Déjà Vu

Chapter 1

Emily Parr began to open her eyes, nothing changing very much as all which she could see was the inside of her sleeping mask and all which she could hear was the strange, silent rumble of the inside of her head, her earmuffs cancelling all sound from the world outside of her tiny bed.

 

It took a moment or two for Emily to fully process that she was awake as usual, blinking to rid her eyes of the dried substance which would cling to the corners of her eyes whenever she would sleep. Then, letting out a light sigh, not wanting to get up, she pulled her earmuffs from her head and slid her sleeping mask over the top of her head, the elasticated fabric which would hold it in place flicking her right, index finger, causing a light gasp of shock to escape her lips as she recoiled her right hand instinctively, gazing at her finger as if expecting a cut to have formed.

 

Emily placed the earmuffs and the sleeping mask on her bedside table and clambered from her bed before gazing at the vibrating phone which had fallen off of her chest and onto the mattress with the movement. As she wore earmuffs to sleep, a regular alarm wouldn’t wake her. To counter that problem, Emily set her phone to begin vibrating at the correct time, leaving it on her chest while it would charge overnight. There wasn’t any chance of the phone falling off of her and, therefore, the vibrations failing to awaken her given that her bed was so small that there wasn’t enough space to roll over. On the left side was a wall, on the right side was a small drop to the floor which she’d grown accustomed to avoiding while asleep.

 

As soon as Emily had halted the alarm, she began to pull her clothes on slowly, letting out a yawn which she tried to stifle, unsure as to whether it would make her crave to return to sleep even more than what the urge was already demanding.

 

It took a few minutes for Emily to climb into her work clothes, gazing at herself in the mirror for a moment, wondering if she needed to put any make-up on when she would brush her long, light-blonde hair. Emily didn’t like to wear a lot of the stuff, only ever using it to conceal the occasional spot or to hide the dark circles which would sometimes appear underneath her eyes due to missing even two hours of sleep. If she wasn’t going to work, was going on a date or going to visit a friend, for instance, she’d put a bit more of an effort in, though it still wouldn’t be substantial. She couldn’t be bothered, really, something which reflected how she felt towards a lot of things. She couldn’t be bothered with school very much, passing her subjects with decent but not extraordinary grades. She couldn’t be bothered with any further education, either, having jumped straight into work which she didn’t like, something which she still hadn’t managed to escape. She was working in a fair-sized food store, one which would have a few, large spurts of customers each day, something which she found exhausting when she wasn’t prepared for it. It was a nine-to-five job, fairly standard, as she saw it, but the fact that she could get up at eight each morning as opposed to getting up at six or seven which was when her friends would usually have to get up for their jobs didn’t make her feel much better about working there. It didn’t matter how long she would have to work or when she would have to work, she would always stumble home exhausted.

 

Emily sat down at the small make-up table which resided underneath the window, just a little past the foot of her bed. It looked like there was a spot forming on her pale, left cheek. It wasn’t very noticeable, but as soon as Emily had spotted it, she wanted to hide it.

 

A quick application of concealer dealt with the problem before she took her hairbrush and began to tackle the easily tangled, long hair which she was semi-proud of maintaining, wincing occasionally as a knot would be painful to deal with. As soon as she was done, gazing at herself in the mirror, her pale, light-green eyes scanning her smooth and somewhat-pretty face, Emily decided that she was done. She got off of the chair, grabbed her phone, and began to venture towards her kitchen in search of breakfast.

 

She walked out of her bedroom and into the tiny living room which, as she miserably noted as usual, was the biggest room in her apartment. The kitchen was in a corner of the living room, nothing to really separate the two areas, the right side of the fridge and the left side of the sink being where Emily considered the room to begin, a small square which wouldn’t be able to fit more than six people in at a time.

 

  Emily quickly threw some bread into the toaster and began to lean against the counter beside the toaster, checking her phone, searching for anything interesting in the news as she waited. Nothing, as usual, prompting her to switch to scrolling through the feed of one of the various social medias which she had on her phone until the toast popped out of the toaster, the noise scaring her a little, making her jump.

