A dream is just a dream unless you are Esme Quatermain Brady than a dream is not a dream. A dream becomes the future. Esme knew she had what her grandmother, Misty, used to call “the gift” since she was a little girl. She didn’t want the gift at times. She didn’t want the gift when she had a dream that her grandmother, Misty, was calling her and she couldn’t find her. She could hear her grandmother’s voice and see her hands reaching out to her but she couldn’t see her face or the rest of her body. She tried and tried to see her grandmother’s face but all she could see was a shadow of a face. The blurry shadow got smaller and smaller as she tried to get closer and closer to the image of her grandmother. She screamed for her grandmother to come closer and to answer her but she didn’t. She just kept holding out her hands, reaching and reaching for her in the darkness. Esme woke up from that dream six years ago in a cold sweat. She ran to call her grandmother but the phone rang before she could pick it up and dial. The voice on the other end told her the horrible news. It was her mom and her mom said just four words. “Your grandmother passed away.”
Esme didn’t want the gift after that. She tried for weeks not to dream about anything. She just wanted normal dreams. Dreams that didn’t come true. She wanted to just dream about walking on the beach holding hands with her mom and fishing with her dad and nothing happened when she woke up. It would be just a lovely dream like other people. She didn’t have any premonition dreams for about a year. Then she had another one.
Esme went to bed early that cold night in December. It was ten days before Christmas and she had just finished putting up her Christmas tree and was tired. She drank a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and tiny marshmallows the way she liked it. She grabbed her cat, Mr. Peepers, and headed to bed. She didn’t know how long she was asleep but the dream came to her. Her sister was lying on the floor in her bedroom. Her sister was not moving but she was breathing and was holding her shirt in one hand and her sock in the other. She tried to lift her head but she couldn’t. Her head was too heavy to move. Her body couldn’t move either. It felt like lead even though her fingers were heavy. She tried to call out for help but her voice was not there. She opened her mouth but no words came out. She tried to crawl towards the door but it was no use. Her body couldn’t move. Someone was knocking on the door. She tried to scream, “I need help. Please come in, Please come in and find me. Please. I’m right here. I’m here.” The knock stopped and the footsteps went away from the door. The person who was there was gone.
Esme opened her eyes and knew something was wrong. She doesn’t even remember her feet touching the floor. She was at her sister’s house and opening her door with the spare key. Her sister was on the floor. Her worst nightmare had come true. She had a massive stroke. Her sister survived and according to the doctor if Esme hadn’t found her when she did the outcome would not have been so good.
That was one time Esme was glad that she had the gift. Her dreams weren’t always a warning of something bad. She once dreamt that her cousin in Hawaii had a baby boy and she named the baby after her father. Once her cousin told her the baby’s name Esme just smiled and even became the baby’s Godmother.
Then it happened. Esme had never had a dream about herself and her own future. Until one day after her 30th birthday. It was exactly one day later. Esme wasn’t even finished cleaning the confetti out of the rug from the party from the night before when she suddenly felt like she needed a nap. “Turning 30 is rough.” She told her cat before they both lied down on the couch. Esme started to dream this dream right away. It felt like the minute she closed her eyes the dream came to her.
Esme was walking in the park. The colors of the leaves were changing and the ground was covered with red, green and purple leaves. Esme stepped on them wishing that she could rake them in a pile and jump into them like she did when she was a little girl. She walked past all the coffee shops and retail stores looking in the windows and inhaling the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee. She was happy and felt carefree on this day. She passed by the park. Sitting on the park bench was a man. He was slightly older than her by a couple of years. The man was wearing a dark overcoat and a plaid baseball style cap. His shoes were shiny and brown with black shoelaces. He was reading a newspaper. Esme found that strange because people didn’t usually read the newspapers anymore. She didn’t even know where to get a newspaper anymore. But, the man was perfectly content in reading his paper while a cup of some hot liquid beside him cooled. He looked up from the paper once only to wave at a man passing by the park bench. Esme was drawn to the man. She walked near the bench he was sitting on and kept walking. She walked near the swings and made a full circle back to the man on the bench. The man never even acted like he noticed her. She thought it was weird but since she wasn’t exactly the most noticeable person on earth she let it go and kept walking.
