” Kelby, ” my wife was whispering into the dark next to me, ” Kelby, are you awake?”
It was way past midnight, close to three in the morning. I was hoping if I just laid still and kept breathing slow she’d think I was asleep and I wouldn’t have to go through this with Francie again.
” Kelby.” she touched my shoulder and then took her hand away. ” Kelby can you hear me? I had that dream again and it’s freaking me out.”
Freaking her out? I thought. That’s a laugh. Nothing freaks Francie out. It’s not in her nature to freak out.
She used to asleep at horror movies. She’s always asking me how they end. It’s pretty annoying as you can imagine. She likes to hold the popcorn bucket so when she falls asleep the bucket usually slides off of her knees and if I don’t catch it, no popcorn.
It got to be a waste of money, she never saw the entire film and they don’t give away that popcorn as you know.
Francie powered on like it didn’t matter if I was awake or asleep or even in the room.
” It’s that dream where I think I’m dead and then I think I’m awake and bonus- I’m alive and someone, sometimes it’s you or Lily from down the street will tell me, ” But Francie, we buried you yesterday. Shouldn’t you be in your coffin?
And then I wake up and it goes around and around. It’s enough to make me crazy. ”
There’s this little catch in Francie’s voice and I feel like an award winning jerk. She’s scared and I’m pretending to sleep.
I turn over and she has her back to me.
” I’m sorry Francie. I’m sorry you’re having that crazy dream. But you’re awake and this is no dream and you’re going to be fine.”
Francie pulls the blanket over her shoulder and she says to me, ” I’m not dreaming. I know I’m not dreaming. I know I’m awake. And I know this Kelby. You’re not here. We buried you yesterday and you’re in your coffin.”