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I Dreamt About Boston
Author's note: I am very concerned about the widespread violence that seems to be shaping our world.I guess that concern has inspired me to write. I hpe that by sharing our thoughs we can still curtail evil and help the preservation of the good.
I remember I was in a hurry. In a real hurry. I was flying through the streets, not very much knowing where I was going, just wanting to get away from here, as fast as I could. All I wanted was to get in my car and go far away from this place. Away from the enormous skyscrapers and their million eyes that were staring into my soul. The streets were empty, there was absolutely no one around, yet I felt like I was in a crowded place, listening to strangers’ boring conversations. The sun was shining but I didn’t feel its warmth, actually I felt cold and scared. Scared of what awaited me, unaware of its existence. Frightened for no reason, there was nothing I could think of.
I finally found my car, the silver Volvo parked next to a big tree. You just couldn’t miss it. It stood out. I ran to it and opened the door; everything was happening so fast. Out of nowhere, an old lady appeared, probably about fifty or sixty; her eyes big and brown, her hair brownish too but so messed up, pointing in every direction.
I realized she was already in my car.
‘What a nice car you have!’ she says, her voice squeaky and kind of annoying. ‘My parents used to have a one like this, too, you know. Of course, that was quite a long time ago but I can remember that…’
I had to interrupt her; I felt the anger growing within my body, I couldn’t stand her talking.
‘Ma’am, look, I’m in a hurry, I have to get into my car and go… away from here. Now.’ I said “now” a little louder than I wanted to but I just had to make her go away.
‘But, miss… I wanted to tell you about…’
Something was making me feel as she wouldn’t let go easily at all. Her filthy hands were placed upon the wheel and she could hardly fit in the driver’s seat. It was disgusting to watch. I had to do something.
‘Get the hell out of my car now!’ I shout, staring at her, begging her to leave with the look in my eyes.
‘Wow, wow… There’s no need to shout…’ She gets out of the car very slowly; her hands in the air. So terribly slowly, it was painful.
She gives a sigh.
‘Look… I need this car. I am… poor. I need help. And you look like someone that could help an old lady for sure!’ She smiles lovingly, yet it looks like an ugly grotesque.
I can’t understand and give a blank look; my mouth is probably opened, too.
‘I am… taking it.’ she says a little sharply. I was burning with anger. I couldn’t take another second of this “show”. Her show.
I push her against the car impulsively; the sound which it made was so loud and sharp, I thought she had smashed the windshield. Thank God, she hadn’t. She would’ve paid it, though.
‘You seriously shouldn’t have done this.’ she says calmly, yet she grabs me by my hair and a moment later I find myself beneath her.
‘Why would you do that? What have I done to deserve such a thing?’ She was shouting on top of me; I could hardly take her weight, it was difficult to breathe. I realize I probably have to deal with a mentally disabled.
‘If you don’t let go of me, I’ll call the police.’ I say quietly, with difficulty.
‘Wait… That doesn’t even make any sense… How can I possibly call the police?!’ - I am thinking - ‘How stupid of me!’
‘I’ll scream!’ I say louder and she kicks me in my stomach. I could feel the pain in every inch of my body. I was close to giving up.
‘You sure about that?’ she says, looking like a monster, wanting me dead.
‘Let go!’ I scream with pain. I use my little left energy and kick her, without looking where in particular. As I see her nose bleeding, I realize it was her face.
‘Go on… Do that again!’ she growls. ‘When you kill me they’ll find my body and you’ll spend your pathetic life in jail. Burn in hell.’
I was terrified.
‘Let go of me, please… Please!’ My eyes are already teary. Am I going to die? Now? Today? In such a humiliating way? Tortured to death by someone whose place is in a mental asylum? I give up then.
‘Okay… I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I pushed you. I’m sorry I started this. Just please…’ I beg, my voice sounding so weak and vulnerable.
‘You’re sorry?’ she says so quietly, it’s hard to hear her.
Everything becomes so quiet in a moment, that I could hear some birds singing, probably miles away from here. As if nothing’s going on. As if their beautiful song will continue even after this monster here kills me.
‘You’re sorry? Oh, I bet you are.’ As she says “sorry” I could feel like the human, the old lady is returning to her body, in the place of this monster, taking the life from me. I soon realize that I am mistaken as her eyes widen and become so huge that they’re about to pop out of their sockets.
She just looked so creepy.
‘I bet you’re sorry because you found out… You found out…’ She starts lowering her voice.
I stare at her, not understanding a thing, still struggling to breathe beneath her.
‘You found out I’d put explosives… Everywhere inside your car and around it.’
Now it’s my eyes’ turn to widen. For a second, I just want this all to end once for all. Why didn’t she kill me in the first place? What did she want from me? Why is this happening? To me? Do I deserve it? I feel so weak. And I still don’t understand.
‘What explosives?’ The words pop out of my mouth, without me wanting them.
And that’s when it all starts.
That’s when I wake up.
So it was all just a dream. I should be feeling relieved, but all I can feel is the hopelessness of this case, event, day; as if there is a hole deep inside of me, as if it all really had happened. I felt awful. The room was completely dark, the bed sheets were soaking wet and I could still hear myself breathing heavily. I decide I’ll just go back to sleep. Sleep until noon and forget about this terrifying dream. Never ever remember it again. Though I always remember my nightmares; they are horrible memories from which you can’t get rid of.
I close my eyes and try to calm myself down when I hear the alarm clock, ringing so loudly it hurts my ears. I switch it off. Right, it’s not Saturday today. It’s only Tuesday. Work awaits me.
I get out of the bed, go to the kitchen and sit in front of the table. I’m still seeing parts of my dream, that lady on top of me and most importantly, her eyes. I’m probably never going to be able to forget her eyes but I should try to accept that it was only a bad dream, something that will never happen and will fade eventually in the past, along with all the stupid things that happen to us all.
