The dream of us is over.

August 25th, 2013, 7am

Last night was the first time since it happened that I went to sleep without the assistance of alcohol or sleeping pills. This morning was the first morning I woke up feeling genuinely happy and discovered how vast is the gulf between the presence of happiness and the mere absence of depression (which is the general sensation the sleeping pills provide: numb relief, keeping at bay the tide of despair but replacing it with naught).

But this morning I awoke with a smile. My first natural dreams had all been of him. We were reunited, not on my territory or his, but some nameless middle ground that brought not just us but everyone we love together. We were all together, joking around, and I belonged to him in front of them all.

In this fantasy life there was no clock ticking down the seconds until a flight took me away. We did not need to spend every moment together because we were content in the knowledge the other was right around the corner. And when he came back, I felt such a rush of pleasure to have him in the same room again, not because I’d ever worried about his return, but because I was filled with such an affectionate love for him – not a desperate love, but simple contentment to have him close to me, here with everyone we loved…

I did not wonder why we were back together, or how it could be possible for all these people to be in the same place - I was not aware that I was dreaming. It was the greatest possible relief, feeling him there, arms around me, my face in his chest, blissfully ignorant of the fact that this will never again happen in my lifetime. Still, I never wanted to let him go.

And then I woke up smiling, still in that magical, impossible world. As it began to dawn on me that reality was not so kind, Freud’s words bobbed to the surface of my mind: All dreams are wish fulfillment. Truly, if all my wishes in the world came true, that dream would be my reality.

There’s something captivatingly bittersweet about catching a glimpse of something so perfect and so unattainable.

If it had been a vision in the Mirror of Erised I would be sitting before the mirror still. What did Albus Dumbledore say? It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. Is that what we’ve been doing all along? As real as our love is, every visit was, in a way, the two of us acting out a fantasy in which we existed in the other’s life. But we never really did – every weekend ended and we went back to our own worlds. And now – well, now I’m wide awake and alone. The dream of us is over. What kills me is the realization that if I had any say I would choose to go back to sleep – I would stare into the mirror and waste my life away dreaming of us. Perhaps it is a good thing the choice is no longer mine. I may never be ready to wake up, but the mirror is gone: the time has come for me to remember to live.

Sanna, Christine, Johanna and Julian said thanks.

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Sara Ashley

Writer, runner, and a terrible but enthusiastic karaoke star.

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