Reflections, part 1

It was square, with no partitions or bracings. The window hovered ahead without the help of a wall, and a dim light spilled through the glass, a dusty bone-white glow that fell off the bottom of the window like a waterfall at the edge of the world. I had expected the light to stretch on for eternity, but the emptiness swallowed the rays. Captured them.

Snuffed them out.

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Where am I?

I couldn’t see further than a meter in front of me. The term darkness didn’t do it justice–I was surrounded on all sides by an expanse of black nothingness. It was empty, void of life or light, but oddly enough I didn’t feel afraid. I was just as empty, emotionless. Calm.

That’s when the window appeared.

It was square, with no partitions or bracings. The window hovered ahead without the help of a wall, and a dim light spilled through the glass, a dusty bone-white glow that fell off the bottom of the window like a waterfall at the edge of the world. I had expected the light to stretch on for eternity, but the emptiness swallowed the rays. Captured them.

Snuffed them out.

I moved closer, curious. What is this place? Am I dreaming?

With each step toward the window, I saw more details through the window–and each new detail made my blood run cold.

I was peering into a bedroom; the covers were drawn over two sleeping figures, and nightstands stood on either side of the bed. The closed doors of a closet were visible off to the right, and another, smaller window could be seen on the left wall. The moonlight bathed the room, filtered only by sheer white curtains.

Another step, more details. Each nightstand had its own lamp, matte steel with white shades. The table on the right also held a smartphone, a wallet, keys, some spare change, and a couple crumpled receipts. The opposite table also carried a smartphone, as well as two notebooks, a pen, a tablet, thick-rimmed glasses, and a television remote.

I frowned, my eyes scanning the room again. Where’s the TV?

I was up against the glass, peering down directly below in confusion. There seemed to be a dresser in front of the window, littered with papers and clothes and various objects. My eyes widened at the familiar disarray.

This is my room.


“Nereida?”

I groaned and rolled onto my side, pulling the down comforter over my head. Rocío let out a frustrated grunt and began shaking me violently.

“Wake up, Reida!”

“Okay, okay!” I huffed and pulled the covers down. “What is it?”

“We’re going to that concert today,” she reminded me. Her hazel gaze studied me questioningly. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, why?” I sat up and stretched my arms out, urging the heat to spread along my extremities. I’m not used to this kind of winter.

“You were talking in your sleep.”

“Oh, yeah?” This was not abnormal; I had been informed of this habit by previous partners, though they all told me the same thing. “What did I say?”

Rocío shrugged. “I don’t know, you mostly mumbled.”

Yeah, I figured as much. I plucked my dream journal from my nightstand and jotted down every detail I could recall from my bizarre dream. Dark place, window, light, moved closer, saw our room…

I scowled at the page, disturbed. There was something I was missing, something important.

“C’mon! I want to get there early,” my girlfriend insisted. She was already dressed and ready to go with her favorite slim-fit jeans and a red graphic tee displaying the logo of her favorite band–the very one we had tickets to go see.

“Alright, just give me half an hour,” I sighed and shut my journal, setting it aside. I had preemptively picked out my outfit for the night, so all I really had to do was shower, fix my hair, and apply some makeup.

“Thirty minutes in your time is, like, two hours, babe,” Rocío complained. Her wavy golden hair was pulled up in a high ponytail, and it fell to the side as she tilted her head and watched me. Her greenish-brown eyes took in the way I stood slowly from the bed and stretched. I caught her burdened expression just as she looked away.

“What is it?” I asked.

She shrugged. “You’ve been talking a lot in your sleep. Anything you want to talk about?”

Yes. “No, not really. I’ve always had weird dreams, you know that.”

Rocío nodded distractedly and turned to leave the room. “Thirty minutes, starting now. Got it?”

“Got it,” I smiled reassuringly.

She left the room as I rounded the bed, pausing by the dresser to dig through my underwear drawer. After I settled on my favorite black bra and cheeky panties, I turned to face the closet when a way of déjà vu washed over me.

I was standing at the foot of my bed, and the view of my room from where I stood seemed to jog my memory. I saw this in my dream, I realized. I saw our room, the bed, the nightstands…

Then I spun around and stared into the mirror. It was a square structure that came with the dresser, lined with black wood. Our television was mounted above it, angled down for optimal viewing from the bed. My dark hair was a frizzy mess of curls, framing my round face as I gazed into my soot black irises. Bruised lines sat beneath my eyes, putting my insomnia on display for all to see.

I’m going to need a lot of makeup, I sighed as I left the room, my dream forgotten.

Photo by Stefano Zocca on Unsplash

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A series of white and gold lights out of focus, casting overlapping circles against a dark background. Text overlays that reads, "Want updates on the latest blogs? Follow Natasha Penn on social media!" Further down are the logos for Twitter and Reddit with the username "nattypenn," and just beneath that is the Instagram logo with the username "nattypennwastaken."
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