Just now, well, a few moments ago, I awoke from a very disturbing dream, and I feel compelled to make a record of it while it's still fresh in my mind and I'm still able to do so.
In my dream I'm at a park sitting on a bench staring off into the distance watching a young boy play. I watch the boy play ignorant of my presence for what seems like an eternity. Then finally the boy takes notice of me and stops playing. He looks directly into my eyes and I can see a warmness in him. I stare at him for a while and then I notice something that I can only describe as a sort of spark in his eyes. He begins fervently waving at me with a jovial look on his face as if he is truly happy to see me.
He quickly runs up to me and greets me in an overly enthusiastic manner. Upon closer inspection of the boy's features I realize he bares a striking resemblance to me albeit a much younger me. Except he's wearing such a happy expression upon his face that it's rather eerie. I don't recall ever seeing anyone this happy in my entire life. His mere presence seems to exude joy and contentedness.
I stare at the child in what I imagine to be a perplexed expression. I began to wonder why this child was bothering me, why he so closely resembled me. I even began to entertain thoughts of him being my illegitimate child. Just then dream logic kicks in and I somehow know this child is me. I wonder to myself why there are two of me. I'm about to open my mouth to voice this question when everything just stopped. The world begins to fade, the color growing gray and pale. I'm frozen in place. I begin to panic as the gray world begins to break and flake away like shattered glass.
Everything is pitch black; I can see the outline of my body but nothing else. I begin questioning what just happened. I struggle to move and to my surprise I can. I stagger to my feet and begin to wander about aimlessly in this seemingly endless darkness. After what felt like an unimaginable amount of time I begin to call out to the darkness fearful of what might answer back. But all I hear is my echo in what I imagine to be an endless gulf of nothingness.
I realize how cold it is; I'm growing frightened at the prospect that I might never see the light of day again. I want to go back to that park to that younger me. I want to know what made him so happy. I collapse from exhaustion and curl into a fetal position. The thought that I might never escape this place drives me to uncontrollable sobbing. Amidst my sobs I quietly whisper a few words.
"Save me, someone save me, help me, please."
My body feels heavy, my tears have run dry, my sobbing has died down to a mere whimper. I feel empty, I forget what I'm doing, I forget why I'm sad, I forget where I want to go back to. The darkness slowly begins to encroach upon my person. In my mind I see an image of that person smiling warmly at me with an outstretched hand. That person is me, the me I hope to become. I feel the cold blackness of this place crawling over me, enveloping me. I mouth a mute scream. As my consciousness begins to fade, I hear a cold monotone voice.
"I will save you."
I hear footsteps echo in the distance, slowly they get louder and louder then suddenly stop. I look up and see a shadowy figure gazing down at me. For a moment I'm taken aback. At first I can't make out the face of this figure till I focus and realize it's the boy from the park. I instinctively know without him saying that he is me. But there's something different about him this time.
His expression lacks its exuberance from our earlier encounter in the park. Those warm eyes from earlier have been replaced with a coldness. He looks down on me with surveying eyes. His blank expression twists into a faint grin and he softly speaks.
"How sad, how tragic you are. Do not fear, I will save you from this endless cycle of pain."
I don't understand the meaning of his words. I realize I'm scared and right now in a rather pathetic state but am I in pain? I try to struggle in vain against the suffocating darkness. I try to cry out but my voice fails me. All I can hear is the faint giggling of the child staring down at me. He begins to speak in a soft disinterested sort of voice.
"I guess I should avoid the cliché question as I'm certain you know who I am at a mere glance. So I'll skip to the question that you may or may not be dying to know. What I am. I am the part of your heart that bears your anguish and sorrow. The part of you that you pretend not to notice."
My mind begins to race; what does he mean the piece of my heart that I pretend not to notice, the part that bears my anguish? If what he says is true then I'd imagine he'd bear a certain amount of malice towards me for ignoring him hence my current immobile state. I suppose my thoughts showed up on my face because I notice out of the corner of my eye an eerily gentle smile spread across the child's face.
