Dream from 12/29/00
I have even had several conversations with myself concerning these dreams. I tell myself that while it is okay to dream about the character Max, I absolutely can not have any more romantic dreams about him because they just make me so sad afterward. I would say it like a litany to myself every night before bed. Don’t dream about Max tonight. Don’t dream about Max tonight.
It seemed to have worked for the most part. I would have dreams that Max was a part of, but he was only a friend or I was a spectator and not involved in the dream. During the day I was less sad perhaps, but I genuinely missed the interaction with him in my dreams.
I told my best friend about my dreams and why I didn’t want to have them anymore, and later of why I missed them. She suggested to me that perhaps I should look at the dreams not as what I was missing, but as hope for what I could find in the future. I could think of the situation as being a glimpse of the happiness I would have, and be glad I knew what I was looking for.
When I went to bed this night, I was considering what she had said, and I truthfully didn't know what I thought about it. But I think it was worked out for me in this dream.
It was a beautiful snowy day. The sun was shining on the fresh snow, the light dancing, sparkling. Usually I would have been captivated by the sight but my heart was too heavy to appreciate the beauty, my mind kept wandering. My sister and I were driving into the mountains to a family reunion and I knew Max and his family would be present. I was in love with him, but he had hurt me terribly and I didn’t want to see him.
I had been avoiding him because I was afraid he would be able to convince me to come back to him. Max loved me and he had been pursuing me to win me back. I was in great danger of giving in and going back to him but I couldn’t let it happen, because I knew that he would just hurt me again. That was why this reunion was so dangerous. If I was around Max too much I knew that he would get to me. I just had to be strong and stay away from him.
I returned my attention to the driving. The roads were slick and it slow going but I was apprehensive about arriving, and I was driving more slowly that I could have. As we drove, my sister and I discussed the situation. She was the one who insisted that I come to the party. She knew the family would be disappointed if I didn’t come and I would feel guilty. She knew I was in pain and how hard this weekend was going to be for me but she was trying to help.
She said that I couldn’t avoid seeing Max because we knew he would be at the party, but I could avoid interacting with him. I just had to make sure that I was never alone with him and I should try to stay involved with other things. I agreed with her and she said that she would do her best to run interference between us, but I knew we were underestimating Max even as we spoke. He wouldn’t give up so easily.
We arrived at the bottom of the canyon and had to transfer to a ski bus, that was equipped with tire chains, to make it up the mountain with the snowy conditions. We gave our luggage to the driver and got onto the bus, and the first thing I saw was Max. He was sitting alone toward the back of the bus and smiled when he saw me.
I felt a jab of pain go through my chest. I was even more vulnerable than I had thought. As I looked at him I could tell that he expected me to come and sit by him but I couldn’t move. I simply stood there staring at him, and his smile slowly disappeared to become replaced by a look of pain. I felt a wave of despair wash over me for hurting him but I couldn’t look away. His eyes were drawing me in, begging me to come to him, and I wanted to give in so badly that my soul ached. We were connected and I felt drawn to him even against my will. My heart was betraying me as my head was screaming NO! NO!, but his eyes...
My sister came up behind me and broke the spell by pulling me into a seat at the front of the bus.
The weekend was going to be pure torture for me, even worse than I had imagined. I was sorry that I had come but glad at the same time. I loved Max, and wanted to be near him, but the pain I felt around him was too much to bear.
The bus started the trip up the hill and I didn’t even dare turn around, but I knew Max never took his eyes off of me. I could feel them burning into the back of my head the whole trip and I was breathing so erratically I thought I would pass out.
My sister tried to keep up a conversation, pointing out beautiful scenery and making jokes but I barley even heard what she was saying, my whole attention was focused on Max. I was aware of him every second of the trip. I had thrown the proverbial gauntlet and I knew he would come for me, no matter where I tried to go.
Finally the bus came to a stop near the cabin and those of us getting off headed for the door. I was practically shaking as I anticipated the next few days but I knew I couldn’t let Max see any reaction. I straightened my back and simply focused on getting off the bus, each foot making contact with the floor in a nice steady rhythm.
Not too fast, I thought, because Max will think I’m running away from him. But not too slow either because he will think I want him to catch up to me. As I descended the stairs I dared a glance in his direction to see where he was, afraid he was right behind me. But Max was taking his time, his eyes on me, he knew I couldn’t get away from him. I realized then what he already knew, I was trapped there with him for the next couple of days.
Most of the family came out to greet us, hugging and kissing and exchanging pleasantries. Max made sure to stand across from us where he knew I could see him. He kept looking at me, trying to pin me with his eyes, but I was evasive and threw myself into the greetings. I tried to not even glance in his direction, feigning aloofness and disinterest in hopes of making him back off, hesitate, so I could avoid another encounter with him until I was stronger. I was smiling too broadly, laughing too loudly, on the verge of breaking down. I saw it clearly then, this is how it would be, being with him but not together. All I could look forward to was pain, loneliness and insanity.
All too soon everyone turned to go back inside the cabin, eager to show off the famous view from the back balcony. Max was standing closer to the house than us, but he didn’t move. I realized at the moment, he had planned it that way. I would have to walk past him to get inside the front door and he was simply waiting for me to come to him.
I glanced at Max’s face and saw the determined look there and panicked. No longer did I appear to be the cool, collected individual who carefully stepped off the bus and joked with the relatives, but a wild creature who’s only thought was escape. I had to get away from him, my sanity was at stake. I looked around quickly for a way out, someone I could talk to, something I could do to stall, but there was nothing. And finally, in desperation, I turned toward the side of the house and ran. I knew that Max was faster than me but I timed my escape to occur when the majority of the family were between us. I ran and I didn’t look back even when I heard him call my name.
I felt another stab of pain in my chest because of the tone in his voice. He was hurt that I had run. I had hurt him and I felt as if the breath had been knocked from my lungs.
I couldn’t run any more and I slipped into one of the side doors and closed it behind me, collapsing into the wall sobbing. I had not survived the encounter inact. I was just a collection of pieces being held together by sheer will. I knew that I could not handle another meeting with him yet and my mind raced frantically for a place where I could collect myself. I couldn’t go to my room, it was the first place Max would look. He also knew all of my favorite places in the woods outside. We had discovered most of them together and they wouldn’t provide sanctuary anymore. Max knew me too well.
I wondered how I was going to last the whole weekend. At this rate, I would be a blithering idiot before dinner. It was a mistake for me to have come here, I could see that now. I was hurting Max, he was hurting me, I just should have stayed away. No matter what he had done, what pain he had caused me, I couldn’t bear hurting him. I loved him too much.
Then the answer occurred to me. I would simply leave, run away again. The only problem however was that the bus was the only way down the canyon and it wouldn’t return until tomorrow morning. It was just a few hours away and all I had to do was stay away from him until then.
I remembered my sister's advice about keeping occupied and I headed toward the kitchen to offer my services. I entered the kitchen and was surprised to find it empty, but then I remembered dinner was hours away. But I decided to stay anyway an busied myself making stuffing for the turkey and a cake and frosting. I threw myself into the tasks, trying to use my nervous energy for a good cause.
As I worked, I could hear laughter in another part of the house and it was strangely comforting knowing I was alone and Max was occupied elsewhere. I concentrated on the chopping and measurements and tried not to think of him at all. I tried not to think of the pain in his voice when he called after me as I had run away from him. I tried not to think of the hurt look on his face when I had turned away from him on the bus and I tried not to think of him and the confrontation that I knew was inevitable.
As I walked toward the oven to put the cake inside, I noticed out the sliding door that it was snowing. Huge, fluffy flakes fell silently from the sky, making the trees at the edge of the yard appear almost blue. I slowly walked toward the door and leaned my head against the cold glass, letting it leach the fever from my brain. The scene was so peaceful, the flakes falling faster and faster, swirling down, collecting on the trees. I stood there a long time just letting the serenity and beauty of the scene sink into my wounded soul and finally I felt some of my inner calm returning.
I turned back to the chores and started to cleanup with a peaceful mind. I rinsed off the dishes I had used and started stacking them in the dishwasher. I was almost finished when the hair on the back of my neck started to prickle. I didn’t even have to turn around, I knew Max was in the room even though I hadn't heard him come in. He had found me at last or maybe he’d knew all along where I was and was just waiting for the right moment. I was glad that I had some time to gather myself and I took a deep breath before I turned around.
