I Who Killed Me-Chapter IV


AKA Xueyun, Contributing Writer

Chapter IV

-Déjà rêvé-

Ⓒ 2023

The heat of the desert boiled the blood in me, reminding me of where I was. I looked up from under a porch’s shade, the sun high above in the painted blue sky. Plants of all kinds surrounded me, brushing against my sleeves as I walked inside the small building. 

The fresh scent of leaves and native flowers soothed me of the unbearable heat. A cluster of small red petals caught my attention, one wilting in the healthy bunch. I brought my hand to it, holding the flower with a gold ring over my thumb. I walked around the counter of the small store just as the doorbell chimed. I turned to the door and saw a tall man. 

He had outgrown black hair tied in a half-up ponytail, and a pale complexion(1.refer), one which suggested he was rich and was foreign to this land. His mouth moved as he spoke, but I could not understand what he said. The strange man walked close to me, looking down at me from where I stood behind the counter as he spoke again. 

Then, within an instant, a cold blade was held to my neck as he smiled, but his eyes had no mercy as his soul was seemingly missing. 

“You’re next.”


The ring of my phone shocked me awake, the dream bringing a deep unease over my neck as I held my hand over it. The room was small and the bed I lay in felt firm. Then I remembered where I was, picking up my phone and sliding it to my ear, “Hello?”

“Lennon,” the voice was different from what I had imagined, one which I had heard before but didn’t know who it belonged to. “You should have listened,” the voice of a man continued, his tone was deep, right in my ear even as it was over the phone. 

I was confused, pulling the phone away from me and checking who it was. There was no caller ID. 

“You shouldn’t have come,” the same voice croaked again, yet not from the phone. It came from behind me. 

My heart dropped as my eyes turned before my body could respond. All I saw was that same haunting smile.


I sprung awake, cold sweat trailing down my back while my phone rang on the bedside. I felt for my neck, then looked behind me and all around the room. It was just a nightmare. 

I turned and checked my lit phone’s screen. My boss. I sighed with great relief and answered the phone, “Hello?” 

“Lennon! I’d thought I’d never get a hold of you again! Listen, buddy. I know you’ve been pretty stressed about coming to work and all, but please just stay home. Right now I’ve been hearing more ‘f those murders recently and they don’t sound like they’re letting up anytime soon. Just take it easy for now. I’m closing the pub for a while ‘til it starts to get safer. I don’t want my place to be a hotspot of the next murders, know what I mean?” he spoke fast, his upstate accent heavy on my ears.

It took me a while to pick up on what he was saying, somewhat relieved and anxious by the news, “So you’re laying me off?” 

It was quiet for a moment before he responded, “You gotta understand the situation here. I’ve had you workin’ with me for a while now, one of my best workers, so I’ve considered keeping you updated ‘til I feel it’s gonna get safer.” 

I sighed, “Just tell me when I can go back.” I then hung up, tossing my phone onto the bed before bringing my head into my hands. I need to get some fresh air. 


After a savouring brunch of braised carrot, brown rice, and a cold glass of limoon, I found myself following a familiar group of Americans on a tour bus. The tour guide cheered at the front of the bus as she pointed out various landmarks, buildings, and statues. Even though I wasn’t one to enjoy touring, it was refreshing. At that point, I had completely forgotten that horrific nightmare. 

Come around five in the afternoon, we were let off the bus to explore on our own through the glittering streets of Muizz Street. The architecture was almost breathtaking; the cobblestone reflected the beaming sun overhead whilst the lush leaves and petals smiled along the street. 

The heat had done work on me even though I hid under the shade every chance I got, but it was instantly wiped away by a pique of interest. I wandered through clashing shops of souvenirs and shining windows of antiques and clothes. If it weren’t for my financial situation, I would have come out with more than a handful of gifts for myself and Phoebe. 

Near the end of the street, I picked up my pace through the crowds to the doorstep of another shop. I turned to look inside it, the windows decorated with gentle flowers and waving greenery. 

I swore I had been to the little flower shop before, but I couldn’t remember when. When I pushed the glass door open, the bell overhead chimed with a familiar welcome. I was met with a mellow wift of nature. 

“Welcome!” a distressed voice from behind the yellow curtains called. 

I continued through the looming lilacs, swaying orchids, floating lotuses, and at a stop where a mandrake root sat on the counter. Everything about the corner shop grabbed my interest, but there was nothing special about it. 

A heavy basin of flowers landed on the counter as the lady from the back appeared, “Sorry to keep you waiting.” Her eyes were a deep sepia against her desert skin. The sleeves of her white blouse were folded up and her dark brown hair trailed along her shoulder in a ponytail. I knew her from somewhere. 

We both met with wide eyes, her wine-painted lips bowed into a meak smile. “I was expecting you.” 



The smell of flowers was strong even in the house connecting to the small shop. I fiddled my thumbs over, wondering who this woman was. A clock nearby clicked every passing moment, and the clinking of glass could be heard from the kitchen. 

The living space was cosy with careful decorations of hand-painted vases and paintings along with colourful embroidery over pillow cushions. The wall to my right was heavily packed with various arts, and to my left was a bright window leading out to the packed streets. 

“I hope you like honey tea,” she returned and placed two equally decorated mugs on the coffee table before sitting down in front of me. Her home was just as welcoming as her, but I couldn’t bite off the feeling that something was terribly wrong. 

“I do,” I responded as I picked up the steaming mug and eyed the milky tea. 

She cleared her throat and sighed with relief, “My name is Sharifa, by the way. I’m sure you’ll remember who I am if you think hard enough.” She held a hand out to me with a smile.

How vague she was, yet I found myself believing her. “Lennon,” I responded as I glanced away and shook her hand briefly. On the kitchen counter was a tall white vase of small, bright cerise flowers, but one in the bunch was wilting. That too felt familiar. 

Sharifa followed where I was looking, smiling. “Does that feel familiar?” she clasped her hands together with hopeful eyes. 

I thought for a moment before setting down my mug, “It does.”

We both met eyes again. Where did I know her from? I looked at her hand, a gold ring on her thumb. Then I looked back into her eyes again. Impossible. 

She only smiled, waiting for me to remember. She lifted her mug to her lips and took a sip of the tea before resuming, “Do you remember?” 

I hesitated, swallowing hard and took a deep breath. 

Sharifa crossed her legs and leaned forward with her hands held together. “I’m you.” 


[Reference 1. In Asia, paler complexions typically relate to the wealth of a person; ex. A farmer is exposed to more sun and has a tan compared to a richer person who stays indoors.]