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See You in My Dreams
By Chris Wilkensen
He sat perfectly still, contemplating bolting out the door of the fast-food restaurant. She zipped back and forth, looking at the floor, perhaps making the biggest decision of her life. Both in their early 30s, they hadn’t seen each other in six years.
She approached him. Like a crown, her headset, rested atop her black hat, hid most of her short, light brown hair. Her dark hazel eyes peered right at him as she walked from behind the counter toward his table. She looked sharp in her ironed uniform, like she really gave a damn about her job.
Both of them waited for the other to speak first. His black hair was gelled and combed flawlessly, but his green eyes looked at her with skepticism. She gazed at him in his black tie and spotless green shirt.
“Is that really you?” she asked.
“Can you believe it?” He looked at her.
“You look good.”
“Thanks,” he said. “So, this is where you work?”
“For the time being.”
A few moments passed. Their eyes were stuck on each other, tallying differences and recognizing similarities.
“Can you ever forgive me?” she asked.
“How could I not forgive you?” he asked.
She blushed. He felt a comfort in that.
“Hey, can we spend some time together today? I leave tonight on a late flight, so I have nothing but time and nothing to do.”
“Where do you live now?”
“In a city far from here, far from you and everyone else I used to know and used to call my friends.”
“I think I could make the time today,” she said.
He said he’d wait for her outside. She told the two working teenagers she’d be gone for a while. So they went. He drove his rental car aimlessly through the town where they had grown up: where they became lovers, where they spent their teenage lives, where he spent half his twenties.
“I wonder about you all the time. Who you’re with. What you’re doing. Now, I see you for myself,” he said after a few minutes of silence.
“I never thought I’d see you again.” She placed her hand on his.
“Yeah. So, where do you wanna go?”
“I’ll go wherever you want,” she said.
He parked downtown, which brought back memories. The couple walked hand-in-hand, pretending to be teenagers.
They passed the movie theater, the place of their first date and kiss; the CD store where they first met, now a sandwich eatery; and their high school, where they made out during passing periods. She saw these sights daily, but he didn't.
“Let’s make this the best day we’ve ever spent together.” She brought his arm in closer.
He bought a digital camera for the day to record their farewell festivities. They ate at an expensive restaurant with white tablecloths, the first one he saw, one she couldn’t afford.
Then, they walked all the way to the park. In the empty park, they reached the beautiful, dark-blue pond where they had spent most of their time together.
The scenery at the pond was too much for her. She blinked tears from her watering eyes. The pond was where she had promised to love him, but also where she had broken that vow. The man remembered everything but remained silent.
“You know,” he said. “I’ve tried many times to forget. I’ve tried to forget you. But that did little good. It took years for me to deal with it properly.”
She knew. She nodded.
“It’s okay,” he said, unsure what he really meant. “We’re going to be okay.”
She kissed him. They made love in their secret spot by the pond. His gut now hung over his 40-inch waist. His body was softer, squishier than she remembered. She didn’t even bother to put on makeup that day. Her hair was now black from the blonde she had in her 20s. He rubbed against her stubbly legs.
“You gave me as good of a day as anyone can ask for.” She began to cry.
“You know how we can make it even better?” He smiled, putting his arm around her.
“Trick question. Nothing can,” she said.
“Put your clothes on and follow me.”
She smiled. He sprang up and offered his sweaty palm to help her stand up. They walked back to the car in silence, turning to look at each other every minute, making sure the other was still there.
“You have no idea how excited I am to show you this,” he said.
She giggled like a teenage girl. He opened the trunk, where a pistol lay.
“You wanted to show me a gun?” She recoiled from his grip.
“Yes, my love.”
He reached to pick it up, but she kicked him in the groin. He fell to his knees. She picked up the pistol.
“You still are a pussy.”
He woke up in a sweat.
In his past dreams, it was an axe or a shotgun. He rubbed his eyes and turned to the other side of the bed, but she was missing. She stood over him, holding a steak knife. He closed his eyes, awaiting what came next.
Chris Wilkensen is a wandering English instructor. He is trying to figure out what he wants in life, while being careful not to let life pass him by. He has trouble winning both battles simultaneously. His work has appeared in Thoughtsmith, eFiction, The Story Shack and others.
#Dreams #Story #FlashFiction #CreativeWriting #Nightmare