While you sleep

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Deirdre had been having the strangest dreams the past few days. She usually woke up, remembered them for a moment and then the memory slipped away. She usually saw her daughter, dressed in a beautiful flowing white dress, her hair braided to the side of her head, a beautiful crown of flowers adorned her locks. She always looked so peaceful, yet Deirdre could see a massive amount of pain behind her eyes. She didn’t like dreaming about her daughter because it reminded her of what she had lost.

She had played a large part in the pain her daughter had suffered through her teenage years. She hadn’t been strong enough to leave an abusive marriage, thinking that she could protect her daughter. Being afraid that if they left, they would be worse off because they had nowhere to run to. Deirdre went through a mental breakdown, when she came out of it, she suffered a severe depression. She had gone through hell and back, but with therapy she had somehow managed to make it out alive. She had focused on the good memories of her young daughter to keep her going.

Once she had been declared well enough to function on her own, she had reached out. After being rejected, she had received letters that she cherished more than anything. Her daughter wrote to her letting her know she was loved and not hated. Her daughter felt no resentment towards her, just peace. She too had been through therapy, and she had healed as much as possible with the help of Andrew as well. Deirdre was so happy to know that she had a good man by her side. She was relieved that her daughter had not made a bad choice like herself.

Things had been going as good as expected with Deirdre, she had a part time job at a book store on weekdays, had the weekends to wander about town. Mostly, what had been missing was her daughter and in the last letters she had given her some amazing news. She was going to be a grandmother, she was ecstatic. She wanted to be a part of their lives more than ever, but Andrew would need some more convincing. She wasn’t a bad person, she had just made some horrible decisions in her life.

″Gwen. I thought Gwen took her.″

Deirdre looked at his worried eyes, he had a deep frown creasing his eyebrows, he looked completely deranged. Yet, she knew that he wasn't crazy. For reasons she couldn't comprehend, she didn't believe her daughter was truly gone. She wasn't one for believing in ghosts, or spirits, or whatever the hell they were called, but she didn't feel the loss a mother typically feels when her daughter passes away. She reached out for her son-in-law's hand and smiled at him, silently reassuring him that he wasn't crazy. She looked down at her happy grand daughter, maybe it was because Gwen left a part of her here on earth that she didn't feel an immense loss? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.
''Why would you think that?''
He walked silently to the kitchen and sat down, she followed him closely and walked past him to start a fresh pot of tea. She leaned back on the counter and waited, she wanted him to have some space. She heard him mumbling to himself, incoherent words to her ears.
''You will think I am crazy.''
She laughed softly but shook her head, making sure he saw her.
''What I think is that you have lost your soulmate. Your other half. You are bound to see and feel things that maybe others don't.''
She waited until he spoke again, his words carefully chosen.
''I saw her reaching out to Hope in the room.''
Deirdre smiled, she was imagining the scene. She knew that if anyone could come back from the dead determined to meet their child, it was Gwen. She laughed at her thoughts and felt Andrew's worried eyes staring at her.
''I'm sorry, I wasn't laughing at you. I can just imagine Gwen being a ghost watching over her daughter. She was a strong willed woman who would probably be able to come back to life just to get a glimpse of her child.''
Andrew was silent, he was weighing her words. She was right. He one hundred percent agreed with her statement. Over the past six months, he had seen Deirdre's true colors and he thought they were amazing. She was just as strong as her daughter had been, he knew Hope had a good grandma as a role model. She was a determined woman anyway, never letting him push her around.
His mood had not always been cheery, in fact he was downright mean with her most days. He kept to himself, except when it came to Hope. She was a tiny bundle of love and joy and everything good. He could never be anything but happy whenever he was with her. The realization hit him like a ton of bricks. He hadn't been truthful to himself up until that point. He stood up, walked over to his mother-in-law and took her gently by the hands.
''Will you move into the main house?''

My mother and Andrew were getting along, she was moving into the house, I would be able to try and contact her soon. I hoped she didn't have her walls up like my husband, he was a tough one to crack. I think the only reason why he saw me with Hope is because he was half asleep. His mind had not been able to stop the image of me until it was too late. I had so hoped to be able to get through to him, but Hope was the only one so far who let me in.

I was only able to watch them from afar, always in the shadows. I felt like a damn stalked, but at least if they looked in my direction, they wouldn't see me. Unless either one would open their souls eyes and see me. I was just waiting for my mother to go to sleep until I would try to communicate with her. I waited and waited until I saw her chest rising and falling slowly.

My mother was looking right at me. I was in. I ran to her, not knowing if she would feel me or not. I didn't care, I had to try. I felt her arms embrace me, warm and loving. I cried and held on as thought my life depended on it. In a way, it did. My spirit life anyways. She cried against me too and I felt tears on my shoulders. I couldn't tell if they were hers or mine. I didn't care. I could feel her, I could talk to her. Talk. I pulled back and smiled.
''I need you to tell Andrew that what he saw was real. I came to him once in a dream, that was real too. I tried coming back to him but it's as though he has put up walls to keep me out. I need you to tell him to let me in. Please mom.''
She held onto my hands and squeezed them tightly.
''I will tell him. I love you my dear daughter. I am so sorry for what happened to you.''
I smiled and gave her a soft hug.
''I love you too mom. I always have. I always will.''
I let her go once I heard the footsteps coming closer to us. I needed to go. I couldn't let her see what monster lurked in the shadows of my mind. I had outrun him until now, but I couldn't forever.
''Mom, you need to tell Andrew to finish the house. It's the only way I can be free.''
She told me she would and before I could answer, I felt a deadly hand grasp my shoulder.
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