It happened during a nap this morning. During the time straddled between deep sleep and light, enough to refresh but not to cause dreams. He was there. He wrapped his arms tightly around me and when he would withdraw, I pulled him in closer. When I snuggled in, he pulled me in deeper.
“I miss you,” I whispered in longing desperation.
“I miss you,” he replied and squeezed me harder, like he used to do.
“When will I see you again?” I asked.
“Sometime,” he answered.
“What does that mean?” I pleaded, wanting the exact while I breathed deeply in for the smell of him. It was faint, but there.
“You’ll see me in some time,” he counter with no definition and buried his own nose into mine.
“Will the kids be okay?” I needed to know, even in his arms, just the two of us, I needed to know. When he didn’t responded with anything but a shift in his body, closer to me, I repeated myself with another whisper, “will the kids be okay?”
“Mmmm,” was all he said.
I wanted more of an answer, but I lost my voice. Questions were trapped in by the feel of his arms. When I tried to talk again, he let go of me, and so did my sleep. I woke up overtaken by a want, a physical want of him. When it did come, the tears descended slowly in a release between agony and happiness.
Yes, I have been sick these last twenty-four hours with a nasty UTI. I am so tired, uncomfortable, in pain and stranded. There’s no one in my house except a rescue dog who keeps having accidents and honestly, these past twenty-four hours, I’m too weak to care. I started on simple antibiotics, but nothing as hallucinatory as pain kills. And, damn, if all of it was real. Damn, if the feel of him wasn’t real, if our conversation wasn’t real.
Yeah, sure. Maybe my illness drew this all up like a painting in my imagination. Maybe it was a yarn spun by a nap where that time between dreams and reality is thin, too thin. Maybe it was my desire for him to be here, taking care of me, manifesting through my subconscious, the part that keeps him real. Maybe it was my forever wish pushing the limits of my worn out body and playing tricks on my Psyche. Or maybe he was there, just for a few hugs, a small conversation and a huge reassurance. Whatever it was, I wanted him back. Every bone in my achy, exhausted body wanted him back. And I knew, he wouldn’t be back. Still, he was for a time, and there was something beautiful in that.
Oh, I tried to get him back. I willed myself back to sleep, pushing myself by saying repeatedly, close your eyes, drift off, come on. But nothing. I was done. He was gone. And I cried.
Now, hours after my morning nap, I still feel his arms around me, still hear his voice in the continual replay of the conversation. I fluctuate from thinking it was just a ridiculous, absurd dream put together by illness and fatigue, to knowing it was real, for a time, for me. I think I’m just going to give up on trying to question and enjoy the answer. This morning, during a nap which put me in between the deep dreams of the night, and the awareness of the day, I felt that Peter held me and we had a conversation. And you now what? Nothing else matters.