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From the hazy unreal hell that had become her reality, she slipped into the coma induced sleep blissfully granted by modern medicine. She looked forward to this time with an almost sick satisfaction. Every night, she counted the time until she could take the pills that would allow her to escape for a few hours, allow her the bliss of a short time to feel no pain. Plus, it was only in dreams that she could see him now, only during the drug induced stupor that for a few minutes she could feel peace. As the fog of her dozing cleared into real sleep, he was there.  Smiling his goofy grin that had always been hers alone. The sun shone, there were trees rustling with a soft breeze and as usual here lately, everything in the dream was white except the lush green of the trees.  He took two of his long strides and stood close, holding her against him in a hug that she felt all the way through her soul. This, this feeling of right, the feeling of belonging, of being whole. This was what she lived for, the peace of his presence in her stormy world. Consciously, she knew she was dreaming, but it didn’t matter.  The feeling of elation washed over her just as it did when he had been real and solid in her life every day.  She savored the feeling because it didn’t exist in real life, only in the few short moments they could spend together in her dreams.  Reaching up, she ran her fingers through his long brown hair,watching it feather as it lay back down. Her hand slid down a scruffy cheek and she remembered how she loved the feel of his skin under her hand.  He laughed then, taking her hand and kissing the palm. “I love you, no less now than then. I promised you always and forever. I meant it then and I mean it now.”  “I love you too, still so much, always and forever.” she said while the tears ran down her cheeks.  He took her hand and placed it over his heart, reached up, plucking a white flower from the tree and slipped it into her hair, tucking it behind her ear. “Don’t cry baby, I’m here and I’m never far away.” She laid her head on his chest, holding him tight and clinging to the lifeline of his words. The fog was returning, she knew she was waking up and he was fading away.  The dream ended and she woke with tears streaming down her cheeks. The pain came again of being ripped away, the feeling of losing half her soul, half her heart, half the person she was supposed to have been.  Through the tears, she realized that every dream was one step closer, every minute was one step closer to being with him again. Every minute she lived was still one minute closer to death and the peace of being with him again. So, with a determination forged in pain, she began to count those minutes and realized that everyday of her life was one step closer to him. All she had to do was wait.

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