Zac was up early. He couldn’t sleep all night and could barely catch up with few winks. Tossing and turning in bed was tiresome and it affected his daily schedule. This has been continuing for a month. Once rare occurrences had become a regular irritant for him.
It was not a nightmare or anything disturbing, but he had some recurring visions. He would try to remember them in the morning, so he could share them with Erika, but till now he has not yet managed to remember the details.
Erika and Zac have been dating for four years now and plan to get married soon. They waited this long to sort out their career goals and also save enough to buy a house, so they can move in soon after their marriage.
They met at the university and soon their frequent library encounters and regular debates on philosophy turned into a commitment.
Zac could not understand these frequent sleep disturbances and had once visited a sleep therapist to understand these recurring visions. The only problem was he could not remember them in the morning. He even tried to sleep with a notebook and pen so he could immediately pen down the experience when he woke up startled at night.
“Erika, are you awake?” Zac almost mumbled, waiting for an assurance.
“Do you think you can give be some explanation on these visions?” he asked without even trying to wake up Erika.
He continued with his soliloquy, till he went into a trance-like feeling.
“I will try and get into this world of mine and solve this mystery.” His feeble voice trailed off, as he was being transported to another world.
Early morning, at the breakfast table…
“Zac, can you pick me up from office today? It will be a long day for me and I will be late. There’s lot of pending work and I have to prepare for the seminar too.”
Zac, although present at the breakfast table was in a contemplative situation. He was staring at the newspaper, without actually reading any of the news articles.
Not getting a reply, Erika turned back and looked at Zac. She was wondering if Zac had listened to any of her questions.
“Zac, are you listening to me? Would you pick me up from office today?”She reiterated with a deep voice, awaiting a confirmation.
Zac absentmindedly looked at her and nodded. He did not say a yes or a no, and Erika did not want to pursue the conversation any further. She decided to call Zac in the evening to remind him.
Every day Zac would drop Erika at her office and then drive down to his favorite coffee shop to get a takeaway of his daily dose of caffeine. He has been visiting this café since he was a student.
Zac’s Family and Childhood…
Zac grew up in a small town and came from a nuclear family. When Zac’s mother, Liza, was pregnant with him, she was asked to go for an abortion, due to some complications. Although doctors were monitoring her condition continuously, they found some anomaly with the fetal position. At one point, the doctors concluded that the fetus was almost in a trance-like situation. They were sure that the baby won’t survive and were concerned about her health and suggested an immediate surgery to save her. Surprisingly, the baby had started breathing and moving again and it was unfathomable to the medical team.
As the pregnancy entered the eighth month, Liza started having strange dreams, which she reported to the doctor. The doctors recommended Liza to take rest and not worry too much about them as it could affect her health further.
Liza returned home and was contemplating about the recurring dreams. It was not related to the pregnancy or the baby or any past events in her life. These were some new experiences and she had visions of endless poppy fields. It was never ending. The she used to see herself standing near a river bank, and then she heard an echoing voice saying, “welcome to the river of Oblivion”. From the river emerges an apparition, an exact replica of her. She was not pregnant and had the voice of a young girl. She looked radiant and gave a wry smile and disappeared soon.
During these recurring dream phases, Liza was not in deep sleep, but felt, was under a spell of hypnosis. At the end of these dreams, she used to see her grandmother’s face, as she was trying to send her a message. After this, Liza used to wake up, feeling extremely drowsy, as if she was under some unknown intoxication.
Liza used to share these unusual dreams with her husband, Jack. He used to her and even suggested visiting a dream interpreter. Since Liza was not comfortable sharing these details with an unknown person, they dropped the idea.
Finally, the day came when Liza went into labor. The doctors had predicted a long labor period for Liza, as she had complications. The medical team waited anxiously, ready to deal with any emergencies that may occur. Luckily for Liza, even after all the pain and agonizing hours, she gave birth to a baby boy and she did not go through a caesarean.
After Zac was born, Liza stopped having those dreams and almost forgot about them. Zac was growing up as a normal kid. They were a happy family and Jack took care of everyone’s needs. Zac finished his school and graduated.
Back to the present moment…
In spite of all the recurring dreams and sleepless night, Zac maintained his composure and went about his work and other engagements diligently. Since Erika had known Zac for long, she was very understanding and supportive.
Erika reminded Zac to pick her up from office and they both returned home together. They spent the evening as usual, planning for their upcoming wedding and were busy preparing the guest list. Erika was feeling tired and wanted to retire for the day.
“Goodnight, Zac.” She uttered lovingly.
“Goodnight, honey, I will have to finish this report before I can call it a day.” He said ruefully.
“It’s ok, but don’t stress yourself too much and you need some sleep.” She said in a concerned voice.
“Yeah, you are right, I won’t be long.”He smiled and kissed Erika.
It was almost midnight and Zac was about to finish the annual report. He was due for a promotion this year and he knew he would be given the additional responsibility.
Meanwhile, Zac dozed off on the sofa.
He was mumbling and seemed he was engaged in a conversation with someone. He had this vision of his mother and Erika. He was near the river of Oblivion. He saw, his mother and Erika in a conversation, but Zac could not overhear them.
No matter how much he tried to listen, he could not manage to listen to the conversation. Then he saw his mother hugging Erika and showed pointing towards him. Zac woke up with a startle, seeing himself on the sofa; he realized he had slept off here.
After that night, his dreams and visions had stopped and he felt much relieved and happier. Zac and Erika got married and now they are planning their holidays. As Zac has had a promotion, he wanted to send some quality time with Erika, before he could get into the hectic office schedule.