The One That Got Away

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In the dream, he saw her and himself from some distance away. They were in a grassy field, silhouetted against a blue sky.  He was kneeling beside her, pointing at something in the distance. They were both smiling, and she was looking at whatever it was that had captured his attention.  She had dark brown curly hair, and was dressed in pale blue.

He had replayed the dream in his mind and described it to the other man. His companion was silent, and waited for him to continue.

He set aside the memory, and resumed the one sided conversation. “When I had the dream, I thought I was seeing what she would look like when she was older. But she doesn’t look like that. She has straight, dark blond hair.”

After a moment, he continued talking. “By the time we stopped using it, it was too late to have another. That was hard, and I’ve tried not to think about it too often.  But after I saw her paper, I remembered the dream. I now wonder if it was a warning.”

He thought back to when he read the paper his daughter had brought home from school last week. The class had been tasked with writing their first autobiography. She had written, in her all caps style:

I AM SEVEN YEARS OLD. I HAVE THREE PEOPLE IN MY FAMILY. MY MOMMY, MY DADDY, AND ME. I HAVE NO BROTHERS OR SISTERS. I HAVE A CAT.

He felt light headed, and the clenching of something within. “I can apologize to her when she’s older.  But I can only say I am sorry to the one, but not the other. How do you undo something that never happened?”

He waited.The other man spoke, “God is so merciful. Here is what you must do …”

 

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