I stare at the table, my eyes closing. I still feel like a train went over me or something like that. And I could think of only one thing that is capable of making me feel better.
‘Co-ffee?’ I murmur, my voice still sounding weak.
‘Right away!’ A quick response, in a loud, friendly voice.
My blue-eyed boyfriend is already up, making breakfast. It’s 6:30AM, how can he be so… Fresh?! I could even hear him singing some lousy country song. He’s all dressed up in light blue, in his pajamas, whose color matches the one of his eyes perfectly.
He looks at me lovingly and smiles, showing all his teeth, whiter than a summer sky’s clouds.
I try to smile back at him and although it isn’t working, I could feel that he’s the first thing that makes me happy this morning. I remember when I used to say his smile enlightened my whole world. Probably sounds kind of corny. Long gone, but still makes sense.
The sun hasn’t risen yet; the sky is rather grey.
Just now, I realize the TV is on, too. Gosh, that boy always takes care of everything. I have a quick glance at it, not that I’m interested in the news.
‘Sugar in the coffee?’ asks Jay, his voice sounding melodic, so pleasant to listen to.
‘No… Just make it hot. Please.’ I answer, still staring at the empty table. I feel like there’s something in my throat I need to swallow; it even hurts.
‘Of course.’ he responds immediately. He’s so full of energy some may find it very annoying. Yes, I’m sometimes one of those “some”.
I finally see him carrying his and my coffee in his right hand and an enormous sandwich in his left. Definitely not for me, of course. He puts it all on the table and immediately after he places a plate with my eggs in it. My breakfast always contains of one egg and strong coffee. Bread – almost never.
As Jay sits in front of me, I let myself look deeply into his blue eyes. Soon I look away, thinking I’ll make him feel uncomfortable.
As I touch my cup of coffee, I realize it’s not even warm. The only thing I asked him for was hot coffee. I give a deep sigh and drink. Surprisingly I find out it is hot. It is perfect. Probably like most things Jay does. I see him looking at me. He frowns.
‘You look…’ he tries not to sound unfriendly, his voice – so soft.
‘Probably awful, I know.’ I sound rather angry.
He lifts up his eyebrows.
‘Nightmares…’ I answer his question before he asks it.
‘Ah…’ he smiles. Jay stands, leans on me and places a kiss on my cheekbone.
‘Poor thing! I knew something was wrong. You’re always happy and fresh in the mornings.’
The person he’s describing was himself, not me, but I don’t feel like arguing. It’s so strange I had bad dreams. I didn’t even watch horror movies before I went to bed. And that’s what I usually do. Because I am rather weird.
‘A-ha.’ I nod, not taking very much interest in what he tells me. Probably rude, I know. Not a great way to treat a boy, so wanted by everyone. Boys including, sometimes. What can I say, he was just handsome and we all noticed it.
The sun is already shining and the atmosphere doesn’t feel that unfriendly anymore. I bet it’s cold, but still, when it’s sunny I always feel happier.
Jay interrupts my thinking. I believe my thoughts weren’t that wise, anyway.
‘Did you hear the news about the terrorist attack? Ah, listen.’ He turns the volume up and I can now hear a woman talking although the TV was behind me. I don’t bother to turn around. As I listen, I understand that there was a terrorist bombing in Boston. Looks like the whole day will be quite horrible. Apparently it was a sports marathon. It must’ve been so crowded. Crowded. The word repeats and echoes deep inside of my mind. Sounds familiar.
‘There are many killed, too. And these who weren’t… Are basically dying. These psychos are everywhere!’ Jay hits the table. ‘Why would you kill or even injure so many innocent people, none of them who harmed you in any way?’ Jay usually doesn’t stop talking easily. You just have to let him he say what he has to say, pretending that you’re listening closely.
‘I know. So terrible.’ I answer in a robot-like way, still not taking any interest. My voice probably shows the fact that I actually don’t care. The news will probably upset my mom, too. And she’ll definitely give me a lecture or two. She’ll tell me to take care of myself more, that such a thing can happen to any of us. I’ll smile and tell her something like “Oh, I know, mom. Chill, mom.” And again, it will all fade away in the past; we’ll realize it wasn’t even that important or meaningful.
As I listen to the woman on the news, talking about the terrorist attack, giving us all the details, it hits me out of nowhere. I almost choke with my coffee.
‘It all makes sense now, doesn’t it? It’s all clear.’ a little voice in my head says.
I can now hear myself talking in hesitation and uncertainty. There’s a little note of fear, too.
‘Wait…’ I begin, looking right into Jay’s face, probably for the first time today.
‘The streets, so different from these, here in Seattle, the feeling I had, that I’m in a crowded place, the explosions… Boston. Hundreds of people. The bombing.’ I can’t stop talking, the words keep flowing. I notice that Jay’s mouth was wide opened; he was staring at me in disbelief, holding his half-eaten gross sandwich in his hand.
‘I think I might have…’ I say so quietly.
‘…Dreamt of the terrorist attack without knowing about it at all?’ He lowers his voice, something so not typical for him; he doesn’t sound happy anymore. When he says it that way, it sounds so… Weird. So hard to believe, though it isn’t easy for me to admit that.
‘Well… yeah.’ I respond, looking away from him as if I felt ashamed of what I had just said, uncomfortable, exposed and not sensible at all; my eyes glued to the floor again. I was trying so hard to accept these facts. It turns out that what I had just realized makes things worse, not more logical – just the opposite. How did this happen?
‘Whoa.’ is all that comes out of Jay’s mouth, his eyes still not moving from mine. In a moment, we just sit silent, looking at each other and just when I’m at the point of breaking that silence, he does it.
