The darkness kept spreading around me as I fall into an endless abyss. Where I was once is now just a tiny speck of light in the distance. As I swirled into the black space, all that happened the past hour seemed to melt and evaporate until all that was left was a fleeting memory of a nightmare.
Is this the end? I caught myself thinking.
I am just human after all. My mind can’t keep up and it felt like I was losing myself. One by one, things that I hold dear were slowly being sucked out of existence. My hands frantically moved involuntarily, grasping forward, desperate to retrieve whatever was being taken away from me. Yet I knew it’s futile and I don’t even remember what they were anymore. I closed my eyes, hoping that some higher being out there would take pity on me and relieve me of my misery.
Then suddenly a blinding light splashed from behind me. I shielded my eyes, now terribly frightened and feeling numb in anticipation of a fatal impact. Which never came.
I woke up with a start, visibly agitated. With the sudden movement, the bench I was lying on swayed and I dropped to the ground.
‘Ow,’ I squinted against the bright sunlight piercing through the glass wall across the room. Looking around I saw people on the other side confused and staring at me, also startled by the fuss. The scene was weird and it felt odd. The person closest to where I was had this concerned look on his face. It took a while for my mind to register that I was staring at a reflection of my face. But it wasn’t me. Instinct kicked in and I moved backward a few paces away.
‘Ken, what’s wrong? Did you have that nightmare again?’ Still confused and staring blankly at him, Yugo—the name naturally came to mind— quickly helped me up. I remained motionless, standing straight in front of him. I still felt rattled by the “nightmare” they mentioned.
‘Leave him be, Yugo! He’s always like that after being visited by those nightmares right?’
‘Don’t blame us if we finish all the food, slowpoke! Hahahaha.’ Voices from the other side ringed in my ears, prodding my eyes back to reality. For some reason, I was able to connect those voices to a set of faces and names. I felt Yugo’s hand patting my back. Looking back at him, I can see a hint of confusion amid the look of concern on his face.
‘I made your favorite chahan today, let’s go eat?’ I gave a quick nod and proceeded to the source of the merry noises. Now by the counter, Yugo passed me a bowl of steaming chahan. I tentatively took a spoonful. Then another.
Eventually, the chattering around me faded, then I looked up. That’s when I felt the tears streaming down my cheeks.
‘What’s wrong?’ I knew it was Yugo’s voice in front of me but the tears were blurring my sight.
I knew there was something I was missing, deep down. Something important. The nightmare I experienced might be my only clue. But it was already vanishing. I gritted my teeth in frustration.
The sound of my fist pounding on the marble counter echoed as the silence continued.