111 Getting Closer
Chen Ge and Doctor Gao were silent for a long time. Washing the head meant washing away bad luck and dirt. In dream theory, it meant a good thing was about to happen, but what Men Nan described had nothing good about it; it sounded like a nightmare.
"Can you still remember the face of the person in your dream and your surroundings?"
Men Nan was most likely the special visitor mentioned by the black phone. Therefore, the choice Chen Ge made could influence the final reward.
"The dream feels like it happened inside my rental's bathroom; the placement of the things looked familiar, but I am not so sure." Men Nan pushed down his head, and his voice weakened even more. "I haven't been able to get a good look of the person standing beside me, but I am certain he is getting closer to me. These few weeks, I have been having the same dream, and with each passing night, the dream keeps getting clearer, and I have a clearer view of the man's face."
"What does he look like?"
"Soon, in the next dream, I will be able to see his face," Men Nan said with his head lowered. When he spoke, only his pupils moved upwards; it looked creepy. What the young man said was very vague; there was no worthwhile information.
Chen Ge did not give up and continued to press him. "Can you give me more details? For instance, what was the man up to when you were washing your head? Or has he said anything?"
"The content of the dream is almost always the same." Men Nan's raw voice was shaking. "When I had this dream for the first time three weeks ago, it wasn't that scary. In the dream, I woke up in the middle of the night to enter the bathroom. There were no thoughts in my mind then, and my body was merely moving on its own. It felt like some foreign force had taken over me.
"Initially the dream was fuzzy. I stopped before the mirror to fill up the basin with water before putting my head into it. When I bent over with my head lowered, I could see someone standing at the front door upside-down.
"At the beginning, he was standing far away from me. It was not until I finished washing my head that I realized he seem to have moved closer but only just a little bit.
"After the dream was over, I had other dreams, so I didn't pay it much attention initially. But the next day, I had the same dream again!
"Everything was the same. I walked into the bathroom, stood before the mirror, filled the basin with water, and then bent over to put my head into the water. When my hair touched the surface of the water, I could see someone standing in the living room. When I was done, the person once again moved closer to me.
"The same dream kept repeating. Initially, it felt like every other dream, but as it repeated itself, everything became clearer and clearer. My brain was moving during the dream, and my senses were active, but the key issue was the man who came in from the door inched closer to me with each dream!
"In my dream, I'm scared out of my wits, but I simply cannot wake up. The moment I fall asleep, the dream continues. In the dream two and a half weeks ago, the man entered the living room; one week ago, the man appeared next to the toilet. In the dream four days ago, the man appeared beside me!
"He was standing beside me. The moment I bent down to push my head into the water, his body would lean alongside me with the fuzzy face inching closer."
Chen Ge had chills just from Men Nan's description. He could not imagine the trauma for the young man who had experienced it personally. Having the same dream for three weeks with an unclear man inching closer, no wonder he ended up in this state.
"The night before last, I had the same dream again, and it was also the last time." Men Nan tried to raise his head, and Chen Ge saw that his eyes were darting about rapidly. "The man's face was so close that I thought I could take a good look, but at that moment, he used his hands to strangle my neck. Then, I woke up, and I haven't gone back to bed since then."
Men Nan's situation was dire. The man in his dream was strangling him. If the dream was allowed to continue, who knew what would have happened. No wonder Doctor Gao came to Chen Ge; he was probably the last resort.
"Repetitious dream you say… and they are all in the bathroom." Chen Ge thought about it and said, "Could it be a problem with the apartment itself? I'm just stating a possibility, so don't be afraid."
"Is it possible that someone died in the room you rented, and the body hasn't been discovered, so the person appears in your dream, hoping you will call the police on his behalf?"
When Chen Ge finished, Men Nan's face was green. He took in a very deep breath. "There's a body hiding in my room? Impossible!"
His emotions started to go haywire. If not for Doctor Gao's hands on his shoulders, his illness probably would have kicked in. Doctor Gao added with a curious expression, "I've been to his rental room and examined the place inside out; there is nothing weird about it. Furthermore, one week ago, I did invite Men Nan to stay with me. He still experienced the same dream; it did not stop due to a change in location."
"When he had the dream for the first time, the man was standing at the front door, so the man probably came from the outside. This means that we cannot limit our investigation to Men Nan's room. We should expand the scope of investigation to include the whole apartment building." Chen Ge gave his opinion. Afraid of provoking Men Nan, he did not give the latter part of his suspicion. The ghost had probably attached itself to Men Nan, so it could not be solved by sleeping elsewhere.
"We are not police, so we don't have the right to search the rest of the building." Doctor Gao now had second thoughts about coming to Chen Ge. "We should focus on analyzing this dream. Men Nan kept repeating the action of washing his hair—perhaps we will be able to discover something if we understand what that action stands for."
Doctor Gao tried to advise Chen Ge, and Chen Ge did listen to the doctor's explanation patiently, but his speculation could not explain why Men Nan kept having the same dream.
"I can't be sure for now, so why don't we see what happens tonight? How about we go to Men Nan's apartment? Perhaps a new pair of eyes might bring some new discoveries." Chen Ge waited patiently for them to answer. He put his hands into his pockets—from the special visitor alert until now, the black phone had not reacted.