‘Well, Tate…’ I feel like it’s even hard for him to talk. My name spoken in this desperate way sounds like a lost prayer, like a symbol of hopelessness, even like a cry for help.
‘Maybe you heard it on the TV without really… You know, listening to it.’ He tries to find a possible explanation, I can feel it. But there is no explanation.
‘I haven’t watched any television yesterday; you know I was working on my essays all day, until about 1AM… You know that, Jay.’ I say, trying to sound calm and controlled, but failing. Apparently, now I have to convince him I’m not lying. Are you kidding me?
He now looks offended.
‘Well, maybe someone told you about it and you forgot or you just heard about it by chance, by accident, you know…’
‘No!’ I realize I’m shouting at him.
‘No…’ I say more quietly.
‘Okay, well, maybe…’ Jay tries for the last time to think of something logical, with his mouth full. I bet he’ll want a second sandwich. Stress makes people eat more.
I give a veeery deep sigh. He probably doesn’t believe me and I refuse to convince him I’m not lying. I can’t bother. It’s not worth the struggle. I guess I shouldn’t have told him in the first place.
He realizes I’m getting angry and sighs as well.
‘Look, I just don’t… Get you. I don’t follow.’
Sounded like he was giving up. He’s now irritating me. Very much, actually.
‘Whatever, I should go and dress up for work now. Bet I’ll be late… And I don’t want that, do I?’ I try to sound as confident as I can.
Jay shakes his head in response, looking rather dumb, as if he didn’t understand a word I said.
I drink the coffee that’s left fast, head for the bathroom and leave him alone in the kitchen, in his blank expression.
While I was brushing my teeth, I started thinking about this strange thing that had happened with me. I had dreamt about the terrorist bombing in Boston without knowing about it. How was that possible? I guess I did have some kind of a seventh sense; I could feel it when something good or bad was going to happen, I could sometimes tell you which song they’re going to play next on the radio or who’s the person coming just by hearing his footsteps… But nothing more. I found those things normal; I never paid any attention to them. I can’t predict the future. Because it’s impossible. I can’t have… I realized I sound just like Jay – searching for a logical explanation, trying to convince myself nothing extraordinary had happened. I felt like slapping my own face.
‘You can’t doubt in what you saw!’ I whisper to myself, thinking Jay would probably think I’ve gone mad if he hears me. I probably have.
I realize it is taking me way more time to brush my teeth than usual (just because I am thinking too much) and I go out of the bathroom quick. (Everyone knows I’m a perfectionist, though.) I dress up even quicker and return to the kitchen to see if Jay was ready. I hate being late for work.
‘We takin’ the bus?’ he says, looking absolutely ridiculous. He’s half dressed, wearing jeans and his new sunglasses which were just too expensive for me to accept, but he was still in the light blue T-shirt he’d slept with. And in his right hand was his coffee that was probably with too much milk and sugar. He’s always ruining it. Jay and his terrible taste. He looks so absurd, it makes me smile. He doesn’t notice, though.
Finally, I answer his question.
‘Sure…’ I hesitate. ‘Actually no.’
His expression now is rather confused. We always go to work together as he works in a building near the one I do, as a journalist. He was so smart, so good in his job, in what he was doing. He wrote the every-day news perfectly. A little red light in my head flashes.
‘He knows details about the bombing!’ I think to myself. This makes me feel excited. And frustrated. No, I can’t ask him. Yet. I need to be alone.
‘I’m gonna walk… You know, clear my mind. The weather’s fine, too.’
Not that the weather can be an excuse.
‘Cool.’ Jay responds, not looking happy with my decision. You could offend him so easily. Ah, how I hated the word “cool”. I bet he’s angry with me right now but I can’t bother discussing it.
‘Later, Jay. Don’t be mad at me.’ I try to sound sweet and girlie. He nods, still looking pissed off. I decide I’ll fix this later and I leave our house fast.
As I was going to work, I decided not to listen to music, like I usually do. I felt like it would confuse me even more, if that is possible at all. I’ve always thought that music and art in general is the most precious, powerful, inspiring and beautiful thing the world’s got. I studied History of Art at the university but because it was very important to earn enough money at the moment, I was working in this boring, ugly office in a boring, ugly building taller than the freaking Empire State. Though I’d love to change my job, I do my best at it and try hard to actually enjoy it.
As I watch how the sun slowly wakes up everything and everyone it touches, I can hear David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” coming from somewhere. Of course, it immediately makes me feel better. I bet it comes from that old coffee shop that is visited by people around fifty or sixty mainly which explains why they play legendary songs and rock music. The visitors certainly enjoy it. And appreciate it.
Several minutes later, I can already hear U2’s Bono shouting “In The Name Of Love”. And then there’s Aerosmith. I finally realize I got lost in the music, forgetting about work. I hurry and get there on time. I say “hello” to my colleges fast, flashing a shy smile and sit behind my desk in front of that ancient computer which you can only use for writing. I can now see my boss Benjamin Bronx, whom we all call Fat Benny, coming towards me, holding a huge amount of paperwork, probably what I have to do today. I notice he’s touching his forehead every five seconds which means he has a headache. His eyes look quite tired, too. He’s been drinking, and all of us knew that. I also didn’t know how he fitted in his blazer, looking at least five sizes smaller than it should be.
‘Good morning’ he says to me, looking rather unimpressed, yet smiling.
‘Good morning. My work for today?’ I point at the papers.
‘For sure.’ He hands them to me. I try not to look… Disappointed and annoyed.
‘You look…’ he begins.
I prepare to get offended.
‘Good.’ he nods with approval. I’m surprised.
‘Why thank you.’ I almost take a bow, in a moment I feel full with energy. I was sure I looked as if a train has run over me or as if a horse has kicked me in the freaking face or whatever, but I guess I was mistaken.
