I stand there in the dark corridor not able to see fully with the few dim lights present, dotting a path further down. No doors on either side. Just blank walls. Suddenly a young woman approaches me out of the dark on the other end of the hallway. Her countenance is faint from where I stand – not able to discern any of her features just yet.
“Hey, how are you??” The young woman says as she finally gets close enough to me. Her features are familiar as if I knew her from somewhere. So strange that I remember her, but from where? It’s like the answer is at the tip of my tongue and I can’t spell it out.
“Good, I suppose.” I scratch my head for a moment, “Do I know you?” I ask now more anxious than ever to solve this. She laughs, “Oh I think you know the answer to that question, c’mon, think harder.” At this point, her face appears more recognizable as that of my own. “You look like someone I know, but I can’t remember. What is your name?”
“That’s right, I’m your daughter.”
So many questions flood in, where do I begin. She is so much older now. What is this?
“Wait a minute, how old are you now? Where did all the time go? Where are we by the way? What are you doing with your life?” I find myself slowly growing sadder. Overwhelmed with moments of imagining the years of neglecting her, as a parent. And that maybe I botched or was the cause of any possible ‘mishaps’ of missed opportunities of crucial quality moments with her all because I might’ve been distracted of my daily busy life with driving my ambitions to nowhere.
“Relax and breath deep for me,” She coaches me with a smile. “You don’t need to worry about me.” She finishes calmly as if a doctor were reassuring a worried patient. “I am almost 30 and am working on my doctorate and have already received several civic awards and recognitions in my field of study. I have traveled around the world helping so many.” After she speaks on her accomplishments, I start to tremble uncontrollably,
“But did I mess you up? I know that you were like my first pancake. I’m so sorry if I missed out on trying to help you as a child. I know that I brushed you off countless times with work or just life in general?” I kneel down in shame and start to breakdown feeling a thick layer of regret sink into me. And suddenly she lifts me up and goes in for a warm embrace and looks up to me,
“You did everything you could, it’s not fair to beat yourself up. I love you and I don’t want to feel this way anymore.”
I wake up finding myself in my bed. Aimlessly, I reach over for the clock which reads three in the morning. I quickly get out of bed and rush downstairs and stand outside six-year-old Natalie’s room marveling at her sleeping in her little bed in the stillness of the early morning. ‘What a dream’ I think to myself with great relief.