This dream is unique because it is the only one in which I was Tess
Dream from 11/6/00
This dream was different because it is the only one in which I was Tess.
I awoke in a room that I had never seen before but I knew that I was in my own home. I remember thinking it was a very beautiful house and looked new. The walls were white and the trim and floors were in a blond wood. The furniture was very spare and modern with clean lines and all trimmed in silver. I was laying in a large bed with a big white comforter. The room was immaculate except for several tissues laying on the comforter.
I was sick. I knew that I had been sick for a long time and I was finally starting to get well. As I gazed around, I looked at the beauty of the objects around me which would usually give me pleasure but all I felt was an overwhelming sadness and loneliness. The room and furnishings just seemed cold and antiseptic.
I glanced at the other half of the bed and just for a moment I thought he was there with me. I felt such love and joy I thought my heart would burst. He was asleep and I traced the outline of his face with my eyes and then my hands, smoothing the wrinkled brow that his dream was causing. He opened his eyes. took my hand and gently kissed the palm . I saw his love for me shining in his eyes, but then the moment passed and I was alone in the bed again.
I got out of bed and started cleaning up the tissues. Glancing toward the window I noticed that it was dark outside and I could hear the wind starting to blow. I went down the hall toward the kitchen to get a drink but I stopped to look into a room I was passing, something drawing me into the room.
It was an office with a desk and computer, furnished similarly to the bedroom but it was the window I was looking for. It was a fairly large window and I walked over to look outside and see the weather. There was a shadow across the wall from a tree branch that was bouncing gently in the wind and I remember thinking that a storm must be brewing. When I was halfway across the room, a crack of lighting shattered the silence and the tree branch waved more animatedly. As I got closer to the window I could tell that something was very wrong. There was absolutely no light outside the window and all I could see was darkness, like the window was made opaque black glass. I couldn’t see the tree or the sky, just blackness. I felt a cold shiver and ran into the next room to look out the window.
It was another bedroom. The window was open and the wind was violently blowing the bedclothes and canopy of the bed, which stood in the middle of the room. I stood mesmerized for a few seconds, the gauzy canopy swirling around me, the wind brushing my face, whipping my hair and clothes. There was no view out of this window either and the complete lack of anything held my gaze. And then there was a sudden flash of light. I saw another windy day, the sun shining brightly, the leaves swirling around on the grass, my long white dress lifted in the wind. I smiled as I felt a deep longing and then I quickly backed out of the room and shut the door.
I turned and went back down the hall listening to the wind howling eerily around the house. I looked up into the vaulted ceiling and saw the skylights that usually let in the comforting light receding into shadows.
And suddenly like headlights in the night, sunlight came spilling through the skylights and light filled the room. I heard voices, laughter and the fluttering of a bird's wing. The light grew brighter and brighter until it filled the room. I could feel the warmth on my arms and face. I wanted to dance to skip to join the laughter. The light grew brighter until I could no longer look and shut my eyes to it and as suddenly as it came it started to dim. I opened my eyes and felt the room start to sway. My body shivering from the lack of warmth. Then the darkness returned like a cloud, chasing the light from the room with it's oppressive blackness as the laughter faded into the wailing of the wind.
I heard a noise outside and glanced down the stairs toward the front door. I knew that it was my husband coming home. I walked back to my bedroom and climbed under the comforter, pulling it up to my chin. I loved my husband but I dreaded his coming.
I heard the door open and his slow, tired footsteps as he walked across the hall and then up the stairs. I glanced around the room again. Once it had held such promise, joy and hope. Now it was simply a mockery of how things could have been and the emptyness threatened to overwhelm me, us.
As he approached the bedroom his footsteps slowed. I knew he hoped that I was asleep so he wouldn't have to interact with me. I laid back against the pillows and waited.
He quietly entered the room and when he saw that I was awake he smiled softly, “How are you feeling?”.
“I’m starting to feel better, finally,” I said softly.
My husband came and sat on the bed next to me and took my hand.
I knew what he wanted to say. Now that I was finally getting well he wanted to tell me it was over, that he had tried to love me but he just couldn’t. I almost tried to pull away from him, preferring that he not touch me because he knew that I still loved him and I could see the pity and sadness in his eyes. I never wanted anyone to look at me like that, least of all him. I knew he loved another and he had only married me out of duty but I had thought he would learn to love me. Now I realized that he would always love her. I could feel tears in my eyes and he pulled me to him, stroking my head like he was comforting a child. Usually being held by him would be comforting to me, but his kindness just left me feeling more alone, more desperate.
I knew he had never loved me and he had just been going through the motions of our marriage for a very long time. He spent less and less time at home and with me, his work consuming more and more of his life. He looked desperately tired, his skin which used to glow with life and vitality now looked grey and dull. His eyes held the knowledge of too much pain and sadness for someone his age. His mouth, which used to light up his face with his smile, now too often expressed no emotion at all, simply pressed into a polite line. His shoulders, which were once so strong and wide, were slumped with resignation. I knew he was a good man, he wanted to do the right thing, he didn’t want to hurt me, but how could either one of us live like this? Then I realized that neither of us had been living for a very long time.
I cried, letting out all of my pent up emotion, my frustration, my love, and he held me tighter and tighter. I cried until I had nothing left inside. He gently rocked, holding me as if he really loved me, crushing me to him. After a few minutes he sighed and loosening his embrace he pulled back and looked into my eyes. He said very gently, “Everything will be alright.”
I knew he had made a decision. He would stay with me, a woman he didn’t love, to try and make our marriage work, for my sake. For a split second I could see our future, our happiness. My soul was lifted out of the blackness and soared toward the heavens. I felt that we would be invincible together, nothing could come between us. And then the reality struck me like a thunderbolt, searing my mind, heart and soul and the sudden knowledge knocked the breath from my body. He would never love me, he would never be happy with me and he knew it. He had given up his true love and his happiness for my sake, for his people. And he had stayed with me because he couldn’t bear to hurt me. His kindness and tender heart had betrayed him.
But at that moment I made a decision too. Even though I loved him to the very core of my soul I wouldn’t make him stay with me. Couldn’t make him stay. The emptiness I could see inside him was already starting to overwhelm the love I felt for him. His sadness, his sacrifice would kill me, it would kill us both. I would let him go and he would return to her.
They would be happy. They would live the life I had wanted so badly.
And I would be alone.
I glanced again toward the window and I let the yearning darkness envelop me.
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