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I'm caught between the past and the present; a place that's between the earth and the heavens. I am Gouri. I can feel the wounds inflicted on my skin, the marks already wedged deep beneath my skin. The caked, dried blood on me reminds me that though I can't feel anything, I'm badly hurt.
That's when I see him. My warrior. Fighting for my life and his. Even lying here I can't help but gaze at him. He wields his sword in quick, deft strikes, killing one opponent after another. His face is masked by the iron helmet he wears, leaving only his eyes unguarded. As soon as the last opponent falls down, he rushes to my side.
"Gouri... Don't go. Stay with me..." His words are a soothing lullaby. I want to tell him to not to hold me so close, that it's hurting me, and him too from the pain in his voice. I can feel my eyes closing. I smile. I'm finally safe. He is here.
"Gouri.. Gouri! Wake up!" I can hear a voice calling me from a place far away.
I open my eyes.
Standing by my bed with an exasperated sigh on her face, my mother tells me "It's past eight in the morning. You simply have to stay up late each night of the vacations, don't you!"
"Hurry up and get dressed. And come have your breakfast." Saying that she leaves the room. The smell of coffee lingers in the air in her wake.
I'm harshly brought back to reality. Had I simply dreamt it all? The remnants of the dream are quickly starting to evaporate like hot vapors. I can feel something twisting inside me. Why couldn't I have woken up after seeing his face? My warrior's. All I'm left with is a pair of kind brown eyes that had so much of love. So much of warmth in them. Strangely, they remind me of glowing embers. There was something else about him. Something that I had missed as I opened my eyes. Something that I couldn't put my finger on. Not yet.
I will myself to fall back to sleep. But as always, it deludes me when I need it the most. Refusing me another step back into the dream. I finally give up and throw back the covers and get up.
Looking in the bathroom mirror, I'm startled to see my bloodshot eyes. There are dried tear stains on my cheeks. My whole body aches. As I look down at the stabbing pain on my left arm, I'm shocked to see a thin trail of blood flow down my elbow. The wound is not deep, but sharp and thin enough to pierce my skin, as though made by the graze of something sharp, like a sword.
I feel a chill go down my spine. What have I gotten myself into?
To be continued...
Linking this post to the A to Z Challenge.