Praveen Yadav | Oct 17, 2021 | 0
DREAM WALKER – CHAPTER 3: Slumber!
“So, you’re saying that you are awake the whole time, even when you’re asleep! That’s some really cool stuff”, Charlie exclaimed jubilantly. Lauren had decided to stay for a while and have a conversation with Charlie, who was all by himself for another thirty minutes, and then, for the rest of the day until he got a wheelchair. She had already done enough for today already, not to mention, single-handedly. “You find it cool? Sally gets bored to death when she listens about it”, Lauren said recalling the frog-like expression Sally had on her face a few hours ago. “Well, she seriously needs to reconsider her opinion then. Its like you’re in a VR game, but you’re really in it. I wish I had these dreams as well. It would give my head something to do than just thinking about getting out of here. Damn, I’m so jealous of you”, Charlie said shaking his fists in a slight frustration. “I’m glad you’re so fond of them, but, you won’t have anything to do there either. Its just an endless plain and some fireflies”, Lauren said with a weak smile. “Well, I think you’ve never played any video games. These are small progressions and clues! I don’t know anything about the purple sky just yet, but, if I were you, I’d see where the fireflies go. They certainly live where there’s vegetation besides just, you know, grass.
Lauren was about to tell him that she was having the same thought, when a nurse arrived with Charlie’s lunch. She bid goodbye to Charlie and left his ward. She went to the cafeteria and found that Anna was already present there. Lauren, Sally and Anna were best friends, but Lauren was more close to Sally. She made her way to Anna, who cheerfully greeted her. “So, how was your meeting with Charlie?” Anna asked as both of them waited in a queue. “It was good, why do you ask?” Lauren said, a little uneasy by Anna’s sudden question. “Sally told me that you two will be seeing each other when he recovers, and – ” Anna was cut in between, “that bitch!” Lauren said with her teeth clenched. Anna burst into a facially loud but an audibly quiet laughter. “Where is our slacker queen anyway?” Anna asked looking around, “she had added that she won’t be with you for lunch because she’d be covering for you while you spend some time with Charlie”, Anna said as another giggle escaped her. “Yep. She lies keeping all the pieces of a puzzle in mind. That’s what makes that bitch so unbelievably believable!”
Lauren and Anna bought lunch and sat at a table with three chairs. They were eating and chatting idly when a panting Sally joined them, with just ten minutes left in the lunch break.
“That seat’s taken, madamoiselle”, Lauren said, leering at Sally. “Ahan, by whom?” Sally asked, panting and confused. “By my date, Charlie, of course”, Lauren said, placing her phone on the chair. “Oh come on! Forget this seat, you are taken”, Sally said as she put Lauren’s phone in her pocket. “Ahan, by whom?” Lauren imitated Sally. “By your girlfriend, Dr. Sharper, of course”, Sally said, lightly touching Lauren on the cheek with her fist. A vision flashed across Lauren’s head, and she raised her hand and balled it into a fist. “What? I didn’t use my fingers because they’re stained with mustard. Chill out, girl!”, Sally said looking at Lauren and backing away a bit, following through what she thought was a joke of Lauren’s. Lauren blinked and, felt as if she just returned to her senses. She lowered her hand and said, “I just had a very weird and a very real deja vu”, Lauren said, taking a bite of her sandwich. “What’s gotten into you, Mi Amor? First dreams and now deja vus?” Sally asked sinking her teeth into her sandwich which was fortified with five times the amount of cheese and mustard than a regular sandwich. “I don’t know. Well, aren’t deja vus a common occurrence?” Lauren asked. “They are, I have them all the time”, Anna said, almost finished with her lunch. “There was just one thing which happened differently”, Lauren said, adding ketchup to her sandwich, “someone was constantly calling me Monsieur.”
Lauren reached home after finishing her shift and quickly stepped into the bathroom after making the necessary preparations and placing a cauldron and a pressure cooker on the stove. Nothing refreshed her more than a hot and steamy bath during winters, but today, she was going to try something new. Lauren had shared her problem with Anna, who said that it might be difficult for her to cover up for Lauren as Dr. Wilson had now taken notice of the tampering made to the records. Anna suggested that instead of waking up sooner, Lauren should try to get better sleep. “It happens all the time with my sister. She is an airhostess, and, many times, doesn’t get quite enough sleep. So, she tries to intensify her sleep hours to extract the most out of them by eating the right food and taking a good bath and playing the right music”, Anna said recalling everything. “Or maybe, we could cut all the hassle and gift Clementine a copy of Kamasutra. Arthur’s probably pissed because he doesn’t get that much sex”, Sally said sipping her smoothie and was glared at by Lauren. “What? They’re in their 50s for fuck’s sake. They should know how to spice things up!”
