Dream A Little Dream….
Allen had had recurring dreams before. He had read about them and decided to keep a dream diary after the second one. In all the dreams, they had become more vivid and intense until suddenly the dream seemed to become reality and he took action on it.
His first dream occurred when he was 16. He started dreaming about his aunt Rose being killed in a car wreck. Each night, the dream got more intense, with more detail in the dream, until the seventh day when the dream included an image of a bank sign showing the temperature, time and date. He woke up realizing that the date and time showed were for that morning, Saturday, February 4, at 10:03 a.m. The dream had also shown that his aunt was coming back from the baker with a chocolate cake. He dressed and frantically drove to the bakery shop, bought a chocolate cake and hurried to his aunt’s house. He got there just as she was coming out the door, headed to her car. He pulled up, honked, then got out of the car. She looked surprised and said, “Allen, what a pleasant surprise! What brings you by this morning?”
He said, “You’ll never believe this, but I suddenly had an urge to have some chocolate cake. And who better to share it with than my favorite aunt?” He produced the cake with a flourish and her jaw dropped.
She said, “You’ll never believe this, but I was just on my way to the bakery to buy a chocolate cake. That’s the weirdest thing ever. Well, let’s not stand around talking while there is cake to be eaten!”
He saved her life that day.
The second dream happened three years later. He began dreaming about a kitten trapped in a drain. The dream grew more and more intense until it finally revealed that the grate was in the parking lot of the grocery store three blocks away. He started going to the store every day and checking the grate, and three days after the last dream, he found a small black kitten that had fallen in. He rescued her and named her Shadow.
The third dream was two years after that. By then, he was keeping the dream diary and started noting the details when he woke up. When the third dream started, it was easy to recognize the signs of a recurring dream and he began to pay closer attention. This one was about buying stocks and on the fourth night, he was able to make out the names of the stocks. He researched them, then opened an investment account and bought mutual funds that included the stocks. However, the dream persisted, so on the sixth day, he opened a day trade account and bought the stocks directly.
That particular dream faded, but flared up again from time to time, showing him buying or selling stocks. Although Allen wondered why he was having the dreams, he always followed them and as a result, he had made quite a sizeable amount of money and had been able to buy a house for cash.
Then the fourth dream started. It took place in his living room. There was a woman sitting on the couch near him. Shadow had climbed into the woman’s lap and was purring up a storm as the woman petted her. However, he couldn’t make out details of her face, nor could he make out the conversation that they were having. Each successive night, the details became clearer, but on the fourth night, the dream shifted. The woman was still in the dream, but the location had changed to a bookstore. She was working behind the counter but came out onto the floor when he entered the store. Again, he couldn’t make out details of her face and details of the store were murky, but became clearer as the dream recurred. But the dream shifted again, and this time, they were sitting in the front seat of his car, and she was crying. He sensed that he was not responsible for her tears but couldn’t make out exactly why she was so upset. He simply held her and rocked her gently. And again, frustratingly, the dream became a little clearer on successive nights, then shifted again.
This was his longest recurring dream, having continued for nearly two weeks. The last shift was him driving in his car down the major road near his house, then turning into a shopping center and seeing the sign above the bookstore. He couldn’t read the name, but he was familiar with the center. That morning, he left the house and drove to it. However, the space where the bookstore was in his dream was vacant.
The dream subsided but flared up a couple of times more, like his stock dreams did. About six months later, he drove past the center and saw that the space was being renovated. Turning in, he saw a sign that said “Future Home of The Book Nook”. He looked at it for a while, then continued on his way.
A week later, he got a consulting offer that required him to go to Las Vegas for two months. He made arrangements for a maid service for the house once a week to do general cleaning and also make sure the cat’s automatic feeder was filled, her water bowls topped off and her box cleaned, then packed his bags and left.
On his last night in Las Vegas, he had the dream of the woman sitting on his couch again. This time, he could make out her features and could see that she had shoulder length brown hair and was wearing black slacks and a blue blouse. The dream shifted to the store, and he could see her coming out from behind the counter wearing those same clothes. The dream shifted to her sitting in his car crying and this time, he could make out the name Diane in the conversation.
