*NOTE: This piece was written entirely in December 2015 with no edits since that time.  This is extremely important to note, as there are some small parallels to current events in my life and if they are read into too much it will make me look like a SUPER CRAZY PERSON.*

In early April 2015, I had one of the most fascinating, puzzling, vivid and unsettling dreams I’ve ever had. I had been married to my then wife, now ex-wife for less than 8 months, and so the themes in my dream, as you will learn, were quite troubling to me. I recorded my retelling of the dream on my way to work one rainy morning, and I set it aside. It was a strangely beautiful story, complete in its own right. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at writing again, and I just remembered that I had tucked away this idea. What follows is a rough draft of this oddly timely, slightly prophetic, poetic dream, written December 2015.

If you glimpsed something so perfect, would you give up your life for the promise of holding it once more?

My eyelids fluttered open.

What was that? Was the shower on?
It took me a few moments to get my bearings, realize where I was. I was in a stateroom on an ocean liner in the middle of the Atlantic. It was late…it must have been nearing 2 o’clock in the morning. Rain pelted the tiny porthole, and wind whistled angrily outside.
I was awake. Hopelessly awake. This voyage had been a lonely one, and huddling alone in my state room did not seem like the best way to pass a storm. I slipped on a thin silken gown, a deep blue to match my eyes, and wrapped a shawl around my shoulders. My chestnut bobbed hair was slightly mussed, but I was unfazed. I had never been one to care a great deal about the thoughts of others.

I traveled down the narrow inner hallway and up the stairwell, stabilizing myself as the choppy waters knocked the ship.

I found myself in the smoking room. Men, both young and old, sipped whiskey from glasses, laughing. Piles of trinkets, pocket watches, money, were ringed by cards, in various displays of fortune. As I silently moved into the area, the laughter stopped. A white-haired gentleman adjusted his glasses, and two younger men glanced at each other wordlessly. This was not a place many women found themselves, and I silently cursed myself for being such an intrusion.

I was quickly engulfed in a crowd of men, all vying for a word with me, peacocking and preening for my focus. I had always been shy, and never knew what to do with attention. Perhaps it was the liquor flowing freely, or the fact that I was the only woman in sight. Sure, I was fine-featured, but I never dreamed I would be such scrumptious bait for these piranhas.

“Excuse me, miss…”

I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. I looked over to see a soft, pale hand, featuring a simple silver ring with a black stone. I followed the arm up. A well-cut suit sleeve and lapel, leading to a well-knotted tie, leading to a strongly delicate chin and cheekbone, leading to deep, flashing chocolate eyes. There was infinite kindness in that face. This androgynous figure caught my breath. “Hello, I’m Parker Price.”

I barely remember what was said, what was not said, but I knew that instantly, Parker’s heart was inextricably knotted with mine. Only foolish people believe in love at first sight, I thought, but here I was, knowing that my future was undoubtedly forever linked with this person. I cannot explain it, lest I sound unhinged. But that is what they call me nowadays, isn’t it? Unhinged. The Waiting Girl.

All I know is that, in one single moment, I saw my life, forever woven with this stranger. A few words must have been exchanged, but that was all. And then Parker was gone.

Somehow, I made it back to my room, and the next thing I knew, sunlight was pouring in through the tiny porthole.

A performer. The theatre. A brief flash of remembrance. I floated without thought to the on-board venue, all plush and velvet and red.

I was ushered in, with wordless knowing glances. There was already a crowd forming. A young blond waif, no older than fourteen, dressed in an ethereal white gown, was scanning the audience. We made eye contact, and I knew her mission at once. “It’s me,” I mouthed, silently.

She nodded at me, and held out her hand. She quickly whisked me backstage. Suddenly, I felt so foreign and gawky. What was I doing here, the special guest, the special treasure, of this obviously famous individual. This stranger. She led me through a narrow doorway, and up a white spiraling staircase. I looked higher, and saw it rising stories above me. At each floor, there stood a finely dressed gentleman. Each gentleman acknowledged me with a slight bow of the head, and a sentiment such as “Parker was right, you are as perfect as they said you were,” or “Honored to have you here at last.”

Finally, I reached the top of the stairs. There was a featureless door, through which the young girl left me. “Parker will meet with you shortly.”

And so I stood. At once, I was filled with confusion. What am I doing here? Was what I felt really something significant?

And then I thought back to the flash of the kind chocolate eyes, the intense knowing without words, without pretense. Parker was it. My soulmate. That word has always caught in my throat like a bitter root. I had always rolled my eyes at it. But now I had caught a glimpse of what it was like to find that person, and I knew that I could never settle for anything less.

Lost in my thoughts, I was startled by the creaking of the door. I stood at attention, craning my neck to see. A middle-aged gentleman in full formal attire exited, nodded in my direction, and said simply, “Soon.” He began his slow descent down the stairs.

Why was Parker making me wait like this? Was this stranger taking delight in stringing me along like a dumb animal, taunting me? There was no doubt in my mind that they felt the same about me. They were my soulmate, and I was theirs. The invisible cord between our hearts was taut.

Was it hours? Was it days? I drifted in and out of uncomfortable sleep, huddled on the floor by the door. At indeterminate intervals, well dressed gentlemen left through the door and down the stairs, always with the same promise of “Soon. Parker is so very excited to see you.”

I wanted to scream. Why was I in this limbo? When was “Soon?” Surely Parker wanted to be reunited with me just as strongly as I did with them. I know they did. I could feel the invisible cord throbbing, heaving. I could sense that I was always just a second away from seeing Parker again. With every door opening, with every nod of the well dressed gentlemen, my expectations were dashed, sent clanking down the white metal spiral staircase.

After many sleeps, after countless well dressed gentlemen, one broke the usual routine and said “They say you’re famous. An international sensation. They call you The Waiting Girl. You are a celebrity, known and celebrated for your loyalty. No one ever believed you would wait years for Parker.”

Years? Had it really been years?

I had glimpsed the promise of forever with Parker, and so I waited. Even though my waiting was beginning to turn into decades. Parker was never coming. Could that really be the truth? I knew the charming stranger felt the same way I did. Why were they denying themselves the most perfect union? Why were they subjecting me to this limbo? Was it some twisted game of domination? Some test of love and devotion? A denial of self?

I startled awake to the sound of a door opening. My now-white hair had grown to puddle into a pillow for me to rest my head.  I was disappointed when I saw that it was only another well dressed gentleman, nodding as he exited, beginning his slow descent.

We were going to be together forever. Even if it was only in the fact that I was going to be waiting for them forever. That kept our hearts bound.
If you glimpsed something so perfect, would you give up your life for the promise of holding it once more?

I have been known to have extremely odd dreams before, but this one as so vivid and beautiful and strange that I found it quite special.

When I had the dream, it scared me because it made me wonder if my subconscious doubted my marriage.
And now, a year and a half out, these themes and questions plague me still.  Talk of how one can truly know they’ve found “The One.” The concept of soulmates.  Mutual attraction and the concurrent availability of two people.   And what sort of behavior is healthy within a relationship.

This piece still resonates deeply within me, and I’m so glad that I wrote it this time last year.  It unearthed my dormant love of writing, which led to this blog.

And yeah, it still freaks me out. Just a little.


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