The Robin That Got Away

For as long as I can remember, I had dreams of being a robin. They started when I was about five, but most of the memories were blurry. I obsessed with the sounds of chirping outside my bedroom window to the idea of flying away. I fantasize about this one particular song that would follow me throughout my childhood. I whistled it often.

When I came home from school on this particular day, I saw a small robin sit on my windowsill as I read a book. Keep in mind I was approximately seven at the time. As I was intrigued with this robin, it sat still and stared at me. Its eyes showed a level grief and sadness that my logical mind couldn’t comprehend. This went on for several days.

On the third day, I decided to feed the robin my afternoon snack.

“Hey, l have some crumbs for you!” I said to the sad robin. I gathered all of the remaining crumbs from my plate into my hand. The robin looked at me for some time and chirped a tune, a melody that brought water to my eyes. A soft teardrop leaked down my face. Right at that moment, I remembered I stubbornly scolded, “No! I have to stay here…That’s the way it suppose to be!”

My mom burst into my room and looked at me with an expression that I will never forget.  “What’s going on in there?” my mom said to me.

“Oh, nothing.” I told her. Being so young, I didn’t know how to put that experience in words. She kept insisting I tell her, which frustrated me because I didn’t know how to explain how I felt. Eventually she got over it and things went back to normal. The robin disappeared before my mom came into the room.

The next day, my brother Casey and I were deciding who would be the guitarist for our new band.

“You can be the drummer,” Casey said, “and I will be the guitarist!” At the time, I called for it but Casey decided to grab the guitar.

“Fine I’m the drummer, but I want to be the singer too,” I yelled out.

“We still need a drummer,” Casey declared. He decided our younger sister should be the drummer and I threw a fit. I told him, “No way! The drummer needs to be a boy!” My sister wasn’t too pleased, so we yelled and argued.

“What’s that?” Casey said. “It sounds like it’s coming from the window!”

We walked to our kitchen window to see what made that sound, but we didn’t find anything. The robin must’ve came to watch us perform, I thought. Many times I tried to tell my siblings about my encounter with the robin, but I didn’t know how to explain it to them. For some reason, I felt like the robin was attached to me.

The robin came every day, usually during the late afternoon. I would see the robin sit down and look at me with its sad eyes. It became much more soothing to me to whistle the same small tune for it. Then one day, the robin disappeared without a trace and I felt an unexplained amount of sadness.

Three weeks later, I was waiting to get picked up from school while my mom was running late. I don’t know why, but I looked up and whispered to the tree, “I have to stay here now! Why are you telling me to leave?”

Around 4:00 pm or so, my mom came and picked me up from school. I’ll never forget as I jumped up and down in my seat. I told her, “Mommy, we have to get out of here!”

She turned the steering wheel and shook her head. I kept screaming “Mommy, we have to go!” In that moment, the car caught on fire.

Luckily it wasn’t a big fire and we got out in time. Shocked, my mom asked me, “How do you know that the car would catch on fire?” Her voice stalled with the same expression on her face that she had when I yelled at the robin the first time.

“I just know, mommy! ”I said.

She looked at me with intent. “How did you know that?” she asked.  Afraid that I was in deep trouble, I got really quiet.

“Never mind.” I whispered. She kept asking me what I said, but I didn’t tell her again because I was afraid I did something wrong. I kept quiet and stared at the fire.

Later that night she asked me,”That was unnatural for you to know that the car would catch on fire.” Afraid of getting in trouble, I lied and said to her, “I felt the heat, mommy.”

That’s when the dreams became more prominent.

I had one dream in particular where I was sitting on a branch in the forest, and these kids were playing around the trees. One had something in their hand, but I couldn’t tell what it was. I heard a woman’s voice yell my name. That’s when I woke up.

That day, I was drawing a description when Casey came over.

“Who’s the blonde hair and blue eyes kid?” My brother asked me. He was around nine or so, so I asked him if he seen someone like him before. He was confused until he handed me our family’s photo album. I searched through some pictures, until I found one of my brother playing near a tree. The boy in my dream whom had something in his hand was in the background. I looked over at Casey and said, “That’s him!”

My brother thought I just had an overactive imagination and went along with it. I tried to explain to him that I was sitting in a tree, and how the kid had something in his hand before I was distracted.

That’s probably why I had a fear of heights to this day.

I remember falling on the grass and the feeling of paralysis sweeping over my body. Suddenly, I became agitated with my human existence. I wanted to blow up with rage, but I realized I’m no longer there. 

I remember the song that the robin sang when I saw it the first time. The same song that robin sang to me on that first day. The same song I heard before mom picked me up from school.

It was the same song I heard before I passed away… 

As I was sitting in my room, I was thinking about those dreams and then it finally hit me. That robin is my caretaker. Why else was I having all of these detailed dreams about an event I’ve never experienced before. It took me awhile to let it sink in because I never believed in reincarnation up to that point.

I whistled a soft tune before I cried myself to sleep.

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