A REOCCURRING DREAM
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A week before the wedding, I snuggled next to Mark, falling asleep in my dream-man’s arms, and I found myself once again in the same dream I'd had several times before....
The landlord limped, leading me, my four children, and Mark, up the cracked steps of a rickety mansion. "Isn't it beautifully aged?" the landlord croaked, showing us room upon room. The wallpaper I’d remembered from previous dreams, had been peeling, but these walls had been freshly painted. The furniture pieces were still antiques, but looked as if reupholstered.
“Are you renting this place?” I asked the landlord.
“Well, it’s not just for rent anymore,” the man said. “You can buy it now.”
Mark held me closely. “I think I’ll buy it. It’s a pretty amazing house.”
So we bought the house.
Mark, the children, and I had grand parties there, with friends, family, and various acquaintances. No one ever commented on how different it looked from the last time I’d had this dream—apparently it was my secret alone. But still, I remembered what had been in that house—just behind the couch in the living room. As everyone sat in the front room, I'd always crawl with nerves: Hoping no one knew my secret. Desperately laughing at ill-humored jokes. Coaxing noxious words from previously dying conversations. Wishing anything would keep their minds from what lay hiding behind the couch.
And when everything was quiet. When my treasured guests had finally left. When Mark rested soundly in our gorgeous Victorian bed, and my children were fast asleep in their rooms, that's when I crept down the carpeted stairs, round the bend, to the couch where moments before, everyone had sat, enjoying life.
I grew so eager to move the velvety couch, no amount of weight could stop my ambition. I shoved with all of my might, then after little reward I kept pushing. After all, this was no ordinary house. This was no ordinary dream. And what the couch had always concealed was far more than one would expect. There had always been, inches above the floor a gaping hole! It had led completely through the wall, muddy with jagged roots spiraling down, down—hiding all of the terrible secrets of my life.
The couch finally slid and I prepared to see the hole, but it wasn’t there anymore! It had been patched up completely. I banged on the wall. Hit it as hard as I could, but the sheetrock wouldn’t bust. My secret place—albeit yucky and forlorn—had simply been barricaded away forever.
I sat, thinking that I could never go back to that terrible place. And for some strange reason, I missed it. Not as someone who misses a dear friend, but as a victim, who is struggling, still coming to terms with a healthier life.
I touched the baby-blue painted wall, wondering who could have blocked me from revisiting my nightmares….
The next morning, as Mark and my children ate breakfast in the dream, I turned to Mark and asked, “What do you plan on doing today?”
“More painting,” he said. And he pointed to a paint can in the corner of the room. I knew from the label, it was the exact same color as the wall behind the couch....
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