Benny and I smile at each other for the last time and he leaves me alone with my paperwork. Even though my mood just got better, I feel like something is going to ruin it. I hear a “beep” coming from my cell phone. Someone just texted me. I open the message fast and I feel angrier than ever. Apparently Jay is still quite mad at me.
‘Maybe you had a weird dream about how I get stuck in traffic, too, huh?’, his message said.
‘Idiot.’, I whisper to myself, wondering why I even have something to do with him. I switch off my phone.
‘Everything okay, Tate?’ I hear a sweet voice next to me. It’s my college whom we all Nerdy Robbie because of his huge freaky glasses which made him look kind of… absurd. He wasn’t bad looking or anything but he wasn’t really liked by girls and there were certainly reasons why.
‘No.’ I answer, staring at the floor. I knew this will lead to at least five hundred questions and I instantly regret I didn’t say “yes”.
‘Wanna talk about it?’ He is concerned, yet it’s so annoying.
‘No.’ I look in his green eyes and try to look confident and…. I don’t know, frightening? I want him to go away.
He flips his messy blond hair, looking not satisfied with my answer at all.
‘Slept well last night?’ His questions keep flowing from his mouth. I bet he has no idea he’s so irritating.
‘No-o-o.’ His last question even makes me laugh.
‘Probably nightmares and sleepless nights, huh?’ He tilts his head on one side.
See, that’s why no one likes Robbie. His ridiculous endless questions are one proof.
‘Pretty much.’ I answer, hoping my “interview” has finally ended. His shy smile is the last thing I see before he turns around and glues his eyes to the computer screen.
I sigh with relief.
I still feel so angry with Jay, though. What he did was so… Mean. I knew that he didn’t really understand me but making fun of me? That’s too much.
Jay is well-behaved, well-raised. As far as I know, he had a great childhood and very supportive parents. Yet he sometimes treated me badly. Maybe that’s because he was spoiled – his mother and father always gave him everything he’d want. He’s an only child.
I try not to think about him, though and focus on what I have to do. Oh, yes. Those thousand papers on my desk.
‘This bomb… It blew their brains out, man! So many people’s brains… It could be us, dude.’ I hear someone shout. That’s one compassionate conversation for sure. I’m trying to concentrate and discussions about Boston are the last thing I’d like to listen to. That’s Matt, another college, not very smart as we can all conclude.
He’s even laughing. That’s so horrible and heartless, it disgusts me.
‘Stop it, Matt. That’s gross. You shouldn’t talk like that. It’s not right, man.’ says Conor, the guys he’s talking to, yet he’s smiling, too, trying to hold his hysterical laugh, about to make his body explode.
What great colleagues I have.
I manage to finish all the work I have by 6PM. I leave the building and I look as the sun goes down. What now? I don’t want to go home and deal with that… Person’s name I don’t even want to remember, I’m too angry with him at this moment.
For a few minutes, I just stand there, in front of the building, not knowing what to do.
I finally decide to visit mom who I haven’t seen in a while. She doesn’t live far away, so I’ll probably walk… again.
I put my headphones and get lost in the music. Feels like I haven’t done this in ages.
When I finally cross the street, the sun’s already gone; you can see the darkness and night about to take over everything and kill all signs of light.
I probably have been walking quite slowly because when I arrive at my mom’s house it’s already about 7:30PM.
You could never miss the “Beverly Jacks” written with big black letters on the door.
She welcomes me with a warm hug and a big smile. She tells me my dad is still at work.
She smells like a… really expensive perfume. That’s my mom. I admit I’ve missed her. I ought to visit her and dad more often.
She makes me coffee fast, probably because she knows how addicted I am to it, and we sit on her enormous dark bloody red couch. We talk about normal things for a while, before I decide to tell her all about what’s going on at the moment.
I take a deep breath before I start talking but she surprises me.
‘You heard about that terrorist bombing in Boston?’ Even her eyes are asking.
‘Yes. Very horrible. And cruel. And just…’ I sigh. ‘Unfair.’
‘You should be happy you’re here in Seattle, TJ. Though, I feel like there isn’t a safe place in the world today.’
She’s completely right. I nod and decide it’s time now.
‘You know, mom… I dreamt… About this terrorist attack without knowing about it.’ I look in her big brown eyes.
‘You did?’ They widen. ‘That’s so strange… But we all know you have one powerful seventh sense.’
I stay silent.
‘The way those people in the sports marathon reacted, though… It was quite amazing. They thought of each other, you know. Even if one was terribly injured or bleeding they’d help another who’s in worse condition. They weren’t thinking about themselves at all. They were trying to keep each other alive.’
She really was moved by the people’s reactions. I believe they did deserve admiration. Going through such horror would mark your life forever. And even if there were only three people who died, the rest of those who experienced the bombing will remember it forever. Most of them are in critical condition or with amputated legs or arms, which in my opinion is even worse than death itself. It’s impossible to live like that. One of the three who died was an eight-year-old. He did nothing to deserve this horrible way to die. None of those people did.
I now realize how thankful I really am I don’t live in Boston. Yet I am connected to the bombing, in a strange way.
I don’t get offended by the fact my mom wasn’t impressed when I told her about my dream. My mom is the definition of realistic. She sees things as they are, while my dad is probably the opposite. Yet, for some reason, I feel like telling him could only worsen things.
I guess mom just didn’t think it was a big deal. Her expression even reminded of McKayla Maroney’s, that gymnast whose “unimpressed” expression made her famous.
Although I don’t know why no one was surprised by my so-called nightmare. Of course, only Jay and my mom knew but that was probably a good thing. No one else should find out about it. I saw the terrorist attack in my dream and I guess maybe fate had something to do with it. How can a thing like that not shock you? Of course, Jay just didn’t believe me and mom accepted it as something normal. I remember how angry I am with Jay, I don’t want to return home and face him. I don’t even want to see him.
