Woken up by an uncomfortable sensation, I stare out into the darkness that made up my room. The air felt wrong and I didn’t feel alone. Hesitantly, I look down at my feet. Eyes peer above the ladder leading to the top bunk where I lie; dark, dangerous, and familiar eyes that seem to still the whole of my body. I can’t move and I can only pretend to be asleep. Had I imagined those eyes. Has my mind gone insane? I wait and listen as I hear the creak of my door opening slowly and closing again. Suddenly, I can hear my heart pounding. What had just happened? Why was he in my room and why was he just staring at me? Tears stream down my face as fear washes through my veins.
I rolled down the windows of my car, wanting the fresh air to brush against my face. I left the radio off to enjoy the sounds of the outside world, plus it gave me freedom to think. I began to back out of my driveway, anticipating the view I loved most about my new home. The sun would rise behind my house and from my point of view, right above the ocean. Light sat upon the mass of water and the slight waves made that light dance forward. The further I pulled out of my drive way, the sun revealed itself more and together the ocean and the sky absorbed its color. It never failed to make me smile, it was as if I was absorbing the beauty as well.
My house was many along a line of houses, bordering the ocean beach. Most homes weren’t luxurious nor like shacks. They were small but well built, generally light toned with porches surrounding them and adorned with many glass windows. There weren’t too many neighborhoods in the town, which meant I had seen most of the town’s residents and I lived by most of them. I didn’t work far away. Though considering the size of the town, anywhere wouldn’t have been far. My shop was two blocks away. I simply had to drive along the beach for a little while, which of course I never minded, make a left into the town’s local stores and businesses, drive through the short width of town and there was my small cornered shop, right at the entrance of town. I parked my car right in front of the shop. Even here, I could see the ocean. The town was on a small hill that tilted toward the majestic water, giving me an even larger view of it’s vastness. I was clearly beginning to fall in love with this town, I thought to myself as I got out of my car and closed its door. My shop was dainty and made out of brick. It was lined with glass and had red doors on either side of the corner. Big red letters were painted on the windows, spelling out the name of my shop: A Cup of Thought. I thought it explained well what I had intended for the shop. I didn’t want people to just come for a good cup of coffee, I wanted them to pick up a book and explore new thoughts. I jangled my set of keys and found the one for the shop. I was lifting and moving it toward the keyhole when a man’s forced cough came from right behind me. I dropped the keys, jumping to the sound. I hadn’t seen anyone around when I had got out of my car. “Ellen is your name right?”, the man nervously lifted his hand toward me, initiating the dreadful handshake. Yes, I know, a handshake should not be scary but I was an anxious person and with handshakes requiring physical contact and my dislike for touching people I didn’t know, it put me at unease. Not to mention the part were I had just noticed how physically attractive he was.
“Uh, yes. Ellen is my name.”, I said awkwardly while grasping his hand unexpectedly tight. I quickly released our hands, shaming myself for always overcompensating my hand grasp. Why did just having to shake a hand have to be so hard?! I realized I had been staring off for a moment, knowing he must have noticed and blabbered out, “and your name is?”.
“Johnathan, it’s nice to finally meet you. My mom told me you sell the best coffee in town. I will have to come by later and see if the hype is justified.” He smirked and winked, making his brown eyes glitter with humor. His ease made me feel more comfortable and I tried to shake off the rest of my nerves.
“I have no don’t doubt it will be.” I smiled back at him with hard found confidence, “but I would be more than happy to prove it. Would you like one now?”
“Now sounds great.” His voice lifted with what sounded like welcoming surprise. I stared at him a second, taking in his strong and sexy smile. His teeth were almost annoyingly perfect. I bent down and grabbed the keys I had so gracelessly dropped and this time successfully open the door, letting him walk in first.
I tried to relax my mind and forget the dream as I took a long, refreshing drink of water. I placed the glass down and looked at the clock hanging above the kitchen entry way. It was 5:34am, two hours before I had to be at work. Well in actuality, I didn’t have to be at work at anytime. That was the perk of being my own boss. But I was a person that lived by schedules and starting my own business wasn’t going to change that.
It had only been a couple months since I opened up my local coffee/book shop but it was already doing pretty well. I had regulars, towns people that I knew more about than just their names. I had thought moving into a new, small town meant that I’d be lonely for awhile and yet already I had a lot of friends. It was a hard to decision to make to use the money I had gotten from my dad’s inheritence to open up a shop but I didn’t have any doubts at this point. I finally felt happy and in control of my life and in my world that was extremely unusual.
It was only recently, after my father’s death, that I had began to view the world in not such a utterly depressing manner. I had never been a “people-person” and thats why when my mother discovered my business plan, she almost peed her pants. I could hear her laugh echo in my head and that put a smile on my face. My eyes focused on the clock again and I had realized that I was standing and staring at the clock for 6 minutes. Sometimes it seemed like my mind and body had their own agendas and only one at a time could be in command. I opened the freezer and grabbed my bag of dark ground coffee and place it next to the coffeepot. Then grabbing the pot, I filled it with water and then poured it into the machine. I spooned 4 tablespoons of coffee in the filter, closed the lid and pressed the on button. My morning was never successful with out strong, dark and plain coffee. Now I would hop in the shower while the coffee brewed and get my day started.
The terrible smell of burning wood and the horrid screams of the dying in the distance filled my senses. I was running past tall redwood trees and noticed a clearing a hundred feet in front of me and knew that was where the catastrophe was taking place. I did not know what was happening but a feeling of responsibility ignited my speed and I ran toward the clearing with incredible momentum that increased with every step. I had to save them and quilt began to cloud my mind. It was my fault innocent people were dying. Only I had the power to stop it but I could sense that time was running out and questioned if I were too late. I ran through the last line of trees and the scene before me froze every thought in my mind. At that moment, I could do nothing but take in what was going on around me. Flames rose high above my head, growing quickly as it consumed buildings. People were running in every direction with the fear and adrenaline taking over their bodies but not everyone was running. Dead and dying people scattered the ground and soaked the earth with blood. The feeling of quilt and anger began to rise through my body again as my eyes began scanning the area for the person directly responsible for such a disgusting act of violence. Then in an instant I became frozen again as the cold metal of a gun founds it’s place against my temple and sound of the gun being cocked startled me. An ugly, deep and scratchy voice spoke behind me with a coat of sarcasm, “Ah, I knew you would come eventually, but was it necessary to allow all these innocent people to die first?”. Then the gun went off with a loud bang.
My eyes opened with quick force and I realized I was staring up at the ceiling in my bedroom. My body felt like it was on fire and could feel the sweat dripping off my face. At first I could not believe that I had just been dreaming, it had felt too real. My heart pounded against my chest and even though I had waken up, I still felt like I was in danger and so were many other lives. I began to rise out of my bed, knowing that there was no way I was falling back asleep. I walked out of my bedroom and down the hall that led straight to the kitchen. Like a zombie, my body seemed to take over for itself and got me a glass of water. What was the dream about? Who would care so much to have me killed that they would be willing to kill so many others? What was I talking about? The dream was obviously not real and no one was trying to kill me. At least that is what I was trying to convince myself. It seemed absurd to believe a dream could be real but deep down I felt that I knew it was.