Dream of Loneliness

Dream of Loneliness

A Story by Alyss Erulisse

A few nights past, I had a dream that grasped so deeply at my inner emotions and displayed so much symbolism and imagery I just had to write it down. Interpretations are welcome but be gentle.


Dream of Loneliness


I was with Alex, just laying with him, looking at him.  He was so dark and beautiful.  I enjoyed the warmth of his caramel colored skin against mine.  His dark hair was short and thick, and because of his styling gel, it was a bit coarse to the touch.  I savored the texture as my fingers slid through the hair behind his ear.  Gently, I held his head with one hand while the other rested on his neck.  Our faces drew closer and I stared into his deep, dark eyes.  His face held such a beautiful expression of wonder and affection. 

Our noses brushed as we kissed gingerly once and then twice.  I rested my head on his chest and listened to the beating of his heart, the pace of his breathing excited by my presence.  We didn’t speak any words; we just lay holding each other, and for once, I felt I had someone who cared, someone who would protect me from my loneliness.  My heart ached in an outpouring of need and emotion, and I closed my eyes. 

In our time together, I watched Alex change for the worse, but my need and affection never went away.  I saw his hair grow long and his eyes grow distant as he succumbed to drugs and depression.  His innocent gaze of affection and wonder became one of guilt and hopeless need.  While I had once been his shining light in the darkness, I became a taunting glimmer of his past, of something he felt he didn’t deserve and could never rightfully have.  Even as I poured myself and my sadness out to him, he drifted away. 

“I can’t help you,” I could almost hear him say.  “I’m too messed up to make anyone happy.” 



I hung from the tree, my wrists tied tightly to the strong branches above me.  The bright leaves of spring fluttered around me in the breeze, and the tips of my toes lightly brushed the plush grass beneath me as the wind pushed my dangling body back and forth.  The ground under me sloped sharply down a hill into a low valley, but I could not even think of falling.  My eyes would not sway from the form of Alex standing some six meters in front of me in the tall swaying grass of the knoll.  My expression pleaded for him to get me down from my living cross, but his eyes would not meet mine. 

“The pain won’t last for long,” he said.  “You’ll be down from there by tomorrow, and you’ll be better off without me.” 

“Wait!” I called, but he only turned away from me.  I watched him slowly fade into the distance of the lonely landscape, and an overwhelming feeling of betrayal pulled tears from my eyes.  Grey clouds shrouded the sun, bleaching the color from the world until the entire scene was dim, and then the wind died down, leaving them there to cast a weary shadow over the place of my imprisonment. 

One day passed and then the next, but I knew only by counting the hours in my mind.  The sun neither rose nor set, but stayed at a fixed point in the sky, hidden behind its mask of dark clouds.  Eventually, I lost count of the hours, and from there on, time seemed to meld together into one endless eternity. 

The land grew dry, and my lips became parched.  The grass died, becoming coarse and scratchy as it poked my dangling feet, and the leaves of my cross withered and fell, leaving only scorched branches behind.  The world around me perished, but I remained.  No matter how deprived my body and heart, no matter how strained my bound limbs, my breathing continued, and I did not die. 

Finally, I spotted a figure on the horizon, the first I’d seen since Alex had abandoned me to my own fate.  Slowly, the person approached until my eyes could make out his features, his long dark hair and delicately shaped eyebrows.  He was dressed in loose-fitting but obviously feminine apparel, and the dark caramel color of his skin was the first color I had seen in a long time. 

“Alex,” I said, shocked to recognize the features of his face.  My voice was weak with disuse, and his name came out of my mouth as a hoarse whisper. 

“Why are you still here?” he asked.  “It’s been a year already.” 

As Alex spoke, I realized that the sun was shining on his face.  The light had finally descended in the sky, and the sun was now setting below the clouds.  Its brilliant rays cast the scene entirely in gold, for there was no other color to be reflected in the dead landscape. 

 “You left me,” I whispered, and then, my voice stronger, I commented on his changed appearance.  “You’re so different,” I said, regret evident in my tone. 

