Howard didn’t realize he was dreaming about her until he woke up in his bed alone. The dream didn’t seem sped up like so many of his other dreams. This dream seemed to operate in real time, minus the cut scenes to other events he seemed to have been narrating. The fuzziness of the dream started to close in and Howard wished he hadn’t woken up. He was really enjoying the dream life.
It was because of her. The way she felt in his dream. She seemed so very real. He could feel the softness of her skin and the gentle curves of her body. They were naked in a large bed, lying with each other; discussing how it was that they got to be naked in that large bed. The room was lit by the morning sun reflecting off the ocean and Howard could hear the subtle sounds of the surf rolling up against the beach. There was a misty morning grayness to the room, but it wasn’t dark. It was cozy, with light wood trim, maybe pine.
Howard could feel the sheets against his own nakedness and the weight of her body against his as they lay together. Her curly, wavy, sandy blond hair was so clear. He could smell the sea water in it and feel the softness of it against his fingers as he brushed it from her smiling face. They spoke to each other in loving whispered tones.
“How did we get here,” she asked Howard.
“I think we were wading in the ocean, near that big red buoy,” said Howard.
The dream turned into a memory within the dream of Howard holding onto a buoy in the water, the sky was showing the signs of a very early morning sun just coming up over the water. She was wading out to him, getting her clothes wet. Her green windbreaker had water lines all across the bottom and she was feeling silly. Howard could tell but he reached his hand out to her and pulled her close to the buoy. He sat her on the edge and he stood in the water in front of her. Howard was still holding her hand and looking at her blue eyes. The wind was blowing her hair about and she was moving her head to keep her eyes on Howard. It was quiet except for the barely audible sound of the waves moving in and out.
“I want you to marry me,” said Howard.
“No,” she said, “I can’t marry you.”
“We’re doing things in reverse aren’t we,” asked Howard.
“I think so,” she said.
Howard returned to the bed where they were lying. He held her very close to him and she held him. Her skin was delicate and Howard caressed her up to her breast and felt its youthful smoothness. She smiled at him and laughed.
“It is in reverse. The physical passion, the comfort with each other, the ease. After all these years. It’s backwards,” she said.
“So you will marry me,” said Howard.
“We are married,” she said.
“I guess it is backwards then,” said Howard.
They embraced and pressed they’re nakedness against each other. Howard felt her breathing, her passion for him expressed in long contented sighs. He felt at peace. The white sheets were rumpled around their bodies. The sun reflected off the water and through the windows casting a light morning glow on the walls of the room.
Howard had woken up. He knew who the woman was in real life. He knew she lived far away and that the dream was just that, a dream. He dragged himself from his real world bed and remembered how soft she was and how he wanted that softness in his life more than anything in the world. If she only knew.