It was January, coldest winter in 15 years, nights were terribly freezing. My little brother Ahaas was a bit sick and as a good sister and daughter, I helped my mom take care of him while my father helped her in the kitchen. Reading a novel cozily into my warm sleeping bag after having my favorite Pesto-Penne pasta was the last thing that I remember. Now, I was feeling weightless, floating onto the water surface, stress free, my eyes half shut – half open staring at the white sky. But the sky should be blue. If this was not the sky then what was it? I forced my eyes open, this was my room’s sealing, surprisingly close to me. I was merely a few feet away from it. Neither was I floating on water. I realized this when I saw the floor of my room, far away from me. I was hanging free in the air as if I was weightless and while watching the floor below hit my head at the upper right side of the room. A spider web was covering the corner which I had failed to notice so far. A spider was constructing it very fast as if it was in a hurry to finish something, unaware of me looking at it. It took a few seconds for it to realize my presence. It looked directly into my eyes and then continued as if either it didn’t care or didn’t see me. I moved myself to the center of the room ceiling by pushing my feet against the wall. Things got even weirder when I noticed myself sleeping on the bed with novel at my bed side table. Probably mom had taken the novel from my hand, put it there and shut down the lights, she had done this before. Shut down the lights, yes the lights were off but I could still see everything clearly. So I was floating weightless in the air as well as sleeping in the bed and I could see everything in the dark. I asked myself if was dreaming, pinched myself… no change.
I realized how badly dust-covered my cupboard top was. My eyes caught the rectangular dust patch.. something covered in dust.. some paper..no, it was a birthday-card for my brother that I had been searching for last three months but had finally given up. I was supposed to hide it from him until his birthday, probably then I put it here and forgot. Although, I discretely remember it putting under my pillow three months ago where I checked for it a thousand times. Beside the postcard, laid something else that I do not know anything about. It was clean, not even a single dust particle on it, mixed colored purple-green-dark blue, shining, spherical. I asked myself, what was it? followed by who placed it there? and why was it not dust-covered anyway? It has to be placed here very recently by someone. But in my room? Is it the crystal ball that grandpa was about to gift me on my birthday as a surprise but showed me a week before as he forgot the date. I saw something similar in his hands but as soon as he realized his mistake, he hid it and said that he would give it to me later on my birthday. A similar crystal ball has been placed in my father’s room with different colors yellow-green-red, not shiny anymore. I had asked grandpa to gift me a bike instead. He had thought for a second and said, “of course darling, you will get a bike then! Although I must warn you that this crystal ball is more fun than bike.” I did not care, I needed bike then. Now I realize that longer I stare at it, more eager I get to have it. It is indeed magically beautiful, difficult to take eyes off it. How did this ball reach here in my room, let alone on the top of my cupboard? I reached for the object trying to grab it. My fingers were about to touch it and I was so restless to have it but my hand passed right through it as if it was not actually there. I tried again and threw more unsuccessful attempts at desperately trying to grab it. I could not understand why I could not touch this while I was able to push my leg against the wall. I could touch things, I confirmed it by tapping on the cupboard. I even removed some dust by tapping it. I again tried to grab the shining crystal ball and got frustrated when I couldn’t. The crystal ball is still shining on the cupboard, suddenly a hand close to my left ear comes and picks it up. The hand was familiar to me, actually very familiar… it was my own hand but not my very own one. I am still floating in the air unable to pick it up and the other me who stole it in front of my eyes was standing on a stool, looking at the door as if she is making sure that no one was watching her. The other me did not realize that I was floating above her head, she took the ball, put it in her bag and rush out the room, may be off to the school. She was looking older, her hair were shorter and I couldn’t recognize her gray and black bag. I hate her for not having a red bag with cars printed all over or the other one with the print of Spider-man in his signature pose, sitting on the top of a building at a pole. Another me was still sleeping carelessly on the bed and I was still floating in air trying to make sense of what I was looking at.
