There was an enormous amount of pain, and difficulty breathing in the darkness. And then there was peace, and emptiness and nothing. I remembered the feeling but I couldn’t place, it couldn’t remember. Why couldn’t I remember?
There was nothing for so long, that when I started to feel again I reached out. My power, my mind. I hadn’t meant to, and the world around me shook. I felt strong arms around me holding me close, and then an unnerving shift and I felt my stomach twist and turn in a thousand directions and I knew I was me. I wasn’t floating in blackness, I felt home. Something had changed but the darkness remained. There was an echo in the distance, I could almost make it out, but it was gone before I could do anything, but I felt safe now. Safer than I had in forever.
The world around me started to lighten so did the pain. But I still felt like a semi truck hit me. I opened my eyes and blinked at the light. Everything was a blur of color and it hurt to move so I just laid there feeling the lush green grass below me.
Why was I laying in grass? The thought flit through my mind but was lost on an ebbing of pain. Yet it too floated through my body like nothing. The sky above me was strange. I thought I’d see towering sky scrapers instead I found stars – millions of stars twinkling in odd fashion. If I looked at them too long they looked like they rearranged themselves, speaking words of profound depth, but when I focused on it, I couldn’t hear anything. And I didn’t see anything but the stars.
I sat up and had to use my arms, it hurt to move, and I felt tire just in that moment. How had I gone from standing completely only using my core body to this? Something was missing, I didn’t even know where I was.
I turned around and there standing behind him in the middle of a grass filled field was a lone tree standing proud and bare but yet it looked more alive than anything else in the dream. A dream? Was this a dream? “Alex, can you hear me?” I called out. Hell I if I was in a dream I didn’t know how to call him, or how to find him. But even as I thought about the blue eyed man that I loved, I was in front of the tree. Its dark brown bark was aged and withered, but it glowed with an undercurrent, so alive I was afraid it might burn me when I touched it.
But it felt like bark, like any other tree I’d ever seen. Images flickered around the tree, like images that were shadows on an old school TV screen. And there were other things that sat around the tree like horrible decorations. There was a curled up dragon at the base of the three and when I knelt down to touch it I felt the odd sense that I’d touched Drake. Wrapped around the tree was a ribbon the color of Alex’s eyes. It had seen better days, but it held on, never quite breaking in any one spot. And as I watched it, those ripped and torn spots seemed to mend themselves, like it was knitting back together. It made me smile as I ran my fingers across the silky smooth ribbon, I knew it was Alex. Each image on the tree was someone important to me.
I found my father in a pedestal that held a trophy – worlds best hunter and hanging from the trophy was a simple elegant Spanish medallion on a golden chain that was polished so bright you could see your reflection in the gold. It was so Dorian. Leaning against the pedestal was a giant silver spoon that reached out for the gold medallion when it swung too close. A small globe spun next to them, but it was the dirt covered rock underneath the globe that was completely Jessie. I lifted it carefully and felt my step-father through the connection. It was strange. I set him next to Marco and Dorian and the world seemed right – happy even. I brushed off the stone with my fingers and I felt nothing when I did it except the roughness of the dirt and stone. There was something etched in the rock and as the words became clear tears fell from my eyes, ‘In loving memory. I love you too.’ Etched along side was an apple pie.
“Fuck!” I muttered as I fell back against the tree trunk and let the tears flow
Rain fell from the sky as I cried, but the stars still shone brightly. I couldn’t let the sadness stay as I looked around the dream. I found Michaela’s stone neatly placed next to a pond where fish swam. I couldn’t stoop the tears from flowing. Two monkeys played in the tree tops and even though I knew I couldn’t touch them they were my brothers. Other images flickered in and out, I didn’t know what that meant. I scanned the tree looking for meaning and that’s when I noticed that there were parts of the ribbon around the tree that were red. A thin thread of red was snaked around the tree, when I touched it, it felt like fishing cord, or very thin metal cording, it could cut in an instance, but it was mending the ribbon, tying it together. I knew the red cord was Ant I’d felt the connection when I touched it, but why was it mending what represented Alex.
I heard an echo again but this time I heard the voice. Come back to me pretty boy. I need you.
It was Alex. “I’m here.” I called out again. I focused on his voice and tried to go to him. But the world started to burn in the corners like I’d lit the edge of a picture on fire. I let go. “Fuck!”
Why was I stuck in a dream? And a dream Alex can’t find me. Please find me. I begged. I need you.
There was a crash of thunder in the distance. The sky started to darken. I wasn’t going to start crying again. But I needed Alex. He needed me. I tried to reach out again, I smelled the smoke in the distance, the fire burning my dream down to the ground. I knew it would be just ash. Alex.
I felt strength and calmness wash over me and cleanse the pain I was causing myself. Nox. It’s okay baby. You have to stay with me.
There was a nudge and I stopped reaching and I was content in the strength and love. I knew who it was. I knew Alex was with me. And there was a gentle whisper on the winds Ant’s here too. We got this. The thought that Ant was there worried me, but I just let the feelings carry me away and I laid against the tree. I wouldn’t fight it, whatever happened happened as long as I had Alex.