I see an older me with hair considerably longer and thicker, reaching past the waist in heavy braids. The bike that I’m riding is moving very fast and I can’t help but wonder how on earth things have come to this. I am in a place that seems darker when my eyes are open. And it feels like I’m running for my life.
But panic ceases a few moments later. I can see quite well around me because of the little points of light that look like their resting on the knuckles of my hand – blue and orange blurs that seem to not move even though I’m riding very fast.
So I slow down and begin to look around me. There are boxes and cans of food around me which I place on the basket strapped behind my bike, on top of the bottles of water already there. I am in so much of a hurry that I feel later than the White Rabbit. My people must be very hungry now. It has been weeks since we last ventured out. The fact was that although our food supply was dwindling, everyone was scared. No one wanted “that” (what???) to happen again.
I realize that this is a supermarket. But there are no people around which I would have found weird. But I get the feeling that I’ve been out here before, that I’ve tried to save them before. Regretting that I had not volunteered earlier and feeling my burden getting heavier. And heavier. And heavier.
Until, in a sudden burst of lightness, I wake up.
I am back in my bed, my house. I can hear my siblings watching tv because they don’t have classes. What just happened? It felt too real to be just a dream. I could still feel vestiges of my feelings that night (How did I know it was night? Supermarkets are indoors, right?) The adrenaline. Alive and grateful because I knew that every second mattered – the closer to home I get, the greater is the chance that my people won’t starve. But I was scared too. What if someone caught me? What if someone is following? That somebody else might have found the room. That “they” had found my people…