The girl rushed out the room with her ugly gray-black bag and the crystal ball inside and bang shut the door. It all got even more complex when I realized that the world outside this room was waiting with new surprises for me. I could see through the window a fourth me outside, playing with the water with the toddler Ahaas. I had the exact same memory because I had lived this moment more than two years ago, I came back from school and Ahaas was outside playing in the garden following a tiny Ant and trying to catch it. I could not stop myself but started playing with him. It was summer and the Sun was beautifully shining at its best. A little water fountain was sprinkling water all over the grass. Ahaas forgot the Ant when was stuck with this water shower and started enjoying it. I joined him and we played for next few minutes until mom realized that I was back from school and Ahaas was completely drenching in water. Far away from this all I see a bench where sat a young couple with an infant sleeping in the carriage standing next to them. Dad was talking on phone in a quiet voice, not to wake up the kid. The mom suddenly started rocking the carriage, probably the kid was about to wake up and dad was not quiet enough. She gestured him to go a bit further if he wanted to continue talking on phone. Right next to them on another bench, sat another couple with a toddler. Mom had the kid in her lap and dad was trying to play with the toddler. It had a beautiful smile as every kid has when it is in its mom’s lap, the best place to be. When dad asked her to give the kid to him, she put the kid in the center of the bench and they started having the universal competition about whom does the kid love more. Dad was making hand gestures to the kid asking him to come towards his side. The mother is clapping to the attention of the kid towards herself. The kid used to look at her mom when she claps and laughs and starts crawling again towards dad. Dad was winning the game, so mom calls the kid by his name to get its attention even more, “Alia…here..come darling, come to your mom!”. I felt like struck by a lightning bolt, I had not looked closely enough at mom and dad while adoring the beautiful kid. I knew them both, they were my mom and dad and that toddler was the merely 1 year old me, Alia. Immediately, I looked closely at the first couple, they were also my mom and dad a bit younger when I was just born and was in that carriage. Then it occurred to me that whatever I was looking at was actually happening around me, had happened or would happen. The jogging girl on the road side listening to music was me in my twenties. The old man driving the car was my grandpa with my grandma and pregnant mom on the back seat driving to the hospital, at my birth-date. The neighbors waiving at a couple in their 40’s was none other than me and a man, probably my husband. They were all versions of my life, yet-to-be-born in a car in my mom’s womb, new born in the carriage, toddler at the bench, a few years older playing with Ahaas, teenager with ugly bag taking the ball, adult jogging, married and many more and in the middle of all this, floating me 14 years old and sleeping me of the same age. All of those were times trapped in one moment, where I could observe every past and future connected to me, happened to me there in that home, in that garden and in that room. I cannot change anything in any other time but I could see it all. I could push the wall and tap on the cupboard because it was always there, also is there in my present time but I could not grab the crystal ball because it was in future when I would receive this crystal ball from my grandpa and put it on the cupboard for some reason. Things were now becoming clear to me but only to rise more questions, the complicated ones.
Who is the real me? How can I see everyone and no one can see me? How am I able to see everything so clearly and so alive, unable to differentiate between past, present and future? I was stuck in these questions, struggling to find my way out by some reasonable and rational arguments. Seconds later, a huge yellow bus with the name of my school enters the courtyard breaking the wooden fence that my father completed last week and starts honking for no good reason. This bus usually waits for me and other kids at the corner of the street and then honks only when it is missing a kid, to warn that it is about to leave and the kid has to hurry if wants to ride. Everyone around the bus, many several versions of myself, my brother and my parents were not reacting to the horn sound as if they could not listen the intensity of it. I covered my ears and shout louder than the horn in the hope that the driver would listen and eventually stop. He didn’t, I closed my eyes and shouted with my full energy, the room started to shake, the cupboard was rocking and the window gate was going up and down as if an earthquake rocked the building. Suddenly the driver stopped honking but in my flow I did not, I could not control my anger and frustration. I was louder than anything at that moment.. the glass window started cracking and so did the bus windows and with a big BOOM everything shattered. With everything else gone, I suddenly got the weight and gravity pulled me down. I opened my eyes, felt a heavy shock and fell free… right before I touch the ground, I closed my eyes as a natural reaction to bear the hard hit on the ground. Nothing happened, no hit, no pain. I slowly opened my eyes, I am still breathing heavily, sweating but lying on my bed in my warm sleeping blanket. It is 07:15 AM, still dark outside, everything is intact. I turn on the light and see the spider web in the corner, spider is still constructing its web. I have a very bad headache and I don’t want to go to the school. I am still trying to make sense of all this and simultaneously trying to convince myself that it was just another stupid dream. My brain is stuffed with all the complex scenes that I just dreamed. I forced myself under the shower and as warm water hit my head, the headache started to fly off my head. I feel better now and ready to go to school. It’s smelling like pancakes that mom just prepared for breakfast, I love pancakes and mom never fails to make it on my birthday to give me an excellent start of the day. My father has already gone to his office; he starts earlier to avoid traffic jams at office hours. He left me a notes saying that surprise will be waiting when I come back from school. I eat pancakes, take one in my hand to my way to the bus, kiss my mom bye and start to the school. My brother goes with my dad to the kindergarten. I do not see grandpa, perhaps he is still asleep. I went out from my home, shout ‘Sam’ at my neighbors’ home and Sam comes out. I share my pancake with him and we approach the street corner waiting for the bus with other kids. In our way, we as usual select a small stone and kick it until we reached the bus stop trying to keep it on footpath pavement, whoever loses it to the main road loses the game was the rule. By the way, I am going to have a small birthday party at home, with my school friends and a few other guests.