We are back in the same coffee shop, sitting at the same table, heck she's even wearing the same lavender top. The familiar gut-wrenching feeling takes over me and I look away in the hope of making it easier. Her soft voice calls to me, but it is faint and distant. Something's not right. I look at her and shudder involuntarily as the table between us is stretching beyond what is allowed by the so-called laws of physics. I stare as her outstretched hand slowly becomes the only visible part of her body. "No!" I shout and jump onto the table, running like mad, eyes and ears searching for hints of her presence. Her long, drawn out, ghostly wail is all I can hear and I curse myself for bringing her to this damned place. Suddenly a huge boom stifles her cries for help and my eyes fly wide open.
'Sheesh! Not again.' I shook my head to remove the last traces of the haunting memory and focused my thoughts on the mundane world.
'So that's what woke me up!' I pondered as I stumbled towards the door and flung it open.
"What were you do...?" my friend stopped short and gasped.
"What?" I questioned as my hands groped for the apparently disturbing sight.
'Shit!' My eyes widened as the events of the night before played in front of my eyes. I had had a decibel barrier breaking one-on-one man-on-machine competition. In one corner, the thumping woofers of my top-of-the-range home theatre system and in the other corner, me with my window-shattering drone which I call 'my best attempt at singing'. Of course it had ended in me completely outclassing my opponent. I had fashioned myself an elaborate winner's crown using a hair gel which claimed to be 'extra-strong'. Well, now I know that the gel people were'nt lying.
"That's um.... nothing. C'mon in!" I ushered him into the room, hastily attempting to disentangle my locks. Closing the door I turned to come face-to-face with him, his jaw firmly set and hands on his hips, I groaned as I saw what was coming.
"This has got to stop" he implored exasperatedly.
"What?" I pulled out my most innocent sounding voice but immediately saw my veil of pretence falling to pieces. Determined to make a stand, I drew my shoulders. "Seriously man! I'm fine. My work just takes up most of my time." I could'nt help but smile as I knew I had struck the jackpot. Following the fiasco at the coffee shop I had thrown myself pell-mell into the world of work, and he of all people, had thought that I had finally come to my senses. Whipping around, he dove headlong into the latest at work as a qustion rang in my mind, 'Just how long can I put up like this?'