Last night I dreamed we got back together. We were still us, but everything had changed. You’d forgiven me for what you thought you couldn’t. And I was just so relieved that you were talking to me again. I didn’t think past your forgiveness. I didn’t think about what would come next. The likelihood that we’d just slip into the same patterns that doomed us before.
No, in my dream I was able to stay there with you in the moment and not think past it.
You promised me a future with you, and I believed it. Not just your intentions but your words. I was able to trust for the first time that when we both said the same word, we meant the same thing.
“Tomorrow,” you said. “Meet me tomorrow. It’ll be a date you’ll never forget.”
And you bid me farewell with one of your theatrical gestures, bowing in a grandiose way. But it looked jaunty rather than silly. Because it was just us. Your curtsy wasn’t blocking the doorway at a party while people grumbled around you. There was no one to roll their eyes — except me. And I wasn’t doing that. For once.
“Tomorrow,” I repeated. “It’s a date.”
We parted. I went on to other dream business: In a neighbor’s garden, I dug stones with faces painted on them out of the soil. A friend’s long-dead mother scolded me for doing this. She told me to put the stones back. What did I think I was doing? she wanted to know. I didn’t know what to tell her.
Finally, I went to a hockey game with my grandfather, who in the dream just happened to be Christoper Lloyd. I was wandering through the stands asking children, “Do you want to meet Doc Brown?” when suddenly I remembered I had somewhere else to be.
My date. I’d missed my date. I’d stood you up without meaning to. I’d managed to disappoint you again.
I woke from the dream not long after with the strangest mix of emotions. On one hand, I was sad because it was a dream. We hadn’t really reconciled. You wouldn’t be talking to me anytime soon. And even though we didn’t work out romantically and I know you don’t want to talk to me, I do miss you. I think I always will.
But on the other hand, I felt a sense of relief that it had just been a dream. We’d averted the disaster of subjecting ourselves to another rotation on that merry go round of hurt. And that’s probably for the best.