 

After spreading a small amount of butter onto the toast and dropping the two pieces onto a plate, she moved to the two-seat couch, flopping onto it, sitting upright, leaning into the left arm of the couch with her legs going to the right, pushing against the arm of the couch. She placed the small plate on the space in front of her stomach as she began to flick through the few TV channels which came for free with the device, landing on one which caught her attention before she began to eat while watching the low-budget show.

 

Time passed neither quickly nor slowly. Emily found herself drifting in and out of being enthralled by the show which she was watching, glancing at the clock on the wall occasionally to make sure that she wasn’t losing track of time. It didn’t take too long for her to decide that it was time to get to work, knowing that it would take about fifteen minutes to walk from her apartment to the shop which she worked in.

 

Emily slid off of the couch, placed the crumb-covered plate into the sink, went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and then walked into her bedroom to grab her coat, pulling it on and zipping it up. It was slightly cold outside, and there were a few, grey clouds in the sky, making it fairly likely that it would rain. The last thing which Emily wanted was to get wet on the way to work and then having to spend the first hour walking around in damp clothes. She simply hated the feeling of damp clothes sticking to her skin.

 

She left her apartment, double-checking her pockets as she walked away from the newly locked door. Phone, money, keys. All which she needed.

 

Emily descended the four flights of stairs, walking through the exit and onto the street, immediately feeling a light breeze. It wasn’t as cold as she’d been expecting, but it wasn’t exactly warm, either. It was a good thing that she’d decided to bring a coat.

 

She began the walk, dealing with the annoying traffic which would always seem to pile-up on the streets which she needed to cross. Given that she lived in a city and given that it was nearing nine in the morning, there were a lot of people on their way to work, resulting in bustling roads, pavements and a constant stream of irritating noise. Emily had grown-up with the loudness and busyness of the city, used to it by now, but it still bugged her sometimes. Trying to cross the road when there were at least ten cars jumping at the opportunity to drive as far as possible before the next pile-up at the traffic lights was frustrating, Emily constantly finding herself trapped on the wrong side of the road, waiting, tapping her right foot impatiently as she so often found herself doing. It was a habit which she’d picked up in high school, of few of her friends having done it, resulting in Emily having picked up the impatient gesture.

 

A few annoying waits and about ten minutes later, Emily could see the roof of the shop which she worked in over the top of the expanding sea of vehicles. The shop wasn’t overly large, but it was big enough to see from what must have been about two-hundred metres away.

 

Emily crossed another road, having approached it at the perfect time to narrowly avoid another wait, stepping onto the other side of the pavement with a light, barely noticeable sigh. Getting closer and closer to the shop just made her feel as if she was going to have a rough day. She didn’t know why the feeling was there, what had caused it, but there was a light buzz of dread in the back of her mind. Emily tried to ignore the feeling, trying to convince herself that she would just walk in, get her shift done, then that she would go home. That would be it. Nothing extra to add. In, shift, home.

 

After walking for another couple of minutes, Emily progressed through the automatic, sliding doors and immediately made her way to the back room to clock-in. On her way, she passed a colleague as he walked around in search of something. Emily didn’t have much of a relationship with her peers, mainly only knowing their names and a handful of things about each of them as it was obligatory given that they worked together all of the time. Aside from knowing basic things like their names, ages and ethnicities, Emily didn’t know much else. She didn’t try to be very social while at work given that she was easily drained, and she especially wouldn’t interact with her colleagues much if she would be manning a till and having to talk to customers very regularly. It would just take too much out of her to do so.

 

Emily entered the back room, made her way to the break room, then clocked-in, drawing a small tick by her name on the sheet which had been pinned to a notice board.

 

It didn’t take very long for Emily to sink into the workday. She started off slowly, trying to get herself used to having to walk around, stock shelves, aid a few customers and occasionally having to take-over what another employee was doing when they would have to help in the check-out area. It only took what must have been an hour for Emily to be dragged to a till, a spurt of customers having entered the store; the first rush-hour.

