In my dream, I was standing inside a big, dusty, yet for some reason, familiar bookshop. Books surrounded me, looking ominous like how grown ups surround a foolish child who just broke an antique. They were all inexplicably old and covered with layers of dust. The facade reminded me of coffins – the empty ones that seem like they were inviting you to open them, go inside, and close the lid just for the thrill.
There were also people in the bookshop whom I do not recognize, which was understandable because they were just figments of my subconscious. I remember trying to figure out how I got there but never could. I just was. And so I strolled along as what a normal person would do inside a book shop. The only window was big enough to illuminate the inside of the store. Slivers of sunlight shed brilliance on books that hunger to be picked up like children seeking attention from others. So I kept on walking, once in a awhile glancing at pages of fiction and fantasy. I roamed around absent mindedly. I noticed the irony of how I was in a bookshop but never paid close attention to the books, as though I was in that place for a different reason.
And then I saw you, the only familiar face in a sea of faces. You were the same as I last saw you. You carried yourself confidently yet humbly at the same time, as if you were royalty and mediocrity all at once. You were skimming the pages of a novel I could not recognize. The way you leaned on the shelf spoke volumes. You were a scientist anxious to know the secrets of the book as if it was the universe itself. I didn’t want to intrude on the privacy that you’ve masked yourself with at the moment. But it felt like it was the last time I get to see you and you get to see me so I mustered the courage and moved toward you. You looked up… saw my face among the sea of faces. What I saw in your eyes pulled my heart to the ground. There was no hint of recognition in those meaningful eyes. The eyes that once took in my presence as thirstily as a beggar who tasted wine for the first time saw past my being as if my face was just another face in the crowd. No words were uttered yet so much has been said. You walked past me, and with you… my heart.
I woke up and wished I had never slept.