This Other Life...In A Dream

I never had these dreams before I was married, but they started like clockwork on my honeymoon, and they reappear without warning. It's not exactly a re-occurring dream, but they are always the same, and they are always so real that when I wake up I am relieved to learn that I am in my own bed in the life I remember going to sleep to.

In these dreams, I feel like I glimpsing something I could have had--something I chose not to have--which is a life married to one of my former boyfriends. In the dreams, I am quite naturally married to him and we are always driving in a car, going somewhere. In the course of our car ride, I suddenly "come to" and I remember that I am not, in fact, married to this man and that I am married to Daren, my real husband.

Inevitably, I become so troubled by this in the dream (because it feels so real) that I bring it up to my former boyfriend. He shrugs it off and reminds me that Daren is mad at me--that he no longer speaks to me--and that we are now married. He says it with such finality that I believe it and I become terrified. That is when I begin to run away.

The moment he stops the car in my dream, I begin to run and I reach for my phone to call or text Daren to find out what is really going on. That is when I realize that a) either I can't see the screen of my phone to dial, b) I have my high school phone and his number isn't in it or c) he's changed his phone number! By the time I am reaching the peak of my frantic disbelief, I wake up.

I always wake up relieved and surprised. The feeling of knowing Daren was mad at me and not speaking to me felt real in the dream... so did the realization of being with this ex beau of mine. And in the dream, my thoughts wander to sex--when I realize that I will never be able to sleep with Daren again and instead I am married to someone else. It's so terrifying to me in the dream that it's almost laughable in life.

Still, I find it strange how these dreams come to me. They seem to reinforce something in the decisions I have made in my life... they seem to fortify my choices while also confusing me. The funniest part is that Daren seems to know whenever these dreams occur, though not directly. The first time it happened, he had to wake me because I was thrashing around the bed. This last time I had it we woke up, face to face, and he asked me why I looked as if something was wrong. Of course when I told him, he chuckled and kissed me... as if to say that it was a silly notion that disturbed me so.

It's strange to glimpse this other life; to feel it so real and all at once, so wrong. It reminds me of when dating people felt like the wrong fit for me. It's a feeling so buried in years that when I feel it, even in a haze of sleep, I am reminded of how much I disliked it without even knowing how to change it. That is also how I will always know the defining quality between all the other relationships I ever had and the one I have with my husband. We fit together so perfectly that I can not even dream of being without him... there will always be something within me that knows that me without him isn't a good fit at all. 

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