It couldn’t be called a love affair or love at first sight for, in truth, Pete had never even set eyes on the girl but he knew, beyond a glimmer of a doubt that he loved her. He also knew with a total certainty that she loved him too and was, somewhere, waiting for him.
I remember the look on his face when we met for coffee that morning, as we often did. He was ashen and almost beside himself with sorrow. I, of course, asked him what the matter was and asked if there was anything I could do to help. He brushed aside my concerns and sipped his coffee in silence. Then he looked me squarely in the eyes.
“Do you believe in dreams”, he said.
What could I say? I wondered where this was all going and said nothing. After a while he continued. He told me that the previous night he had had a very vivid, wonderful, beautiful dream and it had left him shaken. It was about a girl he had never met before. Her name was Alix and, in the dream, they seemed to be very close.
In the dream, they were out with a bunch of friends and Alix said she ‘wanted to borrow’ Pete for ‘one difficult hour’ so they met the following day outside the Concert Hall and went for a drink.
She told him that she could wait no longer and said that she was leaving. Then they embraced. Pete described it as glowing; they seemed to shine together. It was the best feeling he had ever encountered. She held him and in that embrace he felt knowledge, warmth, love and, finally understanding. She said she had been waiting for him to recognise his feelings for her and the love between them and that now it was too late, she had to go. She kissed him on the cheek, said goodbye and left.
After this I just sat. I didn’t know what to say.
He continued by telling me that as she walked away he felt a great sense of loss; of love, all that warmth and emotion, all the things that could have been, gone. He was heartbroken.
That was when he woke up. He lay in bed staring at the ceiling and tried to ‘feel her presence’; to experience again all that had passed between them when they held each other. He didn’t want to let her or those feelings go, he wanted badly to be with her. He didn’t want to lose this dream woman.
I’d heard that dreams can be metaphors and allegories so I tried to reason with him. I talked of changes and parts of my life that I had given up to move on my career. He said I didn’t understand and, he was probably right. Then we talked about relationships; was there someone he had been overlooking like Alix but maybe under another name. He said no, that he had already gone down that road.
We drank our coffee in silence and finally he said. “I believe that Alix is the road not taken and if I am to find her again I must change my life.’
At this point I probably mumbled something about him losing the plot but he seemed adamant. We finished our drinks and headed for the office. We never spoke of it again and, over the next couple of months our coffee sessions became fewer and less convivial until one morning I turned up and the waitress handed me the note.
It read: ‘Gone to look for Alix, wish me luck.’
I crumpled the note as my tears began to fall. He’d been so busy chasing a dream he never saw how much I loved him.