Every night I have the same dream. A green valley going down to a river. Water shining so bright in the sunlight. And on the opposite bank – a delightful country, beautiful beyond imagination, hidden in a golden haze.
“What do you think it means?” my sister asks me.
“I don’t know. Nothing I guess. Just a dream.”
It was a big day – the prom. My little sister Mabel was finishing high school.
We were dressed in similar silk dresses, pale blue in color, reaching down to our knees. Mabel also had little pearls plaited in her hair.
“Oh, Patrick, just look at the girls! Aren’t they beautiful!” my mother exclaimed, as she came into the room. “Hurry up with that camera and take a picture. Lizzy, stand closer to Mabel.”
Obediently I took a step to my sister and put an arm around her. We both smiled as my dad clicked the camera button.
A big hall with marble floors, decorated with balloons. A small crowd of dressed-up people: young men in brand-new suits, girls in beautiful dresses. Basically this prom was in no way different from hundreds of other ones. They take place here every single year, my own prom had been held here as well. As we entered, we could already feel the bright atmosphere of the special evening.
“What a shame that you can’t stay till the end,” my sister sighed.
Of course it was, I thought so too. But there was nothing to be done about this fact – I had a plane to catch that night. Work will always be work. I glanced at my watch stealthily. Thankfully, I still had plenty of time.
“Look, Lizzy, look!” my sister cried happily. “It’s Anna! With her parents! And there is Jim! And Mr. Green over there! Oh, I’ll go and greet them.”
I smiled as I watched her hurrying towards her friends.
Taking a glass of champagne from one of the tables, I walked slowly about the hall. Many people smiled at me and nodded, a couple came up for a conversarion.
At some point I saw a young man standing in front of me. He might have been just an ordinary guy, but for some reason I could not take my eye off him. There was something very special about this person.
Facing each other, we were standing without a word in the middle of the noisy crowd.
“Have we met before?” he said finally. “You seem so familiar.”
Then I recognized him.
“George! You used to go to school with my sister Mabel. I’m Elizabeth, remember?”
“Yes I do!” he smiled. “You have changed a lot over the years.”
The guy was dressed in a plain black suit. He was wearing a tie and had a small flower in the buttonhole of his jacket.
“I like your flower,” I said.
“Thank you,” he answered. He pulled it out and handed it to me. I took it. It was not artificial.
The next couple of hours I spent taking pictures and talking to people. My old teachers, who were glad to see me again, my sister’s school friends, many of whom remembered me well. The guy was always somewhere nearby.
I glanced at my watch. In dismay I saw that it was already midnight! Unless I wanted to miss my plane, I had to go at once.
I said goodbye to my sister and hurried out of the hall. As I ran down the stairs, George’s flower was still clutched in my hand.
Lights, so many lights everywhere. The night city looked amazing from this great height. I was watching it silently through the window as my plane was gaining altitude.
George… He said I had changed. But it was him who had really changed, much more than I did. Who would have guessed that the little funny boy I used to know, my sister’s classmate, would turn into such a wonderful and handsome young man…
I was thinking about him while my plane was flying over the Atlantic ocean. I could not help remembering him, his words, his smile… But fairy tales never take place in the real life. Me and George were not going to see each other again.
In one and a half month I was back from my business trip. I was home. It was then that me and the guy met again.
One day, coming to see Mabel, I found her home with a group of friends.
“Oh Lizzy, I’m so happy you came!” my sister cried, the way she usually did. “Listen, guess what! It’s about your dreams. A friend of mine over here has the same sort of strange dreams as you do. You should really talk to him!”
I looked in the direction where my sister was pointing and saw George. The whole world changed around me in an instant, it because such a brighter and happier place to be. I gave George a smile. He returned it.
“I still have your flower,” I told George as we were standing alone on the balcony of my parents’ house.
“That’s nice, keep it.”
There was a pause. Then he spoke again.
“Elizabeth… There is something I need to tell you. Something that I have been meaning to tell you for many years, only I could never do it.”
I held my breath.
“Ever since I first saw you, when I stared going to school with Mabel, I knew that you are the most beautiful and wonderful girl in the whole world. I could rarely see you, you were much older, and you were nothing to me but a friend’s sister. I have always hoped though… That one day… When we are older…”
“We are older now,” I said.
Ours hands met and clasped.
“And you must know,” George went on, “ that all these years I have loved you. I love you. Even now.”
“I love you too. Although I have never realized it till recently.”
We smiled at each other. No more world needed to be said.
“By the way, what about those strange dreams that we are both having? What do you think they mean?” I asked finally.
“Nothing,” he said happily, hugging me. “Just dreams.”