Alex nodded.  “And you’ve barely changed at all, Allison.”  His face was an expressionless mask as he said my name, completely void of the affection and the need that I remembered from our past together.  My heart constricted, crushed by the absence of the simple expression that meant he cared. 

 “You left me to this place for a year!” I cried, my voice finally returning.  It was thick with emotion, and fresh tears streamed down my face. 

“I thought you could get down on your own!” Alex protested, a flicker of guilt distorting his features.  “Or else, surely, someone would come along and free you.” 

“You betrayed me!” I cried, catching his eyes, desperately searching for a remnant of his former self.  However, Alex dropped his gaze before my search could yield any results. 

“I did what was best,” he said, his tone closed and rehearsed, “but it seems you have chosen this fate.”  With that statement, I saw all resemblance to the Alex I had known vanish.  He had abandoned me for a second time. 

The person that was left was not a person at all, but a wrath charged with carrying out fate’s just punishment.  The sun sank beneath the horizon, casting the world into deeper darkness, and in the light of the stars, I watched my executioner approach me.  For the first time, I took note of the black slope beneath my feet and the cliff that plunged into the valley below.  Fear awoke in my chest, piercing and painful.  My eyes flickered to the weapon that had appeared in my executioner’s hand, and my throat constricted. 

I could not beg.  I could only hang helplessly from my dead cross as he gripped the back of my neck in one hand and placed the point of the metal stake against my temple in aim.  Gasping in panic, I watched him draw back the stake in my peripheral, preparing to strike and kill me. 

Suddenly, instinct overtook me.  Thrashing out my legs, I kicked at my attacker.  My foot connected with his leg, and he staggered, the point of his stake missing my temple and instead coming in contact with the bridge of my nose.  The pain of the bone shattering was blinding, and the warm wetness of blood streamed over my cheeks in violent rivers.  And yet, I continued to kick and flail, trying to escape my fate. 

Another kick connected, and I felt a sudden weightlessness as my bounds were sliced through.  My body fell heavily upon the ground, the dead grass scratching at the bare skin of my arms as my feet buckled underneath me.  Cold fingers seized my neck in an iron grip, depriving my lungs of air, and I gasped, throwing my arms out in desperation. 

Discovering something hard and sharp lying discarded upon the ground, I forced my shaking fingers to wrap around and lift it.  Blinking the blood out of my eyes, I squinted up at my assailant.  His shadowed form was bent over me, and his expression was cold and merciless.  Taking aim, I swung my arm in and saw the metal stake plunge into the side of his neck.  The executioner’s eyes went wide as blood gurgled out of his mouth.  I closed my eyes again and felt his lifeless body collapse next to mine.   It was over.  Somehow, I had managed to escape my fate. 



I gazed around the crowded church as I sat in the red-cushioned pew with my mom.  Her hand touched my cheek, and I looked at her concerned expression.  She was studying the scar that slashed across the bridge of my nose.  Though I refused to look in a mirror, I knew it was ragged, purple and ugly.  It was a flaw that I worried would never fade, and everyone I encountered seemed afraid to look at it. 

“It would have been a lot worse if I hadn’t killed him,” I said, trying to console my mom and myself.  My words did not help.  She continued to stare at me in the same pitiful fashion, as if I were a China doll whose porcelain face had been shattered.  What was more, I felt more than scarred; I felt dirtied by the blood on my hands.  I had killed someone, and no matter who that person was, it did not change the fact that I had committed the ultimate sin. 

As it came time for Holy Communion, the crowd rose and began to file past my pew on their way to the altar.  I stood also, looking for the last person so I could join the line to forgiveness and redemption, but instead, I was distracted by the familiar faces that passed me.  I tried to catch their attention, but they refused to even look at me.  It was as if they all held me in stern judgment.  But what were they judging me for?  Was it my scarred face that they were afraid to look at?  Did they know of my ultimate sin? 

