Christmas Selection 2009

Dream Weaver

By SnSam

 

Christmas Eve 1983

In a motel room not too far away from the burned ruins of his home, a father dreams.

He dreams of a time somewhere in the future where there isn’t death and there never has been. He dreams of a family—a beautiful wife with long, golden hair and two sons—a four-year-old with a bowl shaped haircut and eyes as wide as saucers and a six month old baby, dark hair just beginning to emerge, with a smile that could melt anyone’s heart.

He dreams of the four of them together, as happy as a normal family should be.

He dreams of his boys playing in Little League sports or maybe having a small part in the school play. He dreams of lost teeth and the excitement of receiving money for them. He dreams of skinned knees as the boys play together at the neighborhood park. He dreams of tears, whether it be from joy or anguish. He dreams of himself promising that nothing bad will ever happen to his sons and he will be there to chase away the monsters.

He dreams of his boys and their first crushes, relationships, and broken hearts. He dreams of high school dances and homecoming games. He dreams of his boys becoming hometown heroes for scoring the winning touchdown in the state championship game.

He dreams of a future for his boys, maybe becoming mechanics like him or maybe going to some far away college, becoming something more. He dreams of his sons marrying and the white picket fence with the cozy little house next door to him. He dreams of himself and his wife becoming proud grandparents, faces full of joy as their grandchildren run to their open arms.

He dreams of his twenty-fifth, fiftieth, and seventy-fifth anniversaries and the love he still has for his wife. He dreams of himself falling in love with her all over again, being ready to wake up next to her every morning, ready to take on the world. He dreams of the love in her eyes and hopes that she sees the same in his.

He dreams about this and so much more, and for one night, it comes true. There isn’t misery or pain; there is only love and joy. There isn’t death or destruction or the grief on his boys faces after losing their mother. There isn’t that bottle of whiskey that is constantly by his side so he can escape the nightmare that’s been his life for over a month now.

There isn’t the feeling of defeat that weighs heavy in his chest. There isn’t any fire or blood. There isn’t any crying or hearing his four-year-old screaming in the middle of the night. There isn’t the fear that he feels at the prospect of raising two young boys by himself. There isn’t the look of pity from the townspeople or the incessant condolences he hears every time he walks down the street.

There isn’t any of this because for one night, the father can dream.


****


In a motel room not too far away from the burned ruins of his home, a young boy dreams.

He dreams of his daddy, mommy, and baby brother and they’re together and they’re happy.

He dreams of his mommy, her golden hair almost the same color as his and the smile that is always there every time he looks up at her in wide-eyed wonder. He dreams of the angels his mommy told him about, the ones that were always there to watch over him. He dreams about the bedtime stories his mommy loved to read to him and helping her tuck in his brother every night before she did the same thing with him.

He dreams of his daddy, the one who always loved to wrestle with him and play baseball in the yard. He dreams of his daddy who always let him help when it came to working on or washing the big black car. He dreams of his daddy who always took him to the local diner for an ice-cream treat every Wednesday night—he would call it their night and no one else could come unless they had special permission.

He dreams of playing tee-ball and hitting the ball way across the field and scoring the winning run. He dreams of his coach lifting him high in the air in celebration and his mommy and daddy cheering from the bleachers. He dreams of his preschool class and his favorite teacher in the whole world, Miss Mason. He dreams of painting a picture and handing it to his mommy at the end of the day and she proudly hangs it up on the refrigerator.

He dreams of his baby brother and how he’ll show him how to hit the ball really far when he gets older. He dreams of taking his brother by the hand and showing him the world; well, the world from a kid’s perspective, at least. He dreams of convincing his daddy to let his baby brother come to one of their ice cream days. He dreams of being there to pick up his brother and encourage him as he tries to take his first step.

The young boy dreams of this and so much more.

He doesn’t dream about the fire and the fear in his daddy’s eyes as he handed him his little brother and told him to get out of there. He doesn’t dream about that quick glimpse he has of his mommy on the ceiling or the odd red color he saw on her belly. He doesn’t dream about his brother’s window exploding and his daddy coming out to scoop them up before the mean fire could get them too.

He doesn’t dream about sitting on the hood of his daddy’s car and watching as the firemen try to put out the fire. He doesn’t dream about the fact that his mommy is still inside the house and not outside, sitting on the car with them. He doesn’t dream of his daddy crying in another room or the bottle he keeps drinking from. He doesn’t dream about how his daddy doesn’t say anything to him or give him the smile he’s so used to.

There isn’t any of this because for one night, the young boy can dream.


****


In a motel room not too far away from the burned ruins of his home, a baby dreams.

He dreams of a woman, a man, and a young boy. He still isn’t quite sure what to call them but he knows that they love him and he loves them. He dreams of them picking him up from his crib and smiling down at him, giving him a feeling of love and comfort. He dreams of them talking to him, though he has no idea what they’re saying but that’s okay, because he knows he likes it and that it makes him feel good.

