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It was the same dream that had come many times before, battering down the doors of my mind night after night since I was a child. It was the sort of dreams all girls dream, I suppose a dream of mysterious worlds and hidden doorways, of leaves that breathe and make music when they are rustled in the wind, and rivers that bubble and froth with secrets.
Dreams, my mother always told me, represent part of our unconsciousness the place where we store the true parts of our soul, away from the rest of the world. My mother was an artist; she always thought this way. If it was true, then my true soul was a denizen of this strange and fantastical world. I often felt, in waking hours, that I was in exile, somehow somehow less myself, less true, than I had been in my enchanted slumber. The real world was only a dream, only an echo, and in silent moments throughout the day it would hit me: I am not at home here.
I would shake the thought off, of course, dismiss it as stupid, try and apply my mother's armchair psychoanalysis to the situation. But then, before bed, the thought would come to me, trickle through the mire of worries (boys, school, whether or not I'd remembered to charge my Ipod before getting into bed, whether or not my banner would be torn down yet again from the homeroom message board) will I have the dream tonight? And then, another thought would come to me alongside it. Will I be going home again.