That "Off" feeling
The ringing of the alarm woke me once again from my sleep, I was half tempted to just push the "Snooze" alarm again for the third time, but I couldn't keep procrastinating, I had a job to be to. Getting ready for the day and the such was leading to me feeling groggy regardless. With a heavy sigh I sat up in bed, looked around, rubbed my eyes and still felt tired. Time for the morning cup of coffee of course. My room felt unrealistic for the first few minutes, The lighting was a tinge of blue, the same blue that made sunrises seem all the more majestic because it felt so cold right before, I didn't quite like it. However, I still had a whole day ahead of me, so I still powered on through the dredging feeling I had of dealing with the day.
First let me start by introducing myself, I go by Terry, but my full name is Terrence Roderick. I'm about average height and weight, average looks, blonde hair, green eyes. I work a remedial job as a manager for a high-end clothing store that's called "Le Bonline Boutique" it's supposed to reflect French fashion, but all the clothing are made in China. I live in a simple yet homey one bedroom apartment with a rather sizeable kitchen/dining room, I have this thing where I entertain my friends with food and wine on a bi-weekly basis. I like to think I have a rather normal life, or so I thought.
After I finally managed to come to terms with the idea of waking up fully, and making the first pot of coffee, I realized how shocked my dream from that night had made me feel, but... I couldn't quiet remember it. I hated that feeling, I've always been a very imaginative person, and having dreams that always made everything seem so surreal made me wake up feeling refreshed and ready to write down ideas. Whenever I would forget a dream, it made me realize that maybe the dream just wasn't meant to be remembered, maybe something about it was horrifying to the point of blocking it out subconsciously. I couldn't remember, and that's what scared me the most. The lingering feelings I had from whatever happened in the dream left me with this obvious dread. Thankfully I had coffee, coffee was always a wonderful coping mechanism. Warm, bitter, and wonderfully energizing, it let me focus on what was necessary to go through the day without getting distracted, side-tracked, or thrown through a mental loop.
The ride to work was about the same as usual. Public transit, as weird as some may think it is, is actually quite predictable, it's always the same group of tired-eyed individuals on their way to the daily grind, the occasional homeless person would hop on to get to his next begging destination on some days, but it was usually not as such. However, something about today's destination felt.... Off. It felt as if someone was watching me, and no matter where I went to on the train, I just couldn't shake the feeling. As soon as my stop was announced, I started gathering my things, I didn't want to be the last one off, or possibly even miss the stop, I took one last look around to ensure that there really was no one staring holes in the back of my head, and waited.
Watching everyone shuffle through the door as soon as the train came to a full and complete stop was always interesting to me. You could just tell the disinterest in every ones expressions whilst slowly waiting for the person in front of them to get off. It's as if they were on Literal auto-pilot. Observing people is definitely one of my hobbies, watching people and all their mannerisms always intrigued me. Looking I saw a guy who's ragged clothing looked like Thrift Store specials at best, a suit jacket of faded navy blue with torn hems, with mismatched tweed pants, black and white wing-tip shoes about to fall apart any second, were obviously the best he had, he was either heading to a job interview or a court date, the saddened expression in his eyes said that the latter was more likely the answer. Coming up with the story of how his life must be gave me an idea about a character I wanted to write down.
I usually had to walk from the train station to get to my job, but they recently employed a public bike system that I actually enjoyed using. Pay a minimal amount for a full days usage? Definitely. I would just park the bike in my office for the remainder of the day, and when I wanted to go home? Park it back where I found it. Whoever thought of this method of transportation is a genius in my eyes. Picking the bike was a problem however, at this time of early development for the system they didn't have nearly as many bikes as there should be, so I had to act fast. I sped-walked my way over to the terminal I needed to go to for the bikes, however I wasn't quite watching where I was walking as my eyes were trained on the bike I usually get. I crashed right in to this lady and bowled her over, causing all the contents in her purse to spill out.
"Oh! Shit! I'm so sorry M' am! Are you ok?" I yelped in surprise, the bump had caused me more surprise than harm and I'm pretty certain I might have caused her to break a heel on her shoe in the process. At first she didn't say anything. She just looked down at her shoe, then slowly she looked up at me with tears in her eyes.
"I... I should be fine, can you help me up?" Her voice was quiet and sounded as if she might have had the wind knocked out of her
"I think I only broke my stiletto..." She paused for a second to check to make sure her ankle was still in tact.
"Okay" I voiced
"Let's get you up and on your way, if there is any way I can help you after, we'll figure it out." I didn't want to leave this poor woman stranded in the middle of the train station with a broken heel, and in tears, that would beyond vile of me to do. I grabbed underneath her forearm and started to lift her up, as soon as I did that though, the resounding "Crack" of her other stiletto giving way threw me off and I ended up letting go. All that raced through my mind was "Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! I hope she doesn't break anything! Oh god! I'm such a terrible person!" I tried to reach her before she fell, but she slumped to the ground and started laughing this time.
"Are.... What?" is all I could utter, She grabbed hold of my pant leg and started dragging herself back on to her feet, I just stood still as a statue afraid I might cause her to fall again if I even slightly move.
"I'm Okay, I'm Okay...." I heard her keep repeating to herself as she got closer to being fully on her feet.
"There!" She stood up fully and I could see the mess I had caused, she saw my look of dismay and exclaimed, "Don't worry, these were cheap stilettos anyway, that's what I get for going to a busy place like this in such cheap attire!" I just stared in awe at the fact that her leg bone was clearly showing as having ripped through her flesh, blood was pouring out, pooling around her already broken shoe.