He dreams of the woman’s arms, the way they hold him tightly but gently, providing that extra blanket of warmth. He dreams of the sound of her beating heart, the way the staccato lullaby lulls him into the land of nod. He dreams of the smile she gives him each time she picks him up, holds him, and tickles his belly.

The baby dreams of the man and the sound of his deep voice that tells him he loves him every night before he turns out the light. He dreams of the way the man presses a kiss on his forehead in the quiet moments when no one else is around. He dreams of the man checking on him late every night, making sure he’s okay before retiring to his room.

But most of all, the baby dreams about the young boy who always has a smile on his face every time he sees him. He dreams of the boy who is usually never two feet away from him, protecting him from all there is out in the world. He dreams of the boy who makes up stories to tell him before he goes to bed each night. He dreams of the boy who makes the silly faces and noises, making him laugh like no other person can. He dreams of the young boy who has adventure in his eyes and the promise of many adventures to come.

What the baby doesn’t dream about is the fire.

He doesn’t dream about the heat or the screams of terror he heard coming from the woman who always cradled and comforted him. He doesn’t dream about the mysterious man standing by his crib, dripping red stuff into his mouth. He doesn’t dream about the mysterious man throwing the woman across the room and pinning her to the ceiling. He doesn’t dream about the cut across the woman’s belly and the same red stuff that the mysterious man put into his mouth dripping down in his crib.

The baby doesn’t dream about the man he knew loved him running into the room and checking on him. He doesn’t dream about the man’s look of terror as he spies the woman on the ceiling. He doesn’t dream about being yanked out of his crib and being whisked away where the flames couldn’t touch him.

He doesn’t dream about the way the man holds onto him, like he was a lifeline and that he would lose him the way he lost the woman. He doesn’t dream about never seeing the woman again and never knowing who she really was.

There isn’t any of this because for one night, the baby can dream.


****


In the heavens far above, a mother dreams.

She dreams of a family that wasn’t ripped away from her—a loving, dedicated husband and father and her two sons she named after her own parents. She dreams of the happy family they are, not what they were because she refuses to look at it like that—at least, not now. She dreams of the love they shared and the amount of love they still have for each other.

She dreams of a man who dedicated his life— not only to his country, but to his family as well. She dreams of the husband who made her whole life worth living and helped her become the woman and mother she is today. She dreams of the man who would drop anything and everything when it came to his family.

The mother dreams of the husband who has so much love in him, she’s afraid he might actually explode one day. She dreams of the man who wasn’t afraid to stand up to anything, but put a spider in front of him and he’d scream like a little schoolgirl. She dreams of his deep laugh and the constant ways he always tried to make her laugh, especially all throughout her two pregnancies. She dreams of the hopeless romantic who would bring her flowers every week and leave little notes in the most unexpected places. She dreams of the man who always wrote her letters when he was away at war and who kept every single letter she ever wrote him.

She dreams of the husband who is the father of her children and the love in his eyes every time he looks at them. She dreams of the husband who will be there to guide her sons through life and stand there as a pillar of strength when they need him the most.

The mother dreams about her boys, her two perfect little angels she wouldn’t trade for anything in the entire world. She dreams of the two different personalities and the way each of their little idiosyncrasies melt her heart like no other. She dreams of the boys and the men they will become and the dreams she has for them.

She dreams of them being happy with whom they are and the choices they make along their path of life. She dreams of high school dances, graduations, and college applications. She dreams of broken hearts and broken dreams and being there to mend them both. She dreams of the families they will have and the Sunday dinners at the family home. She dreams of Christmases with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

What she doesn’t dream about is the fire and how it took everything away over a month ago. She doesn’t dream how it put a stop to all of her hopes and dreams she had not only for herself, but for her husband and boys as well. She doesn’t dream about the man in her youngest son’s room and the deal she made all those years ago.

She doesn’t dream about the pain and anguish she felt as he tore into her abdomen and opened her up like a Christmas ham. She doesn’t dream about the blood dripping down into the crib or the heat of the flames as they threatened to consume her baby and the nursery. She doesn’t dream about the horror on her husband’s face as he saw her on the ceiling or the failure in his eyes as he realized there was nothing he could do to save her.

She doesn’t dream about the man that he is now—the empty shell that is running on nothing but rage and alcoholic fumes. She doesn’t dream about the way her boys aren’t being looked after the way they should, the way they deserve to be. She doesn’t dream about how she should be there with them now instead of looking down at them from above.

There isn’t any of this because for one night, the mother can dream.


****


Rhiannon smiles to herself, pleased with the work she has done for tonight. For one night a year on Christmas, the Welsh goddess has the ability to make pleasant dreams happen and give deserving people wonderful visions to make them feel at peace. She takes away the horror and for one night, allows them to sleep soundly without a care in the world.

She knew she had to help this family—it was like a strong beacon was calling out to her and she had to answer that call. No family deserved to suffer like they had and she was only too happy to ease their burden, even if it wouldn’t last for more than a few hours. It was the gift she gave at Christmastime and it was better than anything anyone could ever receive.

Sending more happy visions their way, the goddess made her exit, off to find the next deserving person or family worthy of her gift.


The End

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