What the story is about:
“I’m serious. My soul does leave my body when I am asleep.”
“Nonsense, Gaby,” my mum exclaims as she turns away from me and walks across the cream coloured tiles in the kitchen toward the counter where the kettle waits for her.
“Why won’t you believe me?” I ask with a definite tone of despair in my voice.
She sighs and even without turning back to me I can tell she is probably rolling her eyes. “Because it is highly improbable. Your soul cannot separate from your body. Your soul only leaves your body once, and that is when you die.”
Feeling a little frightened, I slip off the chair by the breakfast counter and storm out of the kitchen.
Am I dying every night?
I brush past my dad as he comes down the stairs. He is freshly showered and shaved; the spicy scent of his aftershave surrounds me in a pleasant, familiar smell. He beams a cheerful smile in my direction while I grimace. He is a morning person, and it really works on my nerves that anybody could be so happy so early in the morning.
“Good morning, Sunshine.”
“Morning,” I mumble on my way past him. Only he will know why he would call me Sunshine when I obviously look more like a Thundercloud.
He starts to whistle a tune, not in the least bothered by my mood—as always. I am definitely not a morning person, and thus one of the reasons why I believe my soul goes gallivanting at night when it is supposed to be resting. I always wake up tired, no matter how long I sleep, and I always seem to wake up violently, with a jerk, which is probably when my soul rushes back to my body after a night of wandering around.
In my room, I trip over the pile of laundry in front of my bed and knock my knee against the wooden leg of the foot-end of my bed. I curse under my breath and make a sideways flip onto my dishevelled bed. Usually, I do make my bed before I go down to get breakfast, and typically my room is relatively tidy. Not as neat as my mum wants it to be, but I know where everything is and if she makes me clean more than I usually do, I will be lost and looking for my stuff continuously. I like to refer to my decorating skills as organized chaos.
I mumble to the ceiling, “There must be an explanation.”
I am one of those people who are referred to as ‘sleeps like the dead,’ because once I fall asleep, I am gone—like genuinely gone, and I doubt even a bomb exploding right next to my bed can wake me up. I always wake up brutally, with a dry mouth and a sore throat. Most importantly, my dreams are vivid, multi-coloured, mega screen three-dimensional dreams. When I wake up it feels as if I have really experienced the things I dream. I do not dream silly things like suddenly acquiring the ability to fly or turn into candy floss and then proceed to eat myself like Isaac, my brother, did the other night. My mum rushed to her computer that day to Google the meaning of his dream, because it was a weird dream, yet when I try to talk to her about my dreams and the fact that I believe my soul goes roving at night, she scoffs. It is really not fair.
Why does she give more credit to his dreams just because he is eleven years old, and she thinks my theories are silly because I am four years older than him? I am not a child anymore, as they keep telling me, so my speculations should be correct, and they should be concerned when I tell them that I truly, honestly believe my soul leaves my body every night.
Deep in thought, I stare at the ceiling as if the off-white paint will give me the answers I am looking for. “Where does my soul go?”