"Earlier you sat in a park and watched me play. I tried to embody the concept that you desired to achieve above all else in this world. Though I was merely imitating what you thought a person would look like if they were truly happy. You know as well as I do that you can never achieve it. You've never been happy in your whole life and you never will be."
Upon hearing these words I begin to struggle even harder against the darkness restraining me. I try to voice my objections to his statements but my attempts simply amuse the child and he softly giggles and continues his monologue.
"The vision of a happy you is merely a delusion that's best forgotten. You can never achieve what I've shown you because what you saw is merely an imitation of what you imagine happiness to be like, you've never actually experienced it. I have a sneaking suspicion though that you might be more open to achieving happiness if you managed to overcome the pain that I represent. But in doing so, what becomes of me?"
I have no idea what he means nor do I care, at this point I simply want to move again. I want to speak so I can tell this child to shut up, to leave me alone, to go away. Suddenly my intense desire for him to be silent allows me to find my voice.
"Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!!!"
I continue to scream my curses at the child, I feel anger and hate swell inside of me, yet I do not know why. Is what he's said really worth the reaction I'm having? I slowly get to my knees and look at the child, his face twisted into a look of horror and disbelief.
"A piece of my heart? The me that I ignore? My anguish and burden? Ridiculous! You're just a figment of my imagination a way for me to shift blame for my actions and responsibility away from myself! This is just a dream! It has to be a dream..YOU'RE NOT REAL!!! You can't be real...this can't be real..."
The child's expression changed, his eyes grew into a narrow and cold derisive look. Slightly tilting his head to one side the child spoke in the same cold emotionless voice as before.
"So you would reject me? I understand why you would since you are me and I you. You've never believed in anything. You've always been a hollow person on the inside and that emptiness gave birth to me. The pain of not knowing, the anguish of your loneliness. Not a single true bond do you have and that lack of love lead to a deep and profound pain that you forced upon me. So to save you from any further harm I chose to seal you away here in the vast emptiness of your own soul. But you're a bit less receptive that I would have hoped. Your denial of the truth laid in front of you is impressive. I now realize I cannot subjugate you so you leave me no other choice."
What does he mean he has no other choice? What is he planning. My mind began to formulate all kinds of worse case scenarios. At the end of my train of thought I realize without even having to look at the child for confirmation. He intends to kill me. Terror sweeps across me and I find myself struggling to regain complete control of my body so that I may flee.
I look up at the child and see him slowly kneel down before me, he points his index finger at my chest and softly smiles in that eerie way again. I feel my body begin to burn and I feel a pain that can't be described with words. Everything is fading, I feel my body fall away from me like ash in the wind. All emotion I had prior to this pain has evaporated, I can't feel anything. The child slowly rises to his feet and continues to watch me fade away. He slowly moves his lips and speaks in a somber tone, one I often heard people use when speaking of a passed loved one.
"All people create another self for themselves. A way for one to weather the trials and tribulations of life. If you are guilty of anything it is that you crafted yours too well."
I stare into the child's eyes, they seem like an endless pit, like if I stare long enough into them I'd lose myself. We stare at each other for a moment, I want to stare deeper into the abyss, the void that is this person. I want to understand why.
"I did not want it to be like this, goodbye other me."
Everything's gone quiet now, I can see the child fading from my view. It feels like my thoughts will cut out at any moment and I'll no longer exist. I ask myself why did this happen. My final words are a mere whisper to the child.
"Your face... it looks sad... so sad..."
And then next thing I know I was lying askew in my bed in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. I found myself terrified and questioning the significance of this dream. I quickly wrote it down while it was still vivid and fresh in my mind.
I want to go back to sleep and just write this off as a bad dream, but the whole time I've been writing this I've been hearing faint giggling. I'm terrified.