A Lonely Nightmare
Elaine 张子琪 200110812
The thick rain splattered the windows, piling up intensive drumbeats. “Half past 9,” Lin Yu sighed but felt relaxed after checking the flight schedule. Managing a start-up for 5 years, she had fallen into the flow of business trips and eventually gotten used to it.
She crept out of bed to see the wet streets outside.
June is always rainy in Shanghai, and she was always the one who shared a rainy night with this historic city. Shanghai still kept her beauty in the rainy nights, even as a few confounded passersby were running ny. Nearly all the buildings were accentuated with bright neon signs, and the wet roads shone like a scrawl of jeweled necklace.
She lay down on the wood floor and stretched a blanket over her painful knees. The hard floor reminded her of her old rough bed of childhood. Smelling the humid air, her anxiety was comforted by the familiarity.
At an utter loss, she found herself lying on a wet and muddy floor. Her rented house had disappeared, just in a blink of an eye. The world was in chaos, filled with the sound of barking dogs, an alarm of the police, the screaming of women. After half a minute, there was silence again.
Fortunately, her packed suitcase remained at her side. A change of clothes and her wallet, containing two bank cards and iPhone, released her anxiety suddenly. She took out her phone and dialed her mother. Her parents and her grandpa lived together in her hometown, Jinxi, a remote town in the northeast of China.
“The number you called is busy now. Please…”
No one answered and no one cared about her suffering. She dialed 110. Surprisingly, a policewoman answered her phone, carefully inquired of her suffering and her ridiculous lost house, and promised her to send a policeman to make further survey. After half an hour, a policeman came and asked her basic circumstances. He gave her a coupon of a youth hostel and arranged her accommodations.
To cooperate with the ongoing investigation, she went to that youth hostel. There she met her roommate, a lady her age. The lady was talkative; in just a moment, she had learned her name, Coco, her job an uploader, her favorite writer Zhang Ailing, her feme sole, and her similar and painful experience of losing her parents. It seemed strange that Coco only liked to talk with her intimately but always with a poker face to others. At first, she tried to curb her dependent spirit but gradually developed and interdependent friendship. She trusted Coco and shared her true feelings with her.
In her mind, Coco was the soul mate she had been dreaming of all along. Coco was the person who always was there listening to her and made her feel as if she was a sensible person. She marveled at how similar they were and how coincidental Fate was.
“Yu, Get up quickly! The monster is coming near,” one night Coco shouted to her.
“Monster? Are you kidding me? We’re waiting for the news from the police now,” she replied, opening her eyes.
“Stupid girl! Get up quickly or you will be eaten by the horrible monster!” Coco shouted anxiously, “if you don’t stay with me in pairs, we will be both torn to ribbons.”
“This is a silly trick. We’re not in a horror movie.” But Yu was dragged from the floor in confusion.
All of a sudden, the floor began to quake. Somehow, the dropping flower vase and the chapped wall reminded her that this was not a joke.
Coco jerked her hands quickly. Without thinking too much, “Run” was the first action that came into her mind. Yu followed Coco’s steps and went downstairs.
When they came to the first floor, a large amount of people were stuck in the emergency exit. Strangely, their expressions were in shock with a death-like stillness. Looking through the narrow corner, she found a flood had begun outside.
“It is the omen of the monster,” Coco said to her in a lower voice.
“But why do they stay here, just to wait for death? Apparently, they are all in pairs, so, there is no need to worry about that.” Yu asked back.
“There is no way to hide because the monster can feel the deepest and true loneliness in your heart. Staying together doesn’t mean true emotion. People tend to boast to earn other’s affections. People tend to hide their feelings to sustain ostensible friendship, love, and affection. The monsters hate them deeply. If you are like that, you will become their sweat meats,” Coco replied.
“That’s ridiculous. But not all the people can find their soul mate. You can’t imagine the world will boost true feelings without lies,” Yu said, on fire.