I stay with my mom for another hour; we talk a little more about Boston, then about how my life’s going and then I decide I ought to leave because it’s already 9PM. I hug my mom tight before I leave.
‘And visit us more often, okay? You know you’re always welcomed here, sunshine.’ Her warm smile makes me feel nostalgic.
‘I will, I promise.’ I’m completely honest.
‘I love you.’ I say as I step out of the house.
‘I love you more.’ she responds, kind of confidently.
‘We’ll see each other, mom!’ I shout as I am not so close to the house anymore.
‘And hear each other! I’ll call you, TJ!’ She smiles and closes the door.
It’s completely dark outside and although I like going for long walks during the night because it’s kind of romantic and mysterious simultaneously, I decide to take a taxi. I’m not in the mood right now and the fact that I’ll probably have to talk to Jay makes me feel even more depressed.
Luckily, I find a taxi fat and I’m home within fifteen minutes. He drove quite fast, I must say.
When I open the door, the first thing I see is Jay, holding a pink rose in his left hand, moving it back and forth. He looks rather… ashamed of himself. He’s staring at the floor.
‘I’m sorry I behaved like an ass today. And I am so sorry about that ass-text I sent you. I don’t know why I did that. I was an ass. I’m sorry.’ He finally looks in my brown eyes, so dark and mysterious, yet so warm. ‘I didn’t support you at all.’ That was a fact.
I sigh and begin:
‘Well… You called yourself an “ass” three times in just two minutes so… You’re forgiven. Let’s just forget about it.’ I hug him and take the pink rose off this hand.
‘It smells wonderful.’ I say quietly. He smiles and his dimples show. I feel kind of relieved but so exhausted. I feel like this is the longest day I’ve lived and that’s probably true. It’s definitely been crazy so far.
When I go to bed, I feel like I haven’t had peace and quiet in months. I fall asleep instantly.
I spent the next day analyzing my dream – the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced. I still remembered every detail of it and some parts I found so not logical; I had so many questions in my head.
So, the old lady putting all those explosives in my car. Apparently, she did that while she was sitting in it, behind the wheel. Okay, that made sense but one other thing didn’t make any at all. Why did the lady want to take my car, to leave with it so I could be far away from it? Is there any chance she wanted to… protect me? To keep me away from the bombs as if I could be able to… I don’t know, let all the others know what was about to happen? To help them, protect them? But that doesn’t make any sense either because I couldn’t do anything or change anything as the bombing took place like ten hours before my dream. Then why, at all, did I have that dream? It was no use of it. It would be completely different if all of this had happened before the terrorist attack. But no, it happened after it. And I kept thinking to myself, how not logical this was. And this lady was so weird. As well as the things she did. Suddenly, thoughts started popping in my mind. I felt like her name started with a “D”. It was short. It consisted of just one syllable. Wait, how come I know that? I even start to regret spending time remembering the dream, thinking about something so meaningless, obviously.
And that car… Why’d she put explosives in my beloved car? The weirdest thing was that the silver Volvo really did exist. I owned it. Before I had it stolen, of course. I later found out a woman had stolen it. A thought makes me laugh. Maybe the lady of my dream was that woman who stole my car, only she became quite older. And still wanted to remind me she cared about that Volvo. Not that any of this makes any sense but I probably just needed to laugh – I feel like I haven’t done it in a terribly long time.
But, God, how I loved my car.
Thinking about the dream only makes me more confused and leads to more questions. One single nightmare complicating my life so much. I don’t even believe in the supernatural. All of those people who claimed they saw ghosts or the future… I found them stupid. Am I one of them now? That isn’t possible. I don’t have anything in common with those… Liars, that’s what they are. Liars who just wanted other people’s money and popularity. And I’m definitely not a liar. And I don’t need money or popularity. I don’t even know why I saw… What I saw. I am realistic, just like my mom. And I never really paid attention to something which wasn’t happening in the present. Because we should all live for the present – not for the past and not for the future. Planning is no good either. Usually when I plan something, it doesn’t even happen. That’s why we should all the moment. Live fully, don’t make any make or analyze the past; none of that would make a difference.
All I wanted right now was someone to explain the last couple of days to me. I just wish I could find answers to all my questions.
When I wake up the next morning I instantly feel like it isn’t going to be a good day. I feel this urge to ask Jay about Boston. I need those details. And Jay’s a journalist, he writes the every-day news, he knows all about those stuff.
I feel like darkness has gone over my soul, yet the whole room is so bathed in sunlight, it blinds me.
Jay looks so happy, in such great mood and I really don’t want to ruin his day. But I don’t think I have a choice.
‘Good morning.’ I try to sound friendly.
‘Good morning, sleepy bones. It’s 11 o’clock.’
‘It’s Saturday, I don’t care.’
‘You never care, anyway.’
I roll my eyes.
‘You know it’s true, Tay.’
Oh, that nickname. When we started going out together, everyone called us Tay and Jay. It sounds so lame and stupid. I thought we were over those corny sugary relationship status brainless love story stuff. But I guess not. I seriously need to change the subject.
‘Look, I need to talk to you.’ I wait to see his reaction. He stays silent for a moment, probably thinking what to say.
‘This isn’t good. But I’m interested.’ His voice is controlled but I bet he knows this will be quite a difficult conversation.
‘It’s important.’ I add.
‘Go on.’ He even flashes a smile.
‘I have to ask you about Boston.’
‘Oh no…No.’ He immediately changes the tone of his voice.
‘I know you have all the details! And I need them.’
‘What for?’ He even sounds angry, talking loudly.
‘You know what for. What happened with me really was a big deal, okay? I thought you would support me or at least try to understand. And not get angry.’
‘I am not angry!’