Max stood quietly near the door and my breath caught in my throat like it always did when I saw him. And for a few moments we simply looked at each other. He was so handsome, so kind, and I knew that he was everything I had ever wanted. I wanted so badly to go to him but I remembered the pain and I held my ground.
Finally he spoke my name and started toward me with his hand outstretched. He took two steps forward and I quickly took three steps back, instinctively, out of pure self preservation. I knew if he touched me, I would be lost.
He stopped with a look of pain on his face and held up both hands, palms toward me, in a calming gesture. “I just want to talk,” he said softly.
I couldn’t reply, my voice caught in my suddenly dry throat.
Max took my silence as acceptance and started forward again and I backed around the side of the counter putting the island between us. He sighed but seemed to accept this and started talking. “I am so sorry that I hurt you. I never meant to. And it’s killing me that we’re not together any more. But it hurts even more to know that you can’t bear to be near me.”
His eyes never left mine and I could see the sincerity in them but something inside of me still panicked every time he tried to get closer to me. He stepped around the island as he continued to apologize and I retreated around another corner like some strange game of ring-around-the-rosy. Each time I would back away from him he apologized over and over again, promising that he would never hurt me again.
It had been a long stressful day and Max’s voice was so calm and soothing. I was growing tired and I started to wonder if what he was saying must be true, because it felt so right. He was starting to wear away at my resistance, but I didn’t even care. The wildness inside me was lessening and I felt a tear slide down my cheek.
I lowered my head, and I think I must have closed my eyes for a moment because when I looked up again Max was standing right next to me. The panic came rushing back full force and I turned to run but he was quicker, having anticipated me and he grabbed my arm and pulled me into an embrace. I struggled, pushing against his chest, begging him to let me go, the fear practically overwhelming me.
But he just held on tightly, “I’ll never let you go.”
I felt a shiver of reaction go down my spine at his words.
He must have felt it too because he began speaking in a soothing voice of how it used to be between us, as he clasped me to him. His cheek was brushing mine and I could feel his warm breath on my ear as he spoke. He recounted the walks in the woods we used to take, the beauty of the grove we had found together and the times that we shared.
As he spoke, my struggling ceased but I kept my hands on his chest, trying to put some distance between us. I risked a look into his face and he turned toward me. Afraid he was trying to kiss me, and knowing I would be lost if he did, I renewed my struggles, turning my face toward his shoulder. But he simply held me more tightly to him. He was stronger, and I knew I couldn’t get away until he let me. I begged him again to let me go, my breaths coming in gasps because of my panic, but he just continued to speak soothingly, trying to calm me.
“I have missed you so much,” he said. “But just think of how wonderful it will be now that we are together again. I promise that I’ll never let anyone or anything hurt you ever again. I love you so much and I’ll never let anything happen to you again.”
I was tiring of fighting him physically and mentally and I was having a hard time remembering why I was fighting him in the first place. Max’s voice was drowning out my fears. As he continued to speak I could feel my breathing returning to normal. I stopped pushing him away and I let my head rest on his chest.
Max loosened his grip, sensing the fight was leaving me. I felt one of his hands on my back and he caressed my hair with the other, like he was comforting a child. His voice was almost a whisper now as he apologized over and over again for the hurt he had caused me. I was so confused but it felt so right being in his arms and I let myself lean into him. My panic was subsiding and being replaced by his calm. Something deep within me warned that I should keep up the fight, struggle, get away but all I really wanted was to stay in his arms forever.
He continued to speak and I let his voice wash through me and sweep away the doubt and the hurt. My body was relaxing against him more and more with every breath, my muscles untensing until he was practically supporting me. Max just held me. I could hear his heart racing and I realized that he must have been just as scared as I was but he was scared of how I would react to him, he was scared that he would lose me. As we stood there I could hear his heart beat returning to normal and I lifted my head to look at him.
He gently caressed my cheek with his hand and a shiver ran through me. Then he tipped my chin up to look into his face and he simply said, “I love you.”
