I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. Someone was on our front lawn, but strangely enough, I felt no panic at all. For some reason I expected him to be there.
I stared at him for a few seconds trying to organize my thoughts and then I headed out the door and down the stairs. I had put off the talk yesterday, but I was ready for it now.
Opening the front door quietly, I stepped outside. I could feel him the moment I stepped over the threshold. The impact of looking at him was no different than it had been the day before. If anything, the pull seemed even stronger today.
“It’s you?” I said.
“Yeah, it’s me,” he answered.
“You knew yesterday in class?”
“Yes, I knew the moment you looked up at me. It was like being punched in the stomach.”
“Have you always been able to see my face?” I asked.
“For as long as I can remember,” He replied.
“I’ve never been able to see your face…. until last night.”
“I figured that out in class yesterday, when you looked so confused. I tried to tell you. I waited for you yesterday,” he gently chided me.
“I know. I just needed time. I was so confused yesterday. There I was hitting on my teacher’s intern in a class filled with other people,” I said, still feeling slightly embarrassed.
“Why have you been leaving me?” I asked abruptly. I had meant to ask the question later, but I felt the answer to this question was the most important.
Mark looked confused. “I don’t leave, you’re the one who leaves……” he paused, as understanding dawned on both of us. Neither one of us wanted to leave in the dreams. Something else was pulling us apart.
“What does this mean?” I asked.
“I don’t know. When did you move here?”
“A few weeks ago. OH!” I shrilled, suddenly aware. Why hadn’t I seen it before? The dreams changed the first night in my new house, my first night in Santa Cruz.
“Why did my moving to California change our dreams?”
“I don’t know.”
He settled into the swing on the porch, placing his hands on his jean clad knees. I sat beside him as we silently pondered our dreams. It all seemed surreal to be sitting here next to him, when I had fantasized about this my whole life.
I sat with my hands folded in my lap, consciously aware that his hand was just inches away. I yearned to reach over and grab onto it, but I fought back the urge. Part of me was scared that his touch wouldn’t be the same as yesterday, while the other part was afraid it would feel just as magical, and I wouldn’t want to let go. Just when I knew I was fighting a losing battle, Mark took the matter out of my hands.
Mark reached over and took my hand firmly in his. Though I was expecting it, I still momentarily lost my breath. His touch made everything feel right. Our dreams no longer mattered. All I cared about was that we were together now. I had imagined this moment forever. Even though I thought I would never really meet him, somewhere in my heart of hearts, I had always hoped for it.
I knew it was crazy. People didn’t go around meeting guys they had dreams about. This was real life not some science fiction novel. Dream Guys like this, just didn’t exist. It went against everything I believed in, but looking down at our hands it was hard to deny the connection. Even with our hands lightly clasped together, I could feel the most pleasant warmth from his touch spread throughout my whole body.
He asked me what I was thinking. I tried to put it into words. I explained the confusion, and how all this just seemed unreal.
“I know. Yesterday when I first saw you, I felt the same way. I was so shocked. Here was a girl, I had only dreamed about, sitting just mere feet from me. At first I was going to ignore you, but that was before our hands met. That’s when I knew for sure that I wasn’t hallucinating. Your touch was so familiar, and at the same time so new. Here I was, acting like some junior high guy who had just met some hot model; instead of the professional I was supposed to be. I tried to ignore you through the rest of class, but by the end, I knew it was too late.”
He brought up an important point that I had almost forgotten.
“How did you wind up at my high school?”
“School has always been easy for me. I skipped most of elementary school and graduated at the top of my class when I was fifteen. I received my bachelor’s degree in two and half years. I had to work my tail off to convince the board of trustees to let me use St. Briggets for my thesis.”
Okay, so now I knew how we had both wound up at St. Briggets, but it didn’t make it any less bizarre. The fact that he was still an intern concerned me though.
“Have you always lived in Santa Cruz?”
“No, I lived in Arizona when I was younger.