 

“Have a nice day,” Emily stated with a monotone voice and a forced smile to a young girl who was very clearly skipping school, not appearing to be ill and definitely not looking old enough to be considered a graduate.

 

Emily looked down the conveyor belt and saw that there were only two more customers to deal with before she could head to the break room and leave whoever was working on the other till to deal with the rest of the customers. It had quieted down a fair amount and, Emily knew, she needed a small break. She’d been working for at least an hour and a half without any rest, and maybe half of that time had been a little hectic. She needed a small amount of time to recharge before having to return to deal with the influx of customers searching for things to buy for their lunches.

 

After dropping into a chair in the break room, Emily let out a long sigh. The room was small and there were a few other people in there who had clearly had the same idea as her: to have a small break after the hectic time which they’d had during the rush-hour. Given that she wasn’t exactly by herself, Emily couldn’t really stretch out and take fifteen minutes off as she wanted to. Instead, she just sat there, leaning forwards, her phone in her hands as she browsed social media, lightly tapping her right foot along to the beat of a song which was stuck in her head. It wasn’t the best way to spend the break, mainly because Emily couldn’t sit back and take a breather, but it was good enough for her. She left the break room after two other employees had entered and another two had left, deciding that it was time to get back to work, walking back into the main area of the shop.

 

Emily immediately returned to stacking a few shelves, replacing items which weren’t fit to be sold anymore, essentially doing chores for what felt like forever.

 

Lunch arrived quicker than expected, bringing another wave of customers, but that was dealt with within thirty minutes, leaving Emily to return to the break room, take a breather, then to head to the check-out as it was her turn to be the one who was responsible for the majority of the customers.

 

Emily sat, scanned, made light and polite small talk and was even allowed to keep a small amount of change by an older gentleman who creeped her out slightly. She could have sworn that he’d been trying to look down the neck of her shirt, but she didn’t have any proof and, even if she did, she couldn’t be bothered to report the behaviour.

 

Emily ate her lunch in the break room, taking thirty minutes away from work to do so, then returned to the floor where hours passed, though it felt as if days had passed, instead, Emily’s tasks seeming to go on and on, taking up all of her attention which, she supposed, was a good thing. It was only when Emily’s shift ended that she noticed just how much time had passed as she gleefully rushed to the breakroom to clock-out, wanting to get away from the store as quickly as possible. She wasn’t going to spend a small amount of time browsing the aisles in search of a treat to buy with her employee discount as she would occasionally do after shifts, wanting something to almost congratulate herself for getting through another day of work. She just wanted to get home and to relax.

 

Leaving the shop felt strangely blissful. Just exiting through the automatic, sliding doors felt invigorating to Emily as she felt the light breeze which had been present for the entire day on her face, almost tickling her skin.

 

Emily began the walk home, crossing through the car park and then across the road, knowing that she was going to have to deal with the same thing as that morning. That was the only trouble with leaving the store right at the end of her shift; she’d have to deal with the traffic again.

 

It didn’t take any more than a minute for Emily to have to wait for a handful of cars so that she could cross to the other side of the pavement. People were beginning to fill the pavement around her, too, showing Emily that she was probably going to have to deal with a journey which would be just as annoying as it had been that morning.

 

A few more minutes of walking, a few more times of having to wait for cars to move so that she could continue heading home, and Emily was starting to feel tired. That workday had taken something out of her. She just felt drained. Maybe it was because she’d gone for the last few hours without taking a break, having managed to find a rhythm of replacing items and guiding customers over and over and over and over again.

 

Emily closed her eyes for a moment as she walked, opening them right after letting out a light sigh.

 

Then something collided with the right side of her body, a force which shook her skeleton and sent her flying to the left. She’d been hit by a car!

 

Emily swore inside of her head, wanting to let out some type of noise, but all words felt trapped. Her brain felt fuzzy. Her body buzzed a little as if she’d been electrocuted.