Lauren added all the oils to the hot water which she had purchased on her way from a departmental store and stepped into the warm, steamy and blissfully fragrant bathtub. She stepped out of the bathroom after a while and carefully dried her hair using a towel. She put on her bathrobe and went into the kitchen and stirred the contents of the cauldron and put out the flame under the pressure cooker. Within a few minutes, she was done and so was the central heating of the house. Lauren comfortably perched on the carpeted floor and laid the dishes on a low-heighted table, the sort which are found in traditional Japanese homes. Lauren had prepared a dish of garlic codfish, with various digestion aiding spices and herbs, along with boiled rice. She slowly ate the dish and didn’t touch her phone while doing so. “Focus only on eating. You may play some soft music and dim the lights a bit, that will signal your body that its time to sleep, but, absolutely no staring at screens”, Anna had told her. Since Lauren didn’t have a radio like Anna’s sister, she played music on her phone, “A minute or two won’t do much damage, would it?” She said to herself. A teapot whistled in the kitchen a little while later.
Lauren went and brought the teapot along. “Chamomile tea does wonders to your sleep and digestion and you’d be having the most lovely slumber of your life”, Anna had said with her eyes closed. She had probably tried out this blissful method herself. After getting finished with the dinner and her tea, Lauren put the dishes in the sink and went to her bedroom. This was followed by a small session of meditation, after which she laid onto the bed and pulled the blanket over herself. Lauren ran her mind through a checklist. Hot bath, check. Codfish and rice, check. Music, check. Chamomile tea, check. Dim lights, check. Fragrance, check. Heating, check. Meditation, check. Everything was done. All that was needed to do be done now was to actually fall asleep. “And before you gently close your eyes, say to yourself – I’m diving in”, Lauren repeated Anna’s words in her head and said, “I’m diving in.”
“I don’t like to be kept waiting, did you find anything useful?” The blonde guy spoke angrily on his phone. He was sitting in a brightly lit room, looking outside the window at the myriad lights of Feli-City. “Well, why do you think I hired you then? If it was an easy task, I would’ve found anybody on the street to do it!” He thundered. The person on the other end had pissed him badly. “Get me anything useful in the next thirty minutes before I come there myself and rip your useless guts out of your mouth!” The blonde hung up the phone, careful not to smash it on the wall in frustration. He had to vent out his anger on something, but he couldn’t punch the wall, the way he always liked to when he was angry, the disfigured flesh on his knuckles reminded him that. “Come on, regenerate already!” He screamed, staring at his knuckles.
He went outside the apartment he was in and started to walk down the street. He didn’t carry his briefcase with him this time. He was in the same neighbourhood he was in last night. He walked a short distance before a woman approached him. “You lonely, honey. Could I give you some company?” She asked with a lustful smile, which the blonde knew wasn’t a pretense, like she had to do in front of other men. He looked at her from top to bottom with his green eyes. She had dark hair and an olive complexion and her cheekbones alone were enough to sway men off their feet. Her full lips were painted red and the right side of her lip was pierced. Her figure was neither bulky nor skinny, but just the right size, and her legs weren’t covered, despite the harsh winters. Things she had to go through to make some cash. Her grey eyes gave her a foxy look. She looked like a model however you looked at her, too bad she was wasting herself as a prostitute. “Actually, you could”, the blonde said as he grabbed her by the ass, sending a jolt in the entire body of the grey eyed woman. “What name are you called by?” The blonde asked as he pulled her closer. “Misty”, the woman responded. Mystified by his green eyes and the control he had on her. “Alright, Misty, lets go”, the blonde said and they started walking towards the apartment the blonde was in, “we’re gonna have so much fun”, Misty said, biting the piercing on her lip. “Oh yes, we are!”, the blonde said, “we are”, he repeated to himself in a hushed tone.
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