I woke up, cold sweat, with something reminiscent of a bad dream clouding my head. Neck cramps, figures. I shift around a lot in my sleep – move about restlessly for a reason I know not.
Or perhaps I do know, the thought has crossed my mind. But I digress. Here’s a brief recollection of this week. Monday, September 17th , 6:30 AM. Alarm goes off, ringing moderately, ever so slowly reaching a crescendo as my sleepy eyes open up to the world. My wife Eila – I call her Elly – groans and begs that I shut it off. After doing so, I catch a glimpse of divine beauty as her crystal eyes meet mine.
I get up, quickly dress, find myself downstairs. The routine is pretty mundane, but it’s what I’m attuned to. I eat breakfast, brush my teeth, drive to work. The usual. My career involves business meetings and office cubicles, you see… I’m a software engineer, best of my kind around these parts. At the front door to the BZ Tech Inc. Office building, my boss, Kyle Lacey, greets me with the information of what needs to be done for the week. He gives me a genuine, welcoming smile and off I go.
As I arrive at my cubicle, I am greeted once more by my ecstatic, fidgety intern, Anna. She’s a college Junior attending Michigan State University, studying for her Master’s degree in Computer Science, much like myself at that age. She’s the ripe age of 25, and has a sweet, soft, glowing face with very proportionate features, beautiful auburn hair and emerald eyes. The way she speaks makes me feel akin to a father-figure to this young woman, and being my intern she feels the same.
Handing me a packet of changelogs and reports she had written out, Anna leads me to her desk and – proud as a child presenting a drawing to their parent – has me examine a segment of code she had been so tirelessly working on the last week. It was for my next business project. Glancing at the clock, I mutter aloud with shock, “I’ve only just arrived, how can it already be 11:30?” A shrug and response from Anna, “Dunno, surprised me, too. Time flies when you’re having fun.”
Fun… Right. So, my lunch break hits, and 2 hours later I’m back at home, where Elly was preparing an early dinner. Much earlier than usual. As the casual conversations drug on about our days, I noticed a peculiar pattern in my wife’s voice. She spoke with a bit of haste, as though rushing to get somewhere and had not the proper amount of time to speak. I discount this for the time being. Aromas of teriyaki beef and potatoes flood my nose. My wife knows me well. And with that, it’s time for us to eat. Throughout the meal, we recollect the past week, Elly had only to speak but one word and I was mesmerized – her voice was so embracing, warm, beautiful.
So now it’s time for bed. I watch some late night comedy shows – Sanford and Son and Seinfeld, to be exact, they’re my favorites. 10:00 PM, I’m out cold. I have another nightmare – this time more vivid. I saw myself in my bed, all the details of the room identical to reality, save for one: I saw the room from the same state I left it in during consciousness, but it was dark. Not as though light were absent, moreso all the decor and furniture seemed… mysterious, unusual, emanating with a gothic presence. In all the photos of my wife and I, she was missing. All of Elly’s possessions in the room are gone. And what’s worse, as I arise from the bed, I see no trace of her anywhere. I trek across the house, slowly and steadily searching.
And then, my front door creaks open… There, floating in with the outdoor breeze, comes a scrap of paper. I snatch it from the air and read what looks like Elly’s handwriting, “Forever, my love.”
The scenario fades to black, the nightmare ends. I awaken slowly, cramps again. I sit up, rub the sleep from my weary eyes and look over at my beautiful wife. The cycle of last Monday seemed to practically repeat itself throughout the week, even the nightmares. Only variation being different meals after work and different re-runs of Sanford and Son at night. Every day seemed shorter, and I swear to you, I glance at the clock a lot. Nothing out of place, I just merely FEEL as though time is running shorter. As though my short term memories pass as soon as they’re formed. But, I digress… after all, the weekend is here, which means no work and free time to relax. Though I remember now that I have an appointment at 5 o’clock with my psychiatrist.
I find myself at the psychiatrist’s office, and when I walk in the doors of the newly painted building, Doctor Watson is standing in his office room, awaiting me with a concerned look. “Afternoon, Doctor!” To which he responds, “Yes, afternoon.” Be that as it may, his voice was somber. I immediately begin recollecting my week, malformed visions at night and all. “Well, you’ve been off your anti-depressants for a while”. I glance around the room, darting my eyes to the clock again, 6:29 PM. “Mhmm… sorry about that, they’ve been decreasing my appetite, I decided to get off of them to see how everything goes.”
With that, I close my eyes for only a brief moment, and when I open them, I am back in the same dark room I had just left, those photos of me staring back at my face, no Elly to be found… My dreams have been getting a lot shorter lately, if only I had more time in them.