In celebration, of my forty day march to my fortieth birthday I am writing a story a day. This is the first story.
There is a Place Just Beyond…
There is a place just beyond my memory where I find myself when I sleep. When I first arrive, it is always bright. I squint while my eyes adjust. As they come into focus the landscape is the first thing I notice. There is a shimmer on a rocky, almost desert-like scene. It is flat for miles and then in the distance, I can see jagged hills, not as high as mountains…
In that moment, I have a flash of mountains in my memory. Tall and majestic with white snowy caps.
The picture snaps back to the terrain… I realise it’s not what I initially thought was the silky heat film that covers roads on a hot summers day. The ground, the hills, the small rocks covering the ground are an iridescent rainbow colour.
All of a sudden it all feels familiar and foreign all at the same time.
I look down at my hands. Hmm…I am young I think to myself. I am wearing a uniform over my small frame. It reminds me of an army uniform from the future: a light blue jumpsuit with a strange symbol on the right side of my chest.
I am definitely a girl but who am I? I start feeling my face searching for clues, next my hair, which is a large mass of curls, just above my shoulders. I pull one of the curls down towards the middle of my face to inspect it. It’s dark black.
I continue on my search for anything that will shine a light on who I am, why I’m here, how I got here.
My heart starts to race. I can’t work out if I am starting to panic because I don’t know who I am or that there is a threat approaching. I swing around nervously, inspecting the horizon. It is all the same for miles yet this uneasy feeling, borderline terror, in my head, heart and stomach cannot be denied or ignored. Then everything goes black.
When I wake up, I am in my bed. Still disoriented from the dream. I get up and race to the mirror on the wall opposite my bed. When I get there, I jump back with shock. I expect to at least see the black hair but no I have long straight blonde hair. Then the memories of who I am float to the surface and consume me.
I have so many questions. This dream is so real it is not the first time I have had it. How can it feel so much like me and yet clearly as I look at my face it is clearly not the person in the dream?
My mom opens the door with a bang!
I jump. I am looking at her with terror in my eyes.
“Sorry love. Did I scare you?” she said with a laugh. “I wonder if your father is ever going to fix this door! Here is your school uniform.”
It is strange having to wear a uniform. In my old country we didn’t have to. We could wear whatever we wanted. Luckily, I don’t mind these colours or it would be awful difficult to get dressed every morning.
When we went to look at schools, I choose this school specifically for its uniform. Colour is important to me. I wonder why? I felt like there was something more to this feeling. I didn’t have time to think about it and my dream, the same dream I have been dreaming since we arrived in Australia was quickly fading.