Time and time again, I come back to this place. It was the home of our childhood. It’s no surprise that I would find myself here. I tend to think that these dreams come as a way to remember the past. It’s a way to think of the times that once were, and to remember those that are no longer with me. Yet, in contrast to other dreams, this one felt empty and dark.
The setup is just as I remember it. Yet, the atmosphere is something different. I look around and see flashes of monotone and vintage filters; they represent a life left long ago in the past.
There isn’t anyone around. I call out to members of my family, but I hear nothing but the wind. I am pushed from room to room, becoming an unwillingly participant in a suspenseful game. The living room still has the covered couches, and the flashy 80s style entertainment center. Much to my dismay, the curtains are wide open, allowing anyone to see inside. It always frightened me at night. Outside was dark, and I felt the same worry come back. The door wasn’t locked. Strangers could come in.
The dining area is barren. The kitchen is a mess. The sink is full with dishes that I should have taken care of long ago. The aroma of my father’s makeshift dinners are still lingering. Things were strewn about on the counter, waiting for someone like me to put them away. I should have done it when I was asked to do so. The items collected dust, proof that I procrastinated in more ways that I cared to admit.
The bathrooms needed cleaning. You couldn’t depend on young teens to keep up with their chores. I was dismayed. No wonder my father sometimes felt frustration.
I am taken directly to my room, which is just as it was when we first moved in. As soon as I enter, I feel like a child again. The tall dresser still holds my knickknacks. The wall is filled with photos of friends and movie stars. The closet isn’t full, but there are things in there. There’s a stack of teen magazines on the nightstand, with my old familiar lamp from my elementary years. Yet again, the windows are open. At one point, they shatter, and I’m scared. The winds howl louder, and the drapes flap loudly in response. I jump under my covers, hoping that in a second, the hallucination will disappear.
In quick flashes, I am taken to the other rooms. I call out for my family again. In one room, it looks as if they had just left, leaving only what they no longer needed. The closet holds but a few hangers. A fitted sheet is all that is left on the mattress. I open a few drawers to find clues. I find nothing.
In the other room, it looks like they left in a hurry. The TV flickers on and off. A few drawers in the dresser remain open, with a couple of items hanging off to the side. The closet still seems full. There’s nothing that would indicate any reason for abandonment. Yet, here I am, still alone.
I try to go back to the living room, running down the hallway. It grows longer as I run. The living room moves further and further away, and I can’t seem to get there. When I stop, I’m still in the same place where I started. Eventually, I sink to my knees in disappointment. Where has everyone gone?
In another flash, I find myself again the living room. Everything is now covered in white sheets. There are moving boxes around, and I notice that none of them belong to me. I wonder where my family has gone, and why I wasn’t with them. The winds shift in the background, and the sheets move slowly with it. One by one, the lights in the other rooms shut off. Furniture soon follows, fading into nothing. As the last piece begins to fade, I wake up.
A feeling of nostalgia hits. I know why I dream of this place. I hear the excitement in my father’s voice when he announced that we were moving here. I recall joy in mine when I find out that I no longer had to share a room. I recall finding my room as a safe haven during the most painful memories. I remember our simple holidays and the joys we felt as a family. It was the place my father made a home. Once we left it, life took a different turn. It was always be 3BA/2BA: The place we called home for so many years. The place that was the scene for our fondest memories. The last stop before it all changed.