The first incident occurred in my Eighth grade year. I had a dream.
The streets were lined with bright crimson bricks. I stared at the compass in my hand and set off down the road in the direction it was pointing. I slowly walked down the pathway, looking as far out as I could, but, other than the bricked road, there was nothing but blank and eternal whiteness. It was like a canvass waiting to be drawn on.
I kept on walking. The road seemed to go on forever. So when I felt like I could walk no more, I stopped and turned around to see what was behind me. The only thing there was the same long road, stretching out further than my eyes could go. It was floating in the middle of the blank, white air, like a cookie in milk. I looked at the compass in my hand, it was still pointing in the same direction. When finally I decided to turn around and continue walking, I slammed into something cold and hard. I found a door right in front of me.
Confused, I took note of the features of the door that had not been there seconds before. It had a large golden frame and a strange circular depression in the center of its wooden face that was also made of gold. I touched my fingers to the finely carved golden circle and noticed that there was a small star shape on its base. Suddenly, the compass started to buzz in my hand, and I turned it over to see an identical golden star on its back. I pushed the compass into the depression and watched.
The compass needle stared to spin. First it was slow, and then it started to spin faster and faster. As it gained speed, a golden film grew over the compass, and quickly enveloped the entire door. Its frame started to rumble and shake, so I took a step back. My mind raced in anticipation of what might happen and I quickly turned to run.
Then everything stopped. I was left in the middle of a brick road, staring at a golden door in the middle of a giant, blank canvas.
I held my breath and reached one hand out to touch the door. As my fingers inched towards its golden surface, the door started to rumble again. I froze. The door kept on going, shaking harder and harder. I had no idea what to do, but I was terrified and I was thinking one thing: run. I bolted in the opposite direction just as the door flew open. An inky, blue shadow shot upwards into the air and bust into a dark cloud. Tendrils of smoky ink spread through the whiteness, devouring the pure, untouched canvass. As the shadowy color spread around the inconceivably massive area, I heard a piercing noise. I ran as fast as my legs would push me, flying through the red road, forcing air in and out of my lungs. I could see the blue clouds racing beside me. They were getting closer and closer, trying to choke me with smoking blue claws.
I felt something scratch my knee, soon followed by a warm gush of blood, but I kept on running. Claws dug into my back, my calves, shoulders, and thighs, but nothing would stop me from sprinting. I did not look back, I did not second think anything, I just kept on pushing.
When at last I had run so much that my vision had blurred and a red shade fell over all I saw before me, I shut my eyes tightly. Upon opening them, I saw a silver door, thrust wide open. Without hesitation, I jumped through it, hearing a loud SLAM behind me as it shut.
My eyes flash open as I take in the ceiling of my bunk bed. I grab one of the wooden planks on the bed and pull myself up. I sit to the screams of my mom, telling us we have to get ready. I fucking hate Mondays.
“Elijah! Jacob! C’mon, we’ll be late again! Get uuup!”
I leap out of my bed, and peek up at the top bunk. My brother’s still napping under his covers, so I rock the bed, “Dude, get up, mom’s gonna leave us again.” He moans, and kicks off the covers. I head out the door and get dressed.
Fourteen minutes later, we’re in the car carrying our breakfasts. As my mom gets behind the wheel, I reach over to turn on the radio and see that my finger’s bleeding.
“Oh! Where’d that come from Eli?” My mom asks. I stare at it for a second, confused.
“I have no idea…” I lean back into my chair, but I twitch when a sharp pang shoots up my back. Just then, something warm crawls down my leg. I reach down to rub it off, and touch blood. I’m freaking out a little, but I hold it until we get to school.
When I reach the bathroom in the Middle school, I try to shrug off all the strange glances people had been giving me. I pull off my shirt and check my back.
“Putangina!” My entire backside is bleeding, soaked in bright red fluid. I grab a hand full of tissues and start pressing them onto my wounds like crazy. When the blood stops oozing out, a wipe my entire backside with a moist clump of tissue. From what I can manage to see of my back in the mirror, it is bad. Several inch-long cuts are scattered in no particular order around my back. I remember my dream. The smoking claws… I shake off the thoughts and start walking to the clinic
“O! Ano’ng nangyari sa’yo?” The nurse asks, as she opens the cupboard to pull out the bandages.
“I dunno…Can you be fast, please? I have to get to class.”
The time flies by like crazy. I barely even remember what happened that day. Before I know it, school’s out and I’m heading to the one thing that means anything to me: Basketball. I get dressed and head for the gym. When I hear the whistle blow, I sprint, and reach my team, all huddled up, just in time.
“Okey guys, is everyone here? Mat, saan si Mat?”
“Here, coach!” Mat says.
