Life Could Be A Dream
Christian woke up at 6 AM and looked in the mirror. He was exhausted. He couldn’t remember the last time he slept. He put his hands through his medium-length blonde hair that went just below his neck as he turned on the sink. His hands cupped the water as he splashed his oval-shaped face. He looked into the mirror at the bags under his bloodshot eyes and the stubble on his face. He wiped his face, walked back into his room and changed his clothes. His white shirt and blue jeans had holes all over them. A few minutes later, he went into the kitchen, grabbed the milk out of the fridge and poured a bowl of cereal. He gazed over at his 10 year old brother Jonathan, who was eating his cereal while waiting to go to school. Their mother worked as a receptionist at a Doctors office, usually from 5 in the morning until 5 at night. Christian was 10 years older than his brother, there was quite an age gap. “Do you want to go to the park and shoot some hoops for bit? After you get off work?” Jonathan asked. Christian shrugged, “If I have enough energy.. Sure..” Jonathan had a round face with dark brown hair that was buzzed. He had bags under his eyes as well. Christian couldn’t remember the last time anyone in that house had slept. He would often try to close his eyes but something would always cause them to jolt back open.
Jonathan and Christian walked to the bus stop and waited for Jonathan’s bus to arrive. There was a chubby blonde kid to their left who kept glaring at Jonathan. Christian was there to make sure his brother was safe. He was bullied a lot the past couple years and Christian had seen and heard enough. When the bus arrived he walked his brother to his seat and then left. It was slightly embarrassing but what the kids would have done to him would have been even more embarrassing than that. Christian walked back home to his red and black Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder and drove off to work.
He entered the mall and walked into Groupies, a store that sells band t-shirts. There was no dress code so his appearance was acceptable. He went in back and clocked in then went behind the counter with his friend and co-worker Danny. He knew Danny since they were 6. Danny had dark brown hair that was slightly hanging over his eyes. He had a round face and pudgy cheeks. His eyes bloodshot with bags hanging underneath. His hair was dripping wet. “Did you just take a shower?” Christian asked. “You remember when we were kids how I nearly drowned in the pool at my grandma’s village?” Danny replied. Christian nodded, “I’ve never taken a bath, got in a hot tub or have been swimming since.. Well today, I was riding my bike to work and something flew past me on the trail, causing me to tumble into the river.. I tried to swim back to the trail but I kept getting pulled under! It was insane!” Christian shook his head and smiled. “Well, the tag on that Ramones shirt is hanging off and you are dripping all over it so you are gonna have to pay for it..” Danny rolled his eyes, “I know!” Then they went around the store and straightened the shelves.
That night when Christian came home from work, Jonathan was playing XBOX 360. He went into the garage to grab the basketball. “Let’s go Jon. We’ll play for a little while and then we’ll come back and eat.” Jonathan turned off the XBOX and followed behind Christian as they headed out the door. The park was well lit, they’ve had many community basketball games there that went into late night overtime.
After their game, they walked into the house to find a message on their machine. “This is Dr. King from the St. James Hospital in Libertyville. We need to speak with you right away so please call this number as soon as possible, thank you..” A chill went down Christian’s spine. He had a flashback from 10 years ago, when his Mother was told that his Father had died in a horrific crash involving two semi trucks that collided with his station wagon. They said the car went up in flames moments later, it was even reported on the news. He picked up the phone and called the office. He waited anxiously for 30 minutes to talk to the Doctor on the phone. If they are making me wait this long, maybe it’s not that serious.. He told himself. The doctor picked up “Hello, Mr. Winchester?” The doctor answered. “Yes?” Christian replied. “I’m sorry to tell you this.. Your mother was involved in a shooting, a disgruntled family member of a patient who died went in and shot everyone in sight.. He shot himself in the end.. She had identification on her but we still need you to come down and ID the body. Again, I am sorry for your loss..”
