Waking Nightmares

Recently, you asked whether I had nightmares. Frequent and recurring nightmares. I wanted to shake my head and smile, but we would both know I was lying.

You’re just that type of person. That good a friend.

So instead, I asked why. I asked what it was for. I asked away in hopes that you would be deterred and not ask. Because if you kept asking, I would eventually say it. I would eventually tell you. And I didn’t want to. I really didn’t want to. To tell you would have meant showing you the side of me that I tried to bury beneath layers upon layers of raucous laughter and playful violence, of cheerful banter and halfhearted insults.

Even though I always declared, “It’s fine. I’m like that too, yanno,” nobody seemed to take me seriously. I don’t think there ever was a reason for you see it firsthand. I’m glad you didn’t.

I don’t even want to admit it to myself. I don’t even want to acknowledge it.

But it’s there. Resisting all efforts of concealment and extermination. After years of trying to do away with it, it’s still there, mocking as ever. Making me more vulnerable than I already was.

I didn’t like it. I still don’t like it.

There was one time where we were all gathered in one place and having fun. Like we used to back then. We were so carefree, just talking among ourselves and laughing. It was night out, and the stars were really pretty. Enough to make me know that it wasn’t real (because we all know that stars can’t be that bright or defined in the city due to the lights). It was really fun, and I was really happy. It seemed like ages since we were last together. When we were all there without someone missing because of  a paper, an exam, a meeting, distance, curfews, needing or wanting to go home.

But then you were gone. All of you. There was nothing. There was no one. I wasn’t even sure whether you guys left or I did. If I had just closed my eyes and you were still there beside me, or if you had left me and are still together, laughing because I didn’t even realize what you did until you were gone.

And then everything started falling and crashing, and I couldn’t feel anything but at the same time it hurt. It burned so badly that I didn’t even know if it’s freezing or scorching hot. I wanted to run but I couldn’t; I kept walking, running, but I wasn’t moving.

And then I saw silhouettes in the horizon and I instinctively knew it was you. You were moving away and I still couldn’t move. You tried waiting for me, but I wouldn’t move. After a while, you turned your backs and walked away. And then I was left falling again, crashing. Numb yet hurting.

Did that answer your question?

Oh, and let’s not forget the handy little trivia about my dreams usually containing bits of the future.
I mean I dream about small stuff before they happen. Usually insignificant things like the lead of my pencil breaking, the eraser slipping, someone saying a certain line that hasn’t been repeated or said before.

Remember that?

Take into account the probability of the dream and you get an even scarier picture.

I’m scared.

Nightmares are not limited to dreams.

When you’re trapped in your own mind and you can’t pull yourself out, that’s a nightmare too. An even worse nightmare.

Because you can forget dreams. You do ninety percent of the time.

But when it comes when you’re awake and you can’t get back to reality immediately…

When you have nothing to anchor you there besides your playlist in the background or the feel of the mug you clutch in your hands…

It’s worse.

It’s way worse.

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