“How long have you been here in Santa Cruz?”
“About five years. My dad and I moved here after my mom died.”
“Why Santa Cruz?” I asked, sensing what his answer would be.
“I was drawn here.”
I wasn’t surprised. It made crazy sense that he would be drawn here also. I had been drawn here, Sam was here, and now he was too. What did this all mean? What was going on? I leaned forward and placed my head in my hands.
“What’s the matter?”
“I met a girl yesterday at school. She was in your class yesterday with me, her name is Sam. Do you remember her?”
He laughed. “I didn’t notice anyone yesterday, except you.”
“Why, what does she have to do with us?”
Us. The way he said that gave me goose bumps. I liked it that he thought of us as a pair.
“She and I have a lot of things in common, too many to be a coincidence.”
“What do you mean? What kinds of things?”
I suddenly felt uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to tell him about all my downfalls. Would it ruin his illusions of me if he knew about all my quirks? I had always been such a private person, and in the course of twenty-four hours, I had already spilled my guts out to one person.
He seemed to sense my inner turmoil. “You can trust me,” He said in a quiet voice.
“I know,” I said. “I just don’t want to change your opinion of me.”
“There’s nothing you could say that would ever change the way I feel about you.”
I took a deep breath and told him everything. I first filled him in on my childhood, and how my adoptive parents had figured out my sensitivity to emotions. I told him how I had always been a loner. How I found comfort with him in my dreams when my dad died. I told him how I had always hoped that he was really out there, and not just some person that would only visit me in my dreams. I told him about the pull this city had on me. Then I told him about Sam, and how she seemed to be the carbon copy of me. How we felt a connection to each other that was similar to ours, but not as strong. I let all the words pour out of me while he sat there quietly holding my hand.
I looked down at the uneven boards and watched as a fat bug struggled over the cracks between the boards. Every so often, half of its body would fall between the groves and it would flounder around trying to work its way back out.
“Sam even suspected that you were the guy from my dreams,” I continued on a little self-consciously.
“How did she know that?”
“Because, she has dreams just like ours.”
“What do you mean she has dreams like us?” Mark asked amazed.
I told him everything we had discussed the night before. About having the same kind of dream, and that Sam had already met her dream guy.
I could tell that he was having a hard time believing me, just like I had with Sam.
“It had never occurred to me that there were other people out there just like us,” he said, trying to grasp what he had just heard.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you something else bizarre.” He raised his eyebrows at my choice of words.
I laughed. He was right of course; all of this was turbo-bizarre.
I filled him in on the circumstances surrounding both of us being left when we were young.
A few minutes passed in silence.
I looked up at him to see what he was thinking. I was concerned when I saw the troubled look on his face. Had I finally sprung too much information on him? I myself had a hard time dealing with all of it. It was a lot for someone to digest.
“Well I wasn’t abandoned, but my mom’s been dead since I was three,” he finally said in an odd voice.
“Are you sensitive to emotions too?” I asked, probing further.
“No, but I’m strong.”
“You mean from lifting weights, strong?”
“No, I’ve never had to lift weights. I’m not Hulk strong, more like; I just have the feeling that I could protect myself in a fight with anyone, and come out the victor. Plus, I was the only one in karate class who could break the wooden board the first time I tried,” he said with a chuckle.
“Strong, hum, I like the sound of that,” I murmured.
“You do, do you?” He said with amusement as he stood up. He took his hand and touched the side of my face. His touch sent shock waves through me; it felt like every bone in my body had liquefied.
“I know this is all overwhelming, but I am so glad you’re here,” he said simply.
“So am I.”
“I better head home. I need to get ready for class,” he said pulling away.
I frowned. I had forgotten for a brief moment that he worked at my school. What were we going to do about that?
Mark saw my frown. “What’s the matter?” He asked.
“You’re practically my teacher. I’m sure the Dean frowns on teachers dating students,” I stated.
