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.


About Nicole

Daughter of God, wife, mother, volunteer youth leader, substitute teacher, aspiring writer, rabbit owner, nature lover. These are some of my titles.
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