Last night I dreamed about the Crawlers.
This was the third time I'd had this horrible dream, in less than a week, and I wish it would go away.
At school today, after we picked up our report cards in home room, I had a couple of minutes to talk with my best friends Alicia and C.J. before the bus came. I told them I'd had that stupid dream again - trying to play it cool because C.J. already thinks I'm a complete wuss about staying by myself for a few weeks while Mom and Dad are away on a 'couples retreat'.
But Alicia knows me better, she's been my best friend ever since we moved to Black Hills five years ago. She could see through my nonchalance that I was really upset, and even gave C.J. the 'be nice or I'll kill you later' look that all couples of long standing seem to eventually acquire.
Not that I would know. Since I've never had a steady boyfriend, or even an unsteady boyfriend, or any kind of boyfriend at all. But I'm only sixteen, I'm kinda shy, and most boys my age are idiots (according to Mom who is biased on her baby's behalf).
And when I'm not being shy, I have a real tendency towards a warped sense of humor (which according to my Dad - who is not quite as biased as Dear Old Mom - is me being a smart-alec).
Smart-alec or not, I'd just about give anything right now to have a steady to comfort me. These nightmares are getting worse, and even if Alicia is right - that they are merely 'subconscious manifestations of my fears regarding my parents' marital problems' - I'd still like them to cut the hell out.
"I bet you're drinking too much caffeine before bed", C.J. offers. "Try herbal tea instead. Chamomile is supposed to help a person sleep better, or maybe a white tea would work".
Alicia gives C.J. another look, rolling her eyes and says, "Ignore the health nut. Seriously, I keep telling you, Charlotte, you have to face your fears. That's the only way these dreams are going to stop".
I love my friends, but they're just not getting it. I tried after the second dream to explain to them how the dreams are almost evolving, like there's more that I'm not seeing. Like the dreams continue after I wake up and then when I'm back there again - in the nightmare world - time has passed just like it would in real life.
There is something different about these dreams I'm having, but I can't get that difference across in so many words. And especially not with my friends grabbing up their backpacks and running towards the shiny yellow bus that takes them away to their shiny modern subdivision while I clamber onto my run down 60's bike - a Schwinn knock-off no less - and pump the two miles home across the tracks.
"I.M. me later", Alicia hollers perched on the top bus step. She looks like a poised, blond goddess ascending Mt. Olympus. C.J. gooses her tight American Apparel-clad butt from behind, and I can hear her giggles across campus until the bus driver, old Lurch, closes the door on all the unrestrained hilarity.
Okay. Great. So I'm alone in my head, Ill be going home alone to a creepy old house with absentee parents, and currently I'm standing alone outside Black Hills High School that has just evacuated it's bowels of students for the first day of summer vacation which officially starts tomorrow.
And I am desperately trying not to feel sorry for myself, because when Mom and Dad first brought up the subject of Couples Retreat, and would I feel uncomfortable staying by myself until the 4Th of July ... I was all for it.
In fact, I even cajoled the parents into springing for some new art supplies so I could spend all the 'alone' time indulging in my favorite hobby, painting water colors. I thought with no distractions I could paint my brains out, and maybe even have some really good material under my belt for the scholastic art exhibit the school puts on every fall. I imagined myself surrounded by blue ribbons and awe-struck fellow students - at least half of whom were hot guys who found themselves suddenly overcome by all my girlish talent.