‘That’s because you’re annoying me!’ He takes a deep breath. ‘When will you accept the fact that what you dreamt isn’t anything shocking? It’s just a nightmare!’
‘You don’t believe me. You never did. Not for a second.’ I now realize I shouldn’t have trusted him.
‘Okay, excuse me for not believing you can see the future!’
‘Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? Of course I can’t see the future. You know I don’t believe in those supernatural nonsense at all. But…’
He interrupts me.
‘The why do you claim you…’
‘I don’t! Don’t you understand? What I dreamt wasn’t the future. It was just something I didn’t know about, yet it’s a fact, it happened and it’s serious.’
‘Whatever. I’m almost a hundred percent sure you heard about it the previous day. Somewhere, somehow, you heard about it. You didn’t pay attention to it, yet you remembered every detail. Because it’s just… impressive.’
I could never convince him.
‘Who did it? Who did the terrorist attack? I bet you know.’ I won’t give up.
‘Even if I knew, why would I tell you? There’s no use. It wouldn’t change anything, would it?’ He has a point.
‘It was a woman, wasn’t it?’
A moment of silence.
‘How did you…’ He now looks shocked, for real. I decide to be completely honest and tell him everything I know. Or at least, think I know. I’m not sure what’s reality and what isn’t, anymore. The limit between imagination and reality has apparently disappeared for me.
‘Her name starts with a “D”, doesn’t it? It’s short. And has one syllable.’ I’m afraid to look in his eyes.
‘Dawn Ray’ he says so quietly, I can barely hear him. I feel scared of what I just heard (how come I knew?) and happy at the same time – it wasn’t my imagination.
‘She’s a middle-aged lady. I could describe her…’
‘Who told you? Who told you, Tate? If you don’t tell me I’m going to…’
‘No one told me! I saw it myself! You know that.’ I even feel like I’m shivering now.
‘You’re crazy. You’ve completely gone mad. What, you have amnesia now? You can’t remember who told you? Well, you need help.’
I feel like I won’t be able to take this quite longer but still, I continue.
‘It started from a car. It first exploded. And then…’ I look at Jay and see his expression is horrifying.
‘Please…’ He even sounds desperate. ‘Tell me who told you about the car, Tate. Who. Told. You.’
‘So it’s true?!’ I probably look terrified as well.
‘You’re such a good actress. Seriously, you deserve an award.’ He laughs. ‘You can make money of that, you know? This can make you rich, Tate.’
‘I can’t believe you said that.’ How could he be so… Mean and even heartless? I can’t deal with what’s happening with me alone. I need someone’s support. And obviously, I don’t have his. He’s thinking about money again. That’s so typical for him.
So many things can’t be explained to me.
‘Get this into your head. Nothing shocking has happened. Drop this. Besides, I’m pretty sure you’re lying to me. Just for fun, you know.’ Jay said calmly.
‘I am not! You know I wouldn’t!’
‘Oh yeah? Then tell me who told you. Because that’s the only explanation.’
‘There are obviously other explanations, too.’
‘Don’t joke with me, Tate. If you don’t tell me who told you all of this, I’m going to leave.’
‘Then leave.’ I have no other choice.
‘Seriously?’ He stares at me in disbelief. I don’t answer.
‘Fine.’ He says and slams the door behind him so fast. He really did leave. And I am furious. I’m so angry I realize I’m sweating. I feel like my cheeks are on fire. There’s a cold glass of water on the table and I decide to drink it fast. It feels so refreshing but it doesn’t really help. What now? He’s going to move out? Or am I? I have no idea. And I don’t care. I guess that Jay was right when he said I never did. After all of this, I still think that looking into the terrorist attack is the more important thing to do.
I spent the next hours searching for more information about what happened in Boston. Why does Jay hide all of these details from all the people that are dying to know what happened? Why does he keep it a secret as if it’s about aliens or something like that?
I read almost all the articles on the Internet about the terrorist bombing and the only thing I find impressive, but in a bad way, is Obama’s speech about what happened in Boston. Apparently, he’d said something like: “You’ll run again. Yes, run again.” I first thought about all the people that lost their legs in the bombing. Is he saying that to them? If so, that sounds horrible. Or maybe Obama didn’t have them in mind but those who won’t attend the annual sports marathon next year because they will be too scared. Because they will immediately remember the terrorist attack, they will connect this event with it. Obama is probably trying to tell those people that what happened in Boston isn’t going to change anything; everything’s going to continue normally, but he’s mistaken. Because it already changed a lot. At least for some people. Some will never forget it, the memory will remain in their minds forever, but other will continue their lives as if nothing happened. It’s always like that.
But if, like I thought firstly, Obama’s speech was meant for the wounded, maybe he wanted to give them hope. Although “you’ll run again” really does sound ridiculous. My mom thinks that those people’s lives are completely over, though they’re still alive, and maybe she’s got a point. And Obama’s trying to make them think twice. Because their lives are the most precious thing they own right now; that’s all they’re left with and they’ll have to accept it as it is.
I never had anything against Obama. I think he’s one of the best presidents so far; his decisions seem wise, he’s thoughtful and caring of the Americans and has a great sense of humor, too. He looks nicer than the others, but that’s not the point. Because all politicians are always one and the same. They all want the same things; they don’t really differ from each other. And you always notice their selfishness, dishonesty (sometimes even ridiculousness) and fake positivism. Often their speeches aren’t even written by themselves and they don’t think what they say. What’s meant for all the people that are listening, is a big lie. And most of them knew that.
Later, I read a part of an interview from a morning show. The person they were interviewing was some kind of expert of terrorist attacks in general. He was talking about who might have done the bombing. I wonder if he knows, too, but he’s hiding it just like Jay. This guy was middle-aged, with teeth so white, they didn’t look real at all and green eyes which weren’t clear, it’s like they hid so much, they were full of lies and mysteries.
