I was asleep a little earlier and I remembered something I had forgotten for along time and it scared me. The odd thing is that it yet still eludes me on some level like I can't remember it even if I did already. I keep trying to go over the events to make them come completely from my my mind, but to no avail. All of it won't come to the surface and it bothers me greatly.
My hands shake a little as I type this and I break out in goosebumps even now, knowing full well I am safely away but my mind already gave it up like a burp from a large lunchtime meal that didn't sit well. The fumes of digestion rising from the lower regions to remind me of what I ate at one time and it not getting along with my system.
So, I was a Clarion University student at one time. I was there in body if not in mind. lol I had many excellent experiences there in the 3 and a half years I went to school there. This was not one of them.
First let me preclude this by saying that I have always been a bit of an explorer. It's natural for me to want to see what's going on wherever I go. I consider this to be natural for me. I have a 'need to know' type mentality. Thus I plod around in my daily life and search things out. I fufill my curiosity as anyone else would that wants to know how the world ticks. The moral of the story is that you don't need to know everything and somethings are better left alone.
So I said that I had been sleeping. I was sleeping soundly circa 5:30 est and I had a dream about what happened. It was like watching a movie I remember going to, no popcorn only I didn't remember this. Not like I do now.
I scratch my head as I go over the buildings in the area, Wilkinson, Nair, Ballentine hall, Egbert, Harvey, the science building and out old favorite Chandler dining hall. We used to joke crudely "flush twice it's a long way to Chandler". lol
I look at the map now and I find I can't remember where it is.
I remember now and still I can't find it. My hands shake a little more and a fresh crop of goosebumps rise on my arms. It's ok, it's almost light out now and I know my terror will fade with the light of day or so I do hope.
In any case, I was on campus at one point and as I said, I have a yen to explore such things that are unknown to me.
At one point I was bored, like anyone else and a few of us wanted to explore en mass, as it were. I can't seem to remember where it is now.
I keep wracking my brain, but it won't come to the surface. It's ok, it's probably because I am yet still too afraid.
What I do remember is that at one corner part, one of the lower corners of campus there are a few older buildings. I looked at the map and I don't see the area. I look and yet I do not see. I can honestly say there is a 1st for everything and this would it for me. I know where most everything is that I have ever seen or experienced. I would think that I would know where this is still and yet I do not. I am glad my life doesn't depend on it.
As the story goes, we were going to look around campus. A meager pack of students looking for kicks and something new. You never go looking for trouble, but it sure can find you. Matter of fact, it can be downright easy.
We knew of these few buildings near the edge of campus. They seemed to be unused, not vacant but unused. I remember them being near the lower dorms of Wilkinson and Nair, but I just looked at the map and that's not it. I'd know if it was.
The older buildings had some sort of interest in them from the beginning, I wanted to know what they were. I was naive and young. I had a burning desire to know what was in those buildings and why were they unused? I know we always had a full dorm where I was living in Ballentine and we called Wilkinson and Nair "the projects" because they were always full and at the very bottom of the campus like some housing project, they only thing missing was grafitti and street corner thugs to complete the picture.
We were walking to find these buildings, 2 of them in fact. One was an odd type of building where you could duck in from the weather or what have you, with a odd overhang that kind of went uphill. It had a slew of movie theater type seats in it and when it rained, we'd duck in and sit in this angled area, kind of like walking in to see a movie, sitting down and there wasn't ever a movie. But what was there were people. Usually 20-30 people or so, students waiting for their next class. Whoever and whatever, whenever waiting to go wherever.
It struck me s some kind of funky train yard. The only thing we were missing were a conductor to yell "all aboard".
So I used to sit in there and talk to people before I had to go to class.
I seem to remember offices in the upper part of the building as well as more dorm rooms up a side stairwell but that's not all that important to this story.
What I need to get clear in my head is the building below that.
I can't remember exactly what it looked like other than the fact it was concrete and cold looking, unused and alone. Even now my eyes burn in anger as if someone or something doesn't want me to pen this so that someone else can read it. I rub my eyes and start anew.
