She’d be called average, or perhaps that might be slightly generous. You know this, and yet to you, she is beautiful, even captivating. She walks beside you, and you can’t help but gaze at her, letting her eyes hold yours. She’s round-faced and nut-haired, modestly dressed more to hide being slightly overweight than for any desire to appear chaste. Her rose cheeks, blushing from either the late spring sun or her own feelings for you—you can’t tell which, though there is one you prefer to believe—have a smattering of freckles under those captivating eyes of… almost grey.
As you walk through the streets of the city on your slightly improprietous mutual vacation, the conversation strays to talk of your peers. Some of them are wasting their time, getting advanced degrees. Or traveling, like you. Others are getting married, though you both wonder why as you talk about this friend and that. They never seemed like the kind of people for kids and married life.
You stare at her at a pause in the conversation, watching her smooth movements and the still demure way she presses her soft body against your own, hugging your arm and gripping your hand.
Suddenly, you give in to an overwhelming impulse, and you ask her in plain words to marry you, apologizing for taking so long, though the time spent with the woman is neither long nor short—the seeming timelessness of infatuation, of love.
Before she can agree, she grabs your hand and pulls you. The surprise of it causes you to tumble over onto the street with the girl, and a few moments later, a streetcar passes by. You realized you were staring with such intent you had forgotten that you were standing, pouring out your heart, on the tracks.
Her entire face is bright red, and you lean in to kiss her while you sit on the pavement.
It’s quick, and before you can pull her back up to standing (you need to get out of the street, after all), she consents, and you remember what you had asked.
You love this not-quite-average woman, wholly unique, but as you bask in the moment of emotional matriculation, things fade.
Not the feelings, but the scene.
The city, with its faceless bustling people, dissolves.
The blue sky darkens, the clouds disappear, and they are replaced by grey dawn, falling through the cracks in your curtains. You’re alone, in your own bed, with the day ahead of you.
It was a dream, of course. You can see that now so obviously with the way things jumped and yet flowed, without connection or any rhythm of time.
And yet in the moment that never occurred to you. The girl, whose name you never knew, wasn’t real.
But were the feelings?
You ponder this as you slowly sit up and shamble over to your open closet, filled with your clothes and no others. You might as well get ready and get to work early since you have nowhere else to be.
Yet you remember the girl as clearly as if you had talked to her the day before. Silently, as you button up your shirt, you wonder if that clarity will vanish like the colorless early morning, swept away by detailed routine, like the memory of which color shirt you wore on Monday.
After all, the shirt was real, but you don’t remember it.
I am an independent writer and musician. You can support me by buying my books, including my popular book on managing your creative process. Also please check out the upcoming anthology, Pulp Rock, which ought to feature a scifi story by yours truly.