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Jason A. Wise

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A Gentle Retreat
By Jason A. Wise
Sunday, September 05, 2010

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short story

I don't know if speaking to you again, after all this time, was such a good decision. I don't regret it, but I don't think it was very smart of me.

I'm having the dreams again. I was even asked if they were bad dreams. I said no. I said they were good dreams. Very, very good dreams. And therein lies the problem.

Imagine dreaming that you finally have in your possession the one thing you have always wanted. Perhaps it's the only thing you have ever wanted. Imagine a dream like this that is so utterly real and so vividly perfect that you accept it, completely. You believe it. You even become it.

Then imagine waking up.

There is a brief moment, between sleep and awake, when both worlds are real. My eyes begin to open as the dream gently retreats, and I can still smell your corn-silk hair and taste your mouth on mine like dew. I can still feel your soft fingertips tracing the hard line of my jaw and hear the small sigh of your breath as it falls around me. Sometimes I'll even reach out for you, blindly searching for the familiar warmth and weight of your body.

That is a cruelty unlike any other I have ever known. So far the goodness in my life has far outweighed the hurt, but I don't know if it can always be that way. Sometimes I think that it's my turn to hurt. As though the fierceness of my love and the wonder of having you must be balanced with darker, harsher things. All life, it seems, is a balance of opposites.

I have come to the conclusion that I would like to have all of you, or none of you. But sadly, the decision isn't mine to make.

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