"I won't be too late," she told me, as I lay in my sickbed, already in the narcotic delirium of my painkillers. I mumbled my goodbyes and returned to my restless slumber, waking twice or thrice and vaguelly wondering what was keeping my sweetie.
I awoke at around 7:00 to an empty bed.
"Tha hell...?" I sat up and ignored my aching head and arid mouth. Listened for a moment - only the cats, prowling outside our door in their morning's expectation of food - and rolled to my feet. Maybe she's at the computer.
I opened the door and stepped into our vestibule. All was silent but for the mewling of the cats at my feet.
There was no answer. I strode through the apartment to my office. The computer was untouched, Laura's clothes were nowhere to be seen.
I picked up the telephone. A steady dial-tone indicated she had not called. Worry warred with jealousy as I dialed the voicemail, just in case.
At that moment, I heard a key turn in the lock of our front door. I slammed the phone into the charger, heart suddenly pounding inside me as if it were struggling to escape the confines of my chest.
I started for the door and reached it as it swung open and Laura crossed our threshold.
She looked scared when she saw my face. She looked guilty.
"Where the fuck have you been?"
"I was -"
But I was in a fury. I had no interest in her excuses or lies. I grabbed her by the arms and shook her. Her head clunked against the door and I raised my hand and slapped her across the face.
Her eyes teared and she pushed me away from her. I stumbled through the open bathroom door facing the entrance of our apartment and landed on my ass.
"How dare you!" Laura snarled. She kicked at my leg and just missed a solid blow to my shin. "How fucking dare you?"
"What?" I shouted, still in high dudgeon, despite my position on the steps into the bathroom. "Where the hell were you?"
"I was at SCK's!" she shouted. "Where did you think I was?"
"And what were you doing there until 7:00 in the morning?"
She snarled, "We were playing video games!"
"Oh god," I said, "Laura, I'm so sorry ..."
"Fuck you and your jealousy," she said with a brutal chill. She turned towards the front door. "I'm going out," she said. "I'll come to pick up my things on Monday, when you're at work."
And she was gone, out of my apartment and out of my life, forever.
And then, thank god, I woke up. It was still dark, not yet two in the morning. I lay back for a long while, forcing my heart to slow, telling myself over and over and over, "It was only a dream, it was only a dream ..."
I've long thought I am a poor candidate for dream analysis. My dreams tend to be either non-sensical adventures, straightforward eroticism, occsionally humour or - very occsionally, as in this one - cautionary tales.
It certainly doesn't require Sigmund Freud to tell me this dream was a warning dished up by my subconscious with a very clear message: Don't let your jealousy get the better of you. Laura loves you, now just fucking relax for chrissake.
I got out of bed and had a cigarette to calm my jitters and when, not very much later, Laura did turn the lock, I greeted her with open arms and smothered her with grateful kisses.
Okay, okay: this actually happened a week ago Friday; I was remiss in posting about it.