The town that ended

Some of you may have seen me write about a number of re-occurring dreams that I have had.  Some may have not. For the latter, know this: One such dream involves a dark haired woman who has frequented my sleeping worlds on and off for a great many years. To this day, I have no knowledge of her name, whether she actually exists or is just a phantom of my imagination. Only that she haunts me, and that we have a shared bond. We are connected in some way. Today, she made her presence know once more…

The town that ended

I dreamed the girl again. The dark haired woman who has haunted me throughout my life, appearing now and then; her presence welcoming, her departure heartbreaking. This time was different though. There was no conversation nor catching up. No smiles or embraces waiting for me behind closed eyes. Only sadness greeted me on waking. Like someone who dreams of a partner, and wakes to reach for the nearby pillow, only to realise the person has passed away long ago.

I found myself in a town unknown to me. The buildings looked old, but only in their design, for each had curtains that had not been dulled by time, their wares decorated windows with colours bright and clean, and the gardens of the houses proudly displayed lawns kempt with grasses cut and flowers growing orderly; the works of a caring and proud inhabitants. The houses themselves were simple affairs. Mostly two story structures, made from brick and stone with roofs of thatch, not unlike the small villages one see’s in picturesque holiday brochures or on Sunday night television dramas. Yet, for all this beauty, there was a dullness to the town. The sky, overcast and grey, was raining a light drizzle slickning the narrow paths that led labyrinth like throughout the houses, and I saw no sign of any occupants as I walked this way and that, peering into windows as I went about my search.

Yes, search. For this is why I found myself there. Something told me the dark haired girl was in that town and that something had passed between us leaving her angry at me. Her anger had seen her run between the houses, and now having lost her, it was my duty to seek her out. And so, I walked this way and that, slowly at first and then, as time passed and the sky began to darken, more frantically, calling out her name (a name I can never recall on waking), hoping that the turn of each corner would bring me her face, and with that, reconciliation. Tears and then smiles followed by embrace ,and all the sorrys that one offers in the hope of forgiveness.

But, it seemed in her anger she chose not to hear me, so hidden she remained . Or, perhaps, as the drizzle became rain and the sky began to roll with thunder, she could not hear me my pleas? In desperation, I made my way to the edge of the town where the path led down to the sea, and there saw what I knew to be the townsfolk, huddled together in the downpour, each clothed in rags, each looking towards the waters where a sailing ship struggled to make it’s way towards the shore. As I neared, intending to ask them if they could aid me in my search, a man took my arm and pulled me close, so that I could hear him above the growing tempest.

‘She is lost. The town will soon be deserted. You must come with us. For the love of God man, give up your search ?’
I pulled his arm away, and looked to the group at the waters edge. They turned their faces from me, seemingly disinterested in my plight.
I knelt down in the mud then, exhausted; any hope I had diminishing. The ship reached the shore and I heard a plank being lowered and then the sound of feet upon it as the townsfolk filled it’s deck. It was the last such ship I knew. There would be no others. The town would be left to rot and any foolish enough to stay behind would rot along with it, their remaining days spent wandering empty rooms and empty paths, wondering how such a thing could happen and how they were now ghosts with no one to haunt but themselves. This is what the future held for my love. For that is what I felt for her at that moment, kneeling in the mud. Love that was hopeless and lost without ever knowing it’s touch.

‘You wait for her’
I looked up and saw a woman at my side. Yes, I replied before realising she was not asking a question but stating what I must do.
‘If she does not come in an hour, you wait two’ she continued, ‘If not then, a day. Then you wait a week, then a month, a year. For without her you may as well drink this rain into your lungs and die on the shore. Half a lifetime she has already given you without question. Is it so much to ask that you wait for her?’

I nodded, showing my understanding, then standing up, turned to watch the old woman as she made her way to the waters edge and up onto the ship. I stood there for a while, watching as the ship (the last ship) made it’s way from me, out towards the open sea, until a time where it left my sight completely. Only then did I turn my gaze back towards the town.

It was at that moment that the dream left me and I was returned to this waking world. I made my way downstairs to the kitchen, and there made myself a cup of tea. It was only as I raised it to my lips and found it hard to swallow, that I realised I was weeping.

She is lost.

I wait. Here in this world, and on the shore of another. Where there at least, the rain can hide my tears.

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