This sloping part of the woods by the river once held a skeleton in my closet, which I tried to hide from my classmates about a year or two ago. It was a desperate, late afternoon, the sun fiercely prowling through the trees and bushes with its sharp rays, yet at the same time throwing out distinct shadows in which I could hide. I clutched it in my hands, not daring to think what I had done, not daring to imagine what would happen when people found out, the look of horror on their faces, judgement slowly dawning in their eyes. The river kept dancing by, indifferent to my quiet, trembling terror. I did not have much time, people were calling out. I chose a spot at random, settled down and feverishly dug a hole. Covered it, made it look like a part of the living woods. It wasn’t far from campus, but people rarely came here anyway. It would be safe here. I would be safe back there.
How I wished for a tree to grow in this spot, embrace it with life, to engulf it and spare me of the burden of this secret. I buried it in the dark, where I hoped it would never be discovered, but I did not want it to die in that suffocating blackness. It was still a part of me, nonetheless. It was a painful departure, but it had to be done. I thought that would be the end of it… but it called back to me.
Yesterday, I found myself in the woods again, after an absence of years. The ground was overgrown with bushes and shrubs, they were golden brown and swaying in the wind. My entry was more than dramatic. I swung along a thin, pliable branch and sailed over and through the bushes, which had grown as tall as I am, until I came to a stop and stayed there as they pricked me. My memory faltered in the chaos that had overtaken this place. No way I could find that spot now, everything looked different. The cacophony of cicadas and birds was somehow serene. Yet there was something else. People were crashing around, heading towards the river. I heard the voices of my classmates. My friends. They dove headlong into the river, which was sparkling in the sun. I tried to vanish, drowning in their laughter, please just stay there in the river, please.
Then the bushes in front of me parted and I came face to face with her. A shout of surprise. Heads turned. Questions. Curious, but friendly looks. This was how they found me in my solitude, that day in the woods. Perhaps we could co-exist; me with my skeleton, still unbeknownst to them.
These were two separate dreams I had, the first one about 1.5-2 years ago and the second one yesterday. Same place, an imaginary woods next to campus, almost the same people, my classmates. Same context.