January 30, 2008
By Rae Pridemore, APO, NY

I was in a room. I could tell it was a dream. A place like this didn’t exist in real life. The blue walls shone with a misty tint. I reached out to touch them. It was cold, like metal, but had the texture of suede. I could see my reflection in the surface. There was a door at the far end of the small room, opposite me. I saw someone in it, but the image was distorted.

“Eva Clark?” I turned at the sound of my name. There was a uniformed guard there. I couldn’t tell if it was man or female. The voice was nondescript and the face was covered. It wore a suit that resembled a high-tech weapon. It was like armor, the same shade as the color of the walls. “Come with me.”

I was lead down a series of corridors; the guard leading me was whipping down hallways and around corners, so fast that I had to jog at a mild pace to catch up. When we reached an open door, with stairs leading down into the depths, I had to stop for a moment to catch my breath. The guard waited at the bottom of the steps into the darkness as I descended. As soon as I reached the bottom, someone said the words I would remember for the rest of my life.

“Eva. You came.” I turned around at the familiar voice. My Jonathan was there, dressed as always in a polo shirt and jeans. He seemed to give off his own light. I looked around quickly but the guard had disappeared. We were alone. Then I realized that I must look like a moron to him. I stopped staring in wonder at his presence and reminded myself that it was a dream. He smiled that smile that lights up his eyes.

He held out his hand and my heart started to beat faster. I took it and he led me around the corner. We were in a room filled with our friends. Aimee was there, as was Jeremy. There were more of our friends, mine and his, but they slipped my mind. All that mattered to me was him. I knew that, and I was happy.

We went through some sort of meeting. All I really remembered was he held my hand through the entire thing. And that someone asked me to sing at the end. I vaguely remember singing some tune I learned at youth group. It seemed to make everyone happy, including him. We said our goodbyes; it seemed that everyone but us was content to stay in that tiny room. He said that he had to take me back home.

I didn’t know where home was and I didn’t care. After a little bit we were standing on something resembling a doorstep, and he wrapped his arms around my waist. It was dark. I realized that we were no longer in the blue hallways. We were in the real world, but the dream-like quality remained. He touched my chin to make me look up. His hazel eyes were gorgeous in the moonlight, and his black hair shone.

“Eva. I’m going to say something. And if you don’t feel the same way I’ll understand completely.” He looked away, and my heart started to beat faster. I knew what was coming, and I knew my answer. He looked back. “I love you Eva. I love you with all my heart. I don’t want to leave. I want to stay right here with you. I want you to understand that I’ll come back if you want me to, but I do have to leave.” He looked to me for my answer, and was shocked to see a tear run down my face. He gently wiped it away.

“Do you really?” I had had a lot of guys tell me that they loved me. I thought they had meant it too, but it had always ended badly. He almost laughed.

“Of course I love you. How could I not? You’re perfect.” He pulled my chin up gently, and hesitantly put his lips to mine. The world mattered not. The only thing that was keeping me grounded was his arms around my waist and neck. I knew then and there that I loved him. I didn’t want him to leave. I didn’t want to ever be apart from him. After a while we came up for air.

“I love you too. More than you could ever imagine. Are you sure you have to leave?”I was clutched against his chest now, my arms around his neck. We were sitting on the couch inside. I could see that the last part of what I said made him die a little inside.

“Yes. I have to. But believe me, I don’t want to. I have to do this. They say if I do this then they’ll leave us alone. We can start a family.” He pulled something out of his pocket. He opened his hand in the dim light and there was a little black box. I gasped. I knew what was inside. He smiled and laughed a little. “I think I know your answer. Just remember. I will come back. No matter what, I will come back. I could never leave you for good.”

He opened the box to the most beautiful garnet ring I had ever seen. It was set in white gold. My favorite. Before I knew it, the ring was on my left ring finger. He kissed me again, then let go before I fainted. We fell asleep in each others arms, and I wished the night would never end.

I woke up in the morning with my mom telling me to wake up. I groaned, wishing my dream to stay, just to linger a few moments. I ran through the usual morning routines to get ready for my day at High School. The bus ride was lame, and my friends were uninteresting as usual. Nothing ever happened in our town. Finally, the bell rang for the first period of the day.

I raced off, up the stairs, and sat in my seat. He came past, just as he did every day. He brushed past me, without even noticing. I was invisible to him. Nothing had changed. He was still moving to Colorado this summer, and I would never see him again.

For the first time, I prayed to God every night that something would happen. I prayed that Jonathan’s dad would be reassigned here, and he could stay. I prayed for some chance with him. I prayed and prayed, for something good to happen in my life. I take that back, for something good to stay in my life.

He was my only chance of that, and it wasn’t going to happen. Summer grew closer and closer. I realized a few things that spring. 1) Life was hopeless, and there was nothing to do but wait it out, and live what you can while you can, and 2) I was unconditionally in love with him.

Everyday I watched him, and every day I wished he was mine. I wished and wished that the dream would come true. It never did. On the last day of school I just sat by and watched as he said goodbye to his friends. When he came over to me, he said he was sorry, and didn’t explain further. I knew what he meant. He was sorry he didn’t love me. I started crying when he pulled away, and I turned and ran, as fast as I could, towards home.

He would never love me, and I would love no one else. My heart was ripped out of my chest that day. It hasn’t returned. It’s been two years, and I wait everyday for an email or a call, or a MySpace message, telling me he’s sorry and that he loves me. Telling me he wants me, and he’s argued with his parents for months to let him come back.

They wouldn’t, and he’ll never contact me again. Moving on is hard, but it has to be done. You can’t live your life in the past, or in a dreamscape.

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