Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Dreaming, part 2

To read Part 1, click here.

It was over a week before Tallie thought of either the dream or the email again. Not until the reply came, which, inexplicably, she knew was a reply even as the envelope icon appeared in the corner of her screen at the end of her workday, before she had opened the message.

"I do not know you," was all the sender had written.

A strange choking feeling snaked into Tallie's body. Her hands and legs trembled. "Well, how about that," she said aloud.

She shut down her computer for the day and went home. She took the dog for a walk and was just returning as Jason pulled into the driveway. She was so lost in thought that Jason had to honk to get her attention, at which point she also realized that Spiker, their dog, had been pulling her behind him.

"Wow, what's on your mind?" Jason asked climbing out of the car. He was smiling.

Tallie hesitated. "It's kind of a long story."

Jason seemed not to notice her pause. "Tell me over dinner?" he asked as he pushed open the door, set his briefcase on the entry table and turned around to hug her.

She stepped into his arms and leaned into his warmth and steadiness, noticing the feelings of her body soaking in the comfort of his. "Okay."

"Well, that was kind of wierd," he said after she'd told him about the dream and looking Peter up on Google, finding an email address and sending him a message.

"How so?"

"I don't know. I think it's kind of wierd that you decided to contact him after that particular dream."

Tallie studied Jason's face for more clues about what his words meant.


"What do you mean, 'why'? Because you haven't heard from the guy for fifteen years and it doesn't sound like a dream that would make a person really miss another person and want to know how they are. Or if it is that kind of dream, I don't get it. He kind of sounds like a jerk from the dream."

"Well, yeah, and actually, he was kind of jerk at times in real life. But, I grew up with him, you know? It seems so strange to me to have no idea where he is or what he's doing. It feels weird to not know him."

"I guess."

They sat silently for a minute. Tallie still wasn't completely sure she understood what Jason was feeling. It wasn't like him to feel insecure about her. They both had friends of the opposite sex and had long ago learned to trust each other's fidelity and devotion, which seemed good and right and made other friendships easy. She doubted that whatever he was feeling it would be as simple as jealousy. There was a static between them, though, and for a moment she wondered if she should just ask. She realized she was afraid to, and though she couldn't think of a good reason she should be, instead, she said, "So, anyway I got a reply today."

"And?" Jason kept his eyes on his plate.

"It said 'I don't know you.'"

Jason looked up. She could feel him assessing her now. "Oh. Well, I guess that's that."

"I guess."

"What's that mean?"

Tallie sighed. "I don't know, Jason. I know you're going to say I'm crazy, but that was it. That was all it said. I think it's wierd. I think it was him."

There were no longer noises of eating. Spiker got up from his spot under the table and stalked to the corner of the dining room nearest the kitchen. He plopped down on his haunches and stared pointedly at Tallie and Jason, who were looking at each other. Spiker whined.

"Yeah, okay, buddy. Dinner's coming," Jason said, tossing the dog a glance. He pushed himself away from the table. "You do whatever you gotta do, Tallie," he said, taking their plates with him to the kitchen.

Tallie's eyes watered as she sat there a minute, feeling trapped between two worlds and not sure why.