Once when I was a little girl, I dreamt that my dad painted our house pink because he wanted the whole city to know that inside the castle, lived his princess and his queen.
There were thick vines covered in bluebonnets that rose up from the ground and went past my bedroom window ending somewhere in the bright blue sky.
Below on the green grass stood my prince. I couldn’t see his face; I only knew he was someday going to climb up, and we were going to live happily ever after just like all the movies I watched with my mom and dad.
When I woke, I knew our house wasn’t pink, and I knew the man that stood there waiting for me wasn’t real. I pretended he was, and even though I thought boys were yucky, I remember telling my mom about the dream. She didn’t laugh and tell me it wasn’t real. She told me seeing was believing. She said children have a vibrant imagination and mine could be whatever I wanted it to be.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. I only knew someday I wanted to be a mother.
I wanted someone to love me the way my dad loved my mom. So, I used my imagination, and I pretended and daydreamed as most little girls do. Sometimes, my dreams came vividly alive while I slept. Others would occur at random, like the times when my parents and I would lie in the field, surrounded by bluebonnets and gaze at the stars.
In this dream I’m having now, I’m hopelessly in love with a man with dark brown hair and the greenest eyes. A love like ours wasn’t a conventional type of love, but it’s our love, and it came on quickly. Beautiful to me, and everlasting.
In my dream, I’m holding a baby, and this man was holding me as we stared down at our unexpected miracle. I couldn’t tell if it was a girl or a boy. I couldn’t even see its face. I only knew it was a part of me and a part of him. Its heartbeat vibrant and steady. It has ten fingers, ten toes, and a head full of hair the same color as the man. It was perfect, it was healthy, and it was very much alive.
In my dream, there wasn’t a monster holding a gun; there were only beauty and peace and a whispering breeze of calm. In my dream, my parents are alive. My mother knew who I was, and my father, he wasn’t lost in his sea of pain.
I gasp, choking on my saliva, spitting it out and feeling it dribble down my chin as my dream switches directions. The gears start shifting. They grind making an awful noise, and my life swerves, spinning out of control. I come to a dead stop, ending with my worst nightmare in front of me.
A hallucination that can’t be real.
Unpredictable and volatile.
I blink and close my eyes several times to clear the fog. I need to see my baby’s face instead of the monster.
I open them slowly, to find my baby is gone. Sweat drips down my temples; dread surrounds me because as my hands frantically search for my child, it’s then I realize the man holding me isn’t the man I love, it’s the monster.