One of my dreams, from June 10th 2018.
They were like fireflies, little flames of orange light, there one moment and gone the next. It could have been a trick of the eye, but I knew they were there. I could feel it.
It burned on contact and the house was engulfed completely in tongues of fire. No need to guess. The lingering waft of smoke stung my eyes and sat heavily in the back of my throat.
I had anticipated it; I saw it coming, I told the world, I had a voice. But no one listened. They didn’t believe me, but I didn’t blame them.
My loved one’s voice: Take it—you’ll need it.
No, you needed it more.
As I looked back at the crackling, sky-high flames, I tried not to think of what was going on inside.
The sparks were stars, blazing against the stormy night. Black clouds rolled in over dark grey sky.
Ozone tingled in my nose. The first drops fell.
The thick liquid dripped heavily. Occasionally, it made contact with the sparks, transforming into white pricks of light, paralyzing me temporarily at every touch. A single shock.
Where is she?
But I knew, all too clearly, that she would not be here, or anywhere. Not anymore.
A car horn blared rudely. “Get in!” The vehicle, make undetermined, fire-red colored now as it reflected my nightmare behind me, pulled up at the curb. Orange glistened on the wet street.
I dove in, shaking water from my hair. Warmth enveloped me. The car took off, slowly at first, then accelerated to meet the speed limit.
You’re okay. You’re okay. You made it out, then—thank God.
I stared out the window, feeling numb. Not just in my toes and fingers, brushed by midnight rain. Despite it all, the sky slowly transitioned into lighter shades of grey.
“Hey, you hungry?” my friend asked me. Her smile was overwhelming, her eyes too wise. I nodded silently, then took the sad little bag of trail mix from her hand. It was more salt and powder than anything worth eating.
Condensation had built up on the windows, blurring my view of the outside world like the tears in my eyes.
I looked over in the driver seat. My friend no longer sat there; a limp seat belt was draped over the seat. The car continued on, windshield completely obscured with steam and water, and I closed my eyes, knowing there was no way back, or any way to bring her back.
Time always moved forward.