The mother of my friend, Ross, paused in front of me as the line halted its progression for a moment, and I reached out to her in welcome. 

“You should not have escaped your fate,” she hissed, recoiling from my grasp.  Scorn was written clearly in her eyes for the brief second that they connected with mine, but she soon turned away.  “It was well deserved,” she muttered as she passed on towards the altar. 

Hurt by her rejection, I searched on down the line for her son, wondering whether Ross would reject me too.  Almost immediately, I spotted his dark head bobbing towards me in the line, but unlike his mother, he met my eyes, smiling kindly when he came before me. 

“Ross,” I said, my eyes filling with tears. 

“It’s okay,” he said, wrapping his arms around me.  I hugged him back tightly and cried on his shoulder, my pain wordless and my relief vast at having one person there to comfort me. 

“Everything’s going to be okay,” he said, continuing to console me. 

“How can it be when my face is so obviously scarred?” I asked tearfully. 

“Nothing lasts forever,” he answered.  “Soon, your scar will fade, and no one will be able to tell the difference.  You’re going to be okay.” 

With those words, he released me and moved on towards the altar.  I gazed after him for a moment, wondering whether what he said was true.  How could a scar this serious ever completely heal?  Had Ross just dismissed my pain as nothing compared to his?  I knew he had yet to fully recover from his break up with Stacie.  Had he spoken merely to console himself?  At that moment, I wondered what would happen if my scar never went away.  Would I ever find someone who would be able to look past my flaws and still care for the person underneath? 

As I continued to watch the people pass me by, I spotted another familiar face.  Eric, with his unruly blonde hair and his tall and lanky frame, stopped in front of me and smiled brightly.  His entire face lit up at seeing me; it was an incredible thing.  By this point, my tears were almost spent, but he still noticed.  Hugging me quickly, he spoke more comforting words, and my heart quelled at having a second person accept me. 

“Really, you’re going to be fine,” he said.  “I mean, you’re looking better already.” 

I smiled faintly in response--it was impossible not to when he looked so optimistic--but then he passed too, and I found myself gazing at a line of people that never ended.  When was it ever going to be my turn at the altar? 



“Oh Marik, my beloved,” I heard a girl squeal as she passed me on the way out of a classroom.  She was gushing to her friends about a guy she liked and how she was so glad he now sat next to her in class.  I paused outside of the door and watched the girls disappear around a corner.  Apparently, they liked Marik too, but I knew no one would ever have a chance with him.  He was just a dream. 

“Pathetic, aren’t they?” a boy said.  I turned around to find Bakura leaning back against a group of lockers.  I nodded half-heartedly in response. 

“Unrequited love is the only thing they’ll have,” I said, “especially when the target of their affection is unattainable.” 

What I didn’t say was that maybe it was better to have unrequited love than no love at all.  At least, then, in your dreams you could be happy.  But I knew that Bakura would look with scorn upon such weak words.  As long as I pretended to be strong, I had people like him to talk to, but I knew they would flee at the slightest sign of weakness. 

“It is pathetic,” I said firmly. 

“Well, I’m glad you’re not one of them.” 

I laughed a humorless laugh.  How was it that I had him completely fooled?  I’d never imagined that I would be such a great actress, especially when I still bore the ghost of my scar across my face.  If only he knew, he would leave me for sure.  Sometimes I wondered whether it was worth the effort to maintain worthless friendships like these.  Without another word, I entered the classroom. 

Thirty strange faces glanced at me distractedly, but the students soon returned to their tasks.  So, Marik was not here after all.  I had no one to moon over like those girls from before.  Feeling completely out of place, I crossed the front of the room, heading for the teacher’s desk.  A plump woman with dirty blonde curls sat grading papers.  She barely looked up as I stopped in front of her. 

“Yes?  What is it?” 

