As I stroll through the streets of the San Telmo district, the familiar sounds and smells of Buenos Aires surround me. I slow down to snap a picture of the beautiful tin houses that have been painted a rainbow of colors, and I can hear my friends laughing and calling my name farther up the road. They stop at a food cart for Argentina’s famous choripán, and I hurry to catch up. I reach to pay for my food and the man behind the grill smiles and says “happiness will come from an unexpected place today". A little taken aback I thank him and soon fall into a lively discussion about upcoming research plans with my colleagues from the university. A feeling of content and happiness washes over me. I feel at home here on these winding streets.
Yet, just when I am finishing up my conversation about the new rural outreach program, my friends suddenly begin to shimmer as if they are no longer made of flesh and blood. Before I can utter another word, they disappear. In a panic, I whirl around to see if anyone else saw what just happened before me. But the streets are suddenly vacant, the only sound I hear is the sizzling of the meat on the now abandoned grill. I run down the streets, and the houses begin changing around me. Suddenly I find myself running frantically through what appears to be Dreamwood Terrace. I come to a grinding halt right in front of the fountain; the hot tile searing through my shoes. I feel a hand on my shoulder, and I turn to find myself looking into the eyes of Jasmine Reed. She reaches her hand out to touch my face, “go back” she says. I reach out to embrace her, but wake up screaming on the floor of New Hope Children’s home only to realize it was all a dream.
One thing is clear. I need to leave Dreamwood.