Author’s Note: I wanted to do something other than a bit with the alien today. I wanted to revisit some characters I hadn’t seen in a while. I had a lot of reasons why I wanted to do this, and so between a few reasons, a partial idea, and an attempt I’d made to prompt others with songs, I made this.
I just picked part of the lyrics from Joni Mitchell’s “Amelia.” I’d probably do others, but they didn’t fit this piece. Only a few did. Dreams, Amelia. Dreams and false alarms.
Her hand hit the fabric, and the cold brought her right out of a slight doze into complete awareness, blinking as she sat up and stared at the empty space next to her. Her husband had left their bed, no real surprise, unless she counted how long it had taken for her to wake after he did. Most of the time, she knew the minute he started to toss and turn, and if he woke, she did, too. Still, his nightmares were not new. They went back to a time long before she knew him, and while having him nearby helped her to sleep, it did not always work so well for him.
She let out a breath, putting her feet on the floor as she stopped at the foot of the bed, picking up her robe and pulling it on as she walked toward the door. She did not know how she felt about the fact that he’d gone further than their window.
When she stepped into the hall, the shadows gave him away, and she frowned as she walked toward him, away from the stairs and down toward the window overlooking the yard. The glass had been repaired, no cracks or holes or even boards to keep the memories in place, but he didn’t need them, did he?
“It’s not your fault.”
“They were my ‘friends.’ They came here for me. They stayed here because of me.”
“Must we have another discussion about how everything that goes wrong in the world is not your fault? We can, but it has to get old every once and a while.”
“More like obnoxious.”
“Then why go over it again?”
“Could have lost you,” he said, turning around to face her. “Can’t stop thinking about it.”
She reached out a hand to him, not feeling any pain. He didn’t need to torment himself this way. “I thought you’d been dreaming about the accident. I heard you say your brother’s name and—”
She put a hand on his face. “It’s just a dream. You never lost me. I’m here. No matter who comes into our lives, what they might bring with them, even if they are your friends or someone else from the past, we’ll survive. It’s not your fault.”
He pulled her into his arms, and she took a moment to listen to his heartbeat and remind herself that he was still here. She needed confirmation of that just as much as he needed to hold onto her. Both of them had lost too much already.
“I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“You know I tend to notice when you get up. It might take me a while, but I do. Maybe I’m still fighting against that fear that you’re going to take off and leave, even after you’ve shown you won’t. Everyone leaves. We know that. My family, yours—”
“Didn’t mean to cause a false alarm.”
“I’d rather have dozens of them than have it ever be real.”
“It won’t be.”