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Dreamed a Dream

Each and every day...

By Noaria07Published 23 days ago Updated 15 days ago 6 min read
Top Story - May 2024
Dreamed a Dream
Photo by Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

“When I consider this carefully, I find not a single property which with certainty separates the waking state from the dream. How can you be certain that your whole life is not a dream?”

I remember reading that in some old textbook when I was in high school. Maybe it wasn’t a textbook. Maybe it was one of those thick packets that they passed out to the class to be read aloud before we all wrote persuasive articles about nothing we really cared about. Regardless, it’s Descartes. I think. Who the Hell knows?

I think I did, once.

Nowadays, I just wish the quote were still true. Nowadays, even when I don’t dream, it’s distinguishable from reality. I sit. In total darkness. In unconsciousness. Praying. That I do not wake. And then I wake up. And when I do, I know that I’ll eventually return to my bed at the end of the day (or the next day, if I’m lucky), and dream again. Confusing, isn’t it? That I can “sit” and “pray” in unconsciousness. But I promise, I do.

It's bizarre how it torments me – the dream. It came so insidiously. It was a respite from what I endured each waking hour.

I open my eyes. Sunlight is beaming onto my face and frame, warming me in such a way that I wonder if my skin might have darkened while I slept. The room is cold, but the light that pools atop the bed is a haven to me, and I’m swaddled in a warmth that convinces me: this is the way that God embraces His children.

I prop myself onto my elbow to take in a sight. In the night, the comforter has fallen to the floor. The Egyptian blue is spread out against the cream of the carpet, and I find myself marveling at how the combination of colors matches so closely the view of the beach that I can crane my neck to see over the balcony through the patio doors that I’ve left open the night before.

I inhale and I am struck with a truly wonderful fragrance. The sea spray from high tide is kicking into the air and being carried up through the open doors. My stomach flutters as, alongside the seafoam air, a second scent, more subtle and difficult to place has attached itself beneath the recognizable. I find myself struggling to identify it, but I draw blanks as my unconscious shouts out what my conscious mind fumbles for in the darkness. My heartbeat quickens, but my mind moves on, admiring the ornate wardrobe that sits against the wall to my left.

I stand up to cross the room and inspect it more closely, but my foot slips across the comforter and I tumble to the ground, reaching out for the bed, but finding only air.

I find myself looking up at the ceiling with my hand across my forehead as I silently confirm that I’m uninjured in the fall. As I’m evaluating the condition of my back, I’m jarred from my thoughts by the most beautiful sound. It’s muffled at first. But even muffled, I recognize it immediately. My mind reaches out into the darkness and rips into the light what my subconscious has been screaming for the last minute. The sound is laughter.

I scramble to my feet as I realize that I’m not alone in the room, and my eyes fall to the other side of the bed that I was just comfortably nestled in.

The smell, the warmth, the sound, the general calm. Like puzzle pieces, they all fall into place, and I acquaint myself with the product. Across the bed, barely meeting my eyes, Her face locked in a struggle between concern and violent laughter, My Wife.

When I think of Her, I always first think of Her hair. She’s always a few (read: several) steps ahead of me. She isn’t really the meandering type. Still, whenever I find myself distracted – stopped to take in a mural painted onto a building, or to read a poem scrawled onto a landmark – I always look up and find Her standing beside me, silently appreciating whatever has arrested my attention.

When I do think of Her hair, I’m reminded of the faint glow of midnight embers in a fire pit as the summer campfire fades to nothing, and cicadas buzz in the treetops overhead. I’m reminded of my grandmother’s rosewood chess pieces that my brother and I would play with beneath the branches of the willow trees outside of Her home. Curls of auburn that run wild across Her shoulders and threaten to sweep me away into eternity.

When I think of Her eyes, I’m reminded of the overwhelming relief of feeling your soul reach out and hold a kindred spirit. I’m reminded of the feeling that when I speak, I am simultaneously the very focus of the world and the most protected being in it. When she looks at me, the Earth stops spinning, the Walls of Jericho crumble to the ground, and a silent promise feels fulfilled.

When I think of Her cheeks and Her nose. 172 freckles. I swear I wasn’t insane then. It was a joke at first. I had begun to count her freckles as she struggled to sleep, but then, as I watched the transition from gleeful laughter to mild amusement, to genuine calm, and then eventually to tranquil sleep, I never stopped counting. From the peak of her cheek when she smiles, across the bridge of her nose, to the other cheek. 172.

When I think of Her mouth, I’m reminded of dahlias that grew in the yard below my childhood window. The K9 teeth that look a little more vampiric than human that she runs her tongue along when she’s particularly engrossed in a task.

When I think of Her ears, I’m reminded of the almost elvish pointedness and how wonderful it is to know that she wants to listen to me. I think of Her neck and the tendon that tenses when she forces a smile that wasn’t earned. I think of Her collarbone and the divot along the right side from when she fell from a tree at 9 years old. I think of Her shoulder and the hummingbird with flapping wings adorning it. Her arms and muscle definition earned from years of swimming competitively. Her ribs and the birthmark that traces along it.

She’s laughing hysterically now as I stand awestruck, absorbing the vision of Her. Silently, I cross the room to Her. Her laughter begins to subside as I draw close - she is only vaguely aware of the spirit that’s possessed me. My subconscious again begins to scream out, imploring me to stop, but even as it screams, it knows that it could never truly stop me from making the same decision that I will make every single time. The decision that I made that morning. I reach Her. She’s silent now and I’m looking down at Her - our eyes joined in an understanding that comes from years of wordless communication.

I kiss her.

But as our lips draw together, and my breath catches in my chest, I wake up. I wake up in a bed with white sheets and an Egyptian blue comforter atop me. The sun is beaming down onto my face, and the smell of the ocean, which has ingrained itself in the material of the carpet, is hanging in the air. The air itself is frigid, and I do not move to warm myself or even to prepare for the day ahead. I lie there. Unmoving. I know that when I do move, my gaze will eventually fall to the other side of the bed. And I know on the other side of the bed, she will be gone. The diagnosis will have been years in the past and the day that I dreamt about will have been further still. I will sit and I will cry, and I will not move. And then, the next night, or the next (if I’m lucky), I will dream it again.

And still, I will never not kiss Her. I will know each time with absolute certainty that my dream is a dream – that my kiss will be the end of our time together. I will know that before our lips touch, I will awaken in a world without Her. But with God as my witness, I swear to you, I will never not try.

Short Story

About the Creator

Noaria07

Young Writer.

Young King.

Young...Money?

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Comments (10)

  • worldwonder18 days ago

    great stuff, nice master piece

  • Novel Allen19 days ago

    Wow! This is powerful stuff of nightmares that scare the crap out of you. Masterfully written and edge of your seat read. Kudos and congrats and stuff.

  • Fantastic writing.

  • Jasmine Whitmore20 days ago

    Congratulations on the top story!

  • Anu Mehjabin21 days ago

    Your writing beautifully captures the haunting intersection of dreams and reality, love and loss. It's a poignant reminder of the enduring power of love, even in the face of heartbreak and the passage of time.🌼

  • Christy Munson22 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story. There's a lulling, haunting quality to this work that I find intriguing. Beautiful work.

  • D.K. Shepard22 days ago

    This is so tragic and very beautifully written! Excellent storytelling from start to finish. The detail of the number of freckles was simple but so stirring

  • Ameer Bibi22 days ago

    Keep up the great work

  • shanmuga priya22 days ago

    Congratulations 🎉 . Keep writing.

  • It is mesmerizing!

Noaria07Written by Noaria07

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