At the same time, the rise of the flood was unusual. Normally, a flood roared to cover the streets with plenty of water. But this kind of flood was more like a rising staircase. When the water flowed backwards, one layer of flood quickly rose acre by acre. When the height was reached, another layer would rise again until it reached the same height. Acre by acre, the movement of the flood pushed so quickly that everything felt enormous and under huge amount of pressure.
She couldn’t think clearly. She felt that the world was roaring against her. Screams from nearby sounded one after another. A desperate wanting of Life crushed her mind harshly.
“Put your coat on and follow me,” Coco yelled.
She hunted through all the things in her wallet, looking for the car key. Then they rushed downstairs to find their car. Desperately, the parking lot was suffused with hundreds of thousands of cars. It was just like millions of cars poured into the parking lot to find their surviving space.
“Hush.” She almost panicked but ran back to the emergency exist. Squeezed into the tiny corner, they came out of the staking building. Hundreds of people were roaring and fleeing from the calamity. Some of them, carrying heavy packages, summoned their families to run together. Some of them brought tiny things at a loss just like getting up in the morning while others walked against the crowd shouting on their family members’ names.
“Why did they leave their home? They have their families indeed.” Yu was confused again.
“Yes, you are right. They have their family members. But how can you identify their true feelings? Sincere hearts are never afraid of monsters,” Coco replied with a sneer, “That is why my parents got lost. They maintained the relationship just for keeping an intact family, not for love. They had to yield to social bias and shouldered so-called responsibility. Three months ago, they were attacked and lost.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, dear. But what about us? We haven’t known each other for long time but I bet you are one of my true friends forever,” Yu asked back, “Shall we die?”
“Of course, my dear. You see, you have already caught the key point. But the world is not always like what you have dreamed. And I am not your dream fantastic friend. Haven’t you realized I was just keeping near to you? I was used to be alone and afraid to make heart to heart friends with anyone,” she replied in a toneless voice.
At this time, there was little time left. The flood was piling up so quickly that it was nearly 10 miles in advance of her. The old woman stretched her hand tightly and ran desperately, “9 miles, 8 miles, 7 miles, 6 miles.” Yu heard her wheezy breathing growing louder. Her legs were too heavy to run forward. Meanwhile, the sound of waves drew increasingly clear. She felt that death was drawing near. If they still ran together, they would both swallow by the flood.
Without any hesitation, she wanted to choose a way of sacrifice herself to rescue Coco for guarding her true feeling. So, she gave her a hard push and dropped her backwards into a shabby armchair wayside. Then her hand turned into a big and transparent glass aquarium. It seems that there was a rotating water stream in the aquarium that had huge suction. She was then inhaled into the glass aquarium involuntarily. Coco’s furious face suddenly appeared in front of her.
Fishy smelling water poured into her nasal cavity. She wanted to cough but she couldn’t. She felt her trachea, her lungs, her brain gradually becoming full of the miserable fishy smell water. Dropping to a higher speed, she lost her mind. “Maybe this is the taste of death,” she said to herself calmly.
“Yu!” Coco’s anxious sound broke her thoughts. The flood, the chaos, the depression had just gone with a wind. She came back to the reality, her rental house. She realized that it was just a nightmare. Picking up the blanket, she stretched her arms and felt tired but sleepy.
That ridiculous dream almost depressed thoroughly. She recalled a 2-day lasting quarrel with her friend before. She recalled her parents’ urge of her to marry. She recalled her ex-boyfriend’s failings. Afraid to be betrayed, she refused to have an intimate relationship with anyone. She felt herself a hedgehog, sensitive to any ambient intimate behavior. Tons of pressure flooded with anxiety nearly drowned her. But she never changed her mind of not making changes for anyone, although she often queried her choice and felt lonely sometimes.
In that strange dream, the monster didn’t come. But it let her think about the lonely monster in her heart; the one who hate false feelings and longs for love and care.
“Coco is another reflection of myself.” She said to herself in heart, “7 o’clock. It is time to go to the airdrome.”