It was her.
The woman from my dreams is standing in my kitchen wearing my favorite t-shirt? God, I hope she didn’t mess any food on my shirt. She smiled at me and walked over to the table. Her eyes moved between me and the coffee mugs while she was filling them.
“Is something wrong?”
It was the same sweet and gentle husky voice. I had to sit down. Was I still dreaming? I looked down at my feet. I had my feet. I looked back up at her. He head was slightly tilted and so were the loose strands of hair from the messy bun on her head.
“Are you okay?”
Hearing her sweet voice placed a fear deep inside me. I was still dreaming.
They say that the best way to know that you’re not dreaming is to pinch yourself. Well, I levelled up and placed my hand on the kitchen table. Using the knife I had hidden I impaled my hand with it. The knife went right through my hand into the table. Pain. There really is no way to describe the feeling of having a knife through your hand except that it hurts like a motherfucker. You know, the most painful experience for a man is getting kicked in the balls. Balls: the part, for some men, makes them men. Funny how the most important part of the body that defines their identity and gives them power in society is, the most sensitive. It’s a beautiful irony in my opinion. Maybe I’m just exaggerating but the pain I felt from impaling myself with this beautiful knife was the equivalent, perhaps even worse, then getting kicked in the balls.
She rushed me to the hospital and as I sat there in the doctor’s office while he tended to my injury, I could not take my eyes off of her. I was awake. With each stitch that the doctor inserted I knew I was definitely awake. However all I could think about was when did I meet this woman? How did I meet this woman? She just looked at me and proceeded to run her fingers through my hair. Such a familiar touch.
“Guess we can have our breakfast here then?”
When the doctor was finished with the stitches, bandages and prescriptions we went down to the hospital cafe. Normally people don’t like hospitals but I did. Have you ever noticed how the color schemes of hospitals are either red or blue? Red: the color of love, passion and blood. Blue: the color of serenity, bruises, paleness. It was quite clever to use those colors. I saw red in her cheeks. She sat directly opposite me sipping on her cup of coffee. I was ashamed that I couldn’t remember anything except for her face…except for her trying to kill me.
“How long have we known each other?”
She looked at me as she slowly chewed a piece of toast. She swallowed.
“I’m not too sure. A couple of month’s maybe?”
Months?….no it can’t be months. I would’ve remembered her. She got up to go to the bathroom. I watched her walk away and saw her perfect ass swaying from side to side with each step. Oh yeah, I definitely would’ve remembered her. I saw how she turned heads. Every man that she walked pass almost broke their necks looking at her. Fucking perverts. I’m sure by now I have proven my irrationality by stabbing myself with a knife. And due to these pieces of shit laying their eyes on her and my body desperately waiting for me to answers natures call after my third cup of coffee, I was inclined to pee a circle around my territory. I needed to get out of here before I damaged my other hand.
“Maybe we should head back to my place?”
“Yeah we should. You did just stab yourself in the hand.”
I nervously laughed when she said that and got up. I watched her movements as we drove home. She’s a quiet woman. I like that. Silence. So often, people think that silence makes a social interaction awkward. Like god forbid we sit in silence and just enjoy each other’s company. Perhaps we are all low key narcissistic because we just want to talk about ourselves and not actually listen to what the other person is saying. Or maybe, we are all just lonely and get overly excited at the idea that someone is there to listen and pay attention to us. When we got to my place, I unlocked the door and let her walk in first. She proceeded to the kitchen to put everything away that she had taken out for our breakfast. I feel kind of bad because I could see that she put in a lot of effort. I went off to my room, sat on my bed and lit a cigarette.
I was on cigarette number three when she walked into my room. She looked down at me and smiled. Fuck that smile gets me every time.
“How are you feeling?”
“These pain meds are pretty good.”
She climbed over my body and sat on the bed right next to me. She took the cigarette out of my hand and took a drag from it. First, my shirt. Now, my cigarette. I have a feeling this woman is going to turn my world upside down. I watched her take a drag whilst she watched me watching her. She blew the smoke in my face and before I could react she kissed me. I was nervous because the last time she kissed me I plummeted to my death. But I didn’t mind. I kissed her back. Her hair was tickling my shoulder as we kissed. She then flipped her leg over and placed herself on top of me. I had hoped to avoid doing this. For some reason, lately, I’ve found myself having more meaningless relationships than those that actually meant something. I guess that’s the culture now: a hook up culture.
Guys influenced to up the number of women they’ve bedded. Girls influenced to wear less and less clothes. Why though? Have we forgotten what makes us human? Have we forgotten that our capacity to love is far greater than any mammal on the planet? However, when I saw her face while she slowly undressed, her expression filled with lust, embarrassment, heat….. I could not hold myself back. I suppose if you place a meal in front of a man than you should expect to him eat. And I did.
