Am I the only one who knows?

From Dreamdarkers (a few paragraphs directly preceding this excerpt):

But an analysis of the Dreamdarkers’ involvement in the world’s sudden turn toward the dark side had to include the one truth to which only I was privy: my mind could be responsible for inserting into already astonishing events my personal memories of Beth and her stories about Irene.  None of the others in our party had mentioned the Dreamdarkers.  They had admitted to the nightmares, to hearing from a dead loved one, and to being warned of impending doom, yet not one of them had offered a clue to indicate their experience included something more.  In a group of five plus me, I had to imagine one of them would spill the beans if they suspected they knew something the rest of us did not.  I didn’t care if that butted against statistics and probability.  Something in me needed to believe someone else would have mentioned them.  Was I the only one who had been told the Dreamdarkers were coming?  I considered that possibility unusual at best.  So much of what we had experienced had been the same.  Why would one tiny detail be different?  The only answer made clear it had to do with me, that my mind was already broken and limping on crutches too fragile to support my own mental weight, and that I was responsible for augmenting our common experiences with my own damaged psyche.

Discarding that possibility meant the others knew about the Dreamdarkers and kept it quiet.  Had they been too frightened to voice that one bit of information?  If so, what made it unworthy of note when everything else had been confirmed?  No one denied knowing the pat-a-cake song, sharing the same dream, or hearing a similar warning from a dead member of their kith and kin.  If we all experienced the same things, what kept them—at least one of them—from speaking up about the Dreamdarkers?  Was I the only one in six who knew of them, who had been warned of their impending arrival?  That seemed implausible at best.

I could not use my own silence as measure of anyone else’s failure to speak up since I carried enough baggage both public and private to explain away my reluctance.  Mentioning the Dreamdarkers would have raised questions I was unwilling to answer.  And if I brought them up and no one else had shared that aspect of the dream, it would have strengthened the notion that I had finally arrived in that barren mental terrain where twilight homes and white coats with wraparound sleeves became not only appropriate but also essential.  The only way to explain what I knew would be to delve into my history with Beth and her history with Irene.  In turn, such information would serve only to prove my impressions rested atop my own memories rather than the external stimuli responsible for what others had seen and heard.

Such a thought frightened me.  What if I was the only one who knew of them?  What if I was the only one with Dreamdarkers on the mind?  More important than what that might cause the others to think of me was how it might impact my own views and opinions.  It would give rise to second-guessing myself because I could no longer trust what I remembered as being freestanding and recent.  The darkness within my own soul—the pain of Beth’s loss and my downward spiral since then—would finally rise to the surface and lay claim to my life, would stand as the sole contaminant infusing common experiences with uncommon blemishes.  Irrespective of what the others might think—and I could only assume they’d think me mad—I would be left questioning my own thoughts, unable to determine what was real, and unsure of what was Dave-induced craziness as opposed to the new world order where craziness was mixed into every dish.

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