Celeste dreaded going to sleep. Every night she struggled to stay awake, but exhaustion always triumphed. The nightmares triumphed as well, and on this cold night she drifted into one of her most stressful dreams.
Perched on a ledge outside a 40-foot building, Celeste could feel her panic grow. Wind whipped around her and she knew that if she did not jump to the ground, something horrible would happen. She did not know why she was on the ledge or what might be worse than leaping from this height, but she felt she had no choice. The idea of landing on the ground so far down made her tremble, but she also believed that she had made this leap before and survived. She was tired of feeling afraid, tired of everything in her life being difficult and disturbing. Stalling, she removed the emerald green silk scarf that matched her eyes and held back her mass of tangled black curls, let it drop and watched its swirling, dizzying decent. Perhaps it would soften her fall this time.
But this dream was different.
Lightheaded from peering over the edge to watch as her scarf danced in the wind, she pulled back and caught her breath. Then, she heard a mysterious voice whisper, “There’s an easier way down! Come, come inside!”
Turning toward the voice, she saw an open window where none existed before. She could not see the whisperer with the foreign accent. Standing on shaky legs, she moved to the window to step inside, leaving the dangerous ledge behind her. This time, she would not have to jump.
Just as she stepped through the dream window, Celeste woke up, her heart racing, and she knew she would never have that dream again. Someone had whispered a message to her and had broken the painful pattern of a nightmare she suffered repeatedly since the people at the children’s home found her years earlier.
(to be continued)