I walk down a white hallway with a red baseboard. It’s very wide and there are people all around me. Everybody walking in different directions, or gathered in clusters. The sun shines brightly through the skylights illuminating every corner and I feel happy.
The hallway has become the main corridor at my daughter’s school. I see her hanging out with her friends. She is so young and pretty and they are all carefree. We wave at each other, and I feel at peace.
I push past the doors at the end of the hall and find myself in a lush meadow. Everything around me is green and full of flowers. I know it’s the end of summer, and soon the temperatures will change. Ahead, there is a wagon, and it will take me to my destination, but the driver warns me that we need to cross the river and it might be dangerous. I don’t seem to mind and enjoy the scenery. I worry a little when we reach the riverbank, but the water is shallow and the stones at the bottom are beautiful. We cross without a hitch.
But the other side of the river turns into a long stretch of beach. Golden sand all around us and the ocean waves are soft and inviting. I am again surrounded by people. But there is no noise. Every few miles, there are obstacles to overcome, and once you do, your reward is even more beautiful scenery. And then, at the end, there’s no more sand. Just a cliff. It’s not very tall, but the waves are ferocious. I see a person standing on the cliff. He turns to us full of pride, arms claiming victory, only to be swallowed by the ocean. It’s my turn next, and for the first time, I fear. A nun approaches, and tells me to count the waves, for it’s the only way to overcome this hurdle. So I start counting, and when I’ve deciphered the pattern, I jump on top of the cliff.
The waters recede, and gather strength. When they hit me, I fear I’ll drown. But then I realize, I can breathe under water, and there’s nothing the ocean can do to hurt me. So I stand facing the ocean and watch the water become meek.
I turn my eyes away from the sea, and catch a glimpse of the old farmhouse. I approach, shocked by how dilapidated it looks. It’s moldy, and only the outside of the structure remains. I approach the house from the back, with the intent to go through the kitchen. But it looks worse on the inside. It looks burnt as well. In the middle of what used to be the house there is a tall structure. On it, there’s a young man. His hands tied behind his back, his feet are bound and he has been gagged. I want to release him, but fear retaliation. He’s been there for a long time, and might not see me as a friendly presence. I climb the rickety ladder that leads to him, and as I do, the rungs disappear from under my feet, so that when I reach the platform, I’m stuck with his anger. I look for a way out, and all I see as a half fallen balcony. If I jump, I may reach it, but it may not hold my weight. He starts yelling, his words muffled, and I know I need to help him. There’s no other way. As I approach, I see the men that are guarding the structure, one on each corner. They won’t harm me. But they won’t help me either. I approach, from behind and whisper. “I will release your hands, so that you can save yourself”.
I wake up.