Six months ago,

"Is it really important than our relationship?", Ridhi asking her fiance in an upset tone.
"No, nothing can be important than you, love.", replied her boyfriend.
"Then why are you leaving me alone, Arien?",
Ridhi asked rudely.
"...Because it is important for this relationship.", answered Arien in a sad pitch.
Arien hugs Ridhi and kisses her cheeks.
And grabs Ridhi's hand and put it on his heart and his' on her's while saying:
"My love is in here, and mine; there. Never forget that. I love you."
Before Ridhi can utter anything, he kisses her forehead again and leaves.

Present Day,

Nightmare continues...
"Stop staring at me... And what's happening with me?", asked Ridhi horrifyingly.
The gate with a face still staring with no gesture at all.
As Ridhi was about to shoot another question, a deep voice echos behind the the gate. It was Arien's but not a single word can be understood.
Ridhi got impatient yet again curious to see her love again.
"Hello.... Arien? Is it you...?", asked Ridhi breaking down.
"Please... please open the gate..." wrenched Ridhi implored.
The face on the gate started drowning in it. And the gate gradually begun to open.
Ridhi wanted to run towards the opening but she was numbed even by the fact that Arien, the lost beloved can be on the other side.
When the gate opened it was pitch black and no voice could be heard.
Ridhi gathered herself and started taking steps of hopefulness toward the entrance. When she reached the gate opening, she could not see anything yet.
"Arien? I know, it was you...", As trembling Ridhi started to utter, she heard the steps coming towards her. And there; the steps approached to her gradually and then rapidly, somone right there was standing on her face. Before Ridhi could even startle, the someone stabed her. And put a ring in her finger. And she died in the dreaming.
Ridhi woke up as somone has just stabbed her. She ran out of the house while sighing deep breathes. As she got out, finally she felt like coming back to the reality. Her voice quavered: "It was a bad dream...it was just a dream... it was just a damn bad dream...". Still shaking like a leaf, her sight fell upon her hand and the ring in her finger. She forced the ring out of her finger and threw it away.
Ridhi somehow managed to recover and headed for her work. At Office, her friend named Miguel asked her if she was herself and Ridhi told him that how she dreamt about the gate and then her missing fiance and the ring. Rachel arranged her a meeting with a therapist.
Ridhi could not comprehend the things happening with her lately and found it satisfying that she has been through circumstances lately so she went to the therapist after work.
At the therapist office:
Therapist: "Hello Ridhi I am Josephine, Miguel told me about you. You seem really workohlic."
Ridhi: "Hello, Miguel is really down to earth when it comes to help others. I just like what I do, few people gets what they really want to do so I feel lucky."
Josephine: "Indeed, you're Ridhi. I love to meet working women but how do you manage your personal life... Do you have any relationship?
Sadness masked her face...
Ridhi: "Yeah, I had... I mean, I have... "
And it reduced her to tears.
Josephine gave her tissues and asked if she wanted some water.
Josephine: "It is okay to miss someone and feel lonely, Ridhi."
Ridhi: "Actually, Arien, my fiance, we love each other so much and now, he has been missing for six months. And I..." Again, tears drowned her face.
Josephine tried to comfort her.
Josephine: "...And you can not do anything about it."
Ridhi (in a low voice) : "Yeah, I guess."
Josephine: "Have you reported it in police?"
Ridhi: "Yeah... "
Therapist: "Did you talk to his close ones and friends?"
Ridhi noded yes in a sad way.
Josephine: "See, Ridhi. You have been trying your best while holding on to yourself. It is not easy being strong against the odds..."
Josephine: "He will be in your arms, darling. But losing yourself, isn't the solution."
Ridhi told her about the nightmares and how she had been seeing things from nightmares in reality.

Josephine: "You know, when we dream...one of our brain part makes the story and the other part experiences it without knowing that the other part is making it. While our logical part of the brain sleeps. That's why we instantly get up when we die in dreams because our brain can't imagine what is beyond death."
Ridhi: "...But that ring and diary?"
Josephine: "Sometimes, when we suddenly wake up, we still feel the after affects of our dreams and that's for very short time. It happens because of lots of stress, often trauma and worst nightmares. May be that happened with you as well."
Ridhi: "But it was real. I will show you the diary..."
Josephine: "Of course, I will see. But did you have any sleep issues in the past."
Ridhi: "Yeah but it was when I was just child."
Josephine: "Such circumstances may provoke the chronic experiences. I would suggest you consult your physician and start taking meds and see if it helps."
Ridhi glanced at the watch and it was fifteen past the session time. She realized it is over time and therapist is humble enough to give her extra time but she was feeling relaxed and wanted some alone time.
Ridhi: "It was really nice talking to you. I think, I should go now. I will focus on myself. "
Therapist: "It was pleasure meeting you Ridhi. Can you visit next week the same time?"
Ridhi: "Sure. Good Bye"
Therapist: "Good bye... And take care."
Ridhi went home.
Ridhi refreshed and startd reading a book after reading a few pages she fell asleep.
Next...She found herself before the gate with face.
Ridhi closed her eyes tightly and told herself repeatedly: "It is not real.... It is not real..."
Gate with the face spoke: "Reality is more like dreams if you're not realizing it."
Hearing that she opened her eyes and found a tall man standing at some distance from her. And that the face on the gate was gone.
Ridhi: "Who are you? Where is that face?"
Stranger: "They call me 'Ostiaro'. And I am the face on that gate."
Ridhi: "How do you know me? And is it real? Do you know where is Arien? that person calling me in previous dream..."
Ostiaro: "Only if we could ask the right questions..."
Ridhi: "Stop playing riddles...And answer me."
Ostiaro: "It doesn't matter what or how I know. But what matters is why you're here Ridhi."
Ridhi: "Okay, we are playing riddles then tell me why?"
Ostiaro: "You are more than you think, unknown of your past, unknown of your reality...you have been dreaming for a long time."
Ostiaro came close to Ridhi. Although she was frightened yet she stood bold. Ostiaro held her hand and gave something in it.
Ridhi: "What is it?"
Ostiaro: "It is Portia. It will help you."
Suddenly she felt it moving in her hand.
Ostiaro: "It will show you the true path, the ring will show you the truth and don't listen to him..."
And she woke up and found a spider in her hand. She waved it very hard. Terrified Ridhi went near it, placed her hand down to get it on the palm but it started running away. She felt crazy doing that. She got ready for work. And wrote everything in the diary and found that creepy looking diary in the corner. Ridhi quickly opened that diary. It was the same 'Gate with the face, it's just that there was three new drawings.... "A bloody Ring, A spider named Portia, and a stranger with no face."
She was horrified and dropped the diary. She breathed deep and put it in the shelve. As she closed the shelf, Ridhi found the spider on her shoulder. She waved her off again. Yet again, she went near it and put down her hand with open palm. And out of the blue, Ridhi murmured " Portia..." and the spider climbs up the palm. She was amazed and curious about all that. Ridhi was sacred but she really wanted to find Arien. So she decides to follow the one they call 'Ostiaro'.


© Alwin Sunil