Updated: Sep 7, 2021
The dream has always been the same. When you have a hangover, there are two ways to get rid of it. One being coffee, the other being a vision which wears down all your hangover like the flick of a wand. For her, it is always the latter, at least in her one constant dream. The dream, or rather, the nightmare started when she was nineteen. She always wakes up on the floor of a living room that did not belong to her. It takes about five seconds for her eyes to adjust to the pitch black darkness that surrounds her. Her head bursts from the hangover that has creeped in from what seemed to have been a night of heavy rave. As she tries to get on her feet, she realizes something is on her feet, heavy enough to hold her down from standing up freely. Something sticky. She takes out her phone from her pocket. Surprisingly enough, there's still some juice left in it. She switches on the flashlight and points it at her feet.
To her absolute horror, she finds the mangled remains of a baby. She lets out a scream shrill enough to pierce the ears of anyone around her. But fortunately or unfortunately for her, she is the only one in the house. And the dead baby. Something tells her that the baby is hers. So she picks up the baby and runs out of the house, trying to look for help. When she steps out, she finds herself in the center of an ocean of people, and strangely enough, all eyes are fixated on her. Of course, that's bound to happen when you have a dead person in your arms. But what bothers her more is the people's reaction - all of them have a sinister grin on their faces, like they were expecting this to happen, like they were solely waiting for the baby to die in such a merciless way. And then she eventually wakes up, sweat beading her forehead, her heart racing like a Chiron as she hyperventilates.
As I jotted down these details in my notebook, I looked at her through the half open blinds of the only window in her room. My profession as a psychiatrist has brought to me people with varied degrees of mental health issues. Rebellious teens trying to feign depression, underaged children victimized by pedophilia, people severely traumatized by the death of a loved one, anorexic people, sociopaths in the making, the likes. But she struck to me rather different from my usual patients. Something about her seemed off the minute I saw her. Or maybe it was the venue where I met her. I was confused.