 

Emily slammed into the concrete of the main road and barely had a second to process that another car was coming, the wheel progressing directly towards her already-bleeding head

Déjà Vu













 

Chapter 2

Emily jolted awake, not seeing anything due to the sleeping mask which covered her eyes, not hearing anything due to the earmuffs which covered her ears. She was gasping for air, her chest feeling tight as she threw the earmuffs from her head followed by the sleeping mask.

 

She was in her room, in her bed, laying there. She’d woken up. She hadn’t died.

 

Emily let out a long, relieved breath and felt her body go slightly limp as she relaxed into the mattress. The dream- or nightmare- had felt so real. It felt as if she’d actually died. Well, given that she didn’t know what death felt like, she didn’t have any frame of reference, but it felt as she’d imagined it to. She’d felt cold. Her senses had started to fail. Her body felt fuzzy as if she’d been electrocuted, and her mind had gone completely blank. She hadn’t been able to move, hadn’t been able to say anything. That was probably because the car had hit her so abruptly that she’d never had a chance to think before…

 

Feeling the vibrations coming from the phone on her chest, Emily gazed at it, pulling the device from the charger and staring at the screen. She’d woken up at the same time as her vibrating alarm had begun to buzz. Maybe if the alarm hadn’t been there to wake her, her brain would have shown her something past dying, fabricated something else for her to experience? Or maybe she would have woken up regardless.

 

Emily silenced the alarm and clambered from her tiny bed, her heart still beating quickly. She placed a hand over her heart and realised that she could feel it slamming against her ribs like a prisoner trying to break free of their cell, like a drummer finishing a climactic song.

 

After sliding to her feet, Emily stood, quickly climbed into her work clothes and walked towards her mirror, gazing at herself. Her long, light blonde hair was as tangled as usual.

 

Emily dropped into the seat in front of her make-up table and grabbed her hairbrush, painfully brushing the knots out of her locks before, once she’d placed the hairbrush back onto the surface, she examined her face. A small spot was beginning to form on her left cheek, a little bump interrupting the regular smoothness of her pale skin.

 

After quickly applying a small amount of concealer to the area, effectively hiding the spot, Emily paused. She’d done that in her dream. The spot had been in the exact same place. How had she known that one was going to form there?

 

Emily shrugged the thought from her mind, chalking it up to a strange coincidence. Maybe she’d scratched her face while she’d been asleep, had felt the beginning of the spot and had pictured it in her dream. That was probably what had happened.

 

Emily then stood, heading towards the kitchen after having grabbed her phone, wanting breakfast.

 

It took a few minutes for Emily to make her toast, having spread a small amount of butter onto the bread before she flopped onto the couch, the plate resting on the space in front of her, her feet pressing against the arm of the seat at the other end as she propped herself up. One hand held the TV remote as she flicked through the free channels, searching for something to watch.

 

After Emily had stopped on a channel, she noticed that the content which was playing was the same as what had played in her dream. She couldn’t remember the exact details of what she’d previously seen, but there was a similar premise, at least, something which Emily pondered slightly but shrugged off. She’d probably seen the low-budget show at some point before. Maybe she was watching a re-run. Maybe she’d seen the episode before and had recalled it in her dream, it simply being a coincidence that the same episode was playing on the screen in front of her.

 

Emily finished her breakfast, remained in front of the TV for a while and, after checking the time, saw that it was time to leave.

 

After standing up and placing her plate in the sink and brushing her teeth over the bathroom sink, Emily walked to her room, grabbed her coat, then walked out of her apartment, checking to make sure that she had everything while walking away from her newly locked door. Phone, money, keys. She had everything which she would need.

 

After descending the stairs and making her way out of the door, Emily felt the light, cool breeze on her face and realised that it was a good idea to have decided to wear a coat, especially as the sky was slightly grey and it looked as if it was going to rain at some point.

