Dreams from Yesterday I – short story

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“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” ~ Walt Disney

12th July 2013

“Wait – what was that noise?” Harriet froze, then cocked her head ever so slowly as though in slow motion.

Her eyes darted to the left and right, as she tried to figure out where the sound came from. She sucked in her breath lest she mistook it for the sound she had just heard.

Like spark-plugs roaring an engines into the purr of anticipation, building excitement reverberated through her body.

Her bed was her safe place, her haven, where she would snuggle into the duvet as happy as a cat in sunlight until sleep overtook her. But she wondered why she was up on it in pitch darkness.

Her digital alarm clock blinked in the dark like an owl’s rod-shaped eyes as it flicked to 1.50am. At that same time.

She held her breath, her eyes darting around her bedroom until it could figure out the outline of her window blinds.

And then she heard the sound again, but this time, she was up on her bare feet pronto.

Her gentle footsteps on the tiled hallway were noiseless, but each footfall was chaotically spaced from the last with no rhythm in a bid to get quickly across to the other room where she suspected the noise was coming from. As she drew nearer the sound seemed to echo.

The door to the only other room in the house was slightly ajar, wide enough for her to peek in. There was a lot of daylight in the bedroom in sharp contrast to hers. The light was almost blinding as she squinted to discern the source of the sound.

It was the unmistakable snuffle of a newborn yearning for milk.

Tiny toes peeked from a blanket, dangling in a cot that stood in the middle of the room. Inside the cot laid the newborn baby, his arms aloft as if dreaming of cuddling the mother who isn’t anywhere nearby.

Harriet moved closer and then slid her pinky into his open hand and watched as they curled around it, as the baby cooed on. She shut her eyes to feel the intensity of the moment as she felt his soft breath on the back of her hand.

She carried him gently into her arms. She looked at the crazy mass of black curls not yet rubbed bald from lying in his crib, as he wobbled beneath her supporting hand.

Harriet knew he was her baby. She couldn’t believe how tiny new humans are, how vulnerable, how awe inspiring.

He felt so light, looked so perfect and smelled so divine. She was going to be his protector for as long as he lived and her love for him will never diminish, she swore.

“He is pretty, isn’t he?” Came a familiar voice that barely startled her

When she looked up, it was the splitting image of herself dressed in a loosely fitting maternity gown with milk running from both nipples as they poked through the wet patch on the thin fabric.

“Yes he is. Adorable”

*****

From the blinding lights and beauty of the dreamscape, in the place between her thoughts and the movies of the nighttime, Harriet woke up in her bed with a banging headache to the rude shrill ringing of her alarm clock.

Her husband, Kunle, had left the house earlier that morning. He left for work much earlier than she did. He worked on the other side of the Lagoon as a branch manager in a tier 1 commercial bank.

They had been married for 6 years and everything about their life together was perfect. He was a gentleman to the core and never stopped letting her know how much he loved her.

She called him “my Kunle”, the same way she did when they met at the university 3years before they walked down the aisle. Since then, their love never waned as they trudged on in their daily routine.

They were the sweetest of couples and they made a beautiful family. But they had their struggles, like all spouses do, yet they were an inspiration to all who were lucky enough to be in their social circle.

They were an ambitious lot and invested time and energy in their careers while they waited patiently for a child of their own.

The first few years had gone relatively without interference from both families, but recently, the pressure on them to find out the delay in concieving, had forced both of them to regularly visit fertility clinics in and around Victoria Island in search of an explanation to the delay.

But Harriet knew where the problem was, yet they popped pills like clockwork every day as prescribed by the doctors.

At work, Harriet was the humblest of souls. Everyone loved her approach to work especially how she exuded professionalism at every task. She spoke fluently, dressed impeccably, and decently showed off her fair skin like a badge of honor at every chance.

She flaunted her curve of softness with every skirt she wore and spared none of her leather high heel stiletto pumps any break whenever she was at work.  

Her closest colleague, Dee, never stopped reminding her that she was beautiful from her heart and soul. He thought she was captivating and gave her compliments every time he saw her.

“You look amazing today, Harriet”

She worked as a brand consultant and was reputed to be one of the best in the industry. Her client portfolio had blue-chip companies lapping up every advice and strategy she milled out from her laptop.

She loved her job; she loved her husband and everything in between. Life had been fair to her, but she desired her own child.

She wanted her own baby.

The only place she found peace and solace was in her dreams. Just like the one she had that morning. Not only was it vivid and breath taking, but she also held her baby in her arms. Something she desired for so many years. She could feel it. It felt real. It had to be real.

The smile she wore that morning at the office as she waltz through the office could be credited to the dream she had the night before.

That was why she glowed that morning like a thousand stars.

Several months earlier, she had been pregnant, only in her dreams, and she nursed the pregnancy in that same room with the blinding lights.

She had the dreams often enough and kept a diary in her room of the dates after they left her confused whenever she woke up. 

In her dreams, she had been pregnant for 2years! Her diary told her so.

She had gone through the motions. She threw up so badly for weeks and would wake up with spittle patches on her pillows. Kunle would panic before rushing her to the clinic so she wouldn’t choke on her own vomit.

Sometimes she held her flat tommy gingerly in her arms, in the morning when she was awake, praying fervently that the pregnancy remained when she returned to her dream state.

Now her baby had come to full term and was born.

She couldn’t wait for the next dream. But when?

*****

21st November 2013

The time was 1.50am.

Her eyes fluttered again in the familiar dream state as she drifted into one of her deep spells.

She called him “Hayden”. He was her baby. Hers alone. He was growing up so fast she could barely catch up with him. Now he was crawling all over the place.

Please follow the second part of the story as it turns here.

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11 thoughts on “Dreams from Yesterday I – short story”

  1. Pingback: Dreams from Yesterday II – short story – Akin Akingbogun

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