Pitch-black. Initially, that’s all I could see.
People were screaming. People were crying. Myself included. Shaking with trepidation. You could taste the fear, you could smell terror.
And those people were my friends.
We were all queueing. Standing in a straight line. And when I looked ahead, I saw a hint of light. I saw the safe zone.
But that was far ahead. In the middle, there were lasers. bright, red lasers. The kind that you can’t touch in case they burn you. In case they set off an alarm. In case they bite your skin. The kind of lasers that I saw in computer games, where I was the detective and had to duck to escape security from discovering me.
But this time, it wasn’t to escape security, but a bottomless pit. Not a metaphor for the stomach of the male population, but a literal one. Dark, hollow and empty. Right in the middle of the room. I bet you could scream into it and countless echoes would rebound. It was the mouth of a monster. The hole of a demon. There and then, it seemed like the scariest thing that could ever happen to you in life was to be consumed by the aperture.
And I was first in line. I didn’t know why, I wasn’t the shortest nor the bravest. But I was first anyway.
I took a step forward. I thought my heart was about to beat out of my chest.
Another step forward. And another. And before I knew it, the monster’s mouth was right in front of my feet.
I took a deep breath. Again I don’t know why, but I jumped over. Not that I wasn’t scared, not that I was confident in my jumping skills. I was terrified. Of falling in, of the lasers. But I jumped anyway.
And I made it.
Run Faith, run. Towards the glimmer of light, towards safety zone.
Yet, I was still crying. Yet, I was still afraid. Yet, something in me told me I couldn’t just run away.
I turned my head around.
The queue was still there. The atmosphere of fear was still there. The people were still there.
My friends were still there.
Then I knew why I was crying. I knew why I was afraid. I knew why I couldn’t just run away.
I stopped running.
“Come, just run! Just run and jump over the hole! Come, come, please come…”
“I want to, but…”
I could see the red lasers burning through her eyes. I could see the fear of the pit gurgling in her soul. And it hit me that not only did I make it over the hole without a second thought, but I had made it through every laser beam without getting hurt. Not a bit.
Taking the steps back I stretched out my hand. “Come, please come. You’re gonna be ok. Believe me, jump over the hole…”
And my dream ended just like that.
Years ago, I dreamt this once. I dreamt this twice. And I understood so clearly.
Today, I didn’t dream. But I saw. And I can still see it clearly in my spirit’s eye.
Just that this time, it’s scarier. Not because the room got any darker, not because the pit got any larger. But because this time, while the queue is still existing, while the people are still my friends, the friends have changed.
This time, my friends aren’t crying. They’re not scared. Their backs are facing the darkness, their eyes turned towards artificial light.
Artificial light that they have no clue is like a flickering flame that will vanish any time.
They’re laughing. And they don’t know they’re in the queue. They don’t know about the darkness they would eventually have to face.
But, I’m still crying. I’m still waiting at the other side of the pit.
And I’m still praying.