When she awoke that morning, she gazed at the disheartening reflection that was staring back at her in the mirror. A quick and hurried glimpse in the mirror was nothing new, she had done so on most mornings before. But, what was unlike any other morning, was that she had noticed how the circles around her eyes had become darker, and how the furrowed lines on her face had become clearer. It was almost as though the grey in her hair had streaked through undetected and appeared overnight, somewhere in between dusk and dawn. She noticed how the frown lines on her forehead were suddenly so deeply ingrained, and how the trenches around her mouth were unexpectedly, yet equally visible. As she stood scrutinizing each line, each furrow and each grey hair, she realized that she was no longer sleeping securely in The Dream-Maker’s arms, and that she was no longer awake in someone else’s dream. He had changed her dreams, and he had taken her to places where her fears were waiting to meet her.
Each night and without fail, his shadow of dreams would fall upon her as she lay asleep on her big, empty bed. As soon as she had closed her eyes, he would take her hand and cross the highways of fantasies and fancies with her, where he would carry her off to a magical world of wonder and enchantment. He would fly her high above the clouds and through the starry skies, where they could almost touch the moon. He would steadily hold her hand as they stepped through the passages of time, and crossed all borders of universes and dimensions, just to take her to a magnificent, fairy tale-like world she could never dream up on her own. There, where no-one else was looking, and no-one else lived, she would find him, the one she had been dreaming of, for her entire life. His eyes would be filled with all the love he had for her, and his arms would safely fold around her. He would hold her snugly, almost as though he was reassuring her that he would never leave her. He would press her against him, as if he was promising her heart that his would dream of hers, each night of his life. They would sit side-by-side, and hand-in-hand. When the dream-angels would begin to play their harps, he would take her hand, and they would dance upon each star as she contentedly stroked his hair and inhaled the smell of his cologne, afraid that she might have forgotten it all by the time The Dream-Maker came around and picked her up to carry her back home again.
As she stood staring at the reflection of herself in the mirror, she could barely remember how long it had been since he had sent her that picture-perfect and flawless dream. A dream he had introduced her to, but one she was not yet quite ready to leave. As she staggers from her bed after a tormented night of nightmares morning after morning, she is again reminded of the harsh reality that she was never really equipped to leave her world of make-believe behind. The Dream-Maker had heartlessly changed her dream, and he had left her cruelly threatened by new scenes and new acts that she was never prepared for.
As much as she clings to how things used to be, she is devastated by the fact that she was slowly disappearing from a life he had once carelessly created for her soul to love in. He had turned all that had once made it a welcomed escape for her nights, into a nightmare that he would carelessly drop her off in, whenever she closed her eyes. She had begun losing the memory of him, and she no longer dreamed of being taken back into a world she so desperately wanted to belong in. She lays awake for as long as she can at night, too afraid to fall asleep. She has become deathly terrified of the sound her soul makes when it cries.
The Dream-Maker had exposed her to a dream of untainted and devoted love. He never warned her that it would someday end, before he had transported her right into dreams of an immortal kind of love, where he taught her about an endless flame that burns between two souls only. He assured her of an eternity of bliss she could feel from the innermost core of her. He presented her with glimpses into a life she could slip out to whenever she closed her eyes. He took her into a dream with someone her soul had recognized and deeply needed, yet, he had ripped it away from her without a moment’s consideration. He never once cautioned her that it could alter, and he never once told her how he could maliciously tip the scales in favor of a heartbreak.
Yet, there she stood reflecting on a dream that had ended, while she struggled to embrace the nightmares that had taken its place. Her love was gone. He had disappeared from her nights, and he had vanished from her mornings. The Dream-Maker had rewritten it all, and in the process, he had broken her heart and he had stolen her flame from her. He had carelessly brought those lines to her face, and he had mercilessly plastered those circles around her eyes.
She can no longer find him in the serenity of sleep, and she no longer hopes to find him when she awakes. He changed the design he had once allowed her to live in, and he had left her right in the center of the chaotic nightmares he had condemned her into. Almost as though he was punishing her; as though he was trying to play her heart and mind against one another. Almost as though he had made an enormous mistake when he had chosen her destination all those nights ago. He would not admit to it, but she was sure that he was desperate to cover it all up. It was almost as if he was frantic to set things right, by sending her into nightmares that had begun to slaughter her heart and slay her soul.
She no longer looks forward to closing her eyes at night. She no longer wants to take The Dream-Maker’s hand as he reaches for her night after night. He was never who he claimed to be, and her last stop before morning is no longer all he had once promised her it would be. He had lied to her and he had recklessly deceived her. She was no longer brave enough to follow him into her nightmares. She no longer wanted to fear closing her eyes, and she no longer wanted to fear opening them when the sun peers through and wakes her in her mornings.
She scowled once more at her reflection in the mirror, before she softly whispered to The Dream-Maker,
“If there could never be another dream for us, and if nightmares are all I am ever left with, then please do not let your shadow of dreams fall upon me as I lay asleep on my bed. Leave me to linger in my nothingness.”