You and the shadows

I’m afraid of the dark. In the dark my fears multiply, creating impossible situations in my brain. As a child, I used to sleep on my parent’s floor when the fear began to consume me. I was sure a landslide would strike and kill me in my sleep, or maybe an unidentified volcano. Strange lights became alien invasions and every sound was an intruder waiting to break into my room.

This fear often seeps into my dreams, making the shadows come alive. Last night felt real. And for the first time, I dreamt about you.

Who you are doesn’t matter; you are simply the latest in a long line of boys I’ve momentarily latched onto because I need the idea that maybe there’s hope out there. You showed up, like the most casual thing, and quite unlike me, I approached you.

It was a dream so time is a strange concept, but it was like suddenly we were friends and you were stopping by. The whole dream seemed to take place in my grandma’s house and driveway. I remember noticing movement in the field across the road and feeling the hair raise on my spine. Being my dream, on some level I knew what I had created.

We were talking and I asked if you had ever noticed anything strange across the road. You look, and notice the benches were gone. In real life, there are no benches, but in my dream it was like they’d also been there. Just as suddenly, they reappeared attached to a monster and came hurling at us. The sky began to rage and darkness consumed everything.

I found you lying a few feet from me, and instantly cradled your neck, muttering some cheesy movie dialogue about how important you were to me. And then we kissed, and it was a moment I’ve always dreamed about.

But then in the next scene you were there, trying to teach someone about love. I heard you saying such wonderful things about the person you loved, and I was sure it was me. Eyes gleaming, I touched your shoulder and expected another grand romantic moment. Instead, you told me you had to go find someone else. I wasn’t the person you loved.

I woke up feeling all of these emotions at once. Fear over the monsters I think live in the shadows. Joy over my kiss with you. Loss when once again I wasn’t the one someone wanted.

It’s silly, isn’t it? One moment in a dream knocked me back down to thinking that I will never be enough for anyone. I think about you and my immediately thoughts are all the reasons you wouldn’t want me. Then I tell myself it’s all nonsense, but I don’t really believe me.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore, but I don’t know how.

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