Recently, I have been having a strange, recurrent dream.

In my dream, I was sitting in front of a computer inside a small, dimly lit room. And soon, a woman would enter the room. She would stand near the door and started to talk. The strange thing was, I couldn’t hear what she was saying. I could see her mouth was moving, but none of the sounds reached me.

So I ignored her. But she wasn’t affected and went on talking.

This exact dream has been repeating for almost three months. I started to feel it was not a normal dream.

“Are you okay?” a cheery voice startled me. It was my younger sister.

“Must be a girl,” my dad said, peering behind his newspaper.

“Is there someone you like?” my sister asked.

“Even if there is, I wouldn’t tell you,” I said.

“Stop chattering,” my mum said. “Time to go to school.”

“Almost done,” I said, finishing my drink.

#

 

I was back at that small, dimly lit room. The woman was also there, standing near the door while talking to me. She continued to talk for a very long time.

I looked closer at the room. It was clearly a bedroom. There was a single mattress behind me, but it was littered with used instant noodle cups and soda cans. Not only the mattress, the floor was full of rubbish too. Even if it was only a dream, shouldn’t I be dreaming of something more pleasant?

A woman’s voice called my name and I snapped back to reality. My math teacher was standing in front of my desk with her arms folded.

“Is my class that boring until you fell asleep?” she asked.

“It’s not,” I quickly said. “I had a headache since yesterday,” I lied.

She stared at me for a while, as if she was deciding whether or not my words could be trusted.

“Why don’t you rest at the health office?” she finally said.

I nodded. Acting the part, I packed my bag and left the classroom.

 

#

 

I was back inside my dream. The woman was also there.

I tried to study her face. Did I know her? No, I was certain I never saw her before. I could recognize faces fairly well. But I noticed she was smiling; she was delighted that I looked at her.

I quickly averted my eyes from her. She made me feel uncomfortable.

When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was the ceiling fan. Its blades were turning in a slow, steady motion.

“I thought you are never going to wake up,” my sister said. She was sitting on a chair next to my bed.

“Where’s the doctor?” I asked.

“She just went out,” she said. “What happened to you?”

“Just headache, it’s not a big deal.”

“You don’t look well.”

“Lack of peaceful sleep.”

“Why don’t you sleep first? I’ll wake you up later,” she said.

But I didn’t want to sleep; I didn’t want to slip into that dream again.

The wind blew the curtain and I felt a gush of fresh air. Unlike the dream world, it was so peaceful here. If only I could live this way forever.

I looked at my sister. She was busy fiddling with her cellphone.

“You are not going to disappear, right?” I asked.

“Of course not,” she said, smiling.

 

#

I was back inside my dream again. The woman was still there, talking like usual. But this time, I made up my mind to confront her. I knew I had to do something to end this vicious circle.

“Who are you?” I said, “Why are you here?”

She looked surprised but quickly regained her composure. “I’m your counselor,” she said.

Finally, her voice reached me.

“I’m glad you finally talk to me,” she said.

“I want you to leave me alone.”

“Was playing game that fun?”

“Game?”

“But you can’t hide in your room forever. Your parents are very worried. They know what happened to your sister was an accident. Nobody ever blame you for it.”

“Accident? What’s that about?”

“Did you forget? Your sister was involved in a…”

I didn’t know why but suddenly I had a very strong urge to chase her out. The next thing I knew, I opened the door and pushed her out.

But something doesn’t feel right. I was still trapped at this weird dream.

I sat down on the floor with my back against the door. I could hear her knocking the door from the other side. But I didn’t want to back down; I would never let her in again.

I closed my eyes and kept it shut.

What should I do to wake up from this dream?