Linc and Annie re-dreamed.
I jerk awake. Morning sunshine streams through the windows. Next to me Ry Cooper snores the sound of motorcycles speeding up on a highway. I stare at him as if I am seeing a ghost. My lips form his name. I shake my head and squeeze my eyes shut and then look again. No, that crazy cute (philandering?) man is lying next to me with his broad chest on display and looking really, really alive.
Was it all a dream?
I sit there, legs crossed under the star quilt that Aunt Brenda made for me as a graduation present. A cool breeze wafts in from the slice of space beneath the window. It smells of cherry blossoms.
The dream hangs around me too startling in its reality. But my left ring finger is bare; Ry is not my husband, not yet. So he can’t be a philanderer, again, not yet.
No reality tv show. No murdering sister. No infidelity. No dead step-mom.
Suddenly I feel like George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life when he finds Zuzu’s petals in his pocket, all giddy and joyous.
And then I don’t.
I get out of bed and cross to the window and look out over the farm, my farm. Clarice is crossing the yard from the chicken coop with a basket of eggs. Something makes her look up and she waves at me. I wave back.
I turn toward the bed where Ry is still asleep. Were he and Clary a thing before I entered his life?
I thud onto my desk chair, feeling adrift, wondering how much of my dream was real.
Aunt Brenda told me after my mother died that our family was a little different, as if I didn’t know. “We can sometimes tell the future,” she said. “Aunt Shirl has visions. Your grandmother has prophetic dreams. So did your mother.” So did my mother.
Could my dream have been prophetic? A few years into the future? So I can change things, right?
But what I can’t change is that Linc married Miss Georgia Peach three months ago. I can still see him looking fine in his slate gray suit and smiling at her with her blond hair in coils around her face. They looked perfect together, both so blonde and tall. I remember how he kissed her during their first dance to that Train song “Marry Me” at the reception as if he had been waiting just for her.
I bite my lip because my eyes have flooded. I can’t marry Ry. It’s rebound. I need to know if he and Clary were together. I need to know if she hates me. I need to make changes.
I need to go and have a cup of coffee. A really strong, hair on your chest, dark roast that smells so strong you wake up just from the aroma. I think I need that more than anything else ’cause that dream still hangs all over me like an itchy old cobweb.