“I had a bad dream.”
Her sweet, sad voice floated to me from the dark corners of the room. Without looking at the clock I knew the time, it was the same time it always was when she came to me. Always after the bad dream.
“Will you hold me until I fall back asleep”
“Of course honey.”
I lift the covers on the other side of the bed and I feel her slip in next to me. She’s cold, but I let her warm herself on my skin. She feels like she’s made of nothing so I hold her gently. She smells like the rain and the river, I bury my nose in her hair.
“Do you want to hear about my dream?”
It didn’t matter how I answered, she would tell me about it anyway. I’ve learned what to say to get through it faster.
“Yes honey, tell me about your dream”
“It was my birthday. You took me to that nice seafood place we like, the one we go to whenever we have something to celebrate. We like the oysters, we like the wine even more. We were having such a great time. I can’t remember what we were talking about, I just remember laughing and feeling like I loved you very much. I thought you loved me too but then you did something so….horrible.” The last word was spat out in disgust and I cringed to hear it.
“What happened honey? What did I do?” I knew what I did but she needed to tell me and maybe if she told me enough times we could both move on.
“We left the restaurant, I think we were drunk. We drank a lot of wine.” She laughed when she said that. She laughed because we always drank too much wine.”It was raining outside, pouring rain, we could barely see.” She was getting scared. She was
“It was raining outside, pouring rain, we could barely see.” She was getting scared. She was beginning to cry.
“We had to cross the bridge but you weren’t looking at the road, you were looking at me, laughing, and we hit the side rail and went over. I hit my head and when I woke up the water was up to my waist and I was still in the car. I saw you get out. I watched you swim to the bank. I saw you watch me from the waters edge. I was screaming, and screaming, and screaming, and you just watched me. You just let me go down.”
She was sobbing now but this was her time, I let her speak.
“Then everything was dark and I tasted the water.”
“Why would I dream that? I know you would never do that, right? You love me too much, you would never leave me behind.” She was still sobbing. She was shaking and trying to turn around to look at me. I held her tighter and did my best to calm her.
“That’s right honey, I love you too much. I am sorry about your dream. Everything is okay sweetie, just relax.” I rubbed her wet hair while I said this, I wanted to comfort her, to help her forget her pain. I wanted to forget mine too.
“No! I can’t relax! You let me die! Why would you do that? How could you do that?” She was fighting me now trying to get out of my grip, trying to look at me. I could let her turn around. I couldn’t see her face again.
“YOU LET ME DIE! YOU LET ME DIE! YOU LET ME DIE!” I could let her see me. I couldn’t see her.
“No baby, it was just a dream. Just breathe, just relax, just listen to my voice. It was all a dream. I didn’t let you die. I didn’t let you drown. You are here. You are only dreaming. I love you. I would never leave you.” She stopped fighting. She was crying quietly still but she was calm.
“I know you wouldn’t. You would never leave me would you? I know you wouldn’t. You love me too much.”
Her voice was fading. She was falling back to sleep and the smell of the river was fading. I wasn’t holding her anymore, I was holding the pillow and the bed was soaked where she had just been. I had tears in my eyes and I knew there would be no more sleep for me. There never was anymore.
She would come to me every night and I would have to face what I had done. It was only right. It was what I deserved.
Author’s note: The plan for this challenge was to post small pieces of fiction that read more like excerpts rather than stories with a true beginning, middle, and end. I think instead, these have turned into something in between, some more, some less. Please bear with me, these are my first attempts at writing fiction. You can find them all under my AtoZ2016 tag.
Featured image via Unsplash