Summer Dream

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A long awaited for dream finally comes true - or does it?

Submitted: January 23, 2018

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Submitted: January 23, 2018

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The sun had always helped. There was something about feeling the warm, embracing light hit the skin that made me feel relaxed and at peace, as if I was one with nature. When you’re that calm, you can hardly distinguish between reality and dreams anymore.

That is why whenever the sun was out I would go outside, sit on the crisp green grass, and surrender control. Five years on, five years on, and I could still hear their laughter as they ran around the garden. Smell the flowers we planted together in the air, even though it had all since become wild and devoid of beauty. See their golden curly hair against the sunlight, the same light that still felt so simple after they’d gone. Sometimes it would feel so scarily vivid that I would open my eyes, and for a brief second while I opened them, nearly believe that they’d be there stood in front of me, ready to jump into my arms for a hug, one of those hugs where your arms, your chest, your eyes are all love and love is all of your arms, your chest, your eyes. But for five years they never were there, despite my darkest moments, despite all my screaming, all the crying myself to sleep except I would never sleep, all the wanting to change fate with my imagination. I knew that the sunlight would be as close as I’d ever get to them for the rest of my years.

But I also knew that hope never leaves you. So when reality and dreams came together on that final Sunday, disbelief was easy to suspend. In the blink of an eye, what was supernatural became natural; what was life or death became a blur. As soon as I woke up that day, things felt different. I could hear birds sing when I hadn’t heard a bird sing in five years. I felt hungry, a hunger that had deserted me for five years, hungry for the same pancakes I’d cook for them most Sunday mornings. I walked past their room, and the grey of the last five years gave way to the pink that I always knew was still there, but that I couldn’t see. The world appeared brighter, the grass looked more inviting, and the sun seemed even more playful. So when it happened, my heart jumped, but not of shock; it jumped of joy. I deserved this. When I opened my eyes and they were stood there in front of me and jumped into my arms for a hug, I knew it was real.

No words needed to be spoken. I don’t know how long we hugged for, I didn’t want to let go easily, not again, never again. I would never speak another word. They only ever said three: “come on daddy”, when they finally jumped out of my arms, grabbed hold of my hands and led me running towards the garden wall. I followed them through an old wooden door hidden behind the overgrown bushes, a door that I was sure had never been there. But the imposing pine tree forest that we were to find after going through the door, and the clear, dry, sandy path showing the way were very familiar. I had been there many times before; the last of which five years ago.

I knew then where we were going. The way was silent, but for the breeze blowing and gently shaking the trees. The memories of our summer picnics when we had the woods to ourselves. The path turning whiter and whiter, softer and softer. They looked back at me every few yards with the sweetest smile I’d ever seen, their front teeth still missing as they were five years ago, and I looked back at them, as certain of what we were about to do as I ever was about anything in my life.

At the end of the forest, the path turned into sand at last, the sand into sand dunes that seemed to touch the sky, the same sky that seemed to touch the ocean. Our bodies kept moving, determined, despite all the images running through my mind of the last time we were there, maybe because of them. This time, there were no other families eating ice cream, there were no friendly dogs having the time of their lives, there were no seagulls hovering above. When we made it to the top of the sand dunes and saw the vastness of the water ahead of us, there were no swimmers, no children building sand castles, no ships in the distance. There was no shouting, no wailing, no panic. There was just us, the beach and the ocean. Soon, there would be just us and the ocean, soon there would be just me, but unlike five years ago, soon there would be no one.

As we walked into the water, I hugged them and they hugged me, one of those hugs where your arms, your chest, your eyes are all love and love is all of your arms, your chest, your eyes. Our bodies sank further and further, our heads barely above water, and I felt the waves come crashing down on us again like a relentless whip, only this time I would never let go. I closed my eyes, felt the sunlight touch my face one last time, and we were gone together.


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