When the psychic gripped her hand and told her about the theory of twin souls it felt like when all the pieces of a puzzle fit together after struggling over it for days. The way she explained it, a twin soul or twin flame as some called it, was when some souls were created they split and became two separate souls but continued to be connected in many ways as they incarnated into the corporeal world much like physical twins. Reincarnation was involved since these souls were on a long journey to get back to each other while at the same time striving for their own unique brand of perfection. Some lifetimes they were together, some apart, but always aware of each other in some part of their psyche.
Then the woman looked across the table still gripping her hand and said, “You have been aware of him most of your life, in dreams mostly. I also sense that you have always felt his absence in your life, a loneliness that sometimes overcomes you.” She let go of her hand and put a finger on her chest, “But he is in here, you feel it, always have, like one of your organs, like one of your bones. His essence flows through your body like blood in your veins.” She closed her eyes then. ” I can see him. He is lonely too.”
Memories skipped through her mind fast like a runaway train. All the times she had begged her mother to tell her the truth; that she had a twin that either died or was given away. She’d made her mother cry a few times over these accusations finally relenting with the questions not wanting to cause her mother any more pain and realizing she must be telling the truth – there was no twin. Then she read about people who had had surgery to remove a tumor and it was found to be a twin their body had absorbed in the womb. For years she thought maybe that was the answer but no tumor ever appeared and in time she gave up on this theory as well. And then there was that constant nagging feeling that she wasn’t complete that something, someone was missing. All the men she had tried to fit into the empty place in her soul, none of them supplying the completeness she was searching for.
Then there were the dreams.
They began when she was ten years old. A little boy would be with her, playing, running, always smiling at her. As she got older so did the boy. They would be together walking, holding hands, talking quietly about things she could never remember when she awoke. Then one night when she was around fourteen he kissed her. She awoke with a start still feeling his warm lips on hers in the dark of her room, his presence in the bed beside her. But when she turned on the light no one was there. She cried for an hour, the aching loneliness eating at her brain. When she fell back to sleep he was there in the dream again just holding her for the rest of the night.
For a while in her twenties she had tried to be rid of this phantom and dated a parade of men to try to fill the place of her dream partner, even married one of them, for a time. But soon it became clear to the man that his wife was looking elsewhere for companionship and he quietly divorced her. She was on her own again and the dreams returned with a vengeance as if they were trying to make up for the years she had pushed them away. They made her feel even more alone so another parade of men entered her life only to reinforce the feeling that something was missing.
Then in her late twenties she began having sex with her dream man. It was the best sex she’d ever had and goodness knows she’d certainly had enough sex to compare it to. He was gentle and creative and she always awoke feeling loved, satisfied, exhausted but still alone in a messy bed. This went on until her early thirties when she told the dream man she’d had enough. It was too lonely living with a phantom. She wanted real and went out to find a new man. This time it lasted a year longer than the last one. But this time he was the one that went looking elsewhere telling her in the end that she was “just not there” with him. She had to admit he was right. No one could compare with her phantom man. No one could make her feel the way he did. The dreams returned.
At thirty-three she went into therapy.
Her therapist told her that she was the man in her dreams. He made her keep a diary of all her dreams and to be as detailed as she could about their content. It was during this process that she began drawing pictures of her phantom. It was then that she realized how beautiful he was. She could describe his clothing – eccentric, the jewelry he wore – a lot, the tattoos he had – many, especially the one of a honey bee on his wrist. Then one night he had a guitar with him and played and sang for her. She hummed the song all the next day. After that she was serenaded often. Her therapist told her she should get a tape recorder and sing the songs into it. She wasn’t especially musical but she could sing well and so the recordings became an acappella rendering of the dream songs. Some of them were ballads, some were love songs and some were wild rock n roll that really didn’t translate well in acappella form. She sang them all exactly as she heard them in her sleep.
Her therapist was amazed at her artistry and her singing voice and suggested that maybe the dreams were telling her that she should pursue some kind of artistic endeavors; maybe her dreams were her way of accessing her hidden talents. So she began writing poetry and trying to turn them into songs. The words came easy but she could never put them to music. But every time she would finish a poem he always came to her in a dream and sang it to her. Her therapist said she was simply collaborating with herself. Many artists relied on their dreams for inspiration.
Then it happened; she saw him in a YouTube video singing and playing in a band. She almost fell off her chair. When she finally closed her gaping mouth and let her eyebrows relax she watched it a second time then added the channel to her library. Then she read the short description about the video.
“Los Angeles band brings grunge back with a vengeance and Vengeance is their name.”
There was only one video and it had been uploaded the day before but she continued to check it every day and within a week another video appeared. This time there was a close up of her dream man and she could see that her drawings had captured him exactly. But he was so far away from New York, so out of her reach.
Her next therapy session was very interesting.
After showing the videos to the therapist the room went quiet for about a minute then he recovered. “You must have seen the video at some time while looking around and the image attached itself to your memory. You needed a face to fill the place of the man in your dreams so…”
She interrupted him while pushing the phone into his view and pointing at the date of the upload.
Once again the room went silent. They stared at the walls behind each other for about five minutes when he looked at his watch and announced the session over for the day.
