My headache reached into my dreams and turned them into nightmares.
It began with a hazy, lamp lit street. Everyone else was sleeping, but I needed some air. I was barely a block away before getting knocked out. My body lay on the sidewalk; my consciousness floated above, watching as the thing was pressed into my skin. It was an egg: giant, speckled, alien. It seemed to propel itself into my body — into my belly where it would either grow enough to burrow back out without its shell or crack and take me from within.
When I woke, I saw my stomach protruding.
There’s a man living in my house. My sister and I call him dad, but he isn’t my dad, and I have no sister. I try to wake him so he can get this awful thing out of me, but he’s gone. The thing hatches, borrows back out through my skin, and attacks.
It takes much of my lucid ability to escape — to be unharmed as the monster goes for my chest and face with its hundreds of sharp, pointed teeth.
I make it out of the nightmare eventually. There’s a lot of running and screaming, but I make it…
Into another dream where the president of the company is talking about two women who are on leave. He wants to congratulate them, yet he keeps mixing up their names. Indiana is having the baby. Patsy is getting married to the deadbeat. I try to correct him, but then I notice we’re in the sanctuary of the church where I went to high school — he is the administrator, not the boss — and he is talking about the other two girls in my class, not my coworkers. He isn’t very well informed; there’s a dead baby somewhere, so he shouldn’t be congratulating anyone.
And I’m not supposed to be in a church. I took a vow.
My life would have been different if the school had hired me after college. With my degree, I was more qualified than their current English teacher. She was a pastor’s wife, so I never really had a chance of replacing her. I was at a point where I needed direction and purpose — I needed a job that fit my education. I was even willing to submit to the lower pay for women abuse that had been in effect since the school’s opening.
In my dream state, I realized that I could probably apply again and get the job. Five years have passed; I’m more experienced and mature and…
And I live thousands of miles away.
And I took a vow to stay out of church sanctuaries.
And I don’t believe.
My consciousness broke free. With a maddening headache, I woke wondering if anything will ever change for the better.
Will I ever have a job that allows me to employ my love of the English language?