It’s been a while. I haven’t come this way for many months. My old world of dreams and adventures, love and fear, solutions and victories was destroyed by my own will a long time ago. There was only one survivor of that fantasy place. Someone I fully intended to erase from my dreams along with everything and everyone else in that wonderful, vivid yet outgrown realm of my childhood, adolescence and most of my adult life.
But when the moment came and the world was ripped apart, ready to be rebuilt from the void and vacuum of what had been, I saw her and all my willpower and resolve melted in a heartbeat. I took her out of there with me. Not the real person but the original dream. The one that came from the roots and flowers of my initial love and lust. The gorgeous one. The one that has been there since I first met her real life counterpart.
I know she made it out, I saw her as I woke up, the dream world fading away and reality intruding like sharpened sticks into my eyes.
But I haven’t seen her since.
Now, months later I am in a room with many doors. It’s a new place I haven’t seen before. It smells of Greek tavernas in August. It is wonderful and bright. There are flowers and expensive carved chairs. The room is many sided. I stand there and look around. It’s hexagonal. Weird. I know without being told (after all, this is my dream) that the room is not connected “really” to anywhere. It’s an interim. A linking point. A place where someone could step out of their own dream space and come here. A place to talk. A place to make love. A place to be with someone that you can’t see in your own world.
I stand there for a few moments. The room is incredibly peaceful. I can feel the warmth and tranquility soothing my cynical soul, my eyelids momentarily flutter withe sleepiness. I shake my head to erase the lethargy. Then I look around the room again.
There are six doors to this room. The one I came out of, a red door opposite mine and four others. A hexagon. Something similar to the room I created in my first kids’ book. Well, all dream states have to spring from some well of the imagination, I guess.
As I’m standing there, I hear a key turning and the red door opens inwards. She comes through it. I haven’t dreamed of her in 3 months but as usual she makes my heart stutter, my breath pause in my throat and my stomach fill with butterflies. She glances at me, her face unreadable then turns and closes the door behind her. Then she turns to face me. She’s as beautiful as I remember her. Everything about her pulls at my soul. I look at her for a moment, savouring the vision then I clear my throat “It’s good to…”
Before I can finish she takes two or three steps towards me and slaps me hard across the face. My head jerks back and I turn to look at her. “What…?” but before I can continue she take my face in both hands and kisses me deeply. When she pulls away I am utterly confused. She smiles, half angry, then says. “You’re not the only one who’s hurting”.
I am lost for words and just stare at her, the kiss lingering and my cheek stinging. She kisses me again and then steps back.
“I love you…” I manage to say.
She smiles again and her brown eyes shine. “I love you too”.
As I stare, confused beyond belief, I am distracted by a sound. The doorway to my left. It’s disconnecting from the room. When it goes, it can never be put back. I just know this. After all, it’s my dream. The doorway fades and in its place is smooth brickwork, no different to the rest of the wall. Then another detaches, falling into the oblivion of the dream nether. Finally there are only two left. Mine and hers. When hers goes mine will be alone, destined to disappear the moment I return to the waking world. One corridor is not enough to support this place. Unity and karma dictate there must be at least two.
I sigh and look at her. I don’t want her to see me cry so say quickly, “I guess it’s time to go. I’ll never stop loving you. Have a beautiful life”.
She shakes her head and smiles “You still don’t get it do you? This isn’t your dream, it’s mine”.
I step towards her, my emotions rolling like a tsunami inside me and she puts her arms around me, kissing me again and then she steps back and through her door. It closes behind her and the key turns in the lock.
But the doorway doesn’t fade away.
I smile, finally understanding, and turn back to my own doorway. As I step through my eyes open in reality and I’m in bed, the air conditioning humming and the cicadas noisily chirruping outside. The sun has come up and the day is already warm.
I lay there for a while and then make my way into today.
Nights later, I dreamed my way back to the room once again. She wasn't there but her doorway was. On the table was a small envelope. A beautiful cream vellum, and in exquisite handwriting on the front it read “Cannot be opened until after August 2029”.