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My Dreams Shouldn't Come True...
Do you remember those times when you were a child when you’d close your eyes, clench your fists and wish so hard that your dreams would come true? Never mind when you were young, my mom still does it now; dreams for the future, dreams from the past and then the dreams you have when sleep comes. Dreams…weird, wonderful and sometimes scary but everyone has them. Except me. Well… I dream, I just don’t know it. Until my dreams come true, then the memories hit me. It’s scary, not knowing when it’ll happen. Or what. My worst fear? My ’dreams‘ killing someone, someone I love… Someone my life wouldn’t be the same without.
I watched as my pencil glided along the snow-white canvas, leaving behind a soft grey trail like an ice-skater upon the frozen pond. The way it flowed was so smooth and easy; it felt perfect. The pencil fitted perfectly in my hand, forming an extension of my own body. Lost in my own little world…
A sudden knock shocked me back into reality. I rose from my stool and strolled down the hallway. Yawning, I opened the door. I hadn’t realised how long I’d been drawing, the once blue sky had turned scarlet as the sun sunk lower behind the horizon. I smiled when I saw who it was.
”Hey Josh.“ I could feel the colour rising in my cheeks. He still had that affect on me, after all this time. He swept his lengthy fringe out of his face, revealing his startlingly green eyes. Those eyes that I’d lost myself in countless times today were filled with something new. Regret? Pain?
”Hey Evie, drawing again?“ he laughed and rubbed charcoal from my cheeks. A passion we shared, I thought, a passion that brought us together. Suddenly his face saddened again and he scuffed his sneaker on the doorstep. ”I’m going away for a few days…“ he looked up and sighed. ”Dad’s sending me to Edinburgh to visit mum, you know, as part of their agreement.“
Then I knew why his eyes looked so sad. He hadn’t seen his mum for over a year, the divorce had ending badly and his dad had refused to let Josh see his mum before she left.
I nodded sympathetically as he scooped me up in his arms. His hoodie was warm and smelt of him. That sweet smell that always made me think of security and safety. ”I’ll see you in a few days, love.“
”Love you, Josh. Stay safe…“
With that he unwrapped me from the folds of his hoodie and our lips met. It always felt perfect kissing Josh, as though nothing was right until we were together again. I wanted it to last forever. I could ask him not to go, to stay with me until his train was due in the station but I knew it wouldn’t be right. That it would be selfish to keep him to myself; I had to share him with everyone else.
I watched as my alarm clock clicked over to 10am… the train will have left the station by now, carrying Josh away toward the Scottish dales. I turned back to my canvas and picked up my pencil again, ready to lose myself in my own little world…
Memories hit me hard every time but this one was hardest to digest…
Darkness filled the carriage as we swept through the tunnel at such a speed, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The carriage was practically empty, except for a few passengers tucked up by the windows asleep. One particular passenger watched on with wonder in his eyes as fields of emerald and trees of gold flashed past the windows as the train pushed through the countryside; a passenger that wanted to capture the moment in pastels and oils. A passenger with a face I knew…
Suddenly everything lurched forward. Passengers flew from their seats, crashing into the sides of the carriage with moan. The carriage swayed precariously before falling on its side. Screams echoed throughout the wreckage. Then everything paused. The twisted, blood stained metal glinting in the sunlight. Stopped in time… stopped in my mind. Of course. This is my memory. This was my dream…
My pencil dropped to the floor and rolled under my bed. Jolted back into reality, I realised my cheeks were wet with the tears that refused to stop. I curled up on my bed, pulling my knees up under my chin and burying my face in my jeans.
Josh had been on that train.
If I could I’d have sat like that forever, the realisation of what I’d just witnessed eating away at me, but then my mobile phone buzzed into life…
Lucky. That’s what the doctors called him. Lucky. I don’t think he’d agree with that statement. I know I don’t. If he were lucky he wouldn’t have been hurt. If he were lucky he would’ve missed that train. If he were lucky I wouldn’t forget my dreams. If he were lucky I’d have known what was waiting for him and I’d have stopped him. Josh wasn’t lucky at all.
A broken leg and arm, fractured skull, cracked ribs, internal bleeding, cuts, bruises and God knows what else. No, Josh wasn’t lucky at all.
As I sat by him I couldn’t help but blame myself for what I saw. The Josh I saw wasn’t the Josh I knew, and it was my fault. Seemingly lifeless, his body wired up to machines that bleeped and blipped. I could’ve stopped him getting on that train if I knew what was stopping me remembering my dreams. He could’ve died. The doctors said he said he still could. Fresh tears sprung to my eyes, I let them roll down my cheeks again. All I wanted was to feel his arms around me, comforting me, telling me it’ll be okay because telling myself it’d all turn out right wasn’t enough.
I picked up the pile of clothes that lay next to his bed. His jeans and hoodie, freshly washed and ironed by his Dad. Waiting for him. I hugged them close, burying my face in them. They still smelt of him, that sweet smell that always made me think of security and safety. Oh Josh…
A week after the crash, a week after he was admitted to hospital, he woke up. I’d just got back from the coffee machine, when he opened his eyes.
”Damn, what the hell happened?“ he sighed and tried to sit up, wincing as he did.
”No Josh, take it easy! The train crashed… Josh, I saw it. You could’ve died!“ I cried again. He reached for my hand. It felt so good to feel his touch again. The week where I thought I could lose him, where I thought I’d never feel his touch again had been hell but all those thoughts melted away when my hand met his. ”I’m sorry, Josh… It’s all my fault.“
He tried to shake his head to disagree but grimaced instead. ”If it works like you told me, then you didn’t know what would happen until it did. You couldn’t do anything love, it’s not your fault.“ he smiled and gave my hand a squeeze. ”I’ll be fine, the worst is over right?“
I nodded. ”Yeah but I just wish that my dreams didn’t come true…“