 

Emily began the journey, seeing immediately that the traffic was as bad as usual. Given that it was nearing nine in the morning, Emily knew that plenty of people were on their way to work or school, making the roads and the pavement fairly busy. It definitely didn’t help that Emily lived in a city, either.

 

And so began Emily’s stop-and-start journey, having to pause at almost each road which cut across the pavement, at least two cars using the passage, making Emily and the surrounding people halt their journey to allow for the vehicles to pass. Such a thing occurred a few times, gradually making Emily more and more frustrated as she would usually become, not liking the inconvenience.  

 

It didn’t take too long for the roof of the shop which Emily worked in to become visible. Emily stood about two-hundred metres away, waiting for three cars to move so that she could cross to the continuation of the pavement on the other side. As soon as Emily saw the roof, she gave a light smile, definitely preferring the idea of being at work than the idea of travelling through the slow hellhole which was the streets leading to the shop.

 

After another few minutes, Emily made her way across the car park and into the store, immediately heading to the break room so that she could clock-in. She b-lined straight to the door to the back room, not saying anything to the two colleagues whom she passed as she made her way, pushing through the doors to the back room before making her way towards the door to the break room.

 

Emily drew a small tick beside her name before she placed the pen back into the holder, took a step back and let out a small sigh. She was finding it slightly odd that what she was experiencing was the same as what she’d experienced in her dream, but she could only guess that it was the case as every day was a meticulous routine. If she was in work, she’d do the exact same thing, more or less. The only changes would come when she’d have a day off, though she mostly spent that time doing one of two things: relaxing at home or spending time with a few friends. Emily guessed that her dream had simply copied her regular life to each, exact detail.

 

 Emily began the day slowly, dealing with a few basic chores. She began replacing any items which needed to be replaced, aiding the occasional customer, helping out in the check-out area until, about an hour into her shift, the first rush-hour began, cementing Emily to the till as she dealt with customer after customer.

 

“Have a nice day,” Emily stated with a monotone voice and a forced smile to a young girl who was very clearly skipping school, not appearing to be ill and definitely not looking old enough to be considered a graduate.

 

After gazing down the conveyor belt, Emily saw that there were only two more customers to deal with before she could leave the last few to whoever was controlling the other till.

 

As soon as Emily had finished with the second customer, she closed the till and went straight to the break room, thinking that she deserved a break for having worked for over an hour straight.

 

After entering the break room, Emily saw that a few others had the same idea, taking small breaks. The break room wasn’t very big, so relaxing wasn’t very easy. Emily even gave up on leaning back and taking a breather, spending the fifteen-minute-long break which she was taking on her phone, scrolling through social media to pass the time and tapping her foot to the beat of a song which was stuck in her head.

 

It was only when two more employees entered the break room and another two left that Emily decided to get back to work, following the two employees from the room and back to the main area of the shop.

 

Lunch came and went in a flash, Emily not seeing the time approaching as she was busy getting on with work. When the inevitable rush-hour arrived, she helped out on a till, making a little, polite conversation with a few customers, including an older gentleman whom she could have sworn had tried to look the neck of her shirt, making her recoil, realising that the same thing had happened in her dream… and that the guy in her dream looked identical to the man who was stood in front of her.

 

“You can keep the change,” the man grumbled, giving a strange, toothy smile before he took his receipt from Emily, making sure to brush her fingers lightly with his, all the while Emily staring at him, bewildered. As soon as the man had left, Emily stared into thin air for a moment until another customer snapped her out of her stupor. She shook the moment off until things quieted down before retreating to the break room for half-an-hour to eat lunch and to have a small rest, trying not to ponder the occurrence too much.

 

From her lunch break to back to work, Emily found herself engrossed in her job except for when the distracting thought of the older man would pop into her head and confuse her. She’d been thinking that the whole day had been the same as her dream as each day would usually follow the same events, but for such a thing to be identical to how it had been in her dream? And something so… unpredictable, too? Emily felt extremely odd thinking about that. She felt like she was reliving the exact same day and, in a sense, she was. The only difference seemed to be that she was conscious of the oddity of the situation and that…

 

She was going to die. She’d been struck by a car in her dream and had died. If everything which had happened in her dream was happening and was going to happen in real life, then she was destined to die, right?

