Apologize for the delay. This story is a difficult one to discuss because the dreams are still a mystery to me to this day. I am normally a pretty decent interpreter of dreams, what with all the symbolism… But there was so little symbolism and so much realism in these dreams that I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I’m still not.
With that being said, I apologize if it’s shorter than you were hoping. Part 3 will be up next month.
I’m here again.
I looked around, taking in the familiar surroundings. At first, all I could see was the same empty void as in my previous dream. The same window appeared before me, and the usual scene played out. Rocío and I were fast asleep in our bed; I even saw my chest rise and fall in time with my own even breaths.
I stepped closer, peering over the edge of the window, only to find the top of our messy dresser.
I knew it! I’m in the mirror.
Then, without a second thought, I turned my back on our mirror and floated further into the darkness.
If our mirror leads here, I theorized, my eyes peeled for any lights or movement. Then other mirrors should lead here too, right?
As if responding to my theory, a series of mirrors appeared in the void. They were all around me, in all shapes and sizes. Each one displayed at least one person sleeping. I must have peered into thirty or so mirrors, amazed by the sheer volume that remained.
Have I always been able to do this? I wondered, thinking back on my many nightmares. Are there others who can do this, too? And why aren’t there any bathroom or hallway mirrors?
I spent the next several nights exploring the dark world I visited in my dreams. I noticed some similarities: every single mirror was placed in a bedroom, where I saw other sleeping people. Some of the bedrooms were empty, but most contained people going about their daily lives. Sleeping, watching TV, reading, getting ready for work or school. I never lingered on any of them–I saw no point in getting attached.
After all, it’s just a dream.
“What’s the matter?” asked Mercedes, Rocío’s mom. Her hair was dyed black, but her roots were flaxen blonde. She was already seated at the kitchen table by the time I trudged out of the bedroom. “You look tired. Didn’t you get any sleep?”
I shrugged as I entered the kitchen. “I’ve just been having weird dreams.”
“She tosses and turns and mumbles in her sleep every night, Ma,” Rocío revealed, throwing me under the bus. I threw her a scowl, which she ignored.
“What kind of dreams?” Mercy badgered.
I sighed and shook my head. “They’re just dreams, okay? They’re just kind of vivid, and I’m not used to that.”
“Well, maybe the dreams are trying to tell you something,” suggested the older woman. “What happens in them?”
“Nothing, really,” I insisted. I poured myself a bowl of sugary cereal. “I’m in this weird other dimension, like a void, and there are all these mirrors all around me. And the mirror that’s in front of me is the one in our bedroom–but instead of seeing my reflection in it, I’m seeing into our bedroom. A-And I go around and explore the other mirrors for a while before returning to our mirror and waking up.”
Mercedes frowned. “What happens if you don’t make it back to the mirror before you wake up?”
“I…” I paused, thinking back on the last few nights. “I don’t know. I’ve never woken up before returning to the mirror.”
“God, that sounds so creepy,” Rocío shuddered from her seat at the table. “I don’t know how you can deal with your dreams, Reida–and to even keep a notebook filled with them. What for?”
I shrugged again. “My parents taught me that my dreams are important, so I always try to write them down.”
Don’t tell them, a small voice whispered. I fidgeted on the spot. “I don’t know. Anyway, don’t you guys have to get to work?”
“Shit!” Rocío hopped up from her seat, ran over to the sink where she placed her bowl and spoon, and she kissed me goodbye on her way out the door. “See you later!”
“Later!” We called back to her.
I finally finished preparing my own bowl as the thunderous sound of my girlfriend’s truck could be heard from outside the small home. I took her seat at the kitchen table just as Mercedes stood and placed her own dishes in the sink.
“Mm-hmm?” I hummed over a mouthful of cereal.
“Don’t go too far from your mirror.”
I blinked. Did I imagine that? I swallowed the food in my mouth and cleared my throat. “What was that?”
“Your dream,” Mercy reminded me. Her eyes were as black as the void I wandered through aimlessly in my dreams. “Don’t go too far away from your mirror, the mirror that brings you back. You might not be able to wake up.”
Then she walked out, taking my appetite with her.