Esme woke up and thought nothing of it. “For once, Mr. Peepers, I had a nice dream.” She told her cat as they both headed to the kitchen. She opened a can of cat food for the cat and she poured herself a cup of tea. She turned on her laptop and read the daily news and got dressed for her lunch date with her best friend, Avery.
“Avery, what’s been going on?” She asked her friend when she met her at the coffee shop near her house.
“Nothing just working and working.” Avery responded.
“Same here. How’s Jasper?”
“Esme, didn’t I tell you that Jasper and I broke up last week. He just wasn’t the one.” Avery laughed.
“Sorry to hear that.”
“By the way have you had any dreams of me perhaps of me finding Mr. Right this time? You know I am getting old and would like to have a baby before my eggs are too old.” Avery laughed as she said it.
“No, no dreams about you lately. When I have that one I will tell you who your Mister Right is. But, I did have a crazy dream about me.” Esme said
“About you? You never dream about yourself. What was it about?” Avery asked.
“I was walking down the street just minding my business and I was totally happy. I didn’t have a care in the world. Which you know had to be a dream. I walked by the park. I think it was the park over there on 8th Street, the one with the red and white benches and the swings a few feet from them. Well, I noticed this guy sitting there reading a paper and I tried to get him to notice me but he never looked up from his paper. Crazy huh?” Esme asked.
“Yeah, that is a little bit of a crazy dream. But, it could happen.”
“Avery, please. Of all the dreams I have ever had this is probably the one dream that won’t come true. Please.” Esme laughed at the thought.
“All I am saying is that you never know, Esme, you never know.”
“Well, I gotta go. I told Mr. Peepers, I would be back in time for his dinner.”
“Well, Esme, maybe one day you will be making dinner for more than just a cat. Hey, you might want to swing by the park on your way home. It’s a nice day for a long walk don’t you think?”
“Avery, girl, please. Just to show you that the dream was just a dream I am going to go by that park and see absolutely nothing. I will call you later.” Esme waved goodbye to her friend and off she went.
“Go by the park,'' she says. The dream might be true. She says. Avery is crazy.” Esme said aloud to the wind.
Esme walked in the direction of the park on whim. She knew that she wouldn’t see anything but kids playing and parents chatting on the benches while the kids play on the swings and in the dirty sand. She was almost there when saw an old friend from high school. Brooklyn Benard, the most popular, stuck up, rich, sense of entitlement girl she had ever known. She really didn’t have much to say to her in school. She had heard that Brooklyn had gotten married and divorced and married again. She didn't’ have any kids but had a horse ranch in the country near her summer home. Brooklyn waved to Esme. Esme waved back and smiled and kept walking. She really didn’t want to hear about how great Brooklyn’s life was or about her divorces and her house in the country or the city. She started walking faster.
There was the park. Esme walked briskly in that direction. She passed the swings and the grass that two dogs were playing fetch with their owners and that is when she noticed him. The guy from her dream was sitting on the park bench. He had on a brown overcoat and a baseball cap. Almost like in her dream. His shoes looked new and shiny with mismatched laces. Esme couldn’t help herself and came closer to see if he had a newspaper with him. She saw a briefcase and a folder beside him and on the other side of him a hot cup of coffee. But, no newspaper. She breathed a sigh of relief and kept walking. She turned around after she heard him say, “Hey Miss.”
Esme turned around and looked at him. She didn’t respond. But, he was very handsome. His dark brown eyes were tantalizing.
“Miss, can you tell me where 67th street is? I am new here and I think I am lost. I am supposed to be there in ten minutes for a job interview. I moved here last month.”
Usually Esme didn’t talk to strangers on park benches but this time she felt like she needed to talk to this guy. She did. They talked and she actually walked with him to his job interview.
Nine months later Esme was engaged to the guy she met sitting on the park bench like in her dream. Esme now didn’t mind her dreams into the future. Like her grandmother told her when she was a little girl she had the gift. She looked up to the heavens and blew her grandmother a kiss. She knew that even though she had the gift her angel helped her out this time.
“What are you thinking about?” Kyle asked.
“Just about you and the angel that brought us together.” Esme said grabbing her finances hand as they walked through the park.