 

Emily leaned her back into the shelf which she’d just finished stacking, feeling the structure of it wobble slightly due to the force, a single can of green beans tumbling and smacking into the floor with a clang. She moved forwards and scooped it up, quickly returning it the shelf, trying to shake the thought from her head. All which she had to do was avoid the car, right? It wasn’t like she was destined to die. She could avoid it. Maybe the dream had been like some type of warning, something to tell her to avoid that car. Maybe that was it. Maybe that was why the death had felt so strangely real to her.

 

All which she had to do was avoid dying. But, Emily realised, petrified, what if she couldn’t change the event? What if she could avoid the car but would be killed by another? What if she would be extremely careful when crossing the road only for a vehicle to swerve from the road and slam into her? She’d still die. She wouldn’t escape the fate. What if she couldn’t prevent her death? What if she couldn’t change anything?

 

Emily ran down the aisle, disregarding the box filled with products which were supposed to refill the shelves. She ignored the gazes of confused customers and the cut-off question of the employee whom she zoomed past. She was going to keep working at the till. That was what she was going to do. She’d spent this time in her dream working in the aisles, not scanning items and sending people on their way. If she could work on a till, it would be different, and maybe that would prove to her that she could save her life. Maybe she could survive.

 

As soon as Emily had arrived in the till area, she lightly shoehorned the employee who was already there away, assuring her that she could take over as if she was doing it out of the kindness of her heart, like working at the till was some type of torture.

 

It took a moment for the customers to disappear, all of them having been served, but as soon as they’d left, Emily took over, dropping into the seat and closing the gate-counter, letting out a light sigh. There was already a difference. If there was going to be something to say that she couldn’t work at the till, something which would force her back to the aisles to work there, then at least she’d already made a slight change by being in charge of the main till for a period.

 

After a small amount of time, a customer placed a few items onto the conveyor belt, properly beginning Emily’s act of defiance against what she guessed was laid out for her.

 

A few hours passed, Emily spending as much time as possible working at the check-out. She was pulled away two hours in, though, another employee insisting for her to have a break given that she’d served what must have been close to one-hundred people, so she agreed, tired and sure that the change was big enough to prevent her death from happening. She didn’t even know if her idea was going to work, but what did she have to lose? Without doing anything differently, she’d probably die, and it would be for real this time! Emily was petrified of the idea of death. She’d already technically experienced it once, and she wasn’t a fan of the feeling.

 

After Emily’s thirty-minute break, she returned to stacking shelves and helping the occasional customer to find something, eventually making it to the end of her workday where she grabbed her coat and waited for five minutes to leave. She hoped that she would be able to avoid the car which possibly had her name on the bonnet, but she realised after a small amount of waiting that she would still be in the cataclysm of traffic, so she decided to just go home.

 

After crossing the car park and then extremely cautiously crossing the road, her head going from left to right every second, scared of a car somehow sneaking up on her, she made it to the other side of the street.

 

Emily breathed a sigh of relief when she made it to the other side of the road. She was unharmed. She only had to walk for another fifteen minutes to get back to her apartment, then she would be safe, right?

 

And so began Emily’s cautious, paranoid trip home, walking slower than usual, making sure to stay as far away from the side of the road as possible, not wanting there to be a chance of another pedestrian knocking into her and sending her flying onto the tarmac, a vehicle angled perfectly to crush her skull like what had happened in her dream.

 

Whenever Emily would have to cross over a small stretch of a street, she would pause and stare in both directions which any vehicles could come from. She’d look both ways what would be at least six times each before she’d begin to cross, hurrying constantly, not wanting to spend too much time while being stood on the tarmac. She sprinted once, knowing that the road was busy, feeling that she’d be hit if she would walk.

