I am searching. Slowly, but purposefully, walking down a line of closed apartment doors that feel distantly familiar. I am also distracted; talking on the phone with my mother and trying to untangle plastic shopping bags twisted uncomfortably around my wrist when I reach the right door.
It is the only one open.
I recognize my aunt’s body moving around inside, hunched over, cleaning up. She sees me and brightens but quickly turns solemn. “There’s not much time,” she says. “We’re going now.”
I am trying to figure out what my aunt is talking about when I catch another person’s movement off to the side. “I’ve got to go mom,” I say and hear the touch of disappointment her voice gets whenever I have to hang up. “There’s not much time,” I repeat my aunt’s words, “I’ll call you back.”
I watch her come toward me; her red hair darker than I remember, thick and vibrant, piled high on her head, her makeup perfectly applied. She looks trim and ready to go out, dressed in a fashionable printed button down hanging long over a pair of pants. The smile on her narrow face broadens, revealing strong white teeth. “So good to bite you with,” she used to say before taking a little nibble from my arm, thigh or any bit of revealed skin. Why was she going now, I worried momentarily, with some vague feeling that all was not well. She didn’t look sick. She was beaming.
“My Alisee,” She greets warmly, the way she always has and reaches out to me. I stand on the outside of the doorway and lean in to hug her, my absolute joy overwhelming. Her body feels surprisingly small, but my happiness at seeing her face fills me with such emotion, such elation, that I give her slender body another squeeze and instantly explode into tears so strong I immediately wake up.
I lay in bed feeling her presence, wanting to go back to my dream in the worst way; closing my drowning eyes, trying to hold on to her image, her smile, her love that filled me, trying to continue a conversation that we didn’t even start. “My Alisee,” She had said and I replayed her warm, throaty voice over and over in my head like a lullaby. But there was no way I could go back to sleep or back to her now.
From the moment she died, I wished she’d come ‘visit’ me. Somewhat psychic in life, seeing dead people and knowing things before they happened, I trusted her when she threatened to haunt me. “Promise?” I’d reply and receive a small smack on my thigh.
It’s been over three years. Finally she has come but my aunt was right. There wasn’t enough time.
If you’ve got a minute, check out my new essay up on Kveller. Click here… It’s middle school angst -mine. 🙂
Such a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.
Oh, my. What a way to start my morning. I miss her too. Every day. So easy to interpret this dream. And there I am – even in your dream, “cleaning up.”
Hope to speak with you soon. Love from me. Always.
Huh. I never thought of that.
I take such comfort in dreams where people who have died come back to me.Thank you for sharing your experience.
It was really beautiful.
I love when you write about your grandma. I think that, with the people we love the most, there never really is enough time. Maybe it’s just about making the most of the time we have, and being comforted by memories.
No. There never is enough time… for all of us. Feh! But still… 🙂
So bittersweet, dreams like that!
Totally!! But I was so happy to see her. I wish she’d visit more often.
Absolutely beautiful and I had a similar dream a few years back, but only with my grandfather. And you are right I also never felt as though we had enough time, but the dream did give me a bit of closure and peace of mind, as well.
You’re right! I feel so much better now that i’ve seen her.
Since I have been on some lovely drugs prescribed for pain, I have been having the most detailed dreams of my life. The other day, I was convinced I had seen a hit and run and I was reporting it to 911, giving my information and everything, when I woke up. I was really grateful to see I didn’t actually have a phone in my hand because I am fairly certain I was actually talking in my sleep about it. Dreams have a power the waking world cannot compete with.
so true! it’s really another world – a very real one!
What a great picture. Such a loving dream. I hope you have another soon.