I could see the truth in his eyes and hear it in the tone of his voice. I felt a profound joy, as if my heart would burst. And after only a moment of hesitation I slowly slipped my arms around his waist, buried my face into his shirt and held on to him for my life, my sanity.
Max sighed deeply, like he was releasing a breath he had been holding, and pulled me more tightly to him. The familiar smell of him, the feel of him under my fingers was all so right, just like coming home.
I don’t know how long we stood embracing each other, it seemed like an eternity, but it was not long enough. While Max was holding me I had no doubts, no inner conflict. I was his, he was mine and we were the only two people in the world. There was no one or nothing that could come between us.
But then Michael and Maria came bursting in, spoiling the moment, and as Max released me, my confusion came rushing back.
Michael and Maria had been watching my ex-boyfriend, and they thought that he was hiding something important to the alien's past in his condo. He had been sneaking around and acting suspiciously and they knew he would do anything to get back at Max. Maria wanted Max and myself to go search my ex's condo. They had watched him leave and knew we should have at least four hours before he returned.
Max agreed but then looked at me to see if I would come with him. I nodded quickly. I had no conflict, no doubts when it came to Max’s life, I would do whatever it took to make sure he was safe.
Max and I walked out of the kitchen and through the living room where most of our families had gathered. Max had his arm around my waist and we received looks of varying degrees of interest from different members of our family. Max’s parents looked pleased. Some of my cousins looked surprised but my sister just looked mad. Max had hurt me before, and she didn’t want it to happen again. I couldn’t even explain to her what had happened between us because I wasn’t sure myself. Max told everyone that we were going for a drive and I told my sister we would talk later.
Max had his arm around me still as we walked out to the car. It was as if he thought that if he released me I might disappear or run. He opened the door and put me inside and ran around to the other side to get in. I still had not really spoken to Max because I was feeling confused and worried. I wondered if being with him was the right thing. It felt so right but I wasn’t sure.
He got in the car, we looked at each other and he could see the indecision in my face. He reached for my hand, squeezed it and held on to it as he drove. I glanced at Max a few times but I mostly looked out the window lost in thought and the ride to my ex’s house was silent. I kept remembering the pain, the loneliness, and I didn’t know what I should do. I could feel Max looking at me, his eyes searching my half visible face. I could tell that he was worried about what I was thinking, and he was trying to figure out what was going through my head. I didn’t know what to say to him yet, so I stayed silent.
Max pulled the car into the parking lot of the condo and we sat for a moment. I think Max was expecting me to say something or maybe he wanted to say something to me, but neither of us spoke. I started to get out of the car but Max was still holding onto my hand. I reluctantly turned toward him and his eyes burned into mine as he brought my hand up to his lips and kissed my palm. I could feel all his strength and love flowing through the connection, and I knew I couldn't deny him.
Max led the way into the condo complex still holding my hand. We walked slowly and I cherished the time together, the closeness. I was worried about him, worried about what my ex might have over him but I was glad that we were facing it together. We walked up the stairs and down the hallway toward the condo. Max opened the door and we started to look around inside. He let go of my hand and I purposefully went into a different room to search, needing some time alone to think about what had happened. And Max must have realized this because he didn’t try to follow me.
As I glanced around the room and saw all of my ex’s possessions I realized that he was a lonely person because he was so selfish. He would probably never truly love anyone because he is too self involved. He never thinks of anyone else before himself and if I didn’t want to turn out just like him I had to start trusting that not everybody is like him.
Max loved me and he would put me first, just like I wanted to put him first in everything. Just being apart from each other was hurting both of us and knowing that I was hurting him was killing me. We were connected. I wanted to be with him and I decided I was willing to risk everything, even my sanity, if that is what it took.
As I looked around, it seemed that there were things out of place and I returned to the living room where Max was searching. “Max, I can tell some of these things have been moved. Maybe someone else got here before us and searched.” I motioned to the door, “How did we get in? Was the door locked? Because if it wasn’t locked, that is a good sign that someone else was here. Maybe they’ve already found what he had.”
I realized that I was talking too fast and nervously and shut my mouth.
Suddenly a huge grin spread across Max’s face. I knew he took my conversation as an invitation back into my life and he walked toward me purposefully, his eyes never leaving mine. He spoke softly, “The door was locked.” He motioned to his hand, “I used my powers to open it.” He stopped a couple of steps away from me with a look of triumphant in his eyes.