Feeling foolish, I dropped a plastic bag in front of her.  I still could not believe the principal had given me such a pointless task.   Selling vegetables to school teachers?  It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard of.  I did not even know why I went along with it.  But then, I did not know why I did anything these days.  My whole existence felt entirely pointless.  Sometimes I wondered whether Ross’s mom had been right.  Maybe I should have died that day on the hilltop.  My life now was a big mistake.  There was no destiny waiting for me because I had already passed it by. 

“Will you buy some lettuce and tomatoes?” I asked the teacher. 

“How much?” she asked. 

“Two forty nine,” I replied. 

“Is it the same price for everything?” she asked, looking up at me as if I were confused, which I was.  Those numbers were the only words I could decipher in the instructions I’d been given.  The rest could have been some alien language for all I knew.  Shrugging, I handed her the booklet of instructions I’d been given.  A look of understanding passed over her face as she read it with ease, and I felt even more stupid. 

“Okay,” she said, “I’ll take a pound of lettuce.  You can measure it out for me on those scales over there.” 

She pointed towards a lab table in the corner, and I moved towards it, taking the plastic bag with me.  I glanced around the room, briefly taking note of the other lab equipment and the students quietly working.  Then, I began my next pointless task.  Taking the lettuce out of the bag, I placed it on one side of the scale, but the balance did not shift in the least.  The lettuce was too light to read as anything.  Frustrated, I looked over at the teacher.  She was ignoring me, preoccupied with grading her student’s papers. 

I played with the scale for another few minutes in vain, becoming more and more frustrated.  Why hadn’t the principal at least provided me with the proper measuring equipment?  Or maybe this was the right equipment, and I was just too stupid to figure out how to use it.  This was ridiculous.  Abandoning the scale, I walked towards the teacher and dumped the entire bag of produce on her desk. 

“Just take it,” I said sharply.  “Take it all.” 

With that, I stormed out of the classroom, down the hall, and into the office.  I had had enough.  I was quitting this inane job.  I didn’t even care if I starved to death on the streets, a broke and homeless person.  I was not submitting myself to this stress and humiliation any longer. 

“She’s not here,” the secretary said, glancing up as I entered. 

I ignored her and stormed into the small room that housed the principal’s desk and filing cabinets.  It was empty.  The principal was indeed gone at the moment, and I had no idea when she would be coming back.  I waited restlessly, pacing back and forth in the dimly lit office. 

“Why don’t I just leave without a word?” I wondered.  “Why don’t I just disappear?” 

Even as I pondered my actions, I discovered the answer.  I was still bound, but this time, in a different way and to a different person.  For some reason, I could not leave this place until I had the principal’s approval.  After all this time, I had learned nothing.  I was back on that forlorn hilltop, hanging from that cross, and this time, it was the principal who would decide my fate.  Would she become my next executioner?  Would I have to kill again just to maintain this pointless existence of mine? 

With a howl of rage, I grabbed the papers from her desk and tore them up, throwing them into the air and watching them fall to the ground like dead leaves.  Again and again I snatched them up and repeated the process.  Soon, the carpet was covered with shredded paper.  The small white flecks looked like a fresh coating of snow.  Exhausted, I collapsed onto the pile and stared at the ceiling.  The pain of my existence closed in around me, and there, in that lonely office, I prayed for an endless sleep. 

All I had wanted in life was acceptance, an end to my loneliness and isolation.  I wanted to feel adequate and complete.  Yet, it seemed that desire was never going to be fulfilled in the waking world.  It was a dream never to be realized. 

Closing my eyes, I blocked out my surroundings.  If this world was intent on being cruel to me, I would create another world, one that would be completely my own.  In my mind, I would dwell in a place formed completely from my own imagination.  It would be a place of beauty and adventure, where I would find love and live happily ever after, and nothing would ever go wrong, because I was the one in control.  All I had to do to make it real was fall asleep and never wake up again. 

 “God, if you’ve ever loved me, you will at least give me this,” I murmured. 

Relaxing my limbs and focusing on that happy place, I willed myself to sleep, to dream, and at last, ever so slowly, I lost myself completely. 