I ripped my shirt off of her. My favorite shirt. It was a white shirt and on the front there was a huge age wearing a snapback hat and smoking a cigar. On the snap back in blue it said “Crazy Ape”. It was a gift from my friend Daniel. Danny and I were raised in the same orphanage. He got adopted and I, well I, I actually don’t even remember what happened to me. We use to work together. The work we did wasn’t strenuous or time consuming, nor was it….strictly legal. To put it delicately we were the guys that “got rid” of problems. The last job we had, I remember, Danny went in to buy something from the shop while I hung back in the alleyway. I was watching the door when all of a sudden, a large group of men walked in to the same shop. I could see the guns sitting in the front of their crotch. No body’s dick is that big.
I should’ve gotten out the car but instead, my heart began to beat faster. I should’ve run across the street but instead, my hands began to sweat. I should’ve done something but instead, like a coward, I started the car and drove off. I left him there. To this day, whilst I enjoy the sweet and kinky of my beautiful companion, I have no clue what happened to him. Yet it haunts me. I should’ve gotten out the car. I should’ve run across the road, I should’ve gone in their guns blazing, I shou……….
Music. Swing music. I felt the very beat of each instrument running through my veins. The music was so smooth yet its effects on me were intense. The piano made every nerve in my neck tingle. Yet the saxophone, made me feel like my movements were light and free. I felt like I was free from the restrictions of my body. “They” say that swing music is the best music for a nightmare.
“Dude, you got some cash on you?”
“What do you mean what? Are the drugs hitting you?”
I opened my eyes and in front of me there was a silver pole holstered upon a stage. The room was filled with a blue light that seem to only shine upon what was meant to be seen while leaving the dark dingy corners hidden. From those corners I could hear whispers: whispers of those that did not want to be seen. Yet there gaze on the pole was ever present. Next to me, I felt someone there and when I looked to see who it was, I was taken back. It was as if I had seen a ghost. Danny? How? Why? Where am I?
“Oh shit? Are you tripping? Will you be able to follow through with the plan? I knew that shit was mixed with something else.” Danny asked me as I continued to stare at him out of awe.
“I’m fine. Run through the plan again with me.”
“Our client requested we get an envelope that is hidden in a safe in an office which is behind the VIP room. We first need to get through the VIP section where I’ll cause a diversion while you head back and get it.”
“What’s in it?”
“You know the rule: Ask no questions and hear no lies.”
The man has a point. Whatever the job was we never asked questions. Sometimes I think about the lives I may have indirectly ruined but, as long as I didn’t actually know what the purpose of me doing whatever it was that I was paid to do; I could sleep peacefully at night. We got up and proceeded to our target. As we walked over I looked down at the floor and as always I didn’t have feet. I looked forward and neither did Danny. It was as if we were submerged into the black floor yet continued to move as if we were floating. And for the first time I asked myself: Am I dreaming? Or is this really happening?
We were on the other side of the ominous door. I found myself standing behind Danny watching him charm his un-doers. He made jokes, he asked about their families, told them about his escapades with women; let them continuously win whilst I slowly progressed to the door. Danny was a white ball of energy that captured the attention of everyone in the room and I was just a black ball that no one cared to notice. I continued to watch the game when suddenly, Danny stood up and grabbed the other player by the collar and threw him on the table. The money went flying and the light began to flicker. That was my cue. I slipped back between the boxers and made my way over to the office hidden behind some curtain that was long overdue for a wash. God I hated dust.
I managed to pick the lock of the door and entered. I only had five minutes before two guards would walk in the room with two very large guns and riddle my body with bullets. That’s twice in this day that my body would be impaled by something. While I was on the floor, behind the big brown oak desk, trying to figure out the combination for this silver safe, I thought: If this was a dream, does that mean that Danny and I wouldn’t die? Or, if I am the dreamer having this dream, then that means there’s a chance that Danny would die but I would just wake up? And, what if both those theories aren’t plausible and my subconscious has trapped me in my memories? Jackpot. I pulled out a thick brown envelope. I examined the envelope but the thick stack of cash in the safe caught my eye.
I thought about how a big breakfast would be really nice after this. You know the ones with two poached eggs, some friend tomatoes and maybe some sausages with a side of toast and bake beans. I helped myself to a couple of hundreds and just as I closed the safe door, the office door opened. Fuck.
“Gentlemen, the pleasure have been mine but, my security has just informed me of a meeting I must attend. Goodnight”.
I was the security and a thief and he a very smooth and charming ‘gentleman’. We made off very quickly to my car and jumped in as fast as we could. As we drove on the freeway we had all our windows down and the music was blaring. Thank god it wasn’t that crappy swing music. This was what I remembered the most about Danny. The moments where we were successful in our missions and after, we would drive on the freeway to our homes in silence. A silence, we did not feel the need to fill with meaningless banter. He would smoke his cigarettes and look at the flickering of the city lights whilst I would smoke my cigarette and continue to drive. When we reached our area Danny asked me to stop at the shop.
“I’m coming down hard and need something for this headache.”
I was parked in the alleyway whilst Daniel walked into the shop. I decided to get out my car and stretch my legs. I saw a mother with a small baby walk into the shop. Cute kid. Just between us, I have a weak spot for babies. They so small and chubby, with their roles of fat. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to be a father: having these tiny people dependent on you. Although first, I should focus on finding a wife. All of a sudden, four black cars pulled up in front of the store. Shit. At least five men got out of each car with their guns bulging through the crotch of their pants. Oh god the baby. Oh god Daniel. I moved to the trunk of my car making sure they didn’t notice me and grabbed whatever we had in the car. I ran down a block and ran back up behind the shop building and looked for a window or door to get through. Not again, not this time. This time I will have Daniel bac….
