She’s restless. Shifting in her seat at work, she watches enviously as other early risers walk into work early and settle at their desks, animated and refreshed after the three day holiday and a good night’s sleep.
She hasn’t slept well. Despite not having woken up even once since she drifted off the night before, she still didn’t sleep well. Strange dreams dogged her the night through and she only remembers flashes of them but they still leave her with a bad feeling that nags continuously at the fringes of her mind.
…An old friend from school leads her by the hand, into a nook of a strange house on the beach, and leans forward to kiss her. She doesn’t know if she wants to so she backs away. The friend appears awkward for a little and then speaks earnestly to her but she can’t hear what’s being said. Again her friend moves closer and she is back up against the wall of the room, nervous but strangely excited. Before anything happens, a couple bursts into the room, making out feverishly. They stop when they realize they aren’t alone and stare inhospitably at her and her friend. The friend takes her by the hand once more and they leave hurriedly.
…She has now turned into a boy, jogging laps around a darkened pool in swimming trunks. He is sweating, worried about something, unhappy about everything. He realizes he had done more laps than he needs to but he keeps going, unhindered by the ache in his legs, spurred on by the thud of his shoes against the cement. He jogs a little way behind the rest of the squad, sensing their hostility but not really worried by it. The coach watches him, impressed. Sympathetic.
That’s all she remembers of her dreams from the night before. God only knows what they mean. She had woken up tired, feeling as if she had been up all night watching a series of strange films and got no sleep as a result. Her feet dragged on her way to work and it seemed to take an age to get there.
Why this restless feeling? She messes with her hair impatiently, waiting… for what? Sure, she’s waiting for her computer to boot, but it’s more than that. She’s waiting for something else to happen.
The other shoe to drop perhaps? She feels like she’s completed half the steps of a dance and is waiting to remember the rest of it. Or like she’s dancing without a partner, hands outstretched but holding only air. Something’s missing. Something’s just not right.
She’s been mostly ok these days. Calm. Sometimes even happy. The anguish of the past few months appears to be over, and she feels like she’s returning to normal, slowly settling into her own skin again. But even that calm is not comforting – she wonders worriedly if it is the proverbial lull before the storm.
Her heart is being tugged in so many different directions. She doesn’t know which one to follow, which one will make her happier, which one will be safer or even whether she wants to be safe at all. She feels she has started a series of chain reactions and she doesn’t know how they will pan out. A sense of foreboding haunts her and it is strangely familiar.
With a jolt she recognizes the emotion – she feels like the boy in her dream, jogging on and on, knowing he should stop but going through the motions, thinking and worrying about a hundred things.
She also finds she can identify with the earlier dream. The shock of being confronted by something alien, something unexpected. Of being backed into a corner, looking for options, on the verge of panic, wondering which to take. Feeling nervous about it but wanting it at the same time.
She wonders at this sudden sense of clarity. She wonders if she’s just looking for parallels that aren’t really there.
She hears someone hailing her and looks up to see her friends walking up the pathway to the office. She meets their smiles with one of her own, glad to be distracted by their talk of the weekend. As always, they lift her spirits but the worry and anticipation of something that could either be terrible or wonderful sits with her like a second shadow.
Her eye catches her phone, its luminous blue digits winking at her and holding her gaze. The numbers change and she gets the strangest sensation that they’re counting down to something.
What could she possibly be counting down to?
2 weeks? 3 months? To whenever her life starts to make sense again? To whenever she can honestly say she is happy again? To whenever she falls in love again?
There’s a lot she doesn’t know. A lot she doesn’t understand. Decisions that seem so simple to her friends when she tells them are to her the most difficult ones she’s ever had to make in her life. She’s terrified she’ll make the wrong one. Hurt the wrong people. Wound herself irrevocably…
But then again, she muses with a half smile and she plays around with this blog post. Then again, that’s all part of the game.
What a maze life is, honestly.
* * *
The real truth is, I probably don’t want to be too happy or content. Because, then what? I actually like the quest, the search. That’s the fun. The more lost you are, the more you have to look forward to.
What do you know? I’m having a great time and I don’t even know it.
– Ally Mcbeal