The room wasn’t familiar to Nick in the real sense of the word, yet in his recurrent dream he knew every inch of the dust filled single room under his bedroom rug. The paisley patterned rug that he had walked on every day of his short life had suddenly become a no go area to the eight year old youth. Each night required a series of hop, step and jumps to negotiate landing on his bed without touching the seemingly innocuous looking piece of carpet. You see Nick’s dream always involved him falling through the rug as if there were no floorboards underneath and landing perfectly unharmed in an imagined room below. Not much of a nightmare you might think but to Nick it was beyond terrifying. The feeling that once in the room, it was impossible to get out. The room came across as cold with all the colours seeming ‘off’. Everything in the room, from the single bed to the pictures on the wall to the small chair in the corner didn’t quite appear the right shade, almost as if they were living objects that were dying and fading with time. Even the small stuffed teddy bear on the end of the bed had lost its honey brown lustre and appeared flat and insipid. Nick feared that once he fell into this room he would end up like the objects and slowly fade into nothingness. . Every night after Nick had kissed his Mum goodnight he felt the unease of ascending the stairs to his bedroom and the leap over the rug into his bed. Once in his bed he often imagined he could hear a gentle sob from his Mother and the consoling tones of his Dad. Once lying down on his comfy duvet though, he never struggled to find sleep. The sleep was always broken with the feeling that he had stepped out of his bed and fell through the rug into the imagined room below. Nick always awoke with a start and gasping for breath each night. With much anxiety though, each time Nick would pull himself together and sleep an untroubled sleep for the rest of the night.
Nick managed to pluck up enough courage to tell his mum who listened with watery eyes as she reassured him as best she could that it was all just a dream and that it will fade with time.
Then Nick’s mum told me the story.
I, by the way go by the name of Dr Mayweather who diagnosed Nick’s weak heart just after he was born. I’m afraid Nick died in his sleep last night and was found lying on the rug by his mum first thing this morning…..