“Where did you come from?”
“Now is not the time to be asking.”
I slid a gun across the floor to Daniel and crouched as they continuously shot at us. They shot through bags of chip, small packets of sweets and biscuits, two minute noodles. It was beautiful. The way each chip flew into the air crushed into tiny bits. The clitter clatter of each sweet touching the floor and shattering into small pieces. Hard noodles bouncing out of their packets. There was glass, food, and bits of debris covering the floor. Yet all I could see was the lady crouching holding tight onto her baby. Danny started telling me what we should do but I looked right past him at the lady and her baby. I could see the fear in her face and hear the terror in the baby’s crying. I couldn’t leave them here, not in my mess.
“Are you listening to me you asshole?”
Danny turned around and looked at the woman and looked back at me, he started shaking his head and fired his gun over his head. A bullet has just flown past my nose and punctured the water cooler behind me. The water began to leak everywhere. The baby’s blanket began to get wet. All of a sudden the firing stopped. Danny and I looked at each other with confusion on our faces. We peeked from behind the shelves we had hidden ourselves. There was a man standing in front of the group of men with a white suit. He began speaking:
“I’m going to give you boys an out. You can either be men, own up to your crimes and we kill you.”
“Oh yeah? And what crimes would that be?”
Daniel always had to interrupt someone while they were talking.
“The crime of stealing from me and killing two of my best men.”
“We didn’t kill anyon…” Daniel just looked at me. I could see his face was filled with confusion. He analysed every part of me and covered his mouth in awe.
“You… you killed those men? The ones we found decapitated in the dustbin outside. That was you?”
“No, I was dancing on a balcony with some girl”
And then it all came back to me. Once I had closed the safe door, the office door had opened. Two men had walked in holding big automatic rifles with a black duffel bag in one hand. They both looked at me in as much surprise as I looked back at them. Being the polite gentleman that I am I smiled and said “Hey guys”. I can’t remember how I went from being a gentleman to being a deranged evil animal because the only remembrance of that moment is me cutting a blacked out man’s neck with an envelope opener. I can still hear him gasping for air. I can hear how the clots of blood were gushing out his neck and his head became looser and looser. What have I done? The man in the white suit was handed a black plastic bag. He proceeded to pull out something from the bag. A head: a head that was separated from its body. I looked at the lifeless head with its eyes rolled back, its mouth open and its hair flopping all over the place.
I couldn’t look. I turned around and faced the water cooler. I smothered my hands in my face. What is happening? What is going on?
“Oi!!” Danny whispered across to me. “Get your shit together, you get that women and baby out of here and I’ll distract them.”
I crawled over to the woman and the baby and as I shuffled them to the door I heard Danny begin his distraction: “Gentleman, let’s come to some form of agreement here.”
I closed the door behind the woman and baby and all of a sudden, I heard a gunshot. When I turned around I saw Danny fall against the empty water cooler and flat onto the wet floor. His blue eyes looked at me for the last time. I could see it. How the life and soul was slowly oozing out his body: like he was the beach and death was a wave. He was Dea……
It was difficult to drive with tears hindering my vision. Daniels’ lifeless body was seated next to me. I kept looking at him, waiting for him to take a drag of his cigarette. But he did no such. I drove along the shore line, the same shore line we had drove past a few hours ago. Yet now it was different. It was not as satisfying as before. The waves did not seem to sway back and forth but rather crash upon one another. I finally reached the spot that I knew Danny would want to be if he ever died and I suppose, now when his body was cold, this was the best time. I carried Daniel’s body to the edge of the cliff and I sat him up so he could see the innocence of the world. The sun was at its highest. Its rays gently shimmered off the top of the ocean water. We could hear the motions of the water and how the waves crashed upon each other. We could see the children splashing along in the water: giggling and screaming.
I waited for Danny to say something. I waited for him to ask me for something. I hoped he would do something but he just didn’t move. I grabbed his hand to try and make him move but, my efforts were all futile. And the more I realized just how lifeless his body was, the more I began to cry. I laid my forehead on his hand and called out his name countless times “Daniel! Daniel! Daniel!”
Knock, Knock…… Knock, knock…….
The ghost in your sub-conscious.
I opened my eyes and found myself in my room. It had a bed, a table and a black duffel bag. It was definitely my room. Next to me was my lover. She was fast asleep. The knocking continued. I somehow managed to find pants in the darkness. Although, the thought had crossed my mind to answer the door naked.
“I’m coming”. In my sleepy haze I made my way to the door and proceeded to answer it. There was a hooded figure in front of me. I could not see the face.
“Geez, you leave multiple miss calls and when I finally pitch up, you take forever to answer the god damn door.”
The figure turned around and from underneath the hood on his head, I could see a pair of glowing blue eyes. Daniel.