We were in the waiting area and someone had yawned. I was bored and really wanted something to do. There were a few of us. I don't pretend to remember everyone that was with us that day. It was grey and rainy, like the sky was angry with us to begin with.
I said, "hey let's go down and check out the building below". I think that's what I said. I think it was near 5 of us that actually walked out and down the path to the concrete area. I don't remember much talking.
We got to the base of this structure and it was odd. I think I remember feeling slightly sick to my stomach bu not enough to dissuade me. There was some idle chatter and even now, that much is lost to me still.
I try to remember the faces and I can't for the most part, maybe it's a blessing in disguise.
Yes, there was an upper part to this structure that we could have gone up into, but we didn't. Maybe there was a door that was locked, I'm not sure.
My memory is foggy of that day and for good reason.
I remember going down a flight of rough concrete stairs, no big deal really. We had them in all the dorms. It looked like we were going down into the basement type laundry area of most any dorm on that campus. The whole building was only 50 or so feet from the other building, I imagined that if I had issues, I could yell and someone would hear me and come a running.
From there my memory gets foggy again. I don't remember what we saw in the basement of that building we weren't supposed to be in. I know as an adult, they tell you not to do things for your own safety and I think, even with my infantile mentality, I get that now. It's for your own safety.
What I do remember is coming out of that building and walking up twords the overhang. I remember the last member of our little party, a large black guy, his name long since gone from my mind. He wasn't a close friend, nor was he my enemy. He was just someone from the overhang, another "comrade of the movie theater seats".
As the 5 of us exited the building, he yelled something like "hey guys check this out, you're never going to believe it". As we were walking up to the overhang, I saw him carrying something in his arms. In fact it was a black woman. It wasn't a big deal, he was carrying her much like a guy carries any woman with a hurt foot or ankle and it didn't bother me much at the time.
Another girl that was just below me on the slope yelled at him harshly, "PUT HER DOWN". He looked at us incredulously. He was the last one of us, the closest one to the bottom of the hill and the last to come up from that basement area.
The woman sat in his arms, like a bride waiting to be carried over the threshold on her wedding day, but she said nothing. I don't remember what clothes she was wearing. I remember the look on her face though, her eyes bulged a little and I do remember it odd that she never said a word to us.
The girl right below me screamed again, this time with much more force, "PUT HER DOWNNNNN"!!!!!
This time he did set her down on her feet and she scampered/ran back the way we had come, back into the concrete building.
I looked at them, they looked at me and we all looked around at each other. I asked the girl with the big mouth what that had been all about.
She didn't want to tell me. She ended up glossing over it and we made our way back under the overhang to wait for our next class, maybe get a soda or something before it was "that" time again.
I just remember the look on her face and those bulging eyes. I no longer remember the names of those 5 from under the overhang.
Later the next day, I was at the overhang area again, waiting for class.
I used to drink diet coke like it was the elixir of youth. You know once you start drinking that stuff, it's mad difficult to stop drinking it. Talk about "crack in a can", that diet stuff is murder on your insides but if you thought regular soda was addictive, you have something else coming if you start drinking diet soda in general. You get used to it and then you crave it like a hungry animal craves a piece of red meat.
I saw a gym teacher I had for something at one point. You know during everyone's collegiate career, on almost always has to take at least 1 gym class. I imagine even doctors/laywers/rocket scientists have to take "A" gym class once in their collegiate experience, if not just for credit.
So I sat down next to the gym teacher in the overhang.
I asked him if I could ask him a question. He replied innocently, "why sure Scott, what's on your mind"?
I asked him flat out "what's with that building below us"? Without even taking a breath, I asked him "Anything weird ever go on around here"?
He said nothing for a moment as the smile drained from his face.
He hesitated for a moment and then said "you don't want to talk about that".
I looked at him quizzically. He literally got up from his movie theater seat and left.
