Eating Before Bed Brings Nightmares

I had a dream last night that I was Juliet. Romeo and I were escaping Verona together. We left underwater, beneath an upturned canoe. I swore I would walk to China if it meant being together with him, safe. In the end, we didn’t go to the Yanshan Range, but the Olympic Mountains.

We spent the night under the clear, cold stars, holding one another. I’ve never been so happy. But morning came, and my brothers came to kill us both for our disobedience. We tried to flee. We couldn’t outrun them. (Two strange details: we couldn’t find my horse’s saddle, and there were two jeeps. Why the cars?)

I had a flashforward to myself, an old woman, weeping in the rain, at the convent they put me in. I am beautiful still, but everyone whispers that I’m crazy. I’d rather have them think that then explain the rupture in my heart. I see this all in the seconds before my brothers close in and grab me. I scream, “How dare you kill me, your father’s daughter?”

The absolute grief as they take me away from Romeo is total and complete. This is what loss is. It is a cold morning in late fall. The sunlight on the frosted grass will break your heart. Kill me now, before he goes.

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