I woke up in a panic, my heart was beating so hard it felt as though it would burst out of my chest. I was breathing hard; hyperventilating and there was no reason for my anxiety.
Suddenly I felt a hand on my chest and another one passing its fingers through my hair, through my hair? Somehow this gesture calmed me and as my vision became clearer, I saw the comforting hands were attached to a young man looking at me with worried and widened eyes.
“Sohail, are you alright, are you okay brother?”
Brother? “Where’s Rina?”
“Rina? You haven’t called me that since we were little, what’s going on, where you having bad dreams?”
Suddenly a slew of memories I didn’t have before flooded into my head and made me realize that this was my little brother Francis. Additionally a terrible dread came over me as I realized that the memories of growing up with Francis did not include an additional sibling, they did not include my younger sister Rina.
I got up and ran around like a mad man, the house was familiar but all wrong, the rooms were not small, the house was enormous, none of our furniture, “Where’s Indiana?”
Francis chased me around with the greatest concern and care, he must’ve thought I was going mad, I was going mad, “Who’s Indiana?”
“Our… never mind.” I calmed down for a minute, i stopped and took it all in. Is this a dream? The other was so real too, this couldn’t be real, I had to calm down, I had to calm down for my scared little brother, my little brother who didn’t exist until now, but always did.
“It’s okay Frannie, it’s okay. I was just really confused, I thought I was somewhere else, still dreaming I guess.” I smiled at him and comforted his worry by putting a hand on his shoulder and hugging him.
“Thanks for coming to my side.”
I went up to my room, the house was so large, I peaked into my mother and father’s room, I knew they were sleeping in there, I also knew they were different, everything happened different from how I remembered it, everything was strange. Would it all go back to normal when I went back to bed?
“Are you gonna be alright Sohail?”
My worried little brother stood there waiting for reassurance, I didn’t know how to answer honestly so I lied. “Everything’s fine, I’m going to bed now.”
I went to my room and took in the differences, and the similarities, what a queer dream, it didn’t act or feel like one. I got in bed, covered myself and shut my eyes…