Last night, I was in a school. A student, I suppose, as I had just finished a test and was told to turn it in to the teacher in the next classroom. So I went across the hall. I entered the room, and as I wandered, I saw two people sitting at a pair of desks in the corner — a woman and a man — who were not students.

At that point, as it happens in dreams, my mission to turn in the test had ended, and this place was no longer a classroom, but a space to meet.

They faced the other way, and as I approached and turned toward them, I came face to face with my grandfather and grandmother — my father’s parents. I’ve dreamt of my grandmother before — some years ago. It was surreal, almost entrancing, as a very young version of her floated in a kind of malleable space, a version I never knew as I was too young, yet knew from old photographs. I knew it was her because of her eyes.

But here, the focus was on my grandfather. I put my hand gently on the top of his back and said hello, and we both smiled. As I type, I’m now forgetting what was said — how are you, I’m so glad to see you — but his face was clear, and I saw his eyes, and I saw him smile, and we held hands as we spoke, and I smiled and smiled and felt warm, happy. It rarely happens, but I knew I was in a dream, and I held back tears as I smiled.

I woke up. Still dark outside, the rain steady, and Nick already gone. But there, under the covers, I was warm and full of light.

3 thoughts on “Encounter”

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