I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. I had no idea what time of night it was but I remember the first thing I felt was his breath on my hair. It was warm and soft. He never snored. I knew that because I was very sensitive to sounds and I would have woken up if he was. When I felt his breathing I was relieved, because I wasn’t in the world of the nightmare anymore but on the real one, the one that recently had been very nice to me in many aspects.
Some people say that if you are successful or happy is because you deserve it or because you have worked hard for it. I think it’s a combination of the two., mainly because I don’t believe in the concept of fighting for everything in life. People who believe that are the type of people that are very competitive and that don’t stop at nothing to get what they want, they believe everything in life is a competition and that’s simply not the way it is or at least not my life.
Anyhow, I was glad right then that I didn’t woke him up, because I knew he had problems sleeping and didn’t wanted to be the one to disrupt his night. I decided to try and close my eyes again and slip away into a deep slumber, hopefully without dreams. But, again, I fell right into a nightmare, a horrible world filled with the worst creatures I have ever seen, with all my fears parading around, rubbing past mistakes or their simple existence in my face. I had to wake up once again, this time really drenched in sweat.
Thankfully, he had moved a bit away from me so I just separated my body from his slowly and went to the bathroom, to wash my face with cold water and try to relax a bit. I tried sitting on the toilet, pissing, even going to the kitchen and grab a bite. I also did some simple exercises in the living room and saw possibly five minutes of a TV show I didn’t even like. When I was back into bed, he woke up and asked me, between asleep and angry, where I had been?
I kissed him in the lips, which made us both very happy and laid there with him. He fell asleep very fast and I stayed up for a long while, in fact not sleeping again for the rest of the morning. At that moment I did check my cellphone and saw it was five in the morning. We had to wake up in three hours and I couldn’t do one more of sleeping. I just used that time to think about it all, checking in my mind if everything was ready and found myself shaking a bit and my stomach growling.
I grabbed his hand, which he had put over my chest, and squeezed it softly. He tightened his grip on me and I liked that. I felt safe and I guess that’s what I needed to feel. If the alarm hadn’t gone off in that moment, I think I would’ve slept a bit. But I didn’t.
The first thing he did when he woke up was kissing me, and then we showered together, hugging a lot and almost dancing beneath the water, When we were finished, we dressed up in silence and went to the kitchen to have breakfast. We both had cereal and talked a bit over it. He noticed I hadn’t sleep and I had to convince him I was ok, only a bit anxious about our day and that he shouldn’t worry. It was clear he was already worried but he didn’t go on with the subject, he just said he had to be at his sister’s in an hour.
When he left, I cleaned up the place, changing the sheets of the bed to new ones I had bought secretly. I also pulled out some scented candles from a shopping bag I’d hidden beneath the sink, as well as other products that we would use for other purposes. When it was all ready I grabbed my kiss, gave the place one last look and went out the door. I had no car so I decided to walk to my mother’s house, which was an hour away by walking but I had the time.
He had left before me because he said his sister could handle everything and that we shouldn’t do anything else than just show up at the right time. He was going to her place because that was the closest relative he had alive. His parents had died several years ago and since then his sister had been everything. She was a very organized person and had proposed to help us because she knew that the event needed a woman’s touch to be just perfect.
As I walked to my former home, I thought about it all. I was nervous, obviously, but I knew the nightmares had been produced by something else. It wasn’t fear that had put them in my mind; it was something else that I didn’t quite understand. I mean, as everyone in the world, I have secrets and thing I wouldn’t like every single person to know, but that had never given me nightmares so what was this all about?
I used my walk home to think about everything that would happen that day and I realized I was entitled to feel worried and maybe being a little bit scared. Marriage was not someone that I did everyday and it had been a question of “When?” for a long time and that time had finally come. I was sure about my affirmative response to it because I loved him dearly, beyond anything I had ever dreamed of. He was my prince charming and my bad boy, all in one. How corny does that sound?
Thinking about him made me smile and many people on the street smiled me back. I didn’t noticed for a while but when I did I just laughed and thought that being in love was not as people described it but that it was good if you were ready for the long haul.
In my mom’s house, my parents were dressing up, as well as my sister and her husband who had just arrived from abroad with their baby. She would have loved to have him carry the rings but he was still too young for that. Instead, my future husband’s youngest cousin was up for the job. She was a very nice girl and a bit mad for a seven year old, so she was right up our alley. I also changed in a matter of minutes and decided to just wait in the living room for everyone to be ready.
I dozed off and entered, once again, the dark territory of my nightmares. I recognized the feeling and the images and I could even feel my body sweat. I was in darkness, only able to see a light very far in the distance and the only thing I could do was walk towards it. Trying to grab it. But every single step I took was filled with pain, as if spines or small knives entered my every limb. Besides, and this was the most awful part, I felt hands in the darkness touching me, grabbing me to a place below that seemed liquid in nature. I knew that if I were pulled down there, I would die. And then, as always, I woke up before my head was submerged.
My dad noticed when I woke up, because apparently I had let out a scream. He said that the best way not to dream bad things was either not to sleep or trying to make sense of whatever the dreams were about. I know my father wasn’t into Freud or anything, he just thought that if something was bothering it would translate into annoying nightmares and it was. I knew that was the case. Bu t it wasn’t just easy, it wasn’t just about letting the air out. It was harder than that.
When everyone was finally ready, we jumped into the family car and drove towards the venue, a small banquet hall not far from there. When we arrived, every single guest was already there and I could notice he had already arrived too. So I was the one who had to go second, as per the rules. They started right away with the music. Then his sister escorted him to the altar, then me by my mother. I when I see him, my body let out one single tear. I say that because I had no control over it.
The notary started talking about the law and citing many aspects of marriage that he found funny but also very important, so that the audience and us took it into account. He told us it was a very important thing to sign a paper and say “I choose to live my life with this person”, and that he personally admired those who did. We signed, me crying more and more, and finally kissed to the cheering and joy of our families and friends. As we kissed, I realized it was time, so covered by the wall of sound I whispered in his ear, took him by the hand and walk the carpet back into the main hall were food was being served.
We didn’t discuss it until after the party, that went on for quite a while. He liked the candles in our room and the new sheets but he went straight to my confession as we sat down in the bed. I started crying and he held me, in love with me. He told me that he would do whatever I wanted, whatever made me happy. I smiled at him and then told him, clumsily, that I really needed to know where my only son was and what he was like. He grabbed my hand and kissed me.