Tears welled up in Christian’s eyes, he looked over at his brother. Jonathan had not yet experienced anything like this yet. He tried not to break down in front of Jonathan because he didn’t want to work him up until they got there. “Come on Jon. We gotta go to the hospital.” He said, barely holding together. “Why? Is Mom okay?” “I don’t know! We gotta go!” Then they ran out the door and drove off to the hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, he turned to Jonathan. “Wait here, I’ll go see what’s going on.” Christian knew perfectly well what was going on but he didn’t want his brother to know yet. He walked up to the desk to tell them he was there to identify their mother’s body. They buzzed him through. Christian turned to his brother, “Wait here, I’ll come back in a few minutes..”
Jonathan sat there with his head to the floor as Christian walked to the morgue. He entered slowly as the Doctor in the morgue waved him over. He dreaded what he was about to see, as they lifted the blanket to show her face. It was as if the Doctor took his fist and slammed it into Christian’s gut, sending him into the wall. Christian spun around and pounded the wall with his fist as the tears shot from his eyes and he broke down. The doctor patted his shoulder. “Alright now.. It’ll be okay.. I know..” Christian stormed out of the morgue and out to the lobby to embrace his brother. He gripped him tight and said “She’s gone man.. She’s gone!” Jonathan broke down and soaked Christian’s shirt. He knew what was coming but it didn’t quite sink in yet. He drove home and then they went to shoot hoops to keep their minds off of it. It hit them hard but they wanted to help each other cope through it.
Christian called in to work the next day and let them know about his mother. Their supervisor, Randy gave him the week off. He called Danny to let him know what happened. “Oh wow.. That’s seriously messed up.. I’m sorry, man!” “I’ll call you to let you know when the wake and funeral will be..” He was going to need the support of his Uncle to pay for all the Funeral arrangements. “On a random note: on the way home from work, I found stacks of money spilled out all over the road! There’s 500,000 dollars here man!” Danny excitedly replied. Christian shook his head, “I’d be careful with that kind of stuff man. Whoever put that money there might be dangerous..” “They can’t prove I took it if I spend it all!”
A week later, Christian and Jonathan attended their mother’s wake. One of the survivors of the shooting, an Asian man named Doctor Li came up to Christian and bowed his head. “Such a shame.. She had just gotten a raise two days before this all happened!” Hours later, they had family and friends come up and say a few words and then they all said their goodbyes.
Jonathan got the rest of the week off of school. They shot hoops that morning and went to see a movie afterward. When they got home, they played Halo on XBOX and Christian ordered a pizza. “Usually, Mom makes her Veggie Pasta today.. I never really liked it, though..” Jonathan said as he looked at the floor. “Things will be different but we’ll be okay..” Christian told him.
Danny was getting ready for work earlier that day. He went into the bathroom and locked the door. He plopped down on the toilet seat and did his business when he heard a noise by the door. He looked under the door to notice the cracks underneath and on the side of the door had been sealed. The water in his bathtub started pouring out of the faucet. He got up to turn it off when he stumbled sideways and slipped, hitting the back of his neck against the sink then hitting the floor. He tried to get up but he felt like he couldn’t move, he was paralyzed! Danny screamed for help as he watched the water pour off the edge of the tub moments later but then he became weak and passed out.
The next day, Christian got a call on his cell phone. “Hello?” “Hey, Christian.. Have you heard from Danny? He was supposed to be here two hours ago..” Christian rolled his eyes. He really didn’t feel like waking Danny up and dealing with him at the moment. “I’ll swing by and wake him up..” “Tell him this is coming out of his paycheck!” Randy replied. Then Christian hung up and immediately called Danny, no answer. Damnit, Danny you’re gonna make me come get you?! He thought. He told his brother to wait there for a bit while he checks on Danny. Jonathan was so into his game that he hardly paid attention.
