Aimée – Thursday – 7:47 am

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Equanimity

Aimée was shaken by her close encounter, and spent the first little while in the dog park contemplating as to whether or not she should call the police. She eyed her phone closely, and looked around for the fat and bald man that had followed her earlier. Were he to come any closer, she would quickly dial 9-1-1, all the while screaming for help from others in the park.

She looked at the phone, and looked around, but there was no sign of the man. She then looked at Toby, who despite his advanced age, was playing around with other dogs in the park, chasing a ball, then barking, then running around with a stick as other dogs chased him.

Aimée focused on the event this morning.  Somehow she felt that it was related to her dream.  She strained as she tried to remember what the dream was about.  Dark emotions quickly came to mind: fear, darkness, loneliness.  Then there was pity, and then pain, and finally relief.

“Hi there!”

Aimée jumped and almost dialed for the police. Tanya jumped back, surprised at her friends reaction.

“Oh Tanya, thank God its you!” Aimée blurted out, relieved to see her good friend.

“What’s the matter?”

“There was this weird guy following me and Toby this morning”, Aimée explained.  ”I didn’t know he was following me at first, but I felt it and began running.  I made it across the intersection and, when I looked back, he was on the other side, just staring at me.”

“What? Are you ok? Did he hurt you or anything?” Tanya asked, giving Aimée’s coofee to her.

“No, when he realized that I saw him he ran away.  When I couldn’t see him anymore I made my way here.”

“Well, a dog park is definitively a good place to be when someone is following you.  He’d be a fool to try and follow you in here, what with all the people and what not.  Did you call the police?”

“I was going to,” Aimée started, “but then I realized that he looked familiar, as though I’d seen him before. I was trying to figure out where I knew him from.”

“Maybe I can help,” Tanya offered, “what’d he look like?”

“Well, he was fat, bald, and had burn scars all over his head,” Aimée explained, her voice trailing off as she scanned her memories. “I… I think I dreamed about him.”

“You dreamed about a burnt bald dude?” Tanya asked.  Aimée ignored her, she was going over the dream again in her head.  She remembered that the man had been in her dream, he had been sobbing, crying, and talking to her, trying to tell her something.

“I’m going to die,” Aimée said under her breath.

“Excuse-me?”

“That’s what this is about, I’m going to die…” Aimée said again, this time louder.

“Ok, now you’re seriously starting to freak me out. What’s going on?”

“Nothing, I…”

Aimée silenced herself as she thought about the dream again.  The man had been sobbing.  He was apologizing profusely.  He didn’t want her to die again, he explained. He loved her, but he had to let her go.  It was the only way…

“Tanya,” Aimée finally said, “I need you to keep an eye on Toby for the next couple of days. there’s something I need to figure out.”

“Ok, but you gotta promise me that you’re not going to do anything stupid.”

“Tanya, please.”

“What?  You start talking about a burned, fat man talking to you in your dreams and think I’m being unreasonable?  Do you realize just how crazy you…”

Tanya stopped speaking for a moment and focused on something that caught the corner of her eye.  There was a ruffle in some branches by the park fence. Behind the fence, moving through the trees was a large bald man, with burn scars, just as Aimée had described him.

“Aimée,” Tanya said, pointing to the bushes, “is that the guy you were talking about?”

Aimée turned and made eye contact with the man, who again seemed both happy and sad to see her.

“Joshua…” both women said under their breath as the man turned and ran away again.  Aimée chased after him.

“What’s going on?” Tanya shouted to her friend.

“Keep an eye on Toby!” Aimée shouted back as she hopped the fence.

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