I awoke one summer morning when I was 8 and felt something strange. The sun was up and it felt like early afternoon. The house was so quiet, why hadn’t someone come in the room to wake me. I sat up on the edge of my bed and listened for any sound, there was nothing. I quickly dressed and went to find my Mother. I checked her room but she wasn’t there. I looked in my brother’s room and he was gone too, where was everyone. I ran to the kitchen and the living room but both were empty. All their things were here but they were not, it was like the earth had swallowed them up. I ran outside frantic to find them and looked all around calling for my Mother but there was a hollowness to the sound of my voice and even the birds were silent…… a deathly stillness like in the eye of a storm.
I decided I would go to my Aunt’s house which was across the street. I rushed over there thinking surely they were there. They must be playing a trick on me and be hiding over there……. well this was not funny and I was going to let them have it when I found them. I knocked on my Aunts door but there was no answer and the door was locked. I went around back hoping the back door was unlocked…. it wasn’t. I rushed back to the front and started pounding on the door screaming their names, crying because I was terrified. “What was happening, what was I to do, where was my family” I yelled. I finally decided to go to the neighbors houses for help but at each house I was met with silence. This can’t be real, the whole world can’t be gone. I finally decided that I would go back home because it must be a joke and they would all be there. I didn’t know what else to do.
I opened the front door and there was my Mother asking where I had been and why was I outside. I ran to her sobbing uncontrollably. She again demanded answers, she was angry at me, how could she be angry at me. “It was an awful joke” I said, “how could you all pretend to disappear like that, I was so scared”. “What are you talking about, we didn’t go anywhere” she said. “Everyone was gone and it was so quiet, I couldn’t find you, where were you” I accused. “We were sleeping just like you were supposed to be” “What! sleeping, no you weren’t I checked, you were hiding, the whole street was hiding” I yelled. She looked at me very hard and I new something was wrong, my Mother would never play a cruel joke like that, my brother would but not her.
My Mom explained that it was quiet because it was 5:00 am on a Saturday and everyone was sleeping. I had gotten up and dressed and then run around the neighborhood shouting and knocking at people’s doors. I had been sleepwalking and it had seemed so real. Everyone was calling to see if we were okay and ask what the hell I was doing shouting for my Mother at 5 in the morning on their front porch. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life and I have never forgotten the terror I felt or the humiliation that came afterward. I never sleepwalked again, thankfully but it was truly a surreal moment in my life and it would not be the last one.