Chapter 4

Dark, down the road


Mother and daughter spent a week shopping and packing. Among other things, Sophie was saying her last goodbyes to the city by hanging out with her friends, visiting her favorite spots, and more. The next day they were supposed to leave early in the morning. 

Sophie’s mother re-checks everything and makes sure that she did not forget anything. Sophie is thinking about what to write. “How about goodbyes?” she began her blog with “goodbyes,” which was pretty emotional. She is about to post a blog when she hears a knock on the door and finds her mother standing there. It looks like she has been standing there for a long time. “Mom, you know you can come in,” says Sophie. Her mother comes in and joins her. Sophie rests her head on her mother’s shoulder. 

“You were a little girl when your dad and I used to make you sleep here. Most of the time, you needed your dad, and both of you used to order me to narrate some story to make you both sleep,” her mother says. Both laughed.

They were recalling old memories, some happy, some sad, some bitter, some exciting, some loveable, some emotional. All of those memories are attached to the house and Sophie’s father. It was their last night in that house. Her mother sold the house, and they knew that they no longer belonged to them and needed to leave the next morning. Her mother, after making her daughter sleep, slowly comes out of the bed and makes her way to her bedroom. There, all by herself, she was living the memories of her husband. She could not sleep that night, but was holding her husband’s photo frame against her chest and missing what she had.

[Next Morning] 

“Sophie, the cab is waiting, are you ready? Hurry up please,” her mother calls for Sophie while she waits in the taxi. Sophie is in her room feeling heartless. “Sophie, get yourself together and leave. You cannot be weak right now,” she tells herself. She closes her eyes hard and runs down the stairs. 

That Saturday morning in August on the 1st at 6 AM, they left the city driving down to Buford. Twelve hours of the journey was a nightmare for Sophie. As a result of the last sleepless night, Sophie’s mother spent the majority of the time sleeping, while she ate and wrote blogs. At some point, Sophie fell asleep. Next, when she woke up from her pleasant slumber, she finds herself in the middle of nowhere. “Mom, how long?” she asks. “I think we will be there within 4 hours. You slept like a baby by the way,” mother says.

The place is dark, quietly surrounded by dense forest on both sides of the road. All she can see is trees passing by and not a single house or plaza.

“Have you been to this place before or is it your first time?” asks Sophie. 

“I am a driver ma’am, I have been to this place several times before.” The driver replies and continues, “This place is not as difficult as it seems. It’s just the journey that is hushed, but you can make it interesting, depending who you are traveling with.” Sophie looks at him and then at her mom and smiles, “Hmm!” She continues to look out of the window. While she was thinking about the new journey she is about to start, suddenly her heart starts to pound faster. She is awakened by it. “Hey, can you slow down, please?” Sophie asks her driver. 

“Sophie, are you fine?” her mother asks. “Yes mom I am good, I think I feel sick, I will close the window,” she replies in a very ambiguous tone because she does not recall what happened all of a sudden. Her mother is patting her head so that she feels alright. Sophie is looking out the window and senses that something outside in the woods is moving parallel to their car, watching her. She is astonished, not sure why she felt her heart beating paced and now something bright in the forest. She shuts her eyes, drinks water, and lies upon her mother’s lap. “How much more time?” she asks.

“1 more hour, and you will reach your destination,” the driver replies. Her mother smiles while she looks at her. Sophie is still thinking about what happened and wrapping her mind around letting it go. “Maybe I am sick and hallucinating,” she thinks. 

She now drifts off to sleep and finds herself in the dark, she is looking for someone. In the woods, she feels that she has lost something, or maybe someone, and is now eager to find it. She is asleep and dreaming. She feels like she’s surrounded by warm air. All of a sudden, she hears her mother’s voice calling out for her. [Back in dreams] She is running and wants to respond to her mom but is not able. 

Somebody is shaking and calling out her name. She comes back from her dream and finds that her mom was trying to wake her up as they had already reached home. She wakes up as quick as air, “MOM!” 

They reached their home, a place where Sophie was to spend her upcoming years. 


But what happened back when they were traveling down the dark road between the woods? Did Sophie feel sick and was seeing things, or did it mean something? What was that dream she had right after all that happened? 

Why did it happen at once over a 1-hour stretch of road?