A Pleasant Dream

Merry Go RoundIt was one of those dreams that Martin remembered vividly when he woke and that he never did forget afterward. Sometimes, he recalled it during the day and mistook it for a misplaced memory.

In it, he was at a city park. The grass shone with life. The blue ocean of the sky hung overhead. The sun suffused every detail. His daughter, Hope, lay on her stomach in the grass and read, her fingers intertwined in her long red hair. His son, Jonathan, propelled himself higher and higher on the swing. With a shout he flew into the air, his body like a high jumper’s, and landed with a roll in a cloud of dust.

He brushed himself off. “Hope,” he said, standing to block her light. “Hope, will you play with me?”

“Let me finish this chapter.”

“Oh, fine.” Jonathan squatted and began to tear the grass.

Hope, peering up at him, closed her book. “I’ll read later.”

“Push me on the merry-go-round!”

Jonathan took his place on the outer edge and gripped the bars. Hope, grinning, took hold and began to push the merry-go-round in its circle. She leaned forward, her thin legs straining against the packed dirt. Jonathan clung desperately as Hope gained speed. He fought the centrifugal force with every muscle in his body. Hope laughed as she saw him struggling and tried to add still more speed, her face as red as her hair in her exertion. Jonathan screamed gleefully as his fingers slipped. He flew off and landed in tumble.

“Are you all right?” Hope asked. She bent over, hands on her knees, and tried to catch her breath.

“That was awesome!” Jonathan tried to stand but collapsed in a heap in his dizziness.

About here, the dream became unclear to Martin. One other image remained: the older sister, book under her arm, and the younger brother, running ahead, both with their backs to him as they headed home.

When Martin woke, he lay awake, thinking of the dream. When he dressed, he paused and looked at the pregnant figurine that stood by the dresser mirror. The label in front had two dates and two names: Hope and Jonathan.

“I had a dream this morning,” Martin told his wife at breakfast.

“About what?”

“About our children.” He hesitated. “It was real, as if…. I was watching them at the park.” It had been a long time since he had thought of the miscarriages.

His wife, tears in her eyes and smiling sadly, put her hand on his. “Tell me about it.”

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