When I sleep at night I have a lot of dreams. Some of them come true, some of them don't, but they're always very clear and always interesting. I have lots of dreams about my own mortality, but others are more pleasant. Like the dream I had once where I met the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen, only we were talking like we'd known each other all of our lives. When I woke up I forgot what she looked like, but exactly one week later I met her. I knew it was her, and when she spoke it seemed almost as if she recognised me too. I began wondering if she really had been in my dream, like we were both starring in the same play or something. I wondered if she was wondering the same thing.
I never told her about the dream, even though we started seeing each other all the time, always talking like we had never been away from each other. Life in between seeing her was just something to get out of the way so that we could get together and talk again. Sometimes I went to her place, sometimes she came to mine, and sometimes we went out somewhere. Somehow we both knew what to do without having to say anything. I dreamed about her a lot after that, but I never quite had the nerve to ask her if she remembered being in them. Perhaps she was waiting to ask me the same thing, I don't know. All I know is that I never saw her accident, never dreamed about her car being rammed into a river, never knew until I woke up. I woke up and I just knew. I knew she as gone. The first day of my life without her somewhere in the world.
I didn't have another dream for years after that. I felt like I was somewhere but I couldn't see anything. No-one was there. She was gone. How could she be dead? I had to stand and watch her being lowered into the earth, the very last time I would see her, ever. How could someone be born and live and be so beautiful and then just suddenly stop? It was as if I had been running through a landscape which had just unexpectedly ended and presented me with the vastness of an open abyss. Now here I was, not even falling, just staring into nothing. How can you be gone?
Everything changed. There wasn't a thing in the world that didn't remind me of her. Everything was wrong. Time should have stopped with her, the world wasn't meant to carry on without her. But it had to. I didn't get over it, I just got used to it. The years rolled by and people came and went, and I wondered why things happened the way they do. I got older and started wondering if the universe was trying to teach me something I was too stupid to learn, but then as I got older still I thought that perhaps none of it really mattered anyway. I had gone ahead with life and done everything I wanted, and this is where it had got me. Old. It suddenly creeps up on me, how old I am. I suddenly realise I'm so alone. I wonder what would have happened, if only... would you still be here?
Then, suddenly, I had a dream. Just like that, as if I'd only just remembered how to have them. There she was, exactly as I had known her, and I wasn't old anymore. We sat and we talked and talked, just like we used to. It went on for hours and hours, both of us so happy and peaceful, both of us finally able to say goodbye, and when I woke up I was asking her when she was coming home, just talking out loud into the empty bedroom. I never saw her again.
I walked past her old house that evening and it looked so different. I stood outside just remembering all the rooms, but I was so tired and full of aches I had to head back. First the dream, then her house. Maybe it meant something. Maybe it meant that every time I think I've managed to forget how life and happiness are so empty without her, something like this happens to remind me. One of countless moments when I realise that all of the feelings I ever had for her have only rooted themselves deeper over time.
Now I can't sleep and I'm wondering how it all could have started. Did we know each other in different lives? Maybe we never remember but we always come back together in the end. I hope she comes back. I sometimes dream I'm being born and I remember everything from my last life, only I know she isn't here anymore, and I have to live a whole other lifetime without her. Maybe that's what always happens. Is that why babies cry?
It's just a stupid dream. It doesn't matter anymore. I know the world doesn't hate me, and it doesn't love me either. I know that one day it will all end, slowly and gently spiralling to its own destruction in a bloated red sun, but when it does we'll be waiting here because I know we will never die. We can't. We'll go on forever.