At the time, I had no idea I was dreaming, in my sleepy mind, I never thought
my mother’s cooking could be the trigger of my worst nightmare. In reality, it
was a summer morning like any other. I left my bed, walking softly through
the house to the kitchen, the sun beating mercilessly on my back. I had just
sneaked out when my mother came in, from the kitchen, to check my homework
sheets were properly folded.
“I wasn’t sleeping well,” I explained, and she smiled as she grabbed the
sheet from my hand, which was folded carefully.
I sat down at the table and began to write out a long essay on my favorite
history hero, Spartacus. My history homework came before mine.
“I know you have an essay to write, so you may as well go to class,” I said
toyheartedly. I was still smiling when she asked me, “Have you had breakfast?”
Yes, I said, I had already eaten breakfast, and I started to explain the dream,
but she interrupted me.
“Have you spoken to your father?”
Yes, my father had already left at sunrise.
“Good, let me know when you’re finished talking to him,” she continued.
I didn’t want to lie, especially to my mother. I had never lied to my mother,
but I wanted to tell her the truth. But it wasn’t just about my father. It was
the dream I had been having, the one that never changed over the last few
weeks. My mother smiled, as she took out the last of the bread, “You
haven’t had time to eat, so I’ll make breakfast for you.”
I could only nod, because I had to get to the class. And I had to get to
school. But every morning, my mother would prepare breakfast, and I would eat
my breakfast, and then I would come downstairs, and then I would get to have
my breakfast, and then go to my class, and then have dinner at the table,
and then sit at the table.
“My mother,” I began, “she would prepare breakfast for me every morning,
and then I would go to my classroom, and then there would be dinner, and then
there would be my bed. What I forgot about was my dreams and the fact that my
mama’s cooking doesn’t taste the same when it’s a dream.”
The dream I had that morning had started with a girl, a girl with beautiful
long black hair, who was trying to tell me something. The girl was wearing a
sad smile that made me smile, making the girl beautiful. She had brown eyes,
and when I looked in her eyes I felt like everything else in this dream was
wrong. Why was the smile sad? Why was she wearing jeans and a black sweater?
I didn’t know, and I didn’t care, because I was tired of the world, tired of
my dreams, my life. And I wanted to get out of this dream, because I didn’t
know what I was missing.
The girl was saying, “If you come to me in the night, if you just put your
hands on me, I will show you everything you need to know.”
The dream had been going on for about ten minutes when the girl was taking off
her clothes, and my body started to get hot and all of a sudden I felt my
hands on her naked body, and I knew this dream had been for me. I wasn’t sure
if I was dreaming, or if I was really with the girl, but I could feel her
arms, her muscles, like I was back in grade school. And I remember crying,
because I hadn’t known how much I missed her and because I couldn’t live in
a dream. My hands were shaking and I couldn’t take it anymore, so I screamed,
but she stopped.
My dream had ended, and I had fallen asleep on my hands and knees, with my
face pressed into the floor, crying like a baby.
My mother and I went in the kitchen, and I asked if it was okay to go to
school with my dream already on my back. She said, “You can do whatever
you want, I just wanted to check up on you.”
I told her I was happy to go to school, even though the dream had hurt so
much, but she said to just call when you’re finished, and I told her I would
call as soon as I was done.
That morning, I had gotten up with my mom, thinking my dad was still asleep,
and I had rushed to school, feeling my dreams had been for someone else. I
had barely made it to my class when I stopped short, and I sat down on the
edge of my desk. I felt like I was in an airplane with the wind blowing
through my hair, and I looked up at the building outside on the street, so
tall it seemed like it was going to collapse on me. The sun looked too harsh
and too bright. I shivered, because I hadn’t understood what it meant to be
sad, to miss something, and I started to cry.
It was my first day of first grade. I thought I was alone, but then I saw
my best friend on the side of the school with her mother, and I thought
maybe she was the one missing something. I walked up to her and asked, “Oh
honey, why is every morning like this?”
She was trying to speak through her tears, but she couldn’t come out and
“I don’t know,” she said, “but I always get this bad feeling for a few
days afterward. And then I go to school and everything is fine.”