It took me a minute to realize where I was. I’m on Dan’s couch back at the old place. Why am I on the couch? Where’s Dan and the kids? I got up and looked for Dan. He was asleep in our room.
“Baby, wake up.” I said to him.
“Baby?” He questioned.
“Oh thank God you’re alive!” I jumped in bed with him and held him tight.
“What’s the matter? Why was I sleeping on the couch?” I asked.
“I don’t have a bed for you. What’s going on? Why are you hugging me?” He asked confused.
Then it dawned on me. It was all a dream. I started to cry and left the bedroom.
“Morgan, what’s going on?” He followed and asked me.
“Just leave me alone right now. I need a minute please.”
“Okay, I’ll go put the coffee on and start breakfast. Pancakes and sausage sound good?” He offered.
“Yeah. Thank you.”
What the hell is going on? I want my dream life back. I miss our kids, our grandkids, our great grandkids. My mother! Is she still alive? I have too many questions. I have to tell Dan about the dream.
He was cooking when I got my coffee and sat quietly just watching him.
“I figure after breakfast we’ll go get you checked out. How are you feeling?” He asked me.
“My head hurts and I’m confused as hell. What’s going on?”
“You were in a nasty fight last night and ended up in the ER. They said you needed to be watched but that you’re okay. How bad is your headache?”
“Never mind that. I need to ask you a few questions that might sound weird, okay?”
“Are we.... are we together?”
“Together? Like right now?”
“No. Like, are we a couple?”
“Not unless it happened while I was sleeping.” He chuckled.
“Are you an astronaut?”
“An astronaut? No Morgan, I’m a cop. You know that.”
“I don’t know shit right now. Do I live here?”
“For now. Until we get you an honest job. Morgan, you need to be seen right away. Get dressed. We’ll eat after.”
“No babe, I..” I stopped myself when I realized he wasn’t ‘Babe’ anymore. “Sorry. I’m hungry, could we please just go after.”
Baby, babe. Are we a couple? I wish! It felt so good to hear him call me baby. I hope he’s okay! I took the day off to take care of him. I have some sick time saved up. I’m not worried about it.
“The doctor said I have partial amnesia. How bad was this fight?” He asked me as we left the doctor.
“Pretty bad. The guy is in jail. He was beating you with a baseball bat.” I told him.
“Well, that explains part of my dream.”
“I am curious to hear about this dream.”
“I was centerfield for the Crusaders and I was good. I made MVP. You were an astronaut and you went to space twice and was almost killed. Tracy? Is my best friend a hot girl named Tracy?” He asked me.
“Yes, you have a friend named Tracy, I think, but I never met her. And me, an astronaut? Wow! Sounds like you were the one in space.” I told him.
“How did we meet, you and I?”
“Actually, I arrested you for theft. You got caught stealing a wallet out of a car.”
“And now I live with you?”
“Well for now. We became friends and you need help. I’m just trying to help you out.”
“My mother! Is she still alive?”
“I don’t know. You never talk much about her.”
“Okay, here’s a weird question, am I gay?”
“I don’t think so. You do date women but I’ve never seen you with a man. Speaking of, you called me baby. Why?” I had to ask.
“I thought you were someone else. In the dream, I was married and I had kids and grandkids and so on.”
“Who were you married to?”
“It’s not important. I think I just want to go home and rest.”
“You can take my bed for the day. I’ll make dinner. What would you like?” I offered.
“Stuffed chicken breasts? Do you make anything like that.”
“As a matter of fact, I happen to have a kick-ass recipe for that. Go get comfortable in my room. I’ll wake you up when dinner’s done.”
“Thank you so much, Dan! Can I ask you one more weird question? Well, more like a favor.”
“Can I please have a hug. I feel like I just really need a hug.”
And so I hugged him. He lingered with the hug and I didn’t back away until he was ready. He got emotional and I think he teared up as he walked away. And now I’m getting emotional. Was I the person he was married to in that dream? That hug felt so good. Almost familiar and way too comforting! I just want to drop everything, run in there, grab his face and kiss him. I wonder if he dreamed about sex with this mystery spouse.
It took everything I had to pull away from that hug. I needed that hug! I need to hug and kiss my husband. Tell him I love him! I should run back out there, jump into his arms and just kiss the fuck outta him!
I can’t believe how much this hurts. I feel like I’ve lost him and yet he’s right here. I started looking through my phone to see if there’s anything that might trigger a memory. I found a picture of Dan leaning up against his truck in his cop uniform. He was smiling while looking at his phone. I want to make him smile like that! I scrolled through my contacts. Mother! I’ll call her.
“Hello, Morgan.” She answered.
“Oh, mom! It’s so good to hear your voice! I love you!”
“I love you too. What’s going on?”
“Nothing. I just had a dream that I lost you.”
“Well, you didn’t. I’m right here.”
“I’m going to ask you a question that might confuse you.”
“Where do you live?”
“Morgan, what are you on?”
“Nothing ma, I hurt my head and forgot some things like your address.”
She gave me her address and I planned on visiting her tomorrow. Then Dan came in and told me dinner was done.
“Do you mind if I ask Tracy to come over tonight. I have a few questions for her.” I asked him.
“No. I don’t mind.”
When Tracy got here, she had that same spunk and sass as she had in the dream. And she’s just as hot as I remember too.