"Your leg is broken!" is all I could finally gasp out, and it came out more as a scream than anything. She tilted her head to the side and gave me a puzzled look, I could see she had a dazed look in her eyes, like she had just retreated in to her own mind and wasn't fully aware of the gravity of the situation.
"Your leg is broken! The bone is showing and you are bleeding everywhere!" I managed to gasp out again. There was a crowd that had started to form around us, all the onlookers were pulling their phones out, taking picture of the broken leg instead of calling an ambulance.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" I yelled at the crowd, "This lady is terribly injured and all you are going to do is take pictures?!?" I was almost in hysterics when I suddenly felt someone grab my arm, I turned around and it was the lady. I looked in to her eyes and say that she was fully aware of the situation now, but she was unsettling calm.
"Terry. I know this may come as a shock to you, but you need to wake up" Her blank expression, tangled raven hair, and bright green eyes unsettled me.
"I.... What?" I felt like someone had tied sand bags too all my appendages, I could feel myself slowly falling towards the ground, but I couldn't move, I couldn't catch myself. The last thing I saw her expressionless mouth say was "Wake up, Terry, Wake up."
As my face hit the hardwood floor of my apartment, I was snapped awake by the sharp pain of having my eyebrow be the first to connect. "Instant migraine" was all I could think. This isn't the first time this has happened to me though, the dreams like this one, in fact as a child I had to pretty much sleep in a bed that had rails on both sides or I would fall and hurt myself on a very regular basis. The problem though was that this was the first time this has happened since I had moved in to this apartment and that was a good 5 years ago. I picked myself up off the floor while rubbing my now bruised eyebrow.
"Well, that was refreshing...." I stood up to make my way to the bathroom, the entire room started spinning so I had to sit back down. My cat, who I've aptly named "The Dreadful Mr. Whostifer" jumped on the bed next to me, begging for my attention, I scratched behind his ears knowing that was his favorite spot.
"This isn't good Whostifer, (Pronounced "Who-Stiffer" in case you are curious) I haven't needed the medications for a good while now, why is this suddenly happening again?" I sat there in puzzled silence for a good ten minutes before I realized how long it had been. I picked my cell phone up from the night table and checked the time.
"Eleven thirty.... I guess it's a good thing I have today off from work, it would suck to go in with this nice egg sized bump on my face like this." I stood back up and reassured my balance, it was good. I headed for the bathroom again and stopped. There was someone in my living-room. I could see them sitting on my couch from my bedroom door. It was cracked ever so much so I could see a sliver of light from the TV, and I could also see the silhouette of some ones head. I went in to panic mode.
"Who the hell is that?!?" I thought to myself as I hid behind my door again,
"What do they want?!?" The frantic tone I had in my head made me feel even less easy. I creaked open the door the slightest bit to see if I could see who it was, or see if maybe I was going crazy, thankfully my doors were relatively new so I didn't have to worry about the door making a loud noise upon opening. I peered through the sizeable gap I had created and stood wide-eyed in terror as I knew exactly who it was. That raven hair, the bright green eyes, this was the woman from the dream I just had. I ran back to my closet, threw on a shirt, grabbed my baseball bat and headed for the living room.
"Who are you? And what do you want?" I said in a firm commanding voice. She wasn't moving.
"I'll ask again, Who are you and what are you doing here?" I had a more frantic tone which caused her to crack a grin.
"Well Terry." She calmly expressed,
"You invited me." she picked the remote up and turned off the TV and turned towards me. "That dream that you had last night, wasn't a coincidence. What happened to the lady," she pointed at herself. "I supposed to happen today at approximately..." She glanced at the clock on my wall, " 11:45 a.m." Her cold expressionless face brought images rushing back in to my mind of the dream, of her telling me to wake up, the blood from the broken leg, it all felt too real, like it had already happened.
"But..... If it's supposed to happen in 5 minutes, why aren't you out at that train station?" It was hard for me to even understand what was going on, everything felt "Off" again, and I definitely couldn't even come close to explaining it.
"Well, Terry." she said again as she blankly stared at me.
"I was on my way to the station when suddenly I walked through the door to the train and instead ended up here. I walked in and realized this wasn't the train, panicked at first, but decided to sit to clear my head." She pointed to the television, "That was already on when I got here, you were there, and so was I. I watched the whole thing as if it was a high definition version of what my day would have held in store for me" she paused for a minute.
"This is almost just as confusing for you as it is for me, but then after I watched what happened on the screen, this Man clad in all black with his face covered in a mask of sorts came through the same door I did and explained everything to me." She cracked a smile and almost started laughing, "I didn't want to believe it, I shouted, I threw things, but no matter what I tried, I realized this man, or creature or whatever it was had me trapped, everything I broke would show up a few seconds later unbroken, the TV I knocked over? Nope, still in one piece." I could see that she was still pretty upset so I stopped her.
"Look, I don't even know your name." I offered her my hand for a hand-shake and a smile.
"Oh, right. Well I forgot that we haven't met yet. My name is Katherine, Katherine Vance." She took my hand in hers to shake but she was already shaking, I could feel her body tremble from the fear of her earlier encounter.
"Well, since you're already here, Do you want Breakfast?" I smiled indignantly as I headed for the Kitchen, "I have Coffee I can make, Eggs, Toast." I paused to see if she was willing to have breakfast or not, "Oh! I know!" I exclaimed, "Let's have waffles!" I started laughing at the thought of having waffles with a stranger that I just met.
"Sure, I could use something to eat." She still sounded a bit distant, but I could tell she was warming up to the idea of actually having breakfast with me, and possibly forgetting the weird occurrences.
"Well, First I need to go get dressed, and then we can head to the waffle place down the street from here, they have some of the best out there!" I hurried to my room to dress for the day, and we were soon on our way out for some Waffles.