I’m being shaken awake in the front seat of the car. My father is saying something but I can’t hear. I realize that it’s because I’m still screaming so I close my mouth to quench the noise. The car is dark and there is a cool breeze pouring in through the open window.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“Uh, yeah. I think so. Umm, bad dream. Sorry for the yelling.”
“You were talking and thrashing in your sleep.”
I couldn’t remember the dream just the panic that I was still feeling.
“Really? I was talking? What did I say?”
“Uhh, I think something about a tree. And then you started yelling.”
I couldn’t remember a thing. My heart rate – thankfully – had finally started to slow; I think I was more tired than when I had fallen asleep. The gossamer of sleep was fading; with each passing moment I remembered less and less about how I felt when I was woken. Even the panic faded away into nothing more than flimsy threads still attached to the dream world.
“It sounded pretty bad.” He looked genuinely concerned.
“I don’t remember.”
I must have fallen asleep again because the next thing I knew father was poking me awake.
To the left of the car were the trees that guarded Central Park from the surrounding city; to the right lay the forest of buildings that made up the rest of Manhattan.