Mark smiled in relief. “Krista, I’m only on a two month stint here. I don’t think they can tell me who I can and can’t date. I mean, we shouldn’t flaunt it or anything, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. If it makes you more comfortable we can keep it secret, so other students don’t find out.”
That could work. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of the other students finding out, but if we kept it secret it could work. We could make it through the next couple of months keeping our relationship quiet. Lying to my mom would be a different story, but I wasn’t ready to lay all of this on her now. We had always had a no lie policy and I knew from a young age, as long as I told the truth, punishments would be minimal. I would have to categorize this as more of a need to know basis.
“I think your mom’s up,” he said. “I better go if we are going to try to keep this secret.” He ran his hand down the side of my face one last time, and with one more backwards look, he turned and walked off. He was halfway down the street, when my mom opened the front door.
“Honey, were you talking to that boy?” she asked, looking at Mark’s retreating back.
“Yeah, he goes to my school. I saw him from my bedroom window and I came down to see what he was up to.”
“Krista, you know it’s dangerous to come outside and talk to strangers. You should have come and got me.”
“He’s okay mom, I met him in school yesterday.”
“What did he want?”
“Nothing,” I mumbled heading upstairs. “I need to get ready for school.”
I felt a wave of guilt starting to consume me. I hurried up the stairs trying to control the strong emotion. Need to know, need to know, need to know, I chanted to myself as I reached my room. Sitting on my bed, I waited for the guilt to begin to leave my body. Chanting had helped, as long as I was protecting someone, it was easier to curb my emotions.
I lay back on my bed as the last waves left me. Feline jumped up on the bed next to me, hoping I would scratch him between his ears. “I met my dream guy,” I told him, knowing my secret was safe with him. “He’s as perfect as I always imagined he would be.” Feline purred loudly as if he understood what I was telling him.
Sam was waiting for me in front of the school like we had planned the night before. I got out of the car and waved her over. I might have to keep Mark a secret, but I could throw my mom a bone and introduce her to my first real friend.
“Sam, this is my mom, Cindy Miller,” I said as I introduced them.
“Hi. Mrs. Miller, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Sam said in an enthusiastic voice.
I could tell right away that my mom was taken in by Sam. It was hard not to respond to her enthusiasm.
“We better go mom. We’ll see you after school.” We had made plans the previous night to get together again after school.
“All right, it was nice to meet you, Sam.” Bye honey, I’ll see you guys after school.” With one last wave she drove off.
“Your mom’s very nice,” Sam commented, as we headed toward the tree where we sat yesterday morning.
“Thanks, I think so too.”
“So, I’m dying to know….was I right?”
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what she was talking about. “Yeah, it was him, and the dream was fantastic all the way up until the end.”
“He thinks there’s more to our connections…”
“Whoa backup, when did you talk to him? Can you talk to each other in your dreams now?” confusion colored Sam’s voice.
“I didn’t have a chance to tell you. I talked to him this morning. He came over after we woke up from the dream.”
“Oh my gosh, you have to tell me everything. Was he everything you expected? Is the connection between you still strong? What did you talk about?”
I laughed. “Slow down, I’ll tell you everything.”
I was interrupted by a sharp stinging pain on the side of my head. Something had struck me hard on my right temple. Looking down, I saw a softball lying on the grass beside me.
“Sorry about that,” a guy said, jogging up to me.
He didn’t look sorry though; on the contrary, he looked quite pleased with himself.
“Do you want me to kiss it and make it better?” He said in a suggestive voice.
“Oh, brother!” Sam said with disgust.
“What’s it to you fridge? He said with contempt as he turned to look at Sam.
“So, what do you think, will a kiss make it better?” he asked, trying to lay on the charm.
“No thanks,” I said with disgust, and turned my back on him.
“Hey, what’s your problem? I was just trying to be friendly.”
“I have enough friends,” I said dismissively, waiting for him to leave.READ MORE >>