He could barely fit in his seat in front of the host of the show. He looked a little nervous as well. What he said was interesting, though.
‘The person who did this…’ he said. ‘They could be your neighbor, your friend, the sales-man you buy things from, the person from the grocery shop, the store, the market, the one you saw in the mall, too… Or even the mother, holding her two-month-old baby. It could be anyone. And it’s very possible you know them. So think about it.’
‘Or…’ The host of the show looked so full of energy. ‘That’s just your rational explanation for what happened.’ His eyes were questioning.
The guy with the “too” white teeth took a deep breath. He looked quite uncertain, but he continued.
‘No… The bombings in Oklahoma in 1995 and Atlanta in 1996 were done by Americans. Native. Locals.’
The host looked as if he had nothing left to say.
So, that lady, Dawn, might be local? How come I had never seen her then? Or had I? But wait, she’s only a part of my dream! For a moment or two, I almost really did drop everything as Jay advised me to. Not that this was a smart advice, though. Yet, I felt so tired of everything and I got more and more confused as days went by.
That day, Jay didn’t return home but I guess I could’ve thought of that, anyway. I didn’t get any sleep during that night, either, but that’s probably normal. I expected it, it didn’t surprise me.
The next morning, I got a text. From him of course.
“I’m hoping you’ll send me my stuff.” It said.
The next week went by so fast, yet it felt like the time was going by very slowly. Somehow, it felt like the day Jay left had happened so long ago. I must say, I was very glad we didn’t work in the same building. I honestly hadn’t seen him since that day. And I didn’t mind that. I couldn’t change anything and I didn’t want to. I just accepted things as they were, immediately.
Then another two weeks went by and it already felt like history, an event in the past, long gone.
One morning, spontaneously, I decided to visit Boston. I love traveling, but this time I’m not going searching for enjoyment but for… Answers. And details. I really want to see that particular spot where this horrific event took place. I took that decision quickly and in a blink of an eye, I found myself booking a cheap room in a cheap hotel in Boston. I left my small amount of luggage in the room and went to search for the place where the terrorist bombing happened. I actually knew where it was, so it wouldn’t take much time finding it.
When I arrive there, I feel strange. As if I was here when it happened. As if the bombing included I myself too. I notice I’m standing quite close to two policemen, apparently still investigating the case. They notice too but don’t really care. I hear one of them say:
‘Look! Over there! That looks like a watch!’
‘That lady was soo not careful…’ I murmur to myself. Suddenly, I think:
‘Wait, did I actually say that out loud?’ Realizing what I’d done, I start panicking.
‘Ma’am?’ Apparently, both police officers had heard me. They come closer to me and the fatter one, holding a doughnut, says:
‘How did you know a lady did this, miss?’
Alright, I don’t know what to do now. The mess I made obviously has no ending.
‘Um…’ I feel so hopeless, I might as well tell them I did it myself and spend my whole life in jail.
‘How did you know?’ He repeats more loudly and sharply. He’s looking at me kind of angrily.
‘I just… Know.’ I say and prepare for judgment.
‘Miss…’ begins the other police officer ‘I think you should come with us. We ought to talk in privacy.’
And just before I faint, a miracle happens. I can see Jay, a few meters away from me, but still close enough, interviewing someone.
Just when the police officer grabs me by my hand, he sees me too, leaves all he’s doing and hurries towards me. The police officer doesn’t stop talking.
‘If you had told us the truth, this wouldn’t have happened.’
Now they were both holding me.
Apparently, Jay had heard it all.
‘It was me!’ He says quite loudly.
‘Miss, do you know this man?’ the police officer asks me.
‘Yes. He’s Jay Moore. And I have no idea why he’s here.’ I answer, looking at him. He looks back.
‘And I am a journalist. I told her all about Boston. I know I shouldn’t have, because it was supposed to be a secret, but… I did. It was me.’ Jay tells the police officers, still holding the microphone from that interview before.
‘You could just tell us, miss.’ The policeman looks at me and shakes his head. After what Jay told them, they both went away and left me alone. Left us alone. They even told us something like “have a nice day”. Now I finally have the chance to ask Jay a couple of things.
‘What are you doing here?’ I ask him, putting my hands on my waist.
‘Working, as you can see.’ He waves the microphone in his hand. The way he talks to me, looks at me… Is still cold. To be honest, I do want him back. The house is so empty without him. He makes me so angry sometimes but I’m kind of used to that. To him.
‘I miss you.’ I hear myself say.
‘I miss you too.’ He answers quite fast. ‘Maybe you want me to return home.’ He tries not to smile, but fails.
‘I do, I really do.’ I wasn’t lying.
‘So do I. And I will.’ Jay says and I smile at him. ‘Under one condition.’ He adds, with his first finger lifted. I knew it wouldn’t be that easy.
‘You’ll drop that case. You’ll stop thinking about it. You’ll forget about what happened completely.’ That was the last thing I wanted to do, but did I have a choice? No.
‘Me or the Boston case.’ His blue eyes darken.
‘You’ is all I can say.
He nods in approval. Maybe that’s the right decision. Besides, I would always choose him, anyway. I decide I have to tell him a few things.
‘I’m sorry for getting you into this. You shouldn’t have become a part of it.’ I was honest. I would have dealt with it better myself, anyway. I realize I didn’t need his opinion, nor his support.
‘And thanks… From saving me from these fat policemen. I bet they were planning to eat me, too.’
He laughs. I missed that sound.
‘And… I’m sorry. Once again. I really am.’
‘It’s okay. Let’s just forget about it. Deal?’
‘Deal.’ I assure him.
He takes my hand, looking happier than ever. As always, he got what he wanted. I gave up.
