I had a dream.
It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon in my neighborhood. The sun was shining, trees were dancing, people were smiling. The housewives huddled and chatted on their front yards while they waited for their husbands to arrive. The little kids ran around and noisily picked on each other while teenagers rode their bicycles and started a competitive race. The smell of fresh bread from the small bakery shop nearby blew with the wind. I sat on a bench outside my house and played with one of the kids. Tommy is a 5-year old boy who lived next door. We wrestled each other. He tried to beat me and we both laughed. I had tears from laughing so hard. I was happy.
As I was coming down off of my euphoric buzz, Tommy looked over my head as I felt an arm hold down my neck from behind. I forced myself to turn around but I couldn't move. Another arm went around me. He had scissors. I knew who it was. It was Carlos, the barber.
Carlos was my childhood friend. He lived two houses down from where I lived. We grew up and went to school together. Carlos and I have always been physical with each other but today, it was different.
Everything happened in a flash. There was an agonizing pain in my heart. I looked straight ahead but all I could think of was the excruciating pain. It hurt and Carlos held me tighter. I remained calm and held my arms up as if to surrender. He did it again. I coughed and blood came out of my mouth. I wanted to speak. I wanted to talk to him. “Wow, bro, so you’re really going to kill me, huh?” The scissors hit my heart for the third time. This time, it was deeper and I saw people rushed towards us. There were several of them speaking at the same time. There were some calling out Carlos' name, others calling out my name. A lady yelled to call for an ambulance. I wondered where Tommy was. He shouldn’t see this. Stab, stab, stab! Carlos did it again for the fourth time. Without removing his arms, Carlos laughed and spoke loudly close to my ears, “Yes! Haha! I killed him! I did it!” As he released his arms, I fell to the ground.
I heard another voice, “Run after him! Hurry!” Carlos flee. “Somebody, help me get him to the hospital! Now!” It was Tommy’s father this time. The voices were fading. Someone tried to lay me on my back. The front part of my shirt was soaked, my back, cold from the hard cement. I fought the urge to close my eyes. I stretched them open. I looked up to the sky. I can no longer see the sun. I wanted to see the sun but my view was reduced to a white canvass. My eyes were tired, I was sleepy. A small hand touched my right arm. There he was. Tommy. My buddy. My playmate. I looked into his sad, tearful eyes. Without words, he rubbed the side of my arm. Someone grabbed Tommy but he immediately held on to my fingers. His grip was forceful as he shrieked, "Nooooo!" Tommy's voice was fading yet in reality it was deafening.
Suddenly, I missed my son. I needed to talk to my son. I needed to see Michael. He was still in school and is spending the night at his mom's place. I thought all along that the worst thing my son would endure is his parents' separation. Boy, was I wrong.
Is there an earthquake? Why am I shaking? Why is this thing moving? My front shirt was wetter than ever yet my back was comforted by the soft mattress in what appears to be a bed. I opened my eyes. There was a heavy pressure in my heart. It’s a hand. I looked to the direction of the person who owned the hand. She had a blue shirt. She was calm, to say the least. I questioned her through a look but she didn't seem to notice. I heard people talking. Who are these people? Where are they taking me? I closed my eyes again.
I am awake now. The white sky was replaced with a view of a white ceiling. Where am I? What happened? Oh, that’s right. Carlos stabbed me in the heart four times. I shuddered and I cringed at the thought of it. I tried to catch my breath. I was stabbed but why do I feel like I just ran a marathon? I closed my eyes again and this time I felt someone hold my left hand. The person leaned into my ear and whispered, “It’s okay, Jules. Everything’s going to be okay.” Mom. I try to respond but no words came out of me. I gripped my mother's hand. She kisses me on the cheek three times like when I was a young boy sleeping in her arms. "I (kiss)...love (kiss)...you (kiss)." Her voice soothed me. I didn’t cringe anymore. I slowed my breath.
My chest was wet. My mouth tasted of salty fluid. My mom seemed so distant. She continued to whisper in my ears. I wanted to comfort her and tell her I'll be back in perfect shape in due time. All I needed to do was get off this bed. Another hand held my right arm. He leaned down and touched my face as he softly spoke, “It’s okay, son. Whatever it is that I’ve done wrong, I’m sorry. I forgive you, too. Let go, son. Let go.” I can’t speak. I opened my eyes again. I can't. I love you, too, Dad. I love you, Mom. I love you, all. I love you, Michael. I let out a deep breath. This was it. I am awake.
Except...it wasn't a dream.
It was a beautiful Tuesday in the neighborhood. I was happy.
Today, I was murdered.
Created: Mar 15, 2012felmarie Document Media