I walk down the streets of the small rural town I grew up in.
It has the same kind of small town feel that it had when I was growing up. It is early fall, a chill in the air, bright warm sun, and the slight scent of burning leaves are in the air.
As I walk down the street, I run into a man. We know each other.
We are surprised to see each other here.
I am living back in my hometown. He is visiting from another place. We had a relationship at some point and split up. We haven’t seen each other in years.
We talk for a few minutes, the kind of things two people who haven't seen each other in a long time might say to each other.
He is a rather odd man, sort of a combination of all the men I have ever been in a relationship with.
I ask if he still lives out west.
“Yes,” he says.
“Maybe I can come by for a visit sometime,” I say. “How long does it take to get there?”
“Oh … a long time,” he replies.
"How long will you be in town?" I ask.
"Just a few days.”
"I'd like to see you again," I say.
"Yeah," he said, "I'd like to see you."
We walk our separate ways.
I feel funny -- a kind of chill you get from this kind of unexpected encounter and, at the same time, an immense sadness.
I think about how much I miss him.
I am hiking in the woods with the man, the fallen leaves crunching under our feet as we walk.
About halfway up a mountain, we come upon a large field of wheat. I look down and see a beautiful valley below us.
"Why did we ever split up?" I ask.
We stop walking. He thinks for a moment, sadness in his eyes.
"Things don't work out sometimes,” he says.
We both stand there for a moment, a little awkward, not looking at each other. A slight breeze stirs up the leaves; I look at the clear, blue sky and feel the chill in the air.
"I miss you, you know," I say.
"I miss you, too," he says, reaching out his hand and putting it around my shoulder.
I place my hand on his back and snuggle up to him. We start walking again.
I am sitting at a desk in my house in the mountains. It is evening. There is a small fire in the fireplace.
I am sorting through some papers, throwing some of them away and shredding others.
A cute little kitten is on the floor, playing with some of the shredded papers.
I think about him again.
I wish he was here.
Then I woke up.