Friday, April 9, 2010

Guest Write - Paul Phillips

A Surprise Gift

She had dreamed.

She had dreamed of love and happiness. She had dreamed of a perfect life; loving husband, beautiful children and a demanding, yet satisfying career.

She had dreamed of him.

They had met through a mutual friend. Conversation was stilted to begin with, revolving around their mutual passions for material things but never going more than skin deep in their discussions. However, the more they talked, the more they got to know each other, and the more they got to sense something bigger than a casual friendship. They had shared their hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes, wants and needs. They had shared their fears of the future; either being alone or unsatisfied in a relationship.

She had dreamed of him.

They had spent more and more time together – yet apart, becoming closer than just friends but afraid to reach out for more. They lived on opposite sides of the country. They both had commitments they couldn’t break – at least not immediately. They had both realised that something was building and, try as they might, they couldn’t deny it. Searching each other’s souls, desperate for a connection; finding one without even realising it immediately. It took something momentous for that realisation to dawn upon them both.

She had dreamed of him.

She had shocked even herself when she said she loved him. She was just as shocked when he replied in kind. Her heart never knew such complicated emotions. She knew it was wrong; she was married after all and he was much older than she. She justified it to herself by saying that she always felt more comfortable with older men. Guys her own age when much too immature and only ever thought about one thing – not sex, but themselves. Here was a man who claimed to love her, who wanted only the best for her. He called her a princess and he called her beautiful. He wanted to profess his love for her to the whole world, but knew he couldn’t. She wanted to do the same. She had never been treated this way by her husband. She wondered if this was cheating. She wondered if she cared.

She had dreamed of him.

Some time into their relationship, he had told her he was coming to visit her. She had been scared, excited, frightened and anxious. What would he think of her when they actually met in person? Would he still think of her as a princess? Would he still consider her beautiful? She had her own doubts about him as well – of course she did. Would he be the same man in person as he was from a distance? Would his smile and roguish behaviour still be exciting or would she grow tired of it? Would she find him unattractive? Considering the times he had made appearances in her dreams, she had doubted that last one. More than anything, she hoped that this was the chance she had longed for, that she had dreamed about, even as a child. She hoped...

The night before he arrived, she had dreamed of him.

She had waited anxiously in the airport terminal, fussing with her hair and constantly checking to make sure her make-up wasn’t smeared. She had spent nearly an hour in tears when she learned that his plane was delayed. Then, it was time and she had craned her neck in search of the man who could make all of her dreams come true – or dash them on the rocks of her emotional tides. She could see people milling about the terminal and baggage collection but she couldn’t see him. She thought he may have been delayed at customs. Her heart banged against her chest, and she tried to calm herself. He would walk through that gate any minute now, she had thought to herself. She had been right. He had. And she was stunned by his appearance. She no longer doubted her heart or her head. She no longer had any worries about whether he was going to be the man to lead her out of the darkness and into the light of a world that she had previously thought never existed for her. She had called him her personal saviour and now, she so desperately wanted saving.

And still she dreamed of him.

He had returned home after spending a week with her; time had gone so quickly that when he announced that he should be getting ready to go, it had shocked her. Shocked her to tears. She hadn’t been ready to let him go. She had known that he had to go, she had accepted it from the first day but it hadn’t made it any easier. She had held him, clung to him, and enveloped him. He had kissed her, hugged her, and stroked her hair. She had never met another man like him, and she wondered if she ever would again. Sure, they had made plans to see each other again soon, but they had agreed that distance might prove to be a problem. It wasn’t cheap to fly across the country and she had a career to consider. He had told her she was always welcome to come to his city and spend time with him and had promised that he would make the utmost effort to get back and see her as soon as he could. But still those doubts had lingered.

But yet she had still dreamed of him.

Many months had passed and now it seemed their relationship had cooled. He didn’t appear online to talk much anymore. She told herself that he was busy, that he had many more important things to worry about; it wasn’t like they had promised themselves to each other, although she had hoped that they would. She couldn’t stop thinking about him, especially when she was lying in bed of a night, the darkness closing in around her and she could feel his protective arms around her, his lips on hers, his hands on her. She wanted him to commit to her, even though she couldn’t do that for him. He had promised her the world and now she felt like the only thing he had given her were memories.

Still she dreamed of him.

She dreamed that she could hear his voice, dreamed of him being in her home, playing with her son. She could hear him telling her son stories of his home, stories of make-believe, stories her son lapped up and she smiled at the sound of her son’s laughter. She dreamed she heard her bedroom door open, dreamed she could smell his aftershave, dreamed she could feel his fingers gently touch her face. She rolled over, eyes barely open and thought she could see his face above hers. She shook her head, clearing away the cobwebs of her dreams, and felt his lips on hers again.

“Happy birthday, princess.”

Paul Phillips' work can be found HERE. He has also been published online at MicroHorror, Six Sentences, Powder Flash Burns and BlinkInk. He calls Australia home, but sometimes it won't listen.

18 comments:

  1. Quite a beautiful tale of love conquering distance. Paul, it sounds as if you invaded somebody's dreams to observe the core of her emotions, and what a job you've done at letting her retain her dignity in light of her exposed heart. I'm envious at the depth of your understanding, and pleased with the "happy" ending. Wonderful writing. Truly.

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  2. beautifully crafted and loving tale

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  3. Paul, this is one of the most touching pieces I've read in a while. Spoken with tension and deep feeling. The spoken knowledge of lonely people hoping to change their lives. Beautiful!

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  4. A new turn for you Paul, you do well with happy endings too!

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  5. Nice tale of love Paul, with deep feeling and also happy endings.

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  6. Very nice Paul, thank you.
    This story rings so true.

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  7. Nice tale of Love Paul, with deep feeling and
    also happy ending.
    Ciao ~ Lydia Stefanovska

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  8. The things we hope and dream about... the desire for words to become fact.


    What? Did you think I was just going to say "Interesting?"


    heh.

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  9. You tricked me with a lovely piece—I liked the repetition of "She dreamed of him." and the ending great! Nice one, Paul.

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  10. Paul, Paul, Paul...I loved this...every word.

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  12. I wasn't sure what sort of ending to expect and took a little emotional gasp at the last sentence. You caused a "happy" tear. That hasn't happened in a long time. You write "love" well.

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  13. Good one, Paul. Not enough 'happy' these days. This makes up for a lot of it. Hope it'll inspire others to do more.

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  14. Wow!! I am amazed by the response to this piece. I truly appreciate all your comments, I really do. I was very nervous about sending this Nicole but, thanks to you all, I am glad I did.
    Thanks, too, Nicole, for having me on your splendid blog...appreciate it very much!

    YOU GUYS ROCK (even the interesting ones!)

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  15. Crybbe, given your past efforts plumbing the dark depths, I expected a bloody, visceral and violent twist at the end and you go all big sap on us. Good stuff, sir.

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  16. Nicole, I've given you an award. Check my blog.

    Great piece, Paul. Really enjoyed it mate.

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