Lately I’m having a rough time. It’s because of a multitude of reasons, and the stress/anxiety is really getting to me to the point where I constantly feel on the verge of tears. I’m full of unsatisfying, restless nights. But writing about my dreams from last night made me feel like I understood what they were trying to tell me. And I feel a little better – like I might be okay (eventually).
Dreams – 06/18/2013
Today was going to be perfect! I couldn’t wait to hang out with my mother, spend some time at our favorite campsite and just relax. I loved days off; I absolutely lived for them.
“Hey mom, are you all ready to go?” I asked as I picked up my purse and a larger bag filled with potato salad and a couple of sandwiches.
“One minute, sweetie,” came her voice from the bedroom down the hall. She emerged from the back of the house with bags packed similarly to mine and we left for our lunchtime adventure.
There are very rarely days when I get to hang out with only my mother. She usually doesn’t go out without my father, but I was able to convince her to have a nice lunch outside with me. Very relaxing and rewarding, and definitely what we both needed.
We headed to the park, catching up about what has been happening at home since I moved. Admittedly I didn’t go home as much as I should, or call that much anymore. I was so close but kept myself at such a distance and I knew it upset my mother. That’s why I decided to take this day off in the first place.
“Your brother is unbearable lately,” she was telling me. “He just starts fights with every-” She stopped midsentence and stopped walking.
“Don’t,” she said. She nodded her head forward and I saw them; five bears playing around in our campsite. A bear cub toddled next to us, and all I could think was how possessive mother bears get; how badly they’re willing to kill anything to protect their cub.
As I was running back down the path, I couldn’t even remember what I had done with my bags. Had I thrown them in the air out of fear like some exaggerated cartoon? Or had I dropped them as my mother told me to run?
I also started wracking my brain trying to find bear facts. Play dead. Slow movements. NEVER RUN. It seemed like we disregarded all the common sense rules and let our instincts take over. I rationalized it by thinking they must not have seen us – there were so many trees and bushes, and we were only there for such a short time. Regardless I never looked behind me.
We reached the nearby football field, out of breath and feeling confident.
“We made it,” I huffed. I looked at my exhausted mother with fear still in her eyes. “Mom, we’re okay!”
She pressed her lips together and as I turned slowly, I heard a bear growl near me. I snapped my eyes to the left to direct my mother to where the football field sloped upwards. There was a gap between the slopes – similar to a cliff edge. We could hop across to the other side easily and we’d be safe!
We ran uphill towards our salvation, the padding of angry paws following close behind. We got to the cliff edge and I began to cry as I saw that the gap was much larger than I ever remembered. It would be impossible to jump, and we would definitely fall into uncertainty. I turned to face the bears that appeared to be smiling at our ignorance. I watched my mom with tears in her eyes walk towards the bears as I fell to the ground sobbing my goodbyes.
I woke up on the other side of the gap. The bears were gone, but so was my mother. I was still in shock and couldn’t deal with this life anymore without my best friend. My biggest fear has come true – I had to continue in a life without her.
Oh, and I’m somehow hanging in midair on a rope.
How did I even get here? Did the bears put me here? Who would do something so cruel after I just suffered the biggest upset of my life!?
“Hi Nicole,” I hear behind me. I see another rope with my friend Michelle clinging to it.
“What’s going on?”
“We have to jump,” she responded, in a calm voice. She made me feel like it was okay, but I noticed that the ground seemed miles away.
“We’ll die,” I said.
“We still have to jump, Nicole.”
I didn’t want to. I couldn’t do this. I can’t live in a life without my mother. I wanted to stay on that rope forever.
I looked behind me and Michelle gave me a reassuring smile. She pushed herself off the rope and I watched her fall, probably to her death. I closed my eyes and pushed off my rope toward my inevitable doom.
I landed on my butt, without any pain. I opened my eyes slowly once I stopped moving through the air to see Michelle smiling at me. Maybe I would be okay in this life after all.
I was in my uncle’s house relaxing after the last few days. Everything was so overwhelming and chaotic. Therapy would definitely ensue.
“Nicole?” I heard his kind voice coming from the kitchen as I lay on the living room couch. I could tell there was nothing but genuine care in it.
“Hi, Nicole,” he said as he came around the corner and saw me. “Me and your aunt are going out. I know you’re planning to meet up with friends later, but please not too late if you’re going to be staying here. And if you’re going to sleep out, just let us know before ten. Us old people go to bed early!”
I was staying with my aunt and uncle for a few days. My brother was taking care of my dad and I honestly couldn’t stand being in my old room anymore. It was driving me insane with sadness. I needed to get out, and my aunt and uncle didn’t live too far away. They were like a second set of parents to me, anyway, so it felt pretty much like home to me.
“Thanks, Uncle Jim,” I said as I started to roll back over and go into another nap.
“Just stay away from the unicorns,” he warned as he walked out of the room. “If you touch their horns, it’ll hurt you. They’re very toxic.”
“Sure thing, no unicorns for me.”
He left the room and after lying around for a few more minutes, I realized I wasn’t going to fall back asleep again. I sat up and stretched, and heard a crashing in the garage. I went in to find a unicorn stuck in some blankets that were being stored in there. Since the car was gone, he was thrashing around into the walls trying to get free from it.
“Woah, woah! Easy, boy!”
I walked over to him as he calmed down and unwrapped the blanket from his legs. He cocked his head and stared at me, interested.
“Thank you,” he said. “Hey, do you want to play?” He bent down ready to jump around more.
“No, no. I don’t think so,” I said as I looked at the tip of horn. It seemed like the slightest prick would be incredibly painful.
“Oh, you’re worried about this old thing?” He knocked on it with a hoof. “It’s not as sharp as it looks.”
“Yeah, well they’re toxic,” I said taking a step back. “Sorry, I don’t exactly feel like being poisoned; I’m having a rough enough time as it is.”
His eyes became sympathetic. “Actually, it isn’t toxic. That’s just a funny thing that you humans say. All it means is that I’m yours forever!”
“Well, no thanks still. I don’t need a unicorn as a pet right now. Seems like a bit too much responsibility.”
I walked back into the living room and turned on the television. Hours droned on as I watched whatever came on. I heard the doorbell ring and since no one was home, I figured I should probably just answer it and tell them to leave. I had to leave soon anyway to see my friends, so I should probably get off the couch.
I opened the door and a boy was standing there. Let me rephrase: an attractive boy was there. He held up a unicorn horn.
“What the –”
“I did it, for you. You intrigued me so much, and plus you helped a unicorn even though you thought it might really hurt you. So I removed my horn and now I can be a human. There’s not much point to being a unicorn without a horn, anyway.”
“You did this, for me? Why? You don’t even know me!” I asked. This was all too much. I just met this guy, uh, unicorn – I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t want to have to take care of him!
“Yeah, I did. You deserve some taking care of, too. You don’t need to do it for everyone else all the time.”
I looked at him confused. “You don’t know me, unicorn guy.”
“I can see it in your face. You look tired. I’ll help take care of you. Unicorns like helping humans out. Prick your finger and I’ll be yours for life. I’ll do the chores you hate the most, do your homework – whatever you need!”
Maybe I did deserve this. Maybe I do need help. I felt my hand moving towards the sharp tip of the horn. Was there some sort of weird magic that unicorns had? I felt hypnotized as I watched my finger tap the point.