glass next to me seemed to mimic my movements with the way they fell silently onto the pillows that lay messily behind me. I had no intention of getting properly ready for bed and instead let my hair fall a mess of tangles and twists onto my shoulders after I pushed off the pillows just a bit to pull out the rubber band that held up my ponytail. I furiously rubbed my eyes back and forth until a small burning sensation flared up and I let my arms drop to my sides before pulling the blanket that lay astray next to me over my body. The goosebumps on my arm went down slowly like my eyelids did right before bolting back open as if millions of small electric bolts shot through my veins and up into my eyes.
   I let out a heavy, long sigh and stretched out my arm to pull the small string of the lamp that dimly illuminated my room. Once pulled I was engulfed with darkness, the only small sliver of light coming from the window where one of the blinds had broken, leaving a small square of glass visible, allowing me to see outside.
   My eyes just barely adjusted to the darkness  and I noticed the extra heavy looking clouds that partially covered the glowing moon, letting me know that it was most likely going to rain. With that thought, I rolled onto my back and stared up at the ceiling. Immediately I felt wide awake as if I hadn't been ready to drop a few moments before. I should have been confused but this feeling was familiar in a way that wasn't at all comforting. The same dreadful realization set in as it had every night since a few months ago. I was cruelly reminded of the battle I was fighting with my insomnia, that being me getting annihilated by the sleeping disorder.
   I simply let out another sigh but this one was soaked in pain because I for once wanted to fall asleep and not wake up for a very long time. Maybe then there wouldn't be dark bags that weighed heavy under my eyes, seemingly pulling me down along with everyone who chose to stick around and try to untie the weights that kept me firmly tied down.
   Looking back, I don't know if it was the pessimistic thoughts that swirled, intoxicating my brain like the smoke from cigarettes would to my lungs, or the soft, sounding pitter patter of the rain that hit my windowsill, washing away the grime from my mind that made me, for the first time in months, shut my eyes and honestly say I was falling asleep. Joy flooded me in dark, deep waves.
   I refused to move at all, fearing that the sleep that had finally overcame me would change its mind and run before I got the chance to truly embrace it. I ignored all of my surroundings, the faint whisper of voices in the next apartment, the knot at the back of my neck, the tingle on the inside of my elbow,even the burning itch from the mosquito bite on my thigh. In that moment I didn't want to move at all, but that was before everything changed.
   Suddenly, there was a heavy weight on my chest, it seemed as if someone was sitting on my upper body, attempting to suffocate me. I tried desperately to claw at the unseen force but my arms stayed firmly glued to my sides. Panic quickly rose, pounding my brain, screaming, "MOVE, TALK!" but I couldn't, I was paralyzed, the only thing that I could move were my eyes which darted around my room desperately, a scared glint in them. My breathing became louder, harder,  more frantic as I saw a shadow of a man pull out of the darkness and stand at the foot of my bed. His face wasn't visible but I was thought he was staring at me, though I couldn't have been sure. Still, I pulled with every fiber in my body trying to move once again. Then, there was a noise that sounded exactly like a popping balloon and I was suddenly sitting up. The feeling of suffocation had only slightly sub-sided and the panic was still freshly imprinted in my brain and heart because the man had yet to leave the foot of my bed, the only clue of movement was that his head was tilted slightly to the right as if he was questioning why I was in the room instead of the other way around.
   I quickly turned around hoping to turn on the lamp and realize the man was just a figment of my over-stressed mind and wasn't truly there. But when I turned around I stopped just as quickly as a car would at a red light and my blood froze like a glacier but I could still hear the pounding of my heart as I looked straight at, well, myself. There were wrinkles on my forehead and the sides of my eyes and I seemed distressed in a way that I'd never been able to convey through a mirror. In utter horror I looked down at my hands but they seemed to be glazed over and blurry, simple wisps of smoke. I could do nothing but stare until a deep raspy voice spoke from behind me.
   "You shouldn't be afraid, I'm not here to hurt you"
     I swore I got whiplash from the amount of times I'd quickly turned my head in the last five minutes.
     The figure who I'd once thought was human, was actually nothing but a shadow. Which is why I attempted to let out an ear-piercing scream but my words only came out in whispers.
     "Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh...." I tried again, "aaaahhh......". I saw no avail so I opted for the famous,
     "Who are you, what are you, why are you-" I was cut off by the creature that was now sitting at the edge of my bed, when it said,
      "You shouldn't try to move, you might separate your soul from your body entirely. You also shouldn't try to yell, it won't work anyway"
      Instead of asking it how my soul could even separate from my body and why I couldn't yell, or even what was going on, I said,
      "Where is your voice coming from?"
       If the creature could have laughed at me it probably would have.
        "Well, this isn't my true form but I'm afraid if you actually saw me, you'd be more suprised than you were when I first appeared to you."
        I should have screamed, called for help, figured out if I could hit it over the head with the now lukewarm glass on my nightstand, but I just sat and talked with it. It explained to me that I was astral projecting, entering another world in which only souls and spirits were visible. He told me I was special, that only very few were given the gift and I had it not only in this life, but many prior. It explained it had been watching over me since a few months ago, when my insomnia had started. Again, I should have been terrified, should have layed down and let my soul sink back into my body and all of it would have been over. Instead, I let him offer me a choice, it sounded older and more human when it said,
   "You can lie down shut your eyes and say, this is all a dream, I won't ever bother you again, I'll help you forget I even exist, or you can come with me and I'll help you control not only your dreams but others' too, more power than I can explain right now,  you just have to trust me."
   "But.... will I ever go back to my body?"
   "Yes, of course you can only leave your body temporarily I have to get you and myself back before sunrise."
   "Wait.. you're human?"
    "That I am, just very advanced in astral projecting, so what do you decide?"
     I weighed the pros and cons of the entire situation and even though the lists where alarmingly balanced in length, I didn't ask anymore questions or doubt the man sitting in front of me now, didnt ask him why he wouldnt show me who he truly was, didn't ask him how he knew me or why he'd chose me,  didn't even ask what he intended to show me, instead I took his outstretched hand which was surprisingly warm and pulled fully out of my body, glancing down I was now just a shadow. I looked back, pulled away from the man and looked back at my body, feeling for some reason that I'd made the right choice. With that thought, I turned around and followed the man, whose name I still did not know, out the door of my bedroom. 




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