The stranger I met on that fateful day wasn’t so much strange as he was a mystery. He was someone I should know as well as I know anything in this universe but I soon realized I didn’t know the stranger as well as I thought.
When someone is tangled in the blanket of sleep, everything seems unreal and other-worldly, something you see everyday can appear as unfamiliar as something you’ve never experienced before. Especially when you dream. In the world of dreams, the brain can spin any tale it cares to consider, and on the rare occasions your conscience breaks through, or even some supernatural being, these will affect your dream. That day someone was trying to tell me something. That evening as my subconscious self was travelling along the road of dreams, I came across a figure, dressed in a cloak made of shimmering essence that whirled and flowed like a stream. His face was clouded in shadow but there was something familiar about him. I raised my hand in greeting and he did too.
“Hi, who are you?” I asked him.
“I think you know who I am.” He replied. He spoke so softly I had to strain to hear what he was saying.
“I don’t. But maybe I would if you took off your hood.” He just laughed.
“No matter how far you run you always come back to the same place.” He said mysteriously.
“I don’t think I know what you mean.” He laughed again.
“Go on your way, and don’t look back for nothing lies behind you but memories.” He slipped past me and he was gone. I continued on my way. Next I met a man, completely dressed in silver armour. He had his visor down but still he looked familiar.
“Who are you?”
“You really don’t recognize me? But the real question is, who are you?”
“Is this one of those questions I have to go on a quest to find the answer?” I said sarcastically.
“Who are you?” He asked again.
“I’m Matthew Landman. I go to Hellenic Academy. I like cricket, writing and movies.”
“No that is not you. That is Matthew Landman. Who are you?”
“This is pointless. Can you pull up your visor so I can see your face?”
“Sometimes you have to look within to find what you seek within others.” He said cryptically. I had had enough of this. I needed to go now.
“Look, it’s been entertaining listening to your prophetic speech but I’ll be on my way now.” He drew his sword and pointed it at me.
“Us warriors don’t give up easily, and I sense you don’t either. So don’t give up before you find what you seek. So go on, but don’t forget, never look forward, for nothing lies ahead of you but fear and trepidation.” He passed by me and was gone. I continued on my way but I was starting to think. What had the warrior meant when he said I shouldn’t give up until I found what I seek. I didn’t seek anything, but then why was I going down this road, and where was I going? I guess I’d find out soon.
Next to approach me was a figure dressed in a suit and tie but wearing a party mask covering his face.
“I’m not going to ask you who you are.” I told the figure.
“Good. Because I’m not going to ask you who you are.” He said.
“I’m not. I’m going to ask you another, much more important question; why are you?”
“Not what, why.”
“Because, just because. I guess I’m here to be, to live.”
“You don’t know for what purpose you were created?” The stranger said, looking incredulous.
“No, I don’t.”
“But if you don’t know why, how can you know who, or what?”
“I don’t. I’m not some meditating monk. I’m just some random ordinary teenager.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. Anyone has the potential to be great. This is not a cliched catchphrase. It is written in the rulebook of time. The secret is to know why you are and then who you are.”
“Very nice. But how do I do what you just said?”
“Follow your heart. It leads you more places than you can think of. Follow your brain, it tells you things you didn’t know existed, but most of all, follow your feet, because they take you places nothing else can. Now go.”
“What? Aren’t you going to give me some speech about where not to look?”
“Oh yeah right, I forgot. Never look down, because f you look down, you’ll miss what happens around you, but always look up, because greater things than you dwell in the open skies.”
“You mean birds?”
“No.” He slipped past me and was gone. I continued on my journey. Ahead of me, three figures clouded in smoke stood there. The one on the left stepped forward. He was the hooded figure I had first met.
“The time has come for you to see our faces.” With that, he pulled off his hood and revealed a face I saw everyday in the mirror. Yes, he had the same eyes, the same mouth, even the same braces. Then, from behind him came the warrior. He too took off his visor to reveal my face. Then the third figure appeared and took off his hat to reveal… Surprise, surprise, my face.
“We are in you,” the warrior said.
“In fact, we virtually are you.” The man in the suit said.
“My name is Limbic.” The hooded man said.
“My name is Reptilian.” The warrior said.
“And I am Neo.” The last figure said.
“You guys are the three cortexes,” I said. They nodded.
“We have been sent by a higher power to remind you of one thing; what is foreign to you on the outside is sometimes not as foreign as what is on the inside. Go on, and remember, never look outside, for there is only lies and deceit. Instead. Look inside for answers, and above all, know yourself.” Just like that, they were gone and I was awake in my own bed.