I was dreaming...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A mother dreams of her missing daughter, and is surprised upon waking.

Submitted: November 15, 2008

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Submitted: November 15, 2008

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I know this is a dream. I know this because I recognise where I am despite never having been there before. I know this because people and things flash before my eyes without rhyme or reason. I know this because a slender woman just whispered into my ear that Bob Dylan is very upset with me. This is a dream that I have had before, and the fact that I know this gives me comfort. And then all of a sudden I’m not dreaming any more. All of a sudden I’m in a white room, and I know that this is real. There’s a sinking feeling in my gut and I think I’m going to be sick, but then the room is filled with such a wondrous light. And standing there before me is my daughter Amy. She’s smiling at me. She opens her mouth to speak. Then I wake up.

My daughter disappeared eight years ago. I woke up one morning and she was gone. You always read about these things happening in public places, and the parents roaming the streets screaming at the top of their lungs, but my daughter was taken from her room in the middle of the night and neither I nor my husband heard a single thing. I was inconsolable for months. My husband left me, and I barely noticed. I went to live with my sister for a while. And then, two years later, I moved back to the same house. Her room is kept the same; I think that’s only natural. It’s not as if I lay a place for her at the dinner table. I get asked by people I don’t know very well if I still think about her, and there’s only one answer to that question. I don’t believe they’re stupid enough to not know what I’m going to say, but they’re apparently stupid enough to ask the question in the first place. I tell them that of course I think about her. I think about her every day. But I hadn’t dreamt of her for two years. Until last night.

I woke up with a start. I half expected her to be standing at the foot of the bed, but of course she wasn’t. The first thing I did was go to her room, as if she would be lying there sleeping. But she wasn’t. She was standing at the foot of her bed. The same as she looked when she had disappeared. She didn’t say a word. I couldn’t move. I just stood there staring at her for what felt like an age. The I knelt down and I hugged her, my tears soaking her hair.

I took her by the hand and we walked to the kitchen. I poured her a glass of juice and watched her as she sat down at the table and drank. It was the strangest thing. I had been waiting for her for eight years and now I couldn’t think of a thing to say. So I just stood there. And when she got up and went to watch television I followed her, and I sat next to her on the sofa. Two hours later I made her lunch. She ate it and went outside to the swing that I could have sworn had rusted over years ago. But I pushed her for half an hour and it didn’t squeak once. We went back inside and I watched her read for a while. When it got dark I made her dinner, and afterwards I found a video that I thought I’d thrown away. I put it and she fell asleep with her head on my lap. When the film had finished I carried her upstairs and put her in her bed. I kissed her and turned out the light. I knew as I fell asleep that night that she wouldn’t be there in the morning.

That night I dreamt about her again. But this time, when she went to speak, I didn’t wake up. We talked for hours, we talked about everything. When I hugged her goodbye I knew it would be the last time. But I had never felt so peaceful. And today is a new day. It’s starting to snow.


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