IF I COULD WAKE UP DREAMING
Ms. Jillian B. Hart
He will forever be the one that got away. The one that slipped through her fingers. The thing that movies are made about and that words are helpless to describe. The emotion that has to be felt to be known. Felt to be understood - and feeling it, only leaves the soul hungry for more.
A love that was so right - it was almost incomprehensible and seemingly was always just within their reach. The awe of it being unnerving, until it became unattainable. She didn’t find someone that she love that much only to let it go. She held onto it. Even all those years that he was gone, all those years her life went on, knowing the love never left her. The memory of it dwelled within the fibers of her being. It became part of who she was and she was never quite the same. It always existed, locked away in her heart like a box with a missing key.
Never allowing her mind to erase the love that they had shared. An effortless, yet, all consuming love that she had longed to give him forever. Remembering it should be like a dream. The reality of how it slowly drifted away and where life had taken her made it seemingly more like a nightmare. Caught amid intervals of blessing and cursing those memories and dreams. Tasting her tears, painfully aware of a heart that ached for what wasn’t. For what they had allowed to vanish away - never truly believing it would fade into a distant history -- or that they would run out of time. Perhaps the more then a decade of detachment was necessary as it made the loss more bearable. Allowing them to forge mostly happy lives in separate worlds, with each passing year more numb to the consciousness of what they shared.
She hadn’t sought him out for the purpose of setting all that she knew askew. More then anything - she reached out - wanting one of her best friends back. She had never stopped yearning for the friendship they shared. Thinking that the affection could fit neatly into back into her life. The facet that she was blinded to - or didn't choose to acknowledge -was that their relationship has always been on fire with so many undertones and feelings. A liaison of love disguised in an friendship, blanketed in passion, wrought with intimacy and always under wraps.
There was no putting the emotion back into the box. The reconnect had happened. Having once again admitted to it’s existence - - it transcended time, space and absence. Decade old feelings locked away - supposedly resolved and harmless to remember, ignited to inferno, with the realization that it had never disappeared from his heart either. Who would have thought it would all still be there? For both of them. Unaware of how it smoldered below the surface and that just the smallest spark of honesty about how they felt would release it uncontrollably into the forefront of their minds and lives. Forcing them to dance the devil’s waltz as neither wanted to risk once again letting it go. Neither wanted to stop feeling this way. He filled up in her, a hollowness that until now, she had overlooked or chosen to ignore. The connections that she shared with him had never existed with anyone else, not even the man she married. Often knowing and thinking to herself, “Once you cross that line, the life you knew, never looks or feels the same. Whether you want it to or not.”
They were oceans apart and miles away, yet, she was enlivened by their stolen moments. These escapades between them were highlights in her present days that were so filled but sometimes felt so empty. The ecstasy of the emotional encounters with him coexisted with times when the necessary distance between them felt like a slow form of going insane. She’d lose her mind to another time and place rooted in memories and blooming in fantasy.
Circumstance caused the encounters to become fewer and farther between. Yet he was consistently her last thought at night and so often her first one with the morning’s light. Endless times she’d question why. Why, this reconnect, if it can only be fantasies and wishes? Why! What was she to learn from it? There were no explanations. No solutions. No fairy tale endings, but rather a joke where they were the punch line to life and reality. Not a day went by that she didn’t think of him. Or long to hear his voice. Feel his touch. Dream of him at night. She wished for time when they could be together for then she could wake up and still be dreaming. Laying in bed on nights when sleep wouldn’t come she could imagine it all. A lifetime that never happened.