The next day she went to see the psychic.
When the woman finally let go of her hand signaling the end of the reading she pulled out her phone and showed the video to the psychic. The woman leaned forward, looked at the phone then up into the face of her client, eyes wide, “This is him; this is the man!”
“I know.” Then she opened her sketch book and showed the drawings. “I’ve been drawing him for months now.”
She told of the dreams of music and all the crazy assumptions the therapist had come up with which made the psychic laugh. “They think they have it all wrapped up in a nice neat package but what they don’t know is that we are not just bodies with brains. We are spirits, souls living in bodies for a time in order to experience the wonders of physical life.” She sat back in her chair, closed her eyes and continued, “You will meet him soon. He will come to you without you having to do anything but keep dreaming and drawing and singing his songs.” She opened her eyes. “He is dreaming of you too. When you are together in the dreams you are actually together in the spirit.”
The woman took her hand once more, “Go home and wait. It will not be long.”
She never returned to the therapist.
A few weeks went by as she continued doing what the psychic had advised her. The drawings now turned into paintings. They littered her small apartment, leaned up against the walls, tucked into her closet, shoved under the bed. She went through her days at work thinking about her next poem, writing little snippets on napkins or the palms of her hands until she could get to a piece of paper and do them proper justice. Then one night in a dream she found herself reading one of them to him. He smiled and started singing it to her as he picked out cords that complemented the words.
The Vengeance videos increased in number. It was comforting to be able to watch him on a screen, so much clearer than in a dream. But in order to feel him sleep was required and dreams were essential so she found she was sleeping much more. The dreams of him became so frequent that she hardly ever dreamed of anything else any more. The weekends were spent napping, painting and writing poetry. Sometimes she wondered if she were going crazy. Then she would visit the psychic and was reassured that the time was getting closer. He would come to her within the year. It was September; there wasn’t much time left. Hope became her constant companion.
There were now fifty Vengeance videos on YouTube and a Face Book page as well. His band had reached a following of over ten thousand and they announced that they had been invited to play at a New York City club for New Year’s Eve. She read the words over at least ten times before she could muster up the courage to believe them. The club was in her state. He was coming to her state! Then reality hit. New York was a big state and she was so far north from the big city that it might as well be in Europe especially on a waitress’s salary. There was no way she could go to his concert. Depression hit like a wrecking ball on her heart.
The next week she dragged herself to the psychic who was fast becoming her best friend.
“Oh honey, don’t worry. He will come to you, remember?”
“But how?” She was sobbing into her tea and her friend wrapped her arms around her, “I don’t know the how. I just know that you are not going to go to him. He is going to find you. Somehow, he is going to find you.”
She was invited to a New Year’s Eve party by one of the other waitresses and tried to decline but the girl was so sweet and so insistent that she finally relented. The party lasted all night and she got drunker than she had since she was a teenager. She slept nearly all of New Year’s Day dreaming that she was riding in a bus with her lover. She watched the road ahead as they traveled through towns and woods and past barren winter fields dusted with snow. When she finally woke up and realized it was a new year and her lover had not found her she sat down on her bed and cried for a half hour.
The darkness outside was interrupted by giant flakes of snow drifting past her window as she stood leaning her forehead on the icy glass watching them pile up on the sleeping lawn. She could feel her hope being buried under the feet of snow that was accumulating before her eyes. By the second day of the year three feet of snow had fallen and her world came to a standstill as the blizzard raged outside. Her boss called and said not to come in to work that the restaurant was closed until the plows got around to digging it out.
The day dragged on like a dull nightmare filled with fog and tombstones and crying wind. She spent most of the day in bed trying and failing to sleep. The next day her boss called and said if she could get out he would appreciate it if she would come to work since everyone else had called in. The poor man sounded desperate so since the landlord had plowed the driveway that morning, like a zombie she dressed and drove to work.
There were a few regulars scattered around the dining room when she arrived but it looked like it was going to be a slow and boring day. She took orders, made coffee and waited. The lunch rush consisted of two people who ordered sandwiches to go. The day dragged on snail-like until at five-thirty her boss told her she could go home. She was putting her coat on when the door opened and a group of guys blew in on the cold wind and seated themselves at the farthest table in the dining room. She took her coat back off, grabbed some menus and headed over to the table. As she distributed the menus one of the guys looked up at her and uttered something guttural like he was about to choke. She looked down at him and froze.
It was him!
They stared at each other for what seemed like hours but in reality was only a few seconds when one of the other guys blurted out, “Holy shit, man, that’s the girl you’ve been painting for the past two years!”
Her dream man stood up then and looked down into her eyes. She audibly gasped as he took her hand in his and answered his buddy, “Yes, it is.” She could feel him trembling as he pulled her to him in an embrace that took her breath away.
Just then she heard the door bang open and a familiar voice call out, “He’s here! He’s here right now – I had a vision!” The psychic ran to the only occupied table and slammed to a halt. “Oh!” she panted trying to catch her breath as she took in the scene before her. All eyes were on her now and she looked around at them. “Yup,” she wheezed, “That’s what I saw.”
He kissed her then and the laughter and cheers ringing through the restaurant began to fade into the ether like the dreams she never had to fall asleep again to experience.