I was on a train, the ride going somewhere, anywhere. I don’t know. I’m not sure where my stop would lead me to. Some place, eventually. Although I can’t vouch if I would enjoy the ride more than my destination, or maybe it will go vice-versa. Who knows?
All I know was that the day had a summer feel to it: The skies breathtakingly blue and everything appeared to be bright and clear. It was a feel-good weather. So why was I feeling lost and confused?
I sat across the sliding door, aware that I was inside but at a loss as to why I was there. Where am I going? Why am I going there?
And then suddenly, a grade school classmate stumbled inside the train. I haven’t seen her for years. Her eyes lit up when she saw me and before I could make sense of things, she glanced over her shoulder and yelled out, “Here! You can take the seat beside Anna!” And then she looked back at me, eyes still bright and all lit up. Then another girl — one from my elementary school days — popped up right behind the other girl and then started walking towards me. I was taken aback. What was going on?
The train began to move, swiftly and smoothly. And I felt buckets of apprehension drench me. It’s silly. Why be afraid of a train ride? Granted, I rarely need to use the train but it’s not like I was afraid of riding it. Locking me up in a room full of cockroaches had more chance of giving me a heart attack, if not hyperventilation or fainting. I tried to frantically sift through my head — thoughts, memories, anything — to give me a clue as to what was going on. First: Why am I in a train? Second: Why where these girls whom I haven’t seen for the longest time and were never even close with are here, acting as if we shared a deep friendship? And third: Why am I petrified of riding the train?
Outside, it was all white feathery clouds and baby blue sky. The sun threw around strips of its yellow-gold rays here and there. The train continued to move; I continued to panic.
And then something changed. There was a shift in the air. I looked around the train, which was barely filled with people when I first got in. What changed? I glanced to my left and to my surprise, my grade school friend was no longer sitting there. Instead, it was you. I forgot what color of shirt you were wearing (my muddled, confused memory whispers it was a white, round neck shirt) or if you were even wearing that stud in your right earlobe. My focus fell on fact that you were smoking. I stared at you, flabbergasted. When did you start smoking again? You stopped when you were in college. You told me during one of those few times we have spent together. I looked around and realized that your friends — maybe around two; I remember one female — were standing near us. They were talking to you but the sound was muted. It sounded like someone poured running water over my sense of hearing, making me hear muffled, indistinct sounds. And so I looked back at you, trying to take in the version of yourself who was smoking. And it was then I realized that you couldn’t see me. You continued to smoke, barely answering to your friends. You wore that guarded yet tired look that was one of your trademark facial expressions. I opened my mouth and spoke. I forgot what it was I said. Hello? How are you? I still love you? You just continued to stare out the window with your cigarette. This went on for minutes. It felt like someone hit the “pause” button and made this moment stretch on and on. Me staring at you, confused; you looking out the window, smoking and looking guarded, closed off.
And that was my last memory of my dream for today. I woke up, sluggish and yet… And yet still struggling with that feeling of confusion and being lost. And disbelief that you went back to smoking.
Maybe this was the universe telling me that life is moving along, that we are now two different people leading two different lives. Maybe it was a screwed up signal that you went back to your bad boy ways. Maybe this is just me missing you.