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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, '13, 1:22 am

Suddenly, I opened my eyes. I was still feeling something oppressing my heart, and I had the feeling I was suffocating. My mind was somewhat confused. I found myself lying on my bed, staring blankly at the white ceiling of my bedroom.

"Good morning, dear."

A hand was softly stroking my hair, but the voice was Laura's. I was not feeling well, still recovering from breathlessness. There was a hint of the oppressive feeling in my chest, but I was quickly recovering.

"You were so restless that I woke you up." My wife added with a reassuring voice, though she could not conceal her worried state.

"I'm short of breath..." I sat up slowly, helped by my wife.

"You should make an appointment with the doctor to treat your apnea."

I rolled on the bed and put my feet on the floor, sitting on the edge of it, just beside my wife. My mind was still numb, and I had that eerie feeling of sitting in the threshold of the real and imaginary worlds.

"By the way, you were mumbling the name of a woman while you slept..."

Those words hit hard on me. I closed my eyes and put my hands on my head. The reality was too cruel to face, I was not ready to sudden realize what was true and what was byproduct of my imagination.

My reaction worried my wife. "Are you sick, Christopher?"

I answered with a grunt. "No."

Laura placed her arm gently around my shoulders. It is obvious that she noticed that I became upset when she mentioned I was mumbling the name of a woman. "Is there something you would like to tell me?"

"No." I answered in a rude manner. "Just leave me alone for a while, please."

Contrary to my previous claims, it had been nothing but a bad dream, an invention of my sick mind. It looked so real, and it still looks real, truer than the memories I had from the previous day. But it was not. It was not a miracle, just the dreadful machinations of my own mind torturing me mixed with wishful thinking. Despite all the evident flaws of continuity and logic, I let myself be carried away, believing something beyond my understanding was happening. Hell no, it was just the silly wish that that certain event had been just a bad nightmare, and Annette would come back one day, smiling.

After all those years, it was still difficult to accept the horrific truth. That the only real part of my tale was that my sister remains are likely to be still decomposing over the abandoned altar of a rustic temple built by Peruvian natives in remote areas of the Amazon Forest, after being sacrificed to praise their gods. And the last image I had of her, and that I would carry with me till my last breath was of her body ripped open, her guts scattered over the altar, her heart exposed, beating weakly, and her grayish blue-eyes staring at me, frightened, as she whispered "Brother... Brother...”
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