Family Dreams

…I’m not sure how or why, but fear would wash over me, and I would start running…

It always started at the top of the iron, sprial stairwell leading to the second floor of the house. The familiar fear and caution walking down the stairs, trying to avoid my foot from getting caught between the gaps in each step. Sometimes, I would hear Simba, our first family dog, barking as I got closer to the ground level. Other times, there would be an older woman in a wrapper either washing clothes, or cooking right outside the 12 foot tall iron barred door. Once in a while, the iron door would be locked and I would start crying until I woke up.

To the right was the boys quarters, and to the left, around the corner were rows of cars, the front porch, the gate house, and the big black gate leading you outside the compound. I turned the corner and my family would be sitting on the cement covered floors. The porch was a 5 feet wide and about 20 feet long with a step leading up to it. Behind the porch were glass, slider doors leading to the formal living room on the bottom floor. There were only always a couple chairs and a small table on the porch. 

Each time my family noticed me, they turned into a white and yellow, sometimes red, plaid pattern and all expression left their faces. I’m not sure how or why, but fear would wash over me, and I would start running. I used the individual part of the gate to get out of the house, and start heading towards the direction we drove in to get to the city. Once I reached the first brick building, I turned around to notice my family, still covered in plaid – faces too, looking for which direction I went in. Sometimes, there was somewhere for me to hide, so I could buy some time. Other times, they spotted me right away and started running after me. Once in a while, a small child around my age would grab me by the hand, hide me in the local market until my family was long gone, and show me around.

They never actually caught me, and I never reached my final destination, except once. I got to a Celestial church I used to attend with my dad, but it was dark and empty. I had this dream almost every night for a decade straight between the ages of 9 and 19. I always wondered what it meant, if it meant anything at all. 

Now, I’m almost 27 and somehow, my dream now makes more sense.

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