View Full Version : Dreaming a Reality (first chapter)

August 22nd, 2010, 01:59 PM
Fresh-cut blades of grass sliced between my bare toes. It was there in the darkness that I began to run after the girl in a game of chase. Her eyes traveled to the dusky rays of light peeking through the evergreen sky deep in the forest brush.

She was running after the green shadow that flickered against the leaves, so I followed. My pounding heart echoed off the trees. What or who might be hidden just beyond the brook? Gasping for breath in the dense foliage, I began to sink into the soil. Grabbing fistfuls of dirt in the palms of my hands, I felt a pulse in the veins of a leaf. The shadow and the girl vanished in the forest. I was alone, feeling hollow in the earth. The veins in the leaves were my veinsmy pulse. I was the weeping willow. I was fighting for my life, struggling to breathe as the soil surrounded me. Then I awoke.

That dream again. It had been like this every night now for the past few months. 2:27 AM glowed bedside my clock. Earlier than ever. Whatever this dream was about, it sure was messing with my sleep cycle.

My heart still racing, I climbed out of bed, too electrified with adrenaline to think of getting back to sleep. So I started out on what had become my nightly ritual.

My first stop was the front room to check on Jeremy. His oversized seventeen-year-old body lay sprawled along the couch as usual, deep in sleep. He hadnt been sleeping in his bedroom lately. I wondered what bothered him so. The couch had become his bed now as the T.V. flickered, lighting up the room. Just looking at Jeremy sleep, made me envy him. He looked so peaceful on the couch like that. Man, how hes grown. I still remember when he was littlewhen John was still around.

We gotta get him into hockey, Kat, John would say.

And at three years old, thats just what we did. Now heading for a scholarship to Lake Superior State University, Jeremy kept hockey an important life goal. I was proud of himextremely proud. He had every trophy imaginable from first place to MVP.

After glancing at Jeremy, I went to check the locks. Front door, back door and checked to see all the windows on the main floor were shut. I felt compelled to be safe.

Back in the kitchen I rummaged through my purse for cigarettes, unlocked the door, and stepped outside. Under the night sky embedded with stars, I lit my cig. Watching the puff of smoke travel upward, I caught a glimpse of the moon, full and bright. The house was dark and quiet insideonly the flicker of light from the T.V. screen in the front room flashed in the rooms.

It had just turned September and was still warm enough here in Ashland, Wisconsin to be wearing cotton pajama bottoms and one of Jeremys old hockey jerseys. Across the patio, the forest called to me, just like in the dream. I could almost make out the figure of the girl flitting between the trees. What was she trying to tell me? Who was she?

A cold darkness passed through my skin like an opened screen window, as if someone was pulling me to the other side. For a moment, the fear paralyzed me. I couldnt move. Then light from inside the house snapped like the shutter of a camera, snapping me back to reality.

I returned back inside to the flashes of the T.V. and headed upstairs to the computer room to check for any new messages that may have arrived since 11:00 last night. The time I had actually fallen asleep.

Five new messages popped up in my inbox. One from Mr. Ming, my boss, bore the heading "Status update for Mr. Jorgans flight to Cancun?" Some were from other customers. The last was from John Harris, the subject line shouting PLEASE READ in bold caps. Just seeing my ex-husband's name got my heart all jittery, like a silly schoolgirl crushing on a boy that just slipped me a love note in class.

Shifting in my computer chair, I willed myself to relax. I wasn't ready to open John's e-mail yet. I couldnt open it. I didnt have the heart or the energy to hear what John had to say. Every email since our divorce had been crucially important. Even though we were separated, he still cared about me, alerting me of my behavior. Other than Jeremy this was the only connection I had with him. It was all I could hold on to.

I opened the window for a soft breeze and yearned for another cigarette. But I was trying to cut back and stuck to my self-imposed rule against smoking in the house.

With blurry eyes I surfed the netanswering emails, viewing other travel sites. I had to find all the best hotels for my clientsespecially Mr. Jorgans. I took breaks here and there to read poetry too. Anything to keep busy, to push aside Johns email.

But still it sat there, daring me to open it. Talking to someone might get it off my mind, I thought to myself.

My best friend Jenny had introduced me to a dating site. I signed in, and immediately an I. M. popped up.

DD1969: Hello there, how are you?

I usually deleted the generic types like, How r u? But for some reason, I replied to the ones that were better written. So I decided to reply to this one.

KWtravel: Im fine and you?
DD1969: Well, I cant sleep tonight, so Im here.
KW: Oh, funny thing, I cant either.
DD: Haha
KW: Yeah, big joke.
DD: So does restless have a name?
KW: Its Katherine, but everyone just calls me Kat.
DD: Kat, like meow, thats sexy!
KW: Yeah how original.
KW: So, your name? Let me guess, D for Dog?
DD: Hahano, actually, its DeanDean Dawson.
DD: But you can call me Big Dog! LOL
KW: Wowthats different!

Dean and I messaged each other for what seemed like two hours or so. We just clicked. I didnt even realize what the time was until I looked at the clock, 5:03a.m. I couldnt believe how late it was, but because I really liked Dean, we exchanged emails. I thought of how nice Dean was and how titillating the conversation went. We had a lot in common. Both of us had a mental illnessme being bipolar and him clinically depressed. Yet both of us had a unique take on life, sharing the bonds of a good sense of humor and both being divorced.

I was surprised at how much time had flown by. It was refreshing to get my mind off of things for a while. Yet, Johns email still sat there, mocking me. After flirting with Big Dog, I finally felt brave enough to open it.

Message: Kat, we need to talk! It's urgent.

Oh, God, I whispered underneath my breath. My mind hung on the word urgent as if the very word was to jump out from the screen and bite me. Instantly, I got scared as if someone was watching my every move.

I moved up and away from the computer desk. My thoughts began to switch back to the past couple of days. I worried about Jeremy. Was there something wrong with him? Was he the urgency? Why leave an email and not call right away? Or was this about me and my behavior? So many questions loomed through my mind in a spiraling motion, I began to feel dizzy. Pull it together, Kat. I noticed the time. I had to wake Jeremy for school.

I ran to the bathroom and popped a couple of Tegretols to try to calm my nerves. Even though it may have been the reason for my queasiness, I took it anyway.

I could hear Jeremy stirring already from downstairs. So much for sleepit was time to start the day. John and his urgent talk would just have to wait.