“Very good! Sige, Mat, pray!” My good friend, Mat Rivero, walks to the center of our huddle and starts to pray for our practice.
A few minutes later, we’re on the court, practicing one of our favorite drills. As a teammate of mine passes me the ball, I start running. I pass ahead to another friend, Raj. He passes back hard and I jump up to catch it, when something happens.
A bright blue flash blinds me. I squeeze my eyes tight and shield them with my arms, but it doesn’t do anything. It’s as if the light is coming from inside my eyes. A burning sensation flashes through my retina, and I know there is no escaping the blue flames that impair my sights.
An unbelievably strong gust pushes me through the air, and I feel myself rushing to the ground at an insurmountable speed. As my foot hits the hardwood, the momentum from my hips and torso push me further down. I hear a faint pop. Extreme pain explodes in my knee.
I collapse onto the ground, grasping my leg as if letting go means death. My eyes are still shut tight, but I can hear the shouts of my team from across the court as they run over to help me up. I force my eyes open and see my coach and my team hovering around me. They ask questions that simply fade into the background. I grit my teeth. My coach performs some tests on my leg, pulling and stretching, to see if I broke anything. I get up, and everyone seems relieved. But the minute I plant two feet on the ground, I fall back down. Finally two of my friends come to pick me up.
While a few guys usher me to a bench, I sneak a peek at the court. There, in the air, is something that burns in my memory to this day. Above the very spot I had landed on, was a faint, inky cloud of blue smoke. I yell and point it out, but by the time people’s heads have turned, the wind blows it away.
Later, I find out that I had torn a ligament in my knee, as well as fracturing part of my femur and tibia. The doctors never understood how one fall could do so much damage.
The next incident occurred in fourth year high school.
The night is heavy on me. Dark clouds are crowding the sky and there is absolutely no glimpse of light available. All I have to work with is my headlight, because the storm’s blacked out the entire Manila. I’m on EDSA, which is uncharacteristically empty. It scares me how few cars and motorcycles are on the road. I keep thinking that something terrible could happen at any moment, and no one would hear about it until the storm blows over. I pull my jacket tighter around me as the wind howls. Lightning flashes a brilliant blue, and thunder soon follows suite, crackling as loudly as it can. I rev the engine of my motorbike and carefully make my way into Dasmarinas village, where my Lola lives. I’m too afraid to try to make my way home, so I take a right into the gate.
Raindrops fall like pellets on my jacket. I wave to the guard and shout “Bakit nandito ka pa?” He pushes the bar up to let me through, and continues smiling. I ask him again, just as lightning strikes. The lightning turns into something from my nightmares. A blue flare burns through my eyes, and my blood races with terror. It was the same burning blue flame that blinded me years ago. I instinctively brace myself for excruciating pain, but instead, the burning blue light stops. I open my eyes to see that I am alone, no guards, no other cars, and still no lights. Nothing but rain.
I rev my motor, and try to get out of the rain as fast as I can. I ring the doorbell when I reach my Lola’s house and wait. No answer. I try one more time. No answer. Shivering, I scream at the top of my lungs, just as thunder yells across the sky. Naturally, no one hears me. I sigh and turn around.
A man stands before me and I freeze. I try talking to him, but I realize that there’s something off with him. I wave my hand in front of his face, but he does nothing. I look into his eyes and I see something bright. A spark. A bright blue spark. It was as if someone literally bottled lightning and caged it within this man’s eyes.
Just as I reach to touch him, he grabs my arm and looks me straight in the eyes. His eyes are no longer blue like lighting. They are inky and cloudy. A dark, murky blue. I stare into these dark eyes, until I feel something sharp on my forehead. Then the man fades. The rain fades. The bike fades. All that’s left is emptiness. Dark, cloudy-blue, emptiness.
I woke up weeks later. My Lola told me that a kind old man with bright blue eyes had carried me in. When I asked her where he had gone or who he was, she just told me to rest, and that it didn’t matter. I had fractured my skull in three different areas on my forehead. My parents had been freaking out. They thought it was a miracle that the man had found me. I knew better.
The third incident occurred in my mid-twenties.
I was just packing up, getting ready to go home from work. I look around my desk a couple of times, just to check that I haven’t left anything. My books are neatly stacked on the right side of my table, and I keep all notepads and notebooks on the left. My pens and pencils are in a little cup in the middle of the desk. I make sure that there are no free notes left on the table, nothing I forgot. All of my important documents are in folders and all footnotes and scribbled on sheets of paper are thrown away.
I bend down, checking to make sure that I haven’t dropped any important things. When my inspection is done, I stand up again. I grab my suitcase, ready to leave, when something catches my eye. Under my suitcase was a small sticky note. I pick up the little blue note—blue. I hate blue.
