I Want Nothing to Remain (Story by R.C. Peris)

There is this one dream. It repeats and repeats. Not every night. I’m in a car and a truck crashes into me. I am sliced through the torso. Clean through. I feel no pain. I begin to drift upwards. My intact body. I drift up and up into a cool night sky. I am looking down at my car and the truck. I think I can feel the light of a full moon pressing on me. Not warming me but illuminating me like a candle in the sky. It feels so peaceful to drift upward. I see the ambulance and they are removing the two pieces of my body. I try to scream but I keep floating upward. Wake up, Sara. Wake up. I realized that if I didn’t wake up I would die. My heart would stop. Wake up. And then I do.

Some days I wake up sad. I am always sad after the dream.

“What’s wrong?” It’s Stephen. He’s gripping my arm. “You’re shaking.”

“I’m so sad.” A tear slides down my right cheek.

Stephen says nothing. I don’t look at him. I sit up. I think of things I must do. I must go downstairs and make a list. I have to get on with things.

“Are you alright?” It’s Stephen again.

“You should leave,” I say.

“Are you alright?” He repeats.

I look at him. I feel nothing. “When you leave, don’t come back.”

He looks surprised and then hurt. He doesn’t say anything. In our year together he has gotten accustomed to my moods, my distance, my lack of vulnerability. I want things to end. In the dream, I feel content drifting upwards – alone. My therapist is concerned about my isolation. Alienation, I corrected her. I feel unreal and disconnected. I do not want to be real and connected. I am fine with things. Dreaming death. Then the monumental struggle of waking up and getting on with things. I don’t want anyone around me. I want Stephen to be gone. I want to cancel therapy.

I will change. In my time. In my way. It’s inevitable. Everything changes. But for now, my heart is heavy with sadness and I must swallow pills and write a list for today. Just today. I can only think in 24-hour increments.

“I love you,” Stephen says. I am walking to the bathroom to shower.

“Be sure to take your things,” I say without looking back. “I want no trace of you.”

I think about that. When I die I want no trace of me. Seeing the ambulance removing my body parts from the crashed car made me angry. I wanted no pieces for anyone to collect. I want nothing to remain. I may not even be human.


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