It wasn’t a memory. What she saw had never occurred. That realisation had come as quite a shock after the first dream. In the twenty-eight years they had known each other, they had never once danced with each other.
In her dream they would always dance.
The music was already playing when she entered that world. They’d step together, step apart, twirl then step back. His arm would wind around her waist while his other hand held hers securely, resting against his chest. She would lean her head on his shoulder, relishing in his touch as they swayed to the soft sounds.
And there she stayed until the sound of the alarm woke her up.
The night the music stopped she awoke with a start, inexplicably panicked, heart racing, chest heaving.
When the phone rang she pulled away from it, tears streaming down her face.
She knew what they wanted to say.
It was standing in his office the next day that she realised that they had danced. For twenty-eight years they’d danced around the attraction between them. Never taking that chance, never admitting their feelings. They would come close, then they’d step away; raise the subject then talk in circles until the conversation twirled on to a different topic.
They’d spent twenty-eight years dancing that same dance.
And now the music had stopped.
Each afternoon thereafter, every time she had to rest her exhausted body, she stared with fear at her bed – in sleep, the absence of the dream highlighted his absence from her life.
Yesterday, she cried herself to sleep as always, but as she drifted into slumber she heard music, a hand held hers against a sturdy chest, and an arm wrapped around her waist, holding her close.
The music was different, she noted, as she sank into his presence, and they’d begun the dream together, no stepping apart.
His cheek slid across hers, and his lips by her ear whispered, “Dance with me, my love.”
She held him tighter, breathing in his scent, losing herself in his embrace. “Always,” she whispered in return.
She declined his office when she assumed his role of Supervisor.
Some things could never be the same without him.
But, in her dream, they would always dance.