© 2011 Alyss Erulisse

Author's Note

Alyss Erulisse
Just to prevent any misunderstandings, I will assure you that I am no longer in the same emotional state portrayed in the dream. The killing is purely symbolic. I have not killed anyone, nor do I intent to. Also, I am already seeing a councilor to deal with my depression. I have posted this dream purely for the anonymous interpretation of others. Therefore, I would like to know what you understood from it, what symbolism you observed, and what themes you followed. Thank you for your time.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


Okay so I can already predict that this is going to be quite a long review. First of all I would like to say that I have no Idea who you are or what your life is like so I can only draw symbolism in the most pure and objective sense, therefore there are going to be assumtions made. Know that I don't intend to offend by some ignorant remark, because as I said, they are all ignorant. So here goes:

In the first segment of the dream the most obvious theme is change for the worse. Whether or not drugs were actually involved is beyond me, but the segment clearly indicated that Alex was changing and that scared you.

The second segment was a little more eventful in the symbolism department. Hanging from the tree represents loss of control. You are bound and powerless against (or to help) Alex. The theme of change returns here as well, but this time it seems amplified because of the passage of time. The death of the grass and the tree could mean many things. It could mean the death of something beautiful, something natural, of a part of you, or it could mean nothing at all and just be a part of the dream. The sun is just background noise to me and I’ll chalk that up to some of the weird things that happen in dreams. Alex trying to kill you could also represent many things. It could mean that the change that is occurring in him is hurting you, or that you in some way feel directly threatened by his changing. It could also represent the end of a relationship. You killing Alex however is something I would like to focus on (listen to me, I sound like a therapist lol) because I think it is the key point in the entire dream. You killed Alex (and as a reminder, this is total opinion) because he was changing and it was hurting you and your natural emotional response was to end it, so you did. The thing that I think is important about this is that the moment you killed him was the same moment you became unbound. It gave you control again.
Now, the further down the rabbit hole I go, the more sweeping generalizations I have to make. Again, sorry in advance. The church could represent a great many things. It could symbolize your moral code, organization, the power of god, blah blah blah, but I think what it represents in this dream is it is a place of judgment. You are feeling judged by strangers and superiors for some action you did, whether this is related to whatever happened with Alex is open to interpretation by somebody who actually knows the whole story. You are obviously close to your brother, as he is one of the few that actually helped you, so maybe this is the case in real life as well.
Finally, in the last segment of your dream the symbolism seems to be divided into two parts. The first part is where the girls were fawning over Marik and you shared your views with Bakura you are jaded about the whole thing. There is really no need to explain this. The second part I think is lumped together with what you feel as responsibility. You are young, so I can assume that you are either still in school or haven’t been out of school very long so I don’t think it would be incorrect to guess that school as a responsibility that you have is something still fresh in your mind. You are also working, which is another responsibility. Your inability to work the scales symbolizes that you think you are incapable of correctly doing your job or fulfilling your duties, so you have another natural response which is to be frustrated and run away, but you can’t because you feel tied to your sense of duty (your principal) which once again makes you feel bound (the tree). The endless sleep part of it I don’t’ think necessarily represents death, but escape. You want to escape from the things that are causing you suffering (the theme of the dream).
I think that this qualifies as the longest review ever, yay for us.
Here’s a quick point I would like to make on your writing style. Sentences like these: “Feeling foolish, I dropped a plastic bag in front of her” Occur a lot in this piece and it can be distracting. It is much better to write. I felt like a fool when I dropped a plastic bag in front of her. Just my 2 cents. Almost 800 words later, I am done. (catches breath)

Posted 12 Years Ago

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


1 Review
Added on January 31, 2011
Last Updated on April 9, 2011
Tags: emotional, dream, relationship, psychology, depression, loneliness, fate


Alyss Erulisse
Alyss Erulisse


Writing is my passion, but I am always looking for new ways to bring my stories to life. I am an individual with a multitude of creative interests. Favorite Pastimes: ballet, painting, reading,.. more..