Christian rolled up to Danny’s apartment to see police and medics surrounding the area. His mother stood there crying as they wheeled him out. Christian rushed over to see what was happening, he looked at his friends face, pale as can be. “They said he hit his head and drowned in the bathtub. It doesn’t make sense! Danny doesn’t take baths!” His mother embraced Christian, as he watched them place Danny inside the ambulance. Christian felt like he was losing his mind. Two people that he was close to died almost two weeks apart.
Christian went back to work after the week had ended. Their cousin Candace watched Jonathan after he got home from school. Christian was pacing around by himself when a group of girls walked in. A curvy blonde girl walked up and started talking to him. He liked her smile. “Hi.. So out of all of these bands, who do you like the most?” “Nirvana, I guess.” Christian smiled and said. While he was talking to the blonde girl, her three other friends were taking all the shirts they wanted and either put them on or put them in a duffel bag they had. They talked for a while and then she gave him her number on a note card.
The next morning, he decided to give her a call. “Hi, Heather?” “This is she..” “This is Christian, I was curious.. I’m off tomorrow night. Did you want to meet up at Olive Garden and have dinner? My treat!” “Sure..What time?” “Let’s say 7?” “Okay, see you tomorrow!” Christian was somewhat excited. Even though he had just been through two tragic events, something about this girl just made him feel happy. He turned on the TV in his room and sat down. The channel 7 News was on. “Robert Randall, a veteran from Viet Nam died today after a bomb detonated his car when he turned on the ignition.” Christian turned to channel 5, more news! “He just disappeared! The guy that stabbed him looked just like his drunk ass Dad but his Dad’s dead..” The long haired man on TV told the reporters. Then he turned on Cartoon Network and watched Courage The Cowardly Dog.
That night, Candace couldn’t make it so he called Danny’s mom and asked if she could come watch him. Danny’s little brother Joe was a few years older than Jonathan but they still got along. Mrs. Durnt arrived, Christian showed her where everything was and headed out the door. After their dinner, they walked towards the door. “Can my friends and I swing by your work tomorrow? We like hanging out at your store..” Christian shrugged. “Sure, I guess..” They weren’t supposed to hang around but Christian liked this girl, so he didn’t care. “Okay, see you tomorrow then.” She said as she kissed him on the cheek.
He drove home feeling like he was in heaven, there was something about this girl that just made him feel amazing. He was a mile from his neighborhood when he saw someone walking on the road. He slowed down. “Dad?” He said as he slowed down to see the pale looking figure on the road. He had a buzz-cut, a mustache and looked well built. He looked exactly like Christian’s Dad. A car horn beeped as he swerved to the side of the road and parked. He got out to look and the figure disappeared. Moments later he pulled into his driveway, thanked Mrs. Durnt and sent her home. He was about to sit down and watch TV in his room when he remembered it was garbage night.
He walked outside and rolled the cans to the end of the driveway. He turned around and suddenly he was blown onto his back as he hit his head on the driveway. He looked up to see what happened when he noticed the whole house was in flames. “Jonathan!!” He cried out as he flipped around and tried to stand up. He lost complete control of his legs. He tried to crawl but he could hardly move. He broke down again. I’m dreaming! He thought. This is a bad, bad dream! He grabbed a shard of glass in front of him and squeezed it in his hand to see if he could feel the pain. He felt it as it pierced through his skin. A firetruck pulled up. One of them got out and flipped Christian onto his back, then he started choking him. Christian gazed into the man’s glowing red eyes. He pulled his mask back enough to see his beastly face as he stabbed him with a shard. A policeman got out of his car and pulled out his gun and pointed at Christian. “Drop it!” The officer’s eyes turned red as he fired rounds into Christian’s chest. Then a man in a black ski mask drove up. On his car radio you could hear the lyrics ‘Life could be a dream, SH-BOOM! If I could take you up in paradise, up above..SH-BOOM!”
They were all exposed to their dreams as well as worst nightmares. Sometimes we never wake up until it’s too late..