In it, she is surrounded by towering, crimson-tinted leaves in a copper-hued meadow. The air is rich in its vibrancy before the decay and monotone of winter sets in.
The dream is unchanging. I’m always watching her from behind as she excitedly skips onward, ribbon-cinched pigtails bouncing playfully to the beat of her youth-filled jovialness, destination unknown. But her path is bