What Once Was Lost: Life, and the World, Changes


          Craig and I never made it to any of our classes that day he told me about Jim and Matt going to the Philippines.  As soon as he’d told me, I went over there and sat with him.  He didn’t say much, and neither did I.  We sat on his bed and watched the snow fall; Craig fell asleep leaning against me.  After a long time, I just closed my eyes.  Everything was just so weird right now.
          I opened my eyes to someone shaking me.  It was Craig’s face, but I knew it wasn’t him.  I was back in the time of my dreams, and it was Craig’Ian of Malcolm standing over me, looking worn and tired, but happy.  I’d been curled on my side under a quilt on a hard and narrow bed.  I sat up slowly and looked at Craig’Ian.  For some reason, my throat was tight.  He smiled at me weakly and hugged me tightly.  “I missed you so much,” he whispered into my hair.  He kissed my temple.
          I slid my arms around him, wondering what was wrong.  I knew he was crying, but not why.  I fought to remember everything I’d done in these dreams, frustrated by my inability to understand what was going on around me.  Something had changed in the context of these dreams, something that had caused me to be unable to remember what had come before, unable to remember what happened in dream place and time while I was not in a dream – I used to be able to recall things that I did not exactly live.
          He released me after a long time and held me at arms’ length, taking in my dry cheeks and my slightly perplexed expression.  He smiled sadly.  “You’ve been gone for too long.”
          My brow furrowed.  “Gone too long?”
          He kissed me again.  His smile was still so sad, it was almost painful.  What was wrong?  “I’m sorry I woke you.  You can go back to sleep, Shai.  I’ll be here.”
          I sat back down on the bed, staring at him for a long moment before laying down and closing my eyes.  A lump built in my chest.  What’s wrong with me?  I wondered as I drifted back to sleep.
          I opened my eyes to see the snow swirl down on the sidewalks and buildings of Grand Valley.  Craig was still asleep.  I set my jaw.  Something wasn’t right in my life right now.  Something wasn’t right, and I didn’t know what it was.


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