The Dream

 by J L Canfield

     “I hope you don’t mind but I moved your bed,” she said glancing up as he walked into the room.

      “I don’t mind,” he said. “Why did you decide to move the bed?”

      “I needed space.”

      “Why did you need space?”

      “So I could move in my things.”

      He crossed the room and wrapped his arms around her. She reached up and put her arms around his neck. He has the most incredible blue eyes she thought. “Why are you moving your things in when you said you were leaving?” 

     “I’ve changed my mind. I’m staying here for law school” she said reaching up to touch her lips to his. “Do you mind my being back?” Leaning down to her waiting mouth, he whispered “No.”

Maura awoke with a start. She was surprised to find herself alone. Her dream had seemed so real. She knew the man in her dream although she hadn’t seen or thought about him in years. She had known him since sixth grade. In high school he had dated her best friend Beth and hadn’t they gotten married sometime during college? Neither of them had crossed her mind in years, now she was having wet dreams about a sixth grade crush who married a former friend. Closing her eyes she could picture how he had looked, dirty blonde hair with bangs falling in his incredible dancing blue eyes that looked into her soul and a sweet puppy dog smile that played up the smattering of freckles across his tan face. Why had she dreamed of him? Why had it been so intense? She still felt, after being awake for a few minutes, the weight of his arms around her. Although she was definitely alone, she felt his body next to her. It had been a dream hadn’t it?

      As much as she would have liked staying in bed devouring this delicious feeling of being held in someones arms, she had to face the real world. Absentmindedly she began her morning routine. Brushing her teeth she pondered “Where had time gone?”  This was not the life she had imagined for herself back in high school. Back then she had plans. She was going to law school, own a house and Porsche by age 40. “Look at yourself” she thought. “You’ re 32, live in rented townhouse, manage a bridal shop, drive a sedan and dreamed about a man who you haven’t seen in years.” “Pathetic, Maura” 

     She gave herself an all over look in the bathroom mirror. “Not too shabby for my age,” she said  smiling. Heading back to the bed room she stopped short. “Hum, when did I make the bed?” Glancing around the room, noting nothing else amiss, she shook her head. “I must have done this unconsciously. Oh well” 

     When she arrived at the bridal shop the feeling from her dream was still with her. So was her puzzlement. “What had made me dream of Wade?” she questioned. Maura unlocked the door. Out of the corner of her eye, something caught her attention. Turning, she found nothing there. As she faced the door again, she gasped, staring back at her was Wade’s reflection. Spinning, she again turned to see nothing, No one was there. Maura stood on the sidewalk confused by reality. This was not like her. Usually so sure, so in control, so grounded and now undone by a dream that was trying to leave her subconscious. “No more nonsense Maura. It was only a dream. Unfortunately, bridezillas are real and waiting. Now get your act together and settle down to work.” With that thought she opened the door and put the dream behind her.

     During a morning lull, Maura asked her two employees “Have you ever had a dream that was so real you couldn’t believe it was a dream?”

      “So that’s what wrong with you today. Tell us about it,” said Judy the most pragmatic person Maura had ever known.

     “I didn’t say it happened to me.”

      “No need, you’ve had something on your mind all morning,” responded Robin, the most romantic minded person Maura had ever meet.

      Gazing at them, she decided to share the events of her dream and how she even made up her bed without being aware of doing so. “OK but if you laugh, I’ll fire you.” 

      Robin and Judy looked at each other knowingly. No matter if they laughed, they would not be fired. They were a dynamic team who had built a reputation in the wedding industry as being the best around. More than that though they were friends who held each other in the highest regard. The Three Musketeers of the bridal business. “Agreed.”

     Maura began to speak, stopped, looked out the window suddenly, and gasped.  Again something had grabbed her attention. Across the street was Wade. Maura closed her eyes. Opening them slowly she saw nothing there. Shaking her head slightly, “I’m sorry. Where was I?” She began again. When she had finished she looked first at Judy then to Robin. “Any comments?”

     “ What a great dream” sighed Robin “Maybe you’ll pick up tonight where you left off.”

      Judy who had been dressing a mannequin spoke. “It’s perfectly obvious what’s going on.” Looking at Maura she continued. “ You need sex. A life too. But mainly you need sex.” 

     “She needs romance” argued Robin. “No sex. Sex without love or romance is just empty. She needs fulfillment. She needs someone to belong to, to love, to look forward to going home to.”

      Judy cut her off. “She can get that from a dog. Sex is what she needs.” Maura watched her friends continue to discuss her as if she was not there. At least they didn’t think her crazy. 

     Close to closing time, a floral truck pulled in front of the door. Often brides returning from their honeymoons would send flowers to the shop thanking them for their help. It was a gesture meant to make up for being a bridezilla. Placing the flowers on a nearby table, Maura thought them to be exquisite as she reached for the card. “Look at the size of that arrangement.It’s got to be from Georgina White.” Judy said. In her mind Georgina had won the title ‘Bridezilla of the Century‘ hands down and bridezilla could easily be switched to another b word and she would win that title too. 

     Maura went red with rage. “How could you? I thought you were my friends. Get your things and leave. We’ll discuss this in the morning.” 

     Judy and Robin stared at her.” What did we do?” Robin said puzzled by Maura’s sudden outburst.

      “Discuss what in the morning?” Judy said baffled by Maura’s reaction.

      “Go now” screamed Maura, “Go” 

      Not understanding what had happened the two left together. Maura locked the door behind them. How could they do this? How could they have played such a mean trick on her? She had taken them into her confidence. She looked at the arrangement. It contained all her favorite flowers. It certainly was beautiful and costly. Quite an expensive joke to play on her. She would deal with it tomorrow. As she reached for the light switch she caught a movement out of the corner of her eye. Not again today she thought. Locking up she started at Wade’s reflection in the door. “No, you’re not real. Go away.” 

     The drive home settled her. Her anger at her employees diminished. She decided she had overreacted to their prank.Tonight she would have a relaxing evening and begin plotting a prank against them. Not able to put Wade out of mind she thought to google him.After a few wrong Wades, she found him. Looking at a picture from high school, she read about the accident that had taken his life. Several hours later, Maura crawled into bed determined not to dream. Yawning, she closed her eyes. She must have buried the news of his death in her mind. What had caused it to surface she wondered? Drifting into the deep recesses of slumber, a heaviness slide next to her. Warmth surrounded her body as if another person were sharing her bed, holding her in their arms. Giving into sleep, Maura rolled over. A whisper, reminiscent of Wade’s voice, breathed into her ear, “Did you like my flowers?”