Love through dimensions

a short story

'So, tell me about your dream.' Dr. Schwartz prompts me.


'It was the same one I had before. It's the only one I have.' I grit my teeth. 'I've already told you about it.'


Dr. Schwartz nods. He gives me a half-smile, and I know what is coming.


'Ramona, it's part of the healing process to talk about the things that bother you. I know it hurts. You are safe here. Please, describe your dream to me.'


I take a deep breath and brace for the pain. 'We are in the car, driving through Highway 50 towards South Lake Tahoe. Danny is driving, and we are laughing about some of his jokes. I look at his profile. He is looking straight ahead, his hands gripping the steering wheel. But, still, I can see him smiling.' I pause to breathe and swallow the lump in my throat.


'I look out the car's window, and the scenery is breathtaking. We are passing through Riverton and entering the Eldorado National Park. The weather is cold, and it starts to snow.' I take another pause. I can't go on.


Dr. Schwartz's face is impassive, waiting for me to continue. Sometimes I wonder if he gets off on people's suffering. 


'Then, it happens. The car swerves out of control, hits the protection, rolls down the ravine, and there's only darkness.' I exhale like I ran a marathon.


'What happens next?'


'I wake up.'


He stares, takes some notes, and nods. 


'I think it's enough for today. I see you next week, Ramona.'


'Thanks, Dr. Schwartz.'


I take a cab home. I don't want to be late for dinner. 


I step home, and a warm and calm feeling surrounds me. I rush to prepare dinner. 


'Danny! Dinner is ready!'


I am proud of setting the table. I even light a candle. I love romantic dinners!


Danny takes his place at the table, and the love I see in his eyes warms my soul.


'I'm sorry, I'm late. Dr. Schwartz asked me to describe my dream to him again.' I sigh. 'I don't understand his fixation about it. By the way, my parents invited us to spend the holidays in Vegas with them. Mom's finally found a house she likes, and Dad said we could use the Casino's pool whenever we want.'


We eat in comfortable silence. 


A yawn escapes me. 'I'm sorry, baby, I'm tired.' 


'Come on! Let's go upstairs. We do the dishes tomorrow.' I suggest to Danny as I go upstairs.


My head hits the pillow, and I'm instantly asleep.


I'm in the car again. Danny is beside me, driving. Oh, God, no! I see the forest, the river, I look back at Danny, and he is laughing. He's so happy. Please, stop. Danny, we need to stop. The world starts to spin. No, no, no, no! The pain is excruciating. My shoulder! The rolling stops and we are upside down. Water is flooding in the car. 'Danny!' I scream. 


'Mona! Mona, listen to me!' 


'Danny! I'm listening. We have to get out of here.' I can't see his face. I can only hear his voice.


'Mona, you've got to let me go.'


'I'm not holding you.'


'Yes, you are, sweetheart. Please, let me go.'


I'm drenched. I need to get help to get us out of here, but my shoulder hurts so bad.


I force the car's door open and release my seatbelt. Water covers my face, and I panic. I get out of the vehicle and see we are close to the river shore. The water is not deep, but it's freezing. 


I reach Danny's side of the car and grab the door handle, and I force it with all my might.


I jump awake, and my heart is galloping in my chest. Sweat covers me. It takes a moment to get my bearings. I turn on the light and breath in relief: I'm in my bed.


I cover my face with my hands. My body is shaking.


I grab the notebook at the bedside table and write my nightmare on it. It is my new ritual. It's another of Dr. Schwartz's advice: to write every detail as soon as I wake up, so I don't forget.


Dawn is breaking, and I'm too rattled to go back to sleep. I take my notebook and go down to the kitchen to prepare some breakfast. 


I turn on the coffee machine and open my notebook. It's funny that each night the dream/nightmare seems to develop a scene further. First, it was only the part when we are laughing. Then it begins to snow. It becomes frightening after that. I don't want to continue. 


I put coffee in a mug, inhaling the comforting smell, and I go to the living room. The house is silent, cold. I stare at the dried flowers on the coffee table and see them for the first time. I read the card and collapse to my knees.


Memories rush to my mind. I'm back at the river shore, open Danny's car door. 


I see that he is eyes are open, but he is not moving—his lifeless stare begging me to let him go.

Image by Sam Goodgame