 

Emily continued her actions, making her way home gradually, until she came to the crossing where she’d died in her dream. She stared both ways, petrified. She could feel herself sweating, something which had gradually built-up over the course of her journey, but she was aware of it now. She could tell that her back was damp, was fairly certain that the work shirt which she wore underneath her coat was a different colour. It didn’t matter that it was a slightly chilly day, she was sweating regardless just due to the paranoia and the fear which she felt building over every passing second.

 

Emily stepped onto the road slowly, cautiously, then broke-out into a hasty sprint, making it to the other side of the road within seconds.

 

A few people surrounding Emily looked at her, some looking bewildered or confused while others looked slightly entertained at the prospect of a grown woman being petrified of crossing the road, but they didn’t know what was rushing around Emily’s mind, piercing each thought with the reminder that she could die within any moment.

 

After making it across the road, Emily simply continued her antics until she entered her apartment building. She began to ascend the stairs, wanting to flop onto her couch and to cry from the built-up stress and fear which she could still feel even though she’d passed the point where she’d previously been killed.

 

Maybe it was just a weird coincidence, Emily wondered as she approached her door, pulling her keys from her pocket. Maybe I’ve seen that man somewhere before…

 

Emily stepped into her apartment, closed the door and pulled her coat off extremely quickly, letting out a long sigh before she chucked the jacket onto the floor. She didn’t care that it was slobby to throw it on the floor, too hot to bear wearing it for any longer and too tired to face carrying it to her bedroom so that she could hang it up. The stress, the fear, the way-too-loud thoughts had made her exhausted. She felt as if she’d just ran three marathons in a row. Her legs felt as if their bones were melting, something which she knew was being caused by her anxiety. She needed to sit down, she needed to clean the sweat from her body… she needed a bath.

 

After confirming with herself that she could be bothered to bathe and not drop into bed five or six hours earlier than usual, Emily staggered towards the bathroom, pushing the door open and immediately turning both taps on, not caring about the temperature of the water, only wanting the tub to fill-up.

 

Emily stripped, pulling all of her clothes off and disregarding them on the floor before she sat on the edge of the bath, watching as the water filled the tub. She urged it to go faster, the water only filling about a third of the amount which she wanted. She just craved the ability to sink into the water and to let her muscles loosen. She needed a decent thirty minutes to sit and ponder.

 

It took another few minutes for the bath to fill, the water ending up at a fairly decent temperature. It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold, so Emily didn’t find it hard to let herself slide into the tub, a small amount of water splashing over the side and landing on the bathmat.

 

She immediately closed her eyes, leaning back. It was lucky that she was short enough to be able to stretch-out fully, her feet extremely close to being pressed against the plastic underneath the two taps. She could relax properly, close her eyes and just try to think about whatever she wanted to think about.

 

Emily tried to consider the dream, tried to consider the parallels between it and reality, but stopped herself once she found herself trying to figure out just what it meant. She could figure that out later. She was probably too tired to come up with something which would make sense, anyway. All which she could come up with while laying in the bath, her arms resting on top of the water, was the thought that she was psychic, something which she didn’t entirely rule out as she quite liked the idea of being a one-of-a-kind type of person, but knew that there was probably a much more realistic explanation.

 

As soon as Emily had decided to let the thoughts wait until the next day, she felt herself sliding further down the side of the tub, her knees bending to ensure that she had enough space to do so. Her shoulders were starting to get cold, so she wanted to keep them warm underneath the water. Not to mention that it was beginning to get cosier and cosier…

 

Before she really knew what was happening, Emily began to fall asleep. Her eyelids drooped, her head lolled towards her left shoulder, then her breathing steadied and her heartrate slowed.

 

Then she fell asleep, unaware as the muscles in her knees which were keeping her in position relaxed, allowing for her to slide deeper and deeper into the bathtub.

 

Emily’s instinct kicked in, but she didn’t wake up. She didn’t slosh around. Instead, she held her breath until she had to let it out and replace it, inhaling water, filling her lungs with the slightly dirty bathwater.

 

Yet, still, Emily didn’t wake up.

Déjà Vu