The mid-morning sun was in my eye, gray carpet, white doors… I recognized this room, am I in Melbourne? I recognized this. It’s a friend’s place. I grabbed my shirt on the floor left there from the night before. My hair was greasy, my shirt smelled like yesterday and hung crumpled over my shoulders. I was exhausted, and was struck with a thought of how beautiful Patricia Kay is and how someone so beautiful could come up with an even more beautiful playlist. Beautiful AND smart, I admired that. Then I remembered, I’m In Melbourne and it was a year before I have even heard of the name Patricia Kay. It must be a dream. I must be dreaming.
This realization came with a near immediate second realization. My heart was racing, I was in the dark. There were cold drafts of air on my damp, clammy skin. I wandered around in the empty streets aimlessly. There was something eery about this American scene (but I’m in Malaysia, my thoughts protested, persisted. ), like a night from True Blood, or a location in the middle of nowhere like Psycho.
Suddenly there was a body of a car, abandoned and silenced by the atmosphere of night. I crept in closer, only to find a figure sitting in the front passenger’s seat. There was no movement. The only thing that was there was moonlight, just enough to make out one other figure beside him.
What was I doing there? Where was my companion? I had lost him. Did I even have a companion? Why did I think I did? I went to the driver’s side, and there I saw a bloodied mess. Daryl was sitting there, and through the window, he sat in shock, hyperventilating. I tore open the door, shook his shoulders. He tilted slightly to my side, while still just staring into space. He muttered something too fast for me to catch.
” I … I …. killed him … I … ”
Too afraid to look, but too helpless to any other decision on what to do, I took a glance and let out a silent scream. I buried my head in his chest unable to face what had just happened. A bloodied mess. A bloody mess. Daryl’s hands were stained, there were streaks of blood across his face. A gun, dropped on his side. ” I … I didn’t mean to … I DIDN’T ! ”
” I had no choice … YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME!”
I noticed my facial muscles for the first time, the strangest thing to notice in a moment like this. I noticed it, only because I realized how knotted it had been, how twisted and crumpled into frowns it was from the anxiety. A downturned mouth, beating heart, strained eyes. I pulled him out of the car, dragged his heavy, still shell-shocked body onto the long blades of grass beside the earth. He lay there, helpless, almost as lifeless as the corpse next to him. The car stood near a moor, not too far off from a body of water. What was a “moor” doing in Malaysia? This was Malaysia!, said my brain.
I surveyed my surroundings looking for a way out, a solution. With Daryl, helpless, I had to act. I dug my hands deep into the earth and started spreading dirt around, hoping to make a hole deep enough. The stench of muck, the discomfort of dirt and sweat that weighed down my clothes, it took two hours of struggling, somehow managing to find a shovel, and more digging. Three hours had passed. By this time, Daryl was well enough to dig with me. I pulled the body out of the car, by the dead man’s collar. I didn’t know how I managed to do it.
The next scenes had me patting the ground down with a shovel. The next scene, I had a gun in my hand. The next scene, I was pointing it at Daryl. What was I doing?! WHY WAS I POINTING IT AT DARYL?! Daryl shook from fear. He closed his eyes, like a victim at the executioner’s stand, knowing no way out, having no other choice but acceptance of his death. I pulled the trigger. Once. Twice. I shot him three times to the chest. Then I had him buried, the same way I buried the man he just killed.
Mist rose from the surface of the pool of black diamond, the muck I knew was underneath. Why did I kill him?! Panic. I had just killed a man! Why did I do it?! wasn’t there any other way? I rationalized it in my head. If we left the body there, maybe they won’t find out, maybe they would. What was our alibi? If he handed himself in, he would face the death penalty! Or worse, lifetime in prison. If he ran, and went into hiding, he would be running and hiding his whole life. He would have to leave everything he knew behind, away from his family, friends, the pain this would cause them and him. He would be “GUILTY”, he would have been executed by even worst hands. I had to help him. He knew it, I knew it, but he couldn’t bring himself to say it. Every situation had no way out.
The next scene, I had somehow made it back to civilization. I entered some Chinese restaurant. A dinner with my family. People greeted me as I sat down. My mom asked, ” Aye? Where’s Daryl?”
I panicked. Flashbacks to the dark, empty moor and buried bodies beneath the earth. ” Dunno?” I mumbled, then realized how ridiculous it would be that I, a girlfriend, wouldn’t know, so I quickly covered it up with a ” He’s eating with his family tonight…”
Two weeks passed. I realized what a mistake I had made, because it was now I who had to go into hiding. The blood was on my hands. I was perpetuating a cycle. Did someone had to kill me now for me to be guiltless?
I drifted slowly out of the dream… to a four a.m., picked up the phone, left a text for Daryl, just to make sure this was really a dream, swearing to never again say anything like ” DARYL I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!” ever again, and realizing how I’ve been having this same dream for two nights in a row now.
The the third night’s dream also involved Daryl, with the addition of Mel and four hamsters, which was too weird to recount. We were trying to keep the hamsters in the cage, with a psycho hamster trying to escape and eating his weight in bread.