You lost your faith in miracles
Your heart as cold as icicles
A life as strong as yours could not endure
The burning pain of my torture
Love is sweet
Love is blind
Eyes do not belong to the strong mind
For when the time comes, you shall see
That the plan is bigger than you thought could be
I’m confused. Scared. Angry. I can’t decide whether it’s just some creep who left his poems lying around, or if this was something else. I’m uncertain. I just shake it off, a skill I learned to develop from years of pain and injury. I take the elevator down to the ground floor, and keep on walking.
You lost your faith in miracles, your heart as cold as icicles,,, I know full-well what that means. My prayers always seem to go to waste. No answers. Injury after injury. And this thing. This blue thing. It’s haunting me. It wont leave me alone. A life as strong as yours could not endure, the burning pain of my torture. Hell yeah, that’s right. I do not deserve all the shit I’m put through. Not a single piece of it. Not. One. Piece.
Love is sweet, love is blind. Eyes do not belong to the strong mind, for when the time comes, you shall see, that the plan is bigger than you thought could be. Now this makes little sense to me. Love is sweet? Blind? I’m tired of waiting and plans! I’m sick and fucking tired of it!
I had wandered into the middle of the street, and in my thoughts, I guess I didn’t bother to look both ways before screaming, “WHY THE HELL DO YOU HATE ME? WHAT THE FUCK DID I DO WRONG?” My shouts echoed into the night, dominantly. The only thing that rivaled them was the sound of the car crashing.
I wake up in a familiar room. White floors, walls, and ceiling. A nurse takes my blood pressure and notices that I’m awake.
“Good evening, Mr. Elijah. Good to see that you’re finally awake! I’ll notify the doctor immediately.”
And she ran off. Later that day, I learned that I had cracked six ribs, and the drunk driver had not survived the crash.
“Were there any other instances that you’d like to talk about?” The psychiatrists says.
“Very well, take some of these,” he says, handing me a prescription for some drugs that I know are false. “Their for—“
“Yeah I know what they’re for, doc. Thanks.” I marched out of the office. There was no one who was going to help me, was there? I head out of the quack’s office, and into the street. I’ll just walk my way home, since I could use some time.
I’m deep in thought, theorizing about why or how this dark blue cloud—this demon is going to kill me. I reach to my back and feel my scars. The scars from a dream that will never fade. Just then I hear a yell. I look around and my eyes find a construction site, only a few feet away. A large man at the top of the foundation is screaming and waving his hands. I search frantically for the source of the man’s distress, and I see, far above on the scaffolding, a large metal rod. It’s tipping over the ledge, about to fall. Slowly, it creaks and rocks back and forth. Creak, creak, creak, creak, on the fifth and final creak, the rod slides with a horrible grinding noise and falls. I scream when I realize what’s under it: a family.
“GET OUT OF THE WAY!” I yell, and they all look at me, baffled. They don’t speak English. They’re Russian. I make a motion of pushing with my arms, which just seems to confuse them even more. I curse and run. Luckily, the rod gets snagged in the scaffolding, but already it’s starting to pull it down. It creaks a few more times and drops again. It’s fifty feet from the Russian family when I jump in and push them away, mother, father, and child. The last thing I remember is of the Woman screaming in horror and the father covering his family’s eyes as the rod finds its true target.
Darkness swirls all around me. I can hardly breathe. I hear a sound pulling me. More than interest or curiosity, I feel a literal tug as the sound plays. So I follow. As I get closer to the source, I see a light, a blue light. The same blue essence that’s been following me all my life, but this time, I’m not afraid. I’m happy. It’s as if we’re friends who’ve not met for years, and have been reunited. I am at home.
“Mr. Elijah, you are an extremely lucky man. According to what it says in your records, you fractured your right leg’s tibia and femur at the age of thirteen, Fractured the front of your skull at the age of seventeen, and broke six ribs on your right side at the age of twenty-seven. Now here’s the good news, that rod that nearly flattened you? Well, evidently, it only struck you at the front of your skull, the right side of your ribcage, and your right leg. Now as you should know, when bones are fractured, they heal stronger then the originals, this means that it’ll take a lot more to hurt those bones than others. So in the end, when most people would’ve been dead, you’ve got a fractured skull, ribcage, and knee. But you’ll live.” The doctor left. Thank God, I hate European accents. I turn to look out the window and catch a familiar sight. It was blue fog floating in the air. I watch it as its tendrils transform into soft, angelic wings. Slowly, and ever so faintly, I can see the fog morph into a child’s face. Gentle, sweet, and loving. It smiles at me and gives me a soft laugh. Then it gets blown away by the wind.