“Nooooooo! Don’t take him; please don’t take him!” Anna sat bolt upright in bed and found she was trembling. The nightmare she had been having on and off for several years had started haunting her again and tears rolled down her cheeks as she switched on the bed lamp and hugged her knees.
Light spilled in from the hallway as her mother opened the door. “What are you yelling about?”
“I had that dream again.” Anna whispered.
“Oh for goodness sake, you’re twelve years old. Go to sleep; you’re far too old for this rubbish.”
Her mother clucked her tongue in annoyance as she closed the door again, and Anna curled up on her side and wept quietly in her pillow.
“Anna, are you listening?”
“Sorry Miss Johnson, I... I didn’t sleep very well last night.”
“Anna, please see me after class.”
Anna sighed. I’m in trouble with Miss Johnson now.
When the bell rang, there was a mad scramble as the rest of the class fought to be first out the door.
Anna sat with her head down and wondered how much detention she would get this time.
Miss Johnson came and sat at the desk next to her. “What’s bothering you Anna? You’ve not been yourself these last few weeks.”
The young girl bit her lip to stop from crying. “I keep having this bad dream, and some people kidnap my brother.”
“But Anna, you don’t have any brothers or sisters.”
“I know, but it is so real. I’m afraid to go to sleep at night in case I have the dream again.”
“Have you talked to your mother about it?”
Anna shrugged. “I tried to.”
“What did she say?”
“At first she laughed at me, but now she gets angry with me. She says I’m too big to be having bad dreams.”
“Why do you think you’re having these dreams?”
Anna shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I want a brother so much. I’ve always wanted a brother ever since I was little.”
“Anna, if this keeps happening, I think it might be a good idea if I speak with your mother; just to let her know how much this is affecting your school work.”
Where has the morning gone? Anna thought as she looked up from her laptop. She was pleased with the progress she’d been making on her manuscript and smiled contentedly. She’d written a little over the years, and had even taken a writer’s course, and now that her children had grown up and she had the house to herself, writing occupied all her spare time.
At the sound of a motor bike, Anna look out the window and saw the postman drop several envelopes in her mailbox.
“More bills,” she sighed resignedly as she headed for the front gate.
The first letter was a bill for the telephone, but the second one caught Anna’s eye, and she ripped open the envelope and scanned the document.
Catherine Lauren, born 26 May 1928
Died 15 July 2004
Husband: Walter - deceased
Children: Female - born 8 January 1968
Male - born 8 January 1968 deceased.
Anna opened her eyes to find herself lying on the front lawn, with her neighbour kneeling anxiously beside her. “Anna, are you all right; what happened?” Joan helped her to her feet.
Anna stared at her friend confused. “I... I’m not sure.” Then she remembered the document from the Registrar General’s office. She handed it to Joan wordlessly.
Anna suddenly began shivering despite the temperature being in the mid nineties.
“Come on, let’s get you inside and I’ll make you a cup of tea.”
Anna sat on the sofa swathed in a blanket sipping her tea. “I have a brother.” She said, tears flowing freely.
“And you knew nothing about him?”
“No, nothing. I always wanted a brother. When I was a child I used to have bad dreams that my brother had been kidnapped. My parents never told me the truth.”
Joan held her as she wept, “I have a brother, I have a brother.”
Her tears spent at last, Anna sat next to her friend in silence.
“Anna, can you imagine what a party there is going to be, what a wonderful reunion when you meet your brother in heaven.”
Anna’s tears flowed afresh, releasing all her pain into the Father’s care.
She had a brother, a TWIN brother, and one day she would see him.
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