Just in case, Amber plugs in her night light before snapping off the switch of the overhead. She’s not afraid of the dark, not anymore, but Amber can still see in the dark. The night visions started before she could talk. They might have started even earlier, but her memories before the age of one are fuzzy, more atmospheric impressions than visual.
Amber calls them visions because they’re not dreams. They happen before she falls asleep, when her eyes are open in the dark, but even closing her lids can’t fully block out the images or the emotions that invade her room. It’s almost as if the visions come from inside her, projected onto space. Or maybe they come from an external source and somehow merge with her mind upon visual contact.
They come and go, echoes of dreams from childhood perhaps, or dregs of deja vu stirred up by some familiar smell during the day. Sometimes taking a shower helps, as if the steam from the corroded nozzle could evaporate the intruding memories or whatever they are. The hot water, the steady beat of droplets streaming from her brow bone onto her nose, calms her, at least. The steam clears Amber’s lungs of the ghostly wisps of Jinri’s perfume that lull her from vision realm into pure dreamscape.
Tonight she’s not taking any chances. Amber’s wasted enough hot water today. One shower before breakfast, another to sober up before she met up with Krystal for dinner. One more after dragging her feet home from the club to absolve the guilty stabs of pain in her leg. Which is worse -- the tire marks of the car imprinted on her fleshy thigh months after the accident, or the soft pain of Jinri’s absence manifesting in her bedroom with the sweet incense of jasmine perfume -- Amber doesn’t know.
The light helps, even if it takes her longer to fall asleep in her empty bedroom. The light helps, even if only a little.
You're up, alchemicink !