I’m at my old house, running through the backyard barefoot. Someone is chasing me – a girl I don’t know. It is imperative that I get away. I jump down a steep bank and plunge into the creek. It’s gotten so much bigger than it was when I was a kid. I run through the creek and hope she won’t be able to follow me. Trying to be silent, I race along all the way to another city. Though I’m in a soaking wet t-shirt, I go into a ritzy old hotel where women dance in regal ballgowns. I hide in a bathtub in the basement. Someone is there. The door is off the hinges and I have to hold it up and hide behind it. The room is full of kids in sleeping bags and Michael and I hide amongst them. It goes on. Always hiding, always fearful.
I’m driving home across three states and realize I have no idea where I’m going. I’m so distracted I can’t even control my car. I drive through a light and off the road onto the grass. There’s a cop but he doesn’t seem to mind me. I get back on the road and try to remember the way we came. Why were we there? Why am I alone? Somehow, I get to a mall. It is gigantic. I run into Bridget and her mom. We walk to their car, catching up on life. Then I go to mine, but get in the passenger side on accident. Bridget’s mom gets in the driver’s seat and takes me to another parking lot in another part of the mall. I keep asking what she’s doing, but she ignores me. I follow her into the mall, which is like a subway station. We go up several flights of stairs and horizontally quite far from our starting point. Sadly, I don’t pay attention to where we’ve been.
She leaves me and I am utterly lost. This mall has like 16 levels and 10 parking lots and I have no clue where my car is. Meanwhile, it’s pouring down rain outside and the lots are flooded. Really flooded – maybe 10 feet of water. The mall apparently is also a private school and there are fire engines everywhere to evacuate all the uniformed kids. I manage to find an exit and am overjoyed, only to realize it is where my car used to be but isn’t anymore.
I go up an escalator, but there’s no landing at the top. I have to climb onto a tiny point of floor with a huge drop-off on either side of me and a rack of clothes in the way. My parents are waiting for me in a Holiday Inn in St. Peters and are probably freaking out because I’ve been gone so long and they can’t get a hold of me. I try to call them, but don’t have my phone because I have no pockets. It’s in the car. I wander for hours. The mall closes and I still can’t find my car.
My brain wakes me up because it gives up on ever finding the solution. I’m tired and disoriented and not ready for another day.