I looked around and there were 50 some odd people in the overhang and enough seats to seat another 150 I figure.
I kept surveying the area and I saw a woman sitting across the isle and looking right at me.
I got up and walked over, sitting down with a ker-plunk right next to her.
I looked at her in earnest. I said, "do you know what he was talking about"?
She looked at me uncomfortably. 4 or 5 other people moved to the row of seats just below where we were sitting. She replied "yeah I know".
I waited for her to tell me the story. One of the guys below me said, "we shouldn't be talking about that here".
I looked at him with amazement and said, "why not"?
The young woman looked at me if I was stupid. The others hung over their seats as if waiting for something significant was going to happen.
A bomb drop..a capsized boat..a war crime...what was going on here.
So I told her the story of the day before. She looked at me with interest, scanning my face for some sign of betrayal or lie, I surmise.
I told it flat because there was no reason to inflate this story, nothing happened that I knew of.
As I told it, the young woman and the 5 people on the row in front of me sat transfixed as if I was relating some universal code for taking tests or getting a perfect score on the SAT.
When I was done, they all groaned.
I exclaimed, "what, what's the deal"?
They all one by one, got up and left the overhang.
The young woman walked up the hill twords the dining hall and I followed her in hot pursuit, pressing the issue.
I asked her again, "please tell me what you know".
She finally stopped and looked at me. She said very quietly and calmly, "do not go down to the concrete building below the overhang, it's a bad place". "I think it used to be a dorm, but I'm not really sure".
I said "what happened there...why is it bad"?
She said slowly that she didn't know the details but there was a rumor that a young woman had died in the basement a long time ago. People are very hush-hush about it and you'll just stir up trouble if you go poking your nose where it doesn't belong.
I looked at her and asked why it was such a big deal. I was kind of put out. I laughed a little and told her that I was a thrill seeker of sorts.
"That kind of stuff doesn't bother me" and I laughed.
She stopped walking and looked at me sincerely.
She said "do you remember the story you told me about yesterday"?
I said naively "yes, I do".
"Well", she said, "I think you may have just seen a ghost".
I cocked my head to one side and looked at her with horror.
"What?!@?" I cried out.
She said, "you know I could be wrong but that woman with the bulging eyes that your friend carried out of the basement, I think that was her".
The blood immediately ran out of my upper extremities. I felt light headed and was thinking I might faint. She helped me for a second and I sat down, trying to weather the shock.
She asked me if I was going to be ok and I told her that I thought I would be fine in a moment...she left on her way to Chandler dining hall and I never spoke to her again.
I went to the library sometime later. I was afraid, but I had a burning desire to find out what the truth was.
Long story short, as I paged through a book, I found what I was looking for. The shock was huge. I felt again as if i couldn't breathe as my eyes fell upon a picture of the visage of the young woman that guy had carried from the basement.
A cold shiver ran the length of my body and I actually shook in 70 some odd degree weather.
I evidently forgot or repressed that memory, but last night I watched it all again from start to finish or at least as much of it as I actually remember anymore.
I haven't thought of that since '95 or so and if you had asked me and hadn't asked just right, I might have denied it since it is an unpleasant memory.
The memory of the look on her face and her bulging eyes makes the skin crawl on the tops of my arms and legs.
I don't know why I penned this, I surmise it's a final attempt to put this to bed. Maybe it's a weak attempt to help spirits find their way or seek aid.
Maybe it's completely an attempt to remove it from my mind or maybe it's none of the above.
I've said before that I write here to vent. Maybe I am venting.
All i know is that after seeing the "wed afternoon short story version" in my dreams, I think it's time to let it go in the light, bright air of the morning sun.
Every day is a new day, I hope she finds peace in whatever form she can.
EDIT: When I went to Preview this, it wouldn't load into the computer.
I had to quick copy it and then paste it into another newly created thread.
I can only think "she doesn't want her story to be told as I know it".
Oh boy the goosebumps are back as well as the shakes.
"Vaya Con Dios", young lady, Go with god..