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I'll Be There When You Sleep
The first time I saw him was the night after my sister’s funeral.
I was in a field of flowers, bluebonnets, my sister’s favorite, and the exact flower I laid on her grave this morning.
They surrounded me like an ocean. I was floating in bluebonnets. They stretched out into a plain that reached out as far as I could see in every direction. The flat horizon all around me was an endless, beautiful forest of bluebonnets that came to the height of my mid-calf. The grass blended into the mix of flowers gently scratched there not irritating my skin but making it feel alive. Everything about this scene was alive. Every molecule in my being felt to be vibrating with energy; even my eyes seemed to see farther and clearer than before.
The spring sky was as blue as the bluebonnets as it held a slight tint of purple. It was cloudless, clean. The sun was a lone object in the sky that joined me in my aloofness. Its heat crept up my arms, dried my tear soaked cheeks, and fed the flowers beauty, making their colors vibrant. My brown hair turned to its reddish tint under the sun’s light as it swayed in the gentle breeze.
Flowers danced carelessly in the winds exhale, carrying their sent across the field to the bounds of an unknown place. I could smell the aroma and feel the wind lick my skin. Again, I never felt so awake in such a quiet place. The flowers, everything was the perfect medicine to my sister’s death. It was a drug, numbing the pain, like morphine.
But, it wouldn’t erase the memory, or the pain. I don’t ever want the pain to go away. I need it, yet… don’t want it. I need the reminder so I don’t forget her. She was the only person keeping me fighting. She was the only person there to comfort and cheer me on in my struggle to finish school and leave my helpless father. Yet I don’t want the constant stab in the chest at the slightest silent urge to smile and be happy.
Life was so complicated, especially without her, a flower was not. Sometimes I just wanted to cry and scream at the top of my lungs. When my dad hits me, sometimes I want to swing back at him. But now, in this field, I wanted nothing more than to be a flower, and join as one with them right now. I wanted to feed off of water and sunlight, not pain and emotion; to grow green and beautiful, and not have a worry in the world was what I could never have, but only…dream about.
So, I laid down with the bluebonnets and pretended to be a flower. I let the sweet smell consume my senses and the soft dirt get in my finger nails. I wanted to be a flower, and in this moment with my eyes closed tight and the sun’s heat in my pores, I could actually believe it. I was a flower. I was a bluebonnet for my sister.
This moment could continue for eternity and I would forever be content. Forever was what I wished for now.
A shadow came over my face as the orange of my eyelids from the sun turned to its natural black.
I slowly opened my eyes, afraid to break my peaceful state of mind. I hoped the shadow was a cloud, but instead it was a person, a boy to be exact, looking over me as I lay on my back below him.
I met the gaze of piercing green eyes, as green as the bluebonnet leaves.
“What are you doing?” Asked the boy in a bemused voice.
Shadows hid his face, but I assumed a gorgeous face matched the angelic voice.
“Pretending to be a flower,” I answered honestly, too at peace to care what I was saying. The truth was easiest.
“A flower?” I could hear the smile on his face even though I couldn’t see it through the shadows on his face, only the eyes that were so green.
“Yes, a flower. A bluebonnet actually,” I specified with a smirk, closing me eyes again.
I didn’t know the boy, or where he came from in this flat land that had no hint of life besides me and the flowers, but I didn’t give much thought to it to ruin the moment. I just went with the flow, like the wind.
“Well, you blend right in. You are a beautiful bluebonnet,” he said sweetly, not jokingly.
“Thank you,” I replied with a small smile.
“You’re welcome.” His last word traveled with a quick gust of wind as if he were nonexistent or disappeared. It was a whispered reply, barely able for me to hear as if he vanished with the word.
My eyes popped open with a strange fear that he was gone, only to find the field gone instead.
I was in bed. I was not a flower, I was me. There was no sun, but a moon instead, shining through my window and casting shadows across my room.
I felt my peace vanish as reality hit and took its place along with sadness that always follows closely behind.
I heard something downstairs shatter, and I jumped with a gasp. It was my dad, probably drunk…again.
I was definitely awake.
I laid back down on my pillow hoping my dad won’t come upstairs tonight and that I would fall back into my field of flowers and arms of the boy at peace to my dreams. But I was only greeted by darkness, more darkness and the sound of my father’s sobs from downstairs, singing me into a dreamless sleep.
Just before my dreamless sleep took over, the voice of the boy rang in my head.
“You are a flower.”
I was too tired and the words were quickly forgotten.