May 3, 2017 • Dreaming Shannon Disney World Vacation It’s been twenty years, more or less to the month, since we parted ways and though they are very rare these days, I still have dreams of seeing you again. It was present day, and I had come back up to a Indiana for work. Apparently, I drove because I had my van with me. While I was in town, I ran a personal errand and had to visit a title office regarding something to do with a property I had owned. You were there as well, and we noticed each other, briefly making eye contact, but neither of us said anything to the other. I’ve wanted to talk to you again for years, if for nothing else than to ask how you’re doing these days, to know if you are happy, I saw you when you got married, and although I was already married and although it was my decision to part ways with you in order to be with her, I had a hard time with it. I cried several times over the next few days. You and I were engaged once. There’s a timeline somewhere in which we followed through and married. How different my life must be in that place. Back to now, I wanted to say hello but the words didn’t come. You noticed me. You didn’t smile. You looked at me as though I were a stranger yet without the typical pleasantry smile strangers normally exchange in passing. No, you knew it was me and I knew it was you and our eyes connected and we both felt something…. perhaps not both the same thing and perhaps not even good things, but we both felt again in the presence of each other as our eyes met and that familiar old connection we once shared came bursting back to life. Without a word, we each walked inside and parted down separate hallways to attend to matters thought brought each of us there that day. I noticed you were looking around at the other faces. Back out at the door. At your phone. Your husband isn’t here but we should be, I realized. You were looking for him, perhaps for comfort. Or perhaps simply because he was late. Late again, I noticed by the disapproving frown at the corners of your lips. And with that, our hallways turned and we went our own ways. My dream continued on and I managed through what I was there to do, which happens to be as it often is with dreams, a mixture of unrelated bits of things coming together in a ways that do not always make much sense: I met some people from work and told them about you. I spoke to a lawyer apparently about some issues at work. I went to the restroom, which was decidedly dark and not entirely clean and nearly fell on the sloping tile floor that was covered in urine so slippery it may as well have been ice. Whatever the matters were that brought each of us there that day, it turns out they took equal amounts of time, ahh fate isn’t done with the two of us just yet it appears. We noticed each other again and your eyes met mine and then searched the room and the parking lot as I held the door for you. Your husband still was not here and you were very annoyed with him. I broke the silence between us with a simple, “Hi, Shannon. It’s good to see you.” You offered a similar greeting in a way that did not necessarily invite further conversation. I ignored that and asked anyway, “Do you have some time? I’d love to catch up.” Looking again for your husband and realizing he simply was not coming, you looked at me again and said, “Yes but just a few minutes, really. I have somewhere I need to be.” I asked where you were parked and started walking you to your car. You were parked very near my own. I had just gotten my hair cut the day before and you noticed, commenting on how short it was as you reached out and ran your fingers along the side of my hairline. That touch. Your touch. I’ve missed that. I laughed and told you where I live now, near a military base, and most of the men have military haircuts so I keep mine short as well to fit in with the rest. “Fitting in was never really something that concerned you when you were with me. I liked that about you,” you said with the first of several genuine smiles. “I’m still very much me,” I replied, “And you, well you are still you. Right to the point of what’s on your mind. And you look great. I think about you quite often. Are you happy?” “Mostly, yes. I assume you mean to ask as I happy with who I’m with now. You really are the same… always concerned about my welfare. It’s sweet. Yes, I’m happy enough, well maybe not so happy with him today. He was supposed to be here hours ago.” “I’m glad you’re happy. You deserve to be happy. I loved you dearly and that’s not something that will ever change. Perhaps how we love changes over the years but who we love, if we ever loved them at all, that never goes away completely.” “Always the philosopher,” you laughed. “I’m glad he’s late. Had he been here, I honestly would have used that to keep you at a distance but I’m actually really glad we crossed paths again. I’ll let you in on a secret,” you said as you pulled your wallet out of your purse, “I think about you often as well.” You opened the wallet unsnapped an inner pocket and handed me a slip of worn paper. I recognized my own handwriting: “Shannon, There will never be a day when my heart will not answer to the call of yours. - Love, Me” “You carry this with you?” I asked, blushing. “I shouldn’t. I’ve carried it with me since the day you slipped it in here as a surprise for me to find. I didn’t find it until well after we parted ways but I knew it was you who had put it there. You were always so clever and mushy and, well, you.” You laughed and I laughed and the years melted away. “Honestly though, I certainly don’t need to carry this. My heart has always called out to you.” “And mine has always answered.” I said. And you leaned in and kissed me on the cheek and slipped your fingers into my back pocket. “Oh I don’t want to but I really have to go…. my business card,” you said as you squeezed with the hand still inside my back pocket. “The things I’ll do to you,” you whispered into ear, as you ran your tongue up from my neck to my earlobe “starting with this butt of yours…. should you call me.” You kissed my neck as you slid your hand free from my pocket, leaving the card behind and then you turned to walk away. I was flushed. My heart was pounding. You looked back over your shoulder at me with a grin… and there it was… that look in your eye that says “I love you.” That look that in all my years, I’ve only ever truly seen from you. You reached in your purse to find your keys when you’d reached your car and pulled out your phone instead, puzzling at the unknown number and worrying if it was perhaps someone calling about your husband. Had something happened to him? I could see the worry on your face from where I stood. My feet had not moved from the spot where you had kissed me. “Hello?” I heard you said over the other end of the line as I held my own phone up to my ear. “Hi, Shannon,” I said with a smile, “whatever you have planned can wait. Cancel. Reschedule. I don’t care. You’re with me tonight.” You looked over to me and bit your lip as you returned my smile, “How can a girl say no to that?” And as you walked in the direction of my car, I woke up. That always happens. Whoever the temptress that brings me these dreams…. she loves to do this. Mischievous little tease that she is. She’s frustrating but I am appreciative none the less. I really enjoyed seeing Shannon again. Perhaps I will again soon. Perhaps someday, not even in a dream.
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