Bring Me Back

“Bring me back,” he cried in his sleep. “Bring me back.”

“Floyd, wake up,” said his groggy wife. “You’re talking in your sleep.”

“Oh. What? Yeah,” Floyd said, as he responded to her entreaty and woke up. “Wow, that was so real.”

“No, it wasn’t,” she said. “I saw. You were right here all along.”

“You know what I mean, Jen. I was walking down the street in some city —”

“Sounds dark.”

“No, it was a bright sunny day. And this guy comes up, grabs my arm, and says, ‘Come with me,’ and I says, ‘I don’t want to come with you, I got things to do,’ and he just hangs on and says, ‘Come with me.’”

“Where’d he take you?”

“Next thing I’m in a boat on some wild rapids, and the boat is going up and down, and I started yelling, ‘Bring me back,’ and then I woke up.”

They lay in the dark for a minute.

“That’s it?” Jen asked.

“What do you mean?”

“You were yelling like you’d had some terrible vision and had to get home to save your sanity.”

“Well, it was kind of scary, but nope, that’s it. Walking down the street, strange guy, wild rapids on a crazy river.”

“I thought you were going to tell me something like the strange guy introduced you to some mysterious organization that set you up to go on a mission only you could do, like rescue your long lost twin brother from a foreign prison, and you had to break into the prison and sneak around trying to avoid detection until you could nab him from his cell — or maybe you plucked him from the yard during recess — and then the two of you fooled the guards into thinking he was you and you were him, but you got captured, and the strange guy who grabbed you off the street was disguised as a guard and rescued you, and when he asked you if you wanted to work for him full-time, you said, ‘No, bring me back, bring me back.’”

Floyd turned to his wife in the dark and slipped on hand under her and folded the other hand around her. They hugged for a moment and then unclenched.

“That would have been awesome, but that’s your dream,” he said. “I guess your dreams are more fun than mine.”

They lay in the dark a few more minutes.

“I wonder who the guy represents,” Jen said.

“Just some guy.”

“Why did he throw you in the river?”

“I don’t know how I got in the river,” he said. “Maybe I escaped him and jumped in a boat.”

“That’s the thing about dreams,” she said. “They don’t make sense.”

“Oh, someone would try to analyze it for me.”

“That’s all horse dookey,” she said.

Floyd pondered that for a while.

“You’re probably right,” he said, leaned over and pecked Jen on the cheek. “I’m sorry to wake you.”

They said their good nights and went back to sleep.

The autopsy showed that Floyd drowned. Jen was cleared of wrongdoing. The mystery was never solved, and she always wished he had dreamed her dream.

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