He woke up, packed and caught the flight back to Houston. When he got home, Shadow fussed at him for being gone so long and not being there to spoil her in the way she had become accustomed. He unpacked, then got a glass of ice water from the kitchen and sat down on the couch in the spot that gave him the same point of view as his dream. He stared at the empty couch for a while, then turned on the TV, watched a few shows, then went to bed.
His dream that night was him driving and turning into the shopping center. This time, he could read the sign: The Book Nook. He woke up the next morning, went through his daily routine, then got dressed and got in the car. He sat behind the wheel for a moment and felt very nervous, but then took a deep breath, started the car and drove out.
When he reached the shopping center, he turned in and there it was. The Book Nook, open for business. He parked, took a deep breath, then got out of the car and walked in. As he walked through the door, the clerk behind the counter turned to greet him and got as far as “Welcome to the….”. She was a lovely, brown-haired woman wearing black slacks and a blue blouse. They looked at each other for a second, then she came out from the counter and walked up to him as he walked toward the counter. The name tag on her blouse read Diane Shaw. They stopped and stared into each other’s eyes for a moment. She took a deep breath and said, “I have to ask you two very important questions.”
He nodded and said, “You can ask me anything.”
“Is your name Allen and do you own a black cat?”
He nodded. “Yes, I do. And I think she would love to meet you.”
Her eyes widened. “Oh, my God, how can this be? I’ve been dreaming of you and her for weeks.”
He smiled. “I’ve been dreaming of you for longer than that. I live about five minutes away from here. May I take you to lunch and introduce you to Shadow?”
She nodded. “Give me just a few minutes.” She turned and hurried to the back, emerging a few minutes later with her jacket and purse. As they walked out to his car, he said, “I know your name, but I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Allen Halliday.”
“I’m both pleased and nervous to meet you, Allen Halliday.”
“Same here, Diane Shaw. I think we have a lot to talk about.”
Ten minutes later, she was sitting on the couch. Shadow had made immediate friends with her and was curled in her lap, purring. They were sharing their stories of growing up with recurring dreams and being completely astounded that someone else had them as well. Their relationship began that day.
Allen came for her on that day six months later when she called him after a driver texting ran a red light and hit her car. He arranged for the wrecker, and when she finished giving her statement to the police, they got in his car, and she broke down crying from the fright and shock. He held her as she did, rocking gently. She stopped crying after a moment, hugged him, then dug out a Kleenex and wiped her eyes.
“We’ve been here before, haven’t we?”
“Diane, we surely have. It’s the last part of my dream and I could never figure out how it fit in with the first part. Now I know.”
“This is still so weird. We’ve talked it to death and we still don’t know why it happened this way, with the dreams and all.”
He was looking out the windshield as she spoke, and he smiled. “I think I have an idea. And I’m going to act on it.” He got out of the car, walked around and opened her door for her. She got out with a quizzical look on her face.
“What are you up to, Allen?”
“Well, this may be the craziest time and place, but I think this happened for a reason. So….” He took her hand and went down on one knee. “Diane Shaw, will you marry me? Will you let me spend the rest of my life trying to make your dreams come true?”
She gasped. “Oh, my God. I…I…oh, yes, I will marry you! Yes!!” He stood up and they kissed.
“What made you think to propose right now?”, she gasped.
He took her shoulders and gently turned her around. They were in front of a jewelry store. “I saw this and it all made some kind of far-out, wacky sense. Let’s go get you a ring, right now.” They headed into the store and an hour later, they had picked out rings and she was wearing a tasteful diamond engagement ring.
When they got back home, they planned the wedding and starting inviting their friends. When the wedding day rolled around, it was a small ceremony performed by the JP. Shadow did her duty as the ring bearer – they attached the rings to her collar and when the JP asked for the rings, Allen called her. Shadow came up to them, rubbed on them and then sat down as if she knew exactly what her role was. They took the rings off her collar and finished the ceremony. At the dinner afterwards, Allen stood and proposed a toast to Diane.
“To my lovely bride. She truly is the girl of my dreams.”