A warm wind blowing in from the west made the exposed hairs of my legs and forearms sway and move. High in the sky the sun’s heat caused me to stir and slowly wake. My eyes opened and carefully focused on some blades of grass as I followed a small ladybug until she flew away. I was awake now, and fully aware of where I was. I was on top of my favorite hillside, overlooking a stream that ran to a lake a few miles north. What I was not aware of, was who was with me.
I was laying on my side, my left arm being used as a pillow for a girl I didn’t know, my right arm wrapped around her slender figure. Her hair blew softly with the wind and tickled my nose, bringing with it a beautiful smell I had never experienced. I frantically tried to remember who she was… I walked up here alone from my small apartment to read, and the sun had made me lazy and I drifted to sleep. That much I knew. I really didn’t want to question it though; for I felt at peace and that she was somehow important. I was feeling happy in my confusion, believing that this was a dream, I started to drift back to sleep.
She stirred for a second, turning herself over to face me, and in her half sleep state, she pulled herself closer. I opened my eyes and lost my breath. She was stunning. A rare beauty was staring back at me with eyes that reminded me of an overcast day. She didn’t turn away from my stare, and I couldn’t look away from hers.
“Hi.” She said at last. Her voice carried a certain amount of magic in it. Not too much, nor too little.
“Um.” I was smitten and forgot how to speak. I still thought this was a dream. So, I did what anybody would do in this or any dream. I kissed her. She kissed back, placing her hand carefully on my check. We sat up and she took my hands in hers.
“Do you know me?” She asked carefully.
“I wish I did. Do you know me?” I gave her my name.
“Yes, I know you… Do you think I would walk up this hillside, and wrap myself up in just anybody’s arms?” She winked at me and kissed my nose. I wish I knew what was happening, although I was happy in my ignorance.
“I’m sorry… I have no clue who you are.” I could feel the blood rushing into my checks.
“You wouldn’t know me. Not yet anyways.” She bit her bottom lip, and I knew that she was picking her words carefully and thoughtfully.
“Not yet-? What do you mean…?”
“We meet in a year.” Her voice cracked and she fell silent for a moment.
“So. Yeah. That’s what I thought. This is a dream.”
“We fall in love almost instantly. In a year.”
“I don’t doubt that we do.” I played along with the dream.
She kissed me. It was a sudden and passionate kiss. The kind of kiss that allowed me to believe everything she said and was about to say.
“You think I’m joking. I’m not. We fall in love, we live together, and we get married.”
“Ok,” I tried to sound sincere about it. The deepest parts of me wanted to believe her, “Why are you here then?”
A small teardrop fell from her left eye. She stared into my boring brown eyes and said, “You’re going to die in exactly sixty years. I’ve traveled from there; to spend as much time as I could with you, before you’re completely gone and I can’t see you anymore.”
She burst into tears; this crazy, beautiful girl burst into tears and buried her head in my shoulders. Not knowing what else I could say or do for her, I held her, anticipating that I would be waking up soon. When she stopped crying, she looked at me, waiting for my reply.
“What’s your name?”
“I’m not going to say.”
“Because you don’t want anything to change? You want us to meet the exact way we did. And everything will happen the way it’s happened to you already…”
“So, in a year, we meet randomly, fall in love, and everything from that point is perfect for you? You don’t want to change anything?”
“Not a single thing. You’ve given me a full and perfect life. I couldn’t ask for anybody better.”
I had fallen in love already. I kissed her and held her close. Waking up from this dream was going to be awful.
“You always knew. You knew we were meant for each other,” She turned away from me and took a second to finish her thought, “I wasn’t certain. But you were. You would look at me with this face… Like, you knew something about us that I didn’t. I could never top your romantic gestures and I can’t say goodbye to you, not yet…” The tears started again. I couldn’t take it, she cried so wonderfully that it broke me down. If this was real, and even if it wasn’t I had this overwhelming feeling that I wanted to make everything ok for her.
“I think… I think I always knew because of this trip you took. You came back to meet me before we meet, and showed me what love looks like. I think I love you so deeply, because I know what the future has in store for us. I’ll remember you visiting me until the very end.”
To say I was confused about where that came from would be down playing it. I had never been in love, never felt whatever this was now. Love poured out of me.
“Your last words to me were, ‘See you soon, my dear. See you soon.”
“And here you are. With me.”
“Here I am.”
“What will happen when you have to go back?”
“When I go back, whenever that is, that’ll mean you’ve passed on. The way it works, with sending me back, both of us have to be alive. I’ll disappear here, with you now, and that’ll be the end.”
“Do you want to say goodbye?” I loved her and felt a rip in my heart at even asking her that. I didn’t want to say goodbye to her.
“No… I just want to lay here with you, and watch the wind and the clouds, and be with you until it’s over. No goodbyes.”
I held her face in my hands, kissed her gently. We sat together and watched the sun fade down. Her fingers and mine intertwined until the second her hand was gone and I was alone on the hillside.