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Flashback by Angelique Anderson

The bright yellow cab door slammed behind her as she slid across the smooth leather interior. "1412 Oak St. please, I would like to go home."

The cab driver grinned in the mirror at her and tipped his hat. His eyes caught hers, and she felt slightly unsettled. There was something there that made her nervous so she shifted her attention to the passing scene out of the left side window.

The cab driver was quite the expert slithering from one street to the other, like a moving block in the game Tetris, that knew exactly where it fit. Soon, she could feel her eyes growing heavy, and found herself drifting off to sleep. The Cab driver grinned, the corners of his mouth crinkling in the most pleasant way. Silly girl, you’ve nothing to be nervous for. As he pulled in front of her destination, she stirred from sleep.

“Are we here?”

“You are exactly where you need to be.”

She looked out the window, only to discover she was not in fact at 1412 Oak St. The place she was at looked vaguely familiar, but only just. She stretched and yawned sleepily, "Cab driver, how long have I been asleep?"

"Years," he smugly replied, a smirk playing on his mouth.

"WHAT?" The sudden realization they had stopped somewhere she was not familiar with hit her like a ton of bricks. “I want to go home! Take me home!”

“You are exactly where you need to be.”

"What do you mean? Where are we?”

He sat quietly for a moment.

"I need to be home! What the Hell are you talking about? For the last time, WHERE ARE WE?"

The Cab driver looked her dead in the eyes, in the rear view mirror, and very calmly replied, "In the past."

"Excuse me?" she answered.

"We all have things in our life that hold us back, keep us anchored in our past. I’ve brought you somewhere that you can deal with those things so that you can move forward.”

“Why are you talking crazy? I just want to go home!”

“You are home, for now. When you do what you need to do, everything will be made right.”

The woman sat in shock and disbelief before she couldn’t handle being in the cab anymore with him and so she clambered out. Her breath was coming in short gasps, and she could feel her anxiety gaining ground. What the hell is he trying to pull here? In that second, a little tow-haired girl, with crystalline eyes, bounded toward her. She had a carefree way about her, but the look in the little girl’s eyes, broke the woman’s heart.

“Do I know you?” The woman said to the little girl.

“Umm, I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.” The realization of who the little girl was slowly dawned on the woman, and in that moment… she knew what she had to do.

"Oh, sweet little Angel." Hearing her name, the little girl stopped stone still.

"H..H…How do you know my name?"

The woman looked upon the girl fondly. "Oh, darling girl. I know you better than you could ever imagine. I need you to know something….” The woman got on her knees, so that she was eye-level with the tow-haired child. “You are an amazing young lady, strong and brave in more ways than you will ever know. You never did anything that needed forgiving. It was never your fault. You are a child, and it’s the adults in your life that failed you. Remember that as you get older." The crystal-eyed girl stared at her in disbelief, before running away.

The blonde-haired woman stared after her, then turned around and headed back to the cab. When she had sat down and closed the door, the cab driver smiled at her in the mirror, a soft gentle glow around his face.

Then she was waking up her bed.

“What in the world?” She looked around the room trying to figure out if what she had experienced was a dream or reality. “It felt so real.” On the edge of the bed, lay her suit jacket. Next to her, on the floor, were her navy blue heels. “What time is it?” The clock flashed 8:15 AM. Only she couldn’t remember coming home after work last night, just the crazy cab drive and now she was waking up in her bed. The cab driver and the girl, just the fading remnants of a dream.

As she hopped out of bed, her heart felt lighter than it had in years. She couldn't explain it, but as she brushed her tow-blonde hair, her piercing blue eyes staring back at her in the mirror, the pain and anguish she had carried around since she was a child had vanished.

“It worked.” She thought, and then laid the brush down and got ready for the new day.

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