What was your Nightmare as a child? Things that go bump in the night? A monster coming out of the closet? Waking up to Freddie Krueger in your bedroom?
Well mine was something so much simpler, something that shouldn’t have worried me like it did and something that definitely shouldn’t have kept me awake at night, but four times a year it did.
My nightmare occurred on the last night of every school holidays from grade one all the way up to grade ten (in my last two years of school I was to rebellious to be scared of dreams).
I didn’t fear school I feared going to school on the first day back from school holidays and no one else would be there. Not only that I feared that I would be the laughing stock of the school for being the only one there.
Of course it’s easy to point out now that at least part of that nightmare couldn’t come true because if I was the only one at school there would be no one else there to see me and start the laughter, but try telling that to a six year old. You could also try telling the same thing to a fifteen year old but if that fifteen year old has been having the same dream four times a year for nine years you’ll have just as much luck as talking to the six year old.
Each time the nightmare occurred I would find myself cheerfully walking to school, school uniform on and school bag on my shoulder. The sun would be bright, the wind would be light and there wouldn’t be a cloud in the sky, the day couldn’t get any better. Then I would step up to the gate and find the school deserted. Despite the lack of student, parents, teachers and cars I would still walk in that school gate fully expecting it to be the first day of the school term. Usually by the second step, sometimes the fourth, something would kick in my mind and I’d be suddenly forced to turn around and each time I turned I saw the entire school standing before me in casual clothes laughing at me for coming to school a day early. Then I would wake up and spend the next few hours wondering if mum really did get the date right and if I didn’t have just one more day of school holidays owing to me.
So as far as nightmares go it’s not horrific, it’s not particularly scary and it’s definitely not the sort of thing horror movies are made of, in fact it would barely make a day time soap opera story but none the less it’s the one single nightmare I had to live with four times every year throughout the majority of my school life.