I smiled, realizing Max was right, it had been an invitation. I blushed and glanced down suddenly shy around him.
I walked into another room and he followed me closely. We searched it together, ‘accidentally’ bumping into each other several times, brushing hands reaching for the same item at the same time. I was practically giddy wanting to touch him but I was too shy to actually do it. Finally I worked up the courage to brush past him, and I looked into his face as I did, trying to gage his reaction. But I was disappointed when he just smiled and continued searching.
We moved into the next room and started again. As we searched I moved past him and suddenly he turned and caught me up against the wall with one arm on either side of my head. His eyes never left mine and he gently ran his thumb across my cheek. He leaned in closer to me, and I felt my breath catch, thinking that he was finally going to kiss me. But he instead he whispered, “You have dust on you face.” He continued to stroke my cheek and I felt myself falling into his eyes. We stood there for a moment looking into each others eyes and then he smiled and took my hand, pulling me into the last room.
The final room was the bedroom and we quickly searched it. I kept stealing glances at Max not able to stop myself, and I really had to concentrate to keep my mind on what I was doing.
Finally the search was finished but we’d found nothing. I sat on a chair and Max leaned against the dresser across from me. I couldn’t stop looking at him but I had to keep my mind on the task at hand. I tried to offer theories, “Maybe he has it hidden somewhere else, or maybe he has it on him.” I shrugged, trying to think of places he could have it hidden in the condo that we might not have thought about checking.
Max walked toward me, caressing my arm and smiling as he passed. He went to the head of the rumpled bed and with a single swipe of his hand, used his powers to remake the bedclothes. When he finished he leaned against the headboard with a grin on his face and patted the bed next to where he was standing.
I rose and slowly walked toward him, intending to sit on the bed where he had indicated, but when I got close, I suddenly found myself laying on the bed in his arms. He had used his alien speed to throw us onto the bed so quickly I didn’t even realize he was doing it. He pulled me to him and I fit myself into his body, wrapping my arms around him. We laid there for several minutes reveling in the feel of each other and the wonderful closeness. He was so kind and caring and I thought how lucky I was to have found him and I would never let him go again. All of my doubts had been erased.
I could feel all of his feelings, all of his love and suddenly I could hear his thoughts. Max had given me time and space to sort through my feelings before he confronted me. He could easily have caught me when I ran from him or found me and forced the issue but he didn’t. He let me go to calm down.
He had stood outside in the snow by the trees and watched me through the kitchen door until he knew I was ready to see him again. Then had come to me. He had spoken of love and forgiveness, when I worried about pain and loneliness. He had soothed and calmed me, when he was just as scared. And he worried about me, even though his heart was breaking.
I was suddenly struck with the thought that Max was the exact opposite of my ex in almost every way. Selflessness vs. selfishness; caring for others vs. self-interest; love for others vs. love of oneself. I knew Max would cherish and love me when my ex would use me. I smiled to myself thinking how strange it was that Max was the one to have come between my ex and myself. And how ironic it was that we were lying in my ex’s bed growing closer, spiritually, mentally, physically.
Max pulled me closer still and I could feel his feathery kisses on the top of my head, his hands sliding down my face. He tipped my head up toward his and kissed my forehead from one brow to the other. It was as if he was trying to memorize the shape of my face one kiss at a time. His kisses gradually worked their way down to my eyes, and then my cheeks and then he very gently, almost reverently, kissed my lips. “I love you,” he whispered again.
And this time I was ready to answer him with no reservations. “I love you too.”
He smiled and kissed me harder, cradling my face in his hands and I kissed him back with every ounce of emotion and love in my soul.
When I awoke and recalled this dream I played it over and over again in my head trying not to forget any detail. My first thought was that I had just welcomed Max back into my dreams and he had promised that they wouldn’t hurt me anymore.
But the really ironic thing was that in real life, I hadn’t broken up with my boyfriend. I was still with him. Things weren’t great and I knew he wasn’t the love of my life, but I realized that what I had discovered in my dream was true. The character Max had ruined what was left of my relationship with boyfriend. I was simply going through the motions, and I had to break up with him.
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