I remember being in a dark, creepy shed. The walls were covered with pictures of a girl. She had brown hair, bright green eyes, and she was wearing a blue and white baseball shirt. For some reason, this girl seemed vaguely familiar to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. In all of the pictures, she was smiling, but underneath the picture, in bright red lettering was the word MISSING.
Also covering the walls were random pictures of the same girl. In some she was with friends at the mall, or in what looked like a park. Funny, I thought, this park actually looks pretty familiar too. Hmmm. There were a few from her many sports activities; she seemed extremely active. But the one that was the weirdest was one of her sleeping serenely in a cutely decorated bedroom. Her bedroom.
I remember looking around as the realization dawned on me what this resembled. In one corner of the shed, I noticed shackles attached to the wall with rusty-colored chains.
God, I hope that was rust.
Near those chains was a low counter on which sat many terrifying instruments. Ones that I had only seen on crime shows where a crazy murderer had his torture devices spread out before a kill.
That’s what this was. A torture room. I remember trying to get out. I looked everywhere for a door, but didn’t see one. It was as if this shed had been built around me. There were no windows, so I couldn’t be sure what time of day it was.
Then I remember hearing the singing. I couldn’t tell where the voice was coming from, as it seemed to be coming from everywhere at once.
Pretty little thing, hidden away from the world.
Buried so deep, no one will ever find her!
Just those two lines seemed so off. They were unlike anything I had ever heard, yet they seemed so familiar too. I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Then everything went dark. Fully, silently dark.
When I woke up, I was back in my own comfortable bedroom. There was no shed, no singing, and no pictures of a missing girl. Everything was fine. So then why did I feel so empty, as if something really bad had happened, and I was still getting over it?
As I completed my morning routine, those two lines from that song were on replay in my head. It was so ominous because I felt like I had heard them before in the distant past. It felt surreal, almost like an actual memory.
I pushed the almost-memory away and continued to get ready for my day. I was off of work, so I fully intended to meet with my friend, Sarah, for breakfast. Being with her would surely get my mind off of the dream I had, especially because Sarah was crazy, in the best way of course.
Without really looking at what I was grabbing, I threw on some clothes and rushed out my front door. I lived alone, so there was no need to let anyone know where I was going. Thinking about it, Sarah was the only one I really talked to.
Sarah and I had decided to meet at a small, family-owned diner for breakfast. It was our favorite place to go whenever we both had some down-time. I realized as I approached the store-front that I was sweating, and I still felt very nervous about the dream. Why was it so hard to just shake this dream? And WHY HAD IT FELT SO FAMILIAR?
Shakily I sat down in a worn booth in a corner farthest from the door. Everyone who worked at this diner knew me already, and knew that I would be meeting with Sarah, so no one came up to take my order yet. They would come once Sarah showed up. I tried to shake off the worried expression when I saw her walk through the front door.
As always, she was wearing some outlandish outfit, very different from something that I would personally wear. Often, she would get weird looks from random people, but she didn’t care at all. She was happy being herself.
Immediately she knew that something was wrong. She always did.
“Okay, Bri, what’s up?” She looked at me, a worried expression on her face. “You look horrible!”
Blunt as always, I thought, a little annoyed. Aloud I said, “I had an awful, awful dream. It felt so real, and I haven’t been able to shake the feelings I have had since I woke up.” I knew that Sarah would be sympathetic since she always took dreams very seriously.
“You need to tell me exactly what happened.”
As I recounted everything I could remember about the dream, a waitress came and took our order: two coffees, pancakes, and a plate of bacon to share between the two of us. As I finished my last sentence, the waitress returned with our food, and I only looked at it sadly. I was so shaken, I couldn’t even fathom eating at that moment.
Sarah on the other hand was digging in. With a forkful of pancake pointed at me, she stated matter-of-factly, “That is a very real memory from a past life.”
I stared at her blankly, reeling and thinking that I didn’t hear her correctly. “Dude, I am seriously messed up about this! I wish you wouldn’t make fun of me.” I pouted at her, only partially saddened but wanting to milk the sympathy from my friend.
Of course she saw through my puppy-dog eyes, and she merely said, “DUDE, I am not making fun. I’m serious.”
I knew she wasn’t going to expand on what she was saying until she was finished eating, so I began to pick at my own breakfast. Sarah had already paid for the meal, so I would feel horrible if I let it go to waste. I did, however, drain my entire cup of coffee. The dream, as well as the ensuing emotional turmoil, had left me feeling as if I had gotten no sleep at all. It felt good to have that surge of energy coursing through my body, and I asked for a second cup.
Finally, Sarah began to talk more about what she had meant. “Look, Bri, haven’t you ever heard about reincarnation?”
“Well, yeah,” I said slowly. “But I never really believed in stuff like that. Besides, I thought that if reincarnation were a thing, we wouldn’t really know it.”
“That’s simply not true. There are quite a few people in the world who claim to remember things, feel, and see memories from their past lives. Problem is… it seems like yours was dark and horrible. Is this the only dream you’ve had like that?” Sarah sipped her coffee as she waited for my response.
I was starting to feel sick. It didn’t seem like something I would typically believe, but it was really the only way to explain why this had impacted me so badly. “Yeah, this is the only time this has happened. Hypothetically speaking, if you’re right, why would I be having these memories now? I went 23 years without having these dreams before, so why now?” My second coffee came, and I began mimicking Sarah subconsciously; I just sipped at the steaming cup waiting for a response.
“Hmmm…” Sarah hesitated. “I can’t say for sure. What I can say is that I will have to ask a friend of mine what she thinks. She knows more about this kind of stuff, and plus she’s better about interpreting dreams. I might be leading you down the wrong path completely, so I need to check with her. For now, though, we are going to do some research!”
“Research? What the heck are we gonna research?” I looked at her in disbelief. I just wanted to lay down on the diner floor; why would she think that I wanted to waste my day researching.
“A couple of things: reincarnation, dream interpretations, aaaaaaaaaannnnd weird creepy murderers who kept girls in sheds.” With that she stood up, forcing me to chug my coffee as she pulled me out of the booth.