Triple Feature

Dearest Rachel –

It was so good to see you last night, and so many times, and through so much. If only I could convince anybody that you were there.

Everything started off with a rather kinetic, video game feel to it. You and I were trying to get through a maze, and sort of bouncing into each other in order to accomplish it. Basically, in order to get past the obstacles we faced along the way, we would need boosts from bumping into each other to push us past them all. It was hard work, and there were certain segments that required a sort of puzzle solving in order to get past as well, but we made it through eventually.

To some extent, it felt as if we were racing for our life; hell itself threatened behind us at any possible point where we might slip up. I couldn’t afford to lose, and I couldn’t afford to lose you, as I struggled through the many obstacles, but you were always there to push me through, and I would in turn grasp onto you to drag you along behind me. At some point – anticlimactic though it was – we found ourselves past the danger and safe in the next part of my dream.

We found ourselves in a clean white room, whereupon we were joined by a fellow who, in retrospect, might well have passed for a very young Santa Claus; a large, cheerful man with red hair and beard. However, unlike Saint Nick, he was dressed more in green than red (and not even all that as I recall). Despite the fact that he was neither Mike nor Tim – and he was certainly not Lisa – we were talking with him about what we wanted the house to look like. The implication being that he was leading the crew that would take care of the renovation.

Add this removed, I can’t remember anything specifically that you said; that’s probably just as well, as I tended to finish your sentences for you. And while I would apologize for that under normal circumstances, I got the impression some ways through our conversation that he was reacting to what I was telling him rather than anything you were saying. It was slowly dawning on me that I was the only one who could perceive your presence. At some point, I actually asked him outright if I was the only one there talking to him, to which he responded in the affirmative. And at that point, you almost immediately faded away, leaving me at a loss for words, just as he leaned forward to resume the conversation about what ‘we’ wanted the place to look like once it was renovated.

The last part (and I have to dictate this as fast as possible, lest I lose my memory, and wind up just having to make stuff up to fill in the gaps) didn’t involve you directly at all, but only some things that you left behind once you’d faded away. Oddly enough, it was just some pieces of jewelry that weren’t familiar, and at this point I can’t describe. You’d also left behind a couple of translucent spheres, not unlike dragonballs, except there were only two of them rather than seven, and colorless rather than golden. In either case, I found myself trying to persuade Ellen of their existence as proof you had been here, but even as I picked the items up to show them to her, she couldn’t see them in my hand. It was like that last bit of the Polar Express story, where the little bells can no longer be heard as the children grow up, and lose their belief in Santa Claus; she refused to believe you had been here, or that I was holding anything in my hand.

I want to say at some point, one of the spheres started to glow in my hand, and she realized I was holding something, but the specifics are starting to fade, and I can’t confirm that. It was only a dream, after all, and neither you nor Ellen was here at all.

Of course, it leaves me questioning how I got through that maze in the first scenario. If you weren’t there, how on earth did I survive? But if you were there, why was I the only one to sense you, be it by sight, or sound, or touch? It was so strange and frustrating… and depressing to wake up from.

In a way, I find myself in this position with you, even in my waking hours. You have no family left; no parents, no siblings, nobody to remember who you were but me. And I’m aware of the fact that my memory is fading. It bears repeating that this is why I do this; to remind myself as much as anyone else of who you were and how important you were to me. I have to convince myself as much as anyone else of your significance before it ceases to be a thing. I’ve cleared out so much of your stuff, and now I’m searching for someone to take your place at my side; once that’s accomplished, what will happen to my past, and specifically, of your memory? Will it fade away to nothing? Will it matter?

I somehow suspect that your past caring about whether you remembered or not. Eventually, all of us will be forgotten here on earth, but heaven will be so much better than here, such that it won’t matter to us. And yet, I feel obligated to do what I can to recall whatever I can about you, before you – and the rest of my past – fade into obscurity, leaving behind only a handful of vignettes, like gemstones that only I can see.

Wish me luck, honey, if you care to. I dare say I’ll still need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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