The Door Across The Hall
Suddenly she was standing at the stop of a staircase with no memory of how she got there.
The hallway wasn’t familiar to her. She looked around nervously and saw three doors. The door right across the hall drew her in especially. She didn’t even know why but there was something behind that door she needed to see. Slowly, she stepped towards it. With every step the door seemed more tempting and only waited for her to open it.
She sensed a discovery. Something important. She was almost there now, right in front of the door. She already had her hand stretched out towards the handle. The feeling of excitement was strong now. But should she reconsider? Was this a good idea?
Suddenly, she felt like doing something wrong. She wasn’t supposed to be here. But she had to know. Her hand lingered on the door handle. OPEN IT, a voice inside her head yelled at her. NO. GO AWAY, screamed another. Which was it? Yes, no, yes, no.
Without remembering the conscious decision to do so, she opened the door.
“Valerie! What on earth are you doing?”
Valerie heard the agitated voice of her mother but took a few moments to grasp the meaning of her words. “What… am I…”
“Doing, yes. What are you doing at our balcony door in the middle of the night. You know, you could just go through the house if something was wrong.”
Valerie didn’t listen. Her heart was still pounding with the remembrance of her dream. A tingling sense of shock remained.
“Valerie, are you listening? What happened?”
Good question. What happened? She remembered a door and wanting to open it. She remembered that she indeed did open it. And afterwards she didn’t remember anything. Only the feeling. She was sure she had seen something shocking. But what?
“Valerie Amelie Bouchard, will you answer me now?”, her mother demanded and brought Valerie back into the present. She realized that she was standing on her and her parents shared balcony. Suddenly, she felt the cold and began to shiver, wearing only a thin pyjama.
“I… I don’t know”, she stammered, “I must have been sleepwalking.”
It was the only logical explanation. She didn’t want to tell her mother about the dream to not worry her. It was just a dream, nothing more. It means nothing.
“Well then, go back to bed. And lock the balcony door! You could have fallen over the handrail!”, Suzanne Bouchard shook her head and went back inside.
Valerie could see the worried face of her father in their room as she retreated back into hers. As her mother had ordered, she locked the balcony door and sat down on her bed.
The dream still resonated within her. The sense of shock and betrayal felt so real, she couldn’t yet shake it off. Don’t be stupid, it was just a dream, she told herself as she crawled back underneath the covers. But that night, Valerie couldn’t find any more sleep.
Next: Chapter 4