I don’t know if the next days that went by were good or bad. Or both. With Jay, everything was going great. Greater than ever actually. We didn’t fight at all, but I guess that was because I didn’t mention Boston, not even once. That was all that irritated him before. Surprisingly, I noticed that I almost didn’t think about Boston at all. I suppose it really didn’t include me at all. I couldn’t change anything, so why am I even wasting my time? I mean “was wasting my time”. Not that my time is that precious, though. I waste it constantly. In so many meaningless ways. Internet. Brainless comedies (or horror movies, it depends). Shopping (buying things I certainly don’t need). And the list goes on forever. I rarely do things that are worth the try. That do take of your time, but in a good, meaningful way. Maybe my job can be a suitable example. Oh, my job. I lost my job. That happened because I just couldn’t stand my chubby boss Benny anymore, so one day I told Nerdy Robbie that I hated Benny and that his head was completely empty. Turned out he was standing right behind me, of course. Me and my really good luck.
I could tell you everything about how he yelled at me afterwards or how long I collected my stuff (it took me about two hours, if you want to know the truth) but I’m not going to, because it’s just too boring. The details aren’t even important. I was unemployed at the moment and that was it. As we’ll return to Jay right now, you’ll find out some interesting facts. He found me a new job. Well, not completely because the interview is next week but after my long, unsuccessful hunt for a new job ended not so good, he decided it was time to take care of things, the way he knew best. He is so… Powerful. And capable of doing anything. And he always does what he wants. What he did didn’t surprise me. You could never make him change his mind.
And yes, I will work in the building he does, which I don’t know if is good or bad. Spending every second of the day with him. I don’t know, we’ll see. The important thing is that I don’t work in an ugly office, in front of an ancient computer anymore. Now, I apparently have to replace someone. The job isn’t an ideal, but I guess it’s good enough. Better than nothing. And certainly better than my last one.
As I said, things with Jay were going greater than ever, it was even sort of unbelievable. The only thing I am hoping for is that I won’t screw up my interview next week by saying something stupid, as I normally do.
And the day of my interview was here. I got up early, dressed up fast and was ready an hour before I was supposed to leave. So I was just standing in front of the mirror, remembering the things I ought to say to the interviewer, trying not to forget anything, while Jay was laughing at me and encouraging me at the same time. I was getting more and more nervous but I guess that was partly because of the two (or maybe three) coffees I drank quite quickly. I finally left the house, in a hurry, as Jay shouted “good luck” at me. How ironic, I was ready when it was too early to leave and when I actually left, I was already in a hurry. Of course, I took my best friend with me, too. My iPod. I was hoping the music will calm me, make me think about something else, take my mind off all those things.
As I put the headphones in my ears, I realize it has no battery left at all. Again, me and my luck. It is such a great friend of mine, so helpful and supportive every time. Note the sarcasm. I deserve an award for my horrible luck.
Sad that I’ll continue walking without music, I try to think about something else, that is hopefully positive. I look as the sun was going down. Honestly, it was one the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen in my life. In this particular moment, I feel truly happy without really knowing why. Probably just because of what I saw. The clouds were almost blue but the whole sky was orange. The sun was almost gone, yet you could still see it staring at you as if it said: “I am still watching every move you make.” This glowing ball of fire blinded us all with its power and effectiveness.
I stop in a moment, in attempt to look closely at the sunset and really enjoy it, but deep inside I guess I knew I just had to stop, take a step back, take one last breath that wasn’t going to hurt. Because something was going to happen. I knew that. Something that would change everything, in all possible ways. Something that would completely turn my life over and make me doubt in everything, no matter if it’s reality or imagination, no matter if it’s my actions or someone else’s, no matter I saw something that was in front of me, I’d doubt in its existence. I’d doubt in everything I do. And that would continue forever. Like an endless movie or tape, an action which you could never stop. Something that goes on and on and each time it repeats, things get worse, it gets more painful. I’d doubt in the truth.
So I tried to enjoy this final second of peace that lasted so long, it sort of filled the air with its continuation.
‘Let’s enjoy the silence… Before it gets too loud. So loud, you can’t even hear your own thoughts.’ I think to myself.
‘So, Tate…’ I hear a woman’s voice begin. When she calls my name, I turn around with curiosity, to see who it is, even though I know I’ll regret it. I’ll regret the fact that I didn’t run away immediately. Run so far away, the finding of me would be impossible. Run away with an amazing speed, flying through the streets, just like in my weird oracular dream that happened so long ago. At least that’s how it all felt to me.
I turned around to see who was calling me and the moment I did that, I felt the horror taking over my body, filling it slowly, until there’s no space left. In that moment, it even felt like… Nothing mattered anymore. Nothing makes sense (it never did, didn’t it?). Time stopped and my face went white as I looked at the old lady. I felt like there are a million ants on my body, eating every inch of it, especially my brain, my sense of control, consciousness and sober, logical way of thinking. The word “shock” isn’t even enough. I even felt like my eyes were going to pop out. Or like I’m drowning though there’s no water. I can’t breathe though the oxygen fills the air. My whole body was going to be torn in a million pieces, each one finding itself at a different place on the Earth. It was as if two people were holding my arms and were pulling me in opposite directions. It was that painful. It was all horror.
And simultaneously, when I saw Dawn, standing in front of me, I wasn’t surprised. She was so close, so real, I could even feel her breathing. Her face was somehow so clear to me, so familiar, as if she was here, next to me, by my side through the whole time, during everything I did for the past several weeks. It was like I knew her all my life, like she was a huge part of it, of my existence, yet so not noticeable. All the memories came back to me in a blink of an eye. Dawn takes a deep breath and I know she’ll say something. One sentence that would change everything. She’s smiling creepily. Her hair is still messed up and her eyes are shining in a frightening way. Her huge brown eyes I had memorized so long ago. Her voice is so calm when she speaks to me:
‘I bet you miss your good old silver Volvo.’