“Hey Wild Child! How ya feeling?” She said to me as she came in.
“I’m confused. I need your help.” I told her.
“Of course you need me. I’m awesome! And hello there good lookin’. You must be Dan. Nice to meet you!” She said to him.
“Nice to meet you too Tracy. Can I get you something to drink?” He offered.
“I’ll take a beer if you have one.”
“You got it. Morgan?”
“So what’s this about, kid?” Tracy asked.
“I’ll give you guys some privacy.” Dan said as he handed us our beers.
“Thank you, Dan. Tracy, I’m losing my shit here. I know who you are, but I don’t remember you in real life. You were in a very intense dream I had. A very real dream that was an entire lifetime.”
“Oh man, don’t tell me we were married or some shit like that.”
“No.” I leaned in to whisper. “I was married to Dan.”
“Nice! He’s hot! See? I told you that you were crushin’ on him!”
“Crushing? Tracy, I’m head over heels in love with him. My heart is breaking over children that we never even had. And you! In the dream, we had sex a lot! The three of us and sometimes there were others.”
“Were they hot?”
“Yes, but that’s not the point. Is my nickname for you Dirty Girl?”
“Yes, but you’ve always called me that.”
“Tracy, what do I do about Dan?”
“Tell him about the dream.”
“I did. Well, sort of. I didn’t tell him that we were married and in love.”
“I’m thinking that’s the most important part.”
“I’ll lose him entirely if I do. He’s not interested in me. Tracy, can you imagine what it’s like being so completely in love with someone right in front of you and there’s nothing you can do about it? I want to tell him I love him and I want to hear him say it back.”
“Listen, doll, you got a bad head injury. The dream you had is making you think you’re in love with Dan because it acted as reality. It will pass. Just give it time.”
“No. I don’t want it to pass. In the dream, he died and I promised to meet him in the next life. What if this is that life?
“It’s not. That life was in your head and it lasted about 10 hours. Trust me, this is real life here and now.”
“Do you know who Justin and Mira are?” I asked her.
“No.” She was looking at me like I was crazy.
“They were our lovers. We were like a kinky fivesome. We all had very open sex with each other and there was no awkwardness.”
“Morgan, I can promise you, we never were, nor ever will be lovers.”
“Are you a nurse? Did we meet when I came to the ER on my 18th birthday?”
“Yes and yes.”
I want to listen in so bad. What has Morgan so upset? I want to know more about that dream! There’s nothing much I could do about it tonight. I have an early shift. I went in to say goodnight and headed off to bed.
The next day at work, I had to look him up. I had avoided doing this for a while now because it’s just wrong but I had to know more. Turns out, he’s got quite a record.
Vagrancy. theft, drugs, even violence. His father has a record too. Oh, my...he was an abused child! In and out of emergency rooms and foster homes until he was 15 when he ran away. No wonder he’s prone to nightmares. I should do something special for him. Maybe I’ll teach him a trade or see if I could help him pay for classes. I’m really starting to care about this guy.
When I got home, Morgan was playing his acoustic guitar. It was a familiar song. I listened to see if it would ring a bell. I got it! "I Can’t Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon. Wow! I haven’t thought about that song in years. Then I thought about some of the lyrics to the song.
"...And even as I wander
I’m keeping you in sight
You’re a candle in the window
On a cold, dark winter’s night
And I’m getting closer than I ever thought I might."
Yep. That’s exactly how I feel! I wonder if he’s trying to tell me something.
“Bravo!” I shouted as I clapped. “That was awesome! How did you learn how to play that?”
“I have no idea. I mean, I could play and I know that song but I never played it before until just now. I don’t even know why. It just popped into my head and I had to play it.”
“It’s a good song.”
“Listen, Dan, we need to talk. Could we talk over dinner tonight?”
“Yeah. Is everything okay?”
“Yes and no. Let’s just talk then okay.”
“Okay. What do you want for dinner? I could make us some panini’s.”
“What’s a panini?”
“It’s a sort of grilled Italian sandwich.”
“Oh? Sounds good!”
I’m still not sure how I’m going to break it to him that I plan to move out. I really don’t want to but seeing him every day is killing me. I either need to tell him how I feel or just walk away and the latter seems easiest. Besides, what if Tracy’s right? What if it’s the brain injury making me think I love Dan. I don’t know. All I know is I want so badly to kiss him and tell him I love him!
As we sat down to dinner, Dan seemed kind of nervous. You couldn’t tell by the taste of his food. “These panini’s are incredible!” I complimented.
“So what’s up, Morgan? You wanted to talk.” He said.
“I’m thinking I should probably move out.”
“I don’t even know you and still I’m...I just...It feels weird. I don’t know you.”
“You do know me, Morgan. You will remember. The doctor told you it’s just temporary.”
“Do you really want me to stay?” I asked him.
“Yes please Morgan. Stay! I want to help you. Please let me help you.”
“Why is helping me so important to you?”
“Because there’s just something inside me telling me you need just the kind of help I can give you.”
“And that is?”
“An understanding friend who is in a position to be an emotional and financial support for you. To get you back on your feet because I know there’s a great man in there somewhere.”
“Alright Dan, here it is. I think I’m in....I’m in love with you. There! I said it. I have to go.” I cried.
“Morgan no! Wait!” He shouted.