I only know what Tyler looks like because of pictures. But even before then, when I first had the dream, I knew the boy was someone related to Carter. The Cross brothers all look so alike. He stared at me in the dream, his dark eyes piercing me even from across the field of blues and whites.
I should have been scared because I knew I didn’t belong in this make-believe land conjured by my dream, but a soft smile lingered on his lips. Welcoming and endearing. He was kind. A kind soul among the flowers, although his words were anything but.
“She lied to you,” he said casually. Words that etched confusion onto my face, but sent a prick of fear to chill my blood like ice.
It’s only then that I heard my mother. I knew it was her instantly from her voice; we sounded so alike. A rustling noise came from somewhere on my right as she walked through the thick field. Her name begged to spill from my lips, rasping up from deep in my throat, but my voice was silent. And my body longed to move to her side, closer to where she was as she walked away slowly from me. But my limbs were still.
I was caught in place as they moved nearer one another, yet continued speaking to me, looking at me. As if they knew I was there even though I was held prisoner by whatever kept me immobile and quiet.
Tears leaked from the corners of my eyes and heated my skin as they rolled down my cheeks.
My father always spoke of my mother’s beauty, and I knew it to be true, but she was older in the dreams than I remembered her to be. Age was more than kind to her though.
I tried to call out to her again, ignoring the boy, the Cross brother who had long since passed.
“I never lied,” my mother spoke to me, but all I could feel was the way her words soothed my soul. It’s been so long since I heard her voice. Too long. My fingers itched to move, to reach out to her and feel her embrace once more. I needed to be held so badly and my breath halted, imagining that she would come to me since I couldn’t go to her, but she didn’t.
Her hazel eyes were drenched in sorrow as she whispered, “I never lied to her.” The biting wind carried her voice over the field.
As if her words were a cue, the sky darkened and dry lightning cracked it in two.
“Did you even love her?” the boy asked, looking up at her. “In all of this… did you even love her?” he asked my mother and the anger I felt was immediate, pushing the words up my throat although they still hung silent in the air. Of course she loved me. A mother always loves her children.
Even though the words had gone unvoiced, they both heard me and peered at me, judging my silent comment, but neither answered me. What I silently say to them changes each time the dream comes back, but the lack of an answer never does.
“Of course I did… I still do,” she said and my mother’s voice dragged with regret. “I died for her.” She spoke clearly although pain riddled her words, and Tyler’s expression only showed more agony as he shook his head.
With her head hung low, my mother pushed the hair from her face and delicately wiped the tears from under her eyes. The glossiness of her tears made her eyes more vivid and they called to me to ease her pain.
I’ve cried a thousand wretched screams, praying she could make out my words that I love her. That I miss her. But it doesn’t change what happens next.
With the dark gray sky opening up and hard hail raining down on us mercilessly, pieces of the vision fall like a painting soaked in water. The colors smear and run together before fading to a blank canvas, and I’m left with nothing. Nothing but the sound of them arguing over her hate versus her love and what all really mattered the night she died. And another night… the night she changed the course of fate. She screams out that she died for me. Her confession is filled with a note of anger that burns through my veins.
But the last thing I always hear before I wake screaming, is her muttering, “We do stupid things for the ones we love.”
No matter how many years pass, the nightmare never leaves me.
The first time it happened, I was in the cell. All those years ago when Carter, my love, first took me. But the visions have clung to me over the years, stained into my soul.
With my breath caught in my throat, my body paralyzed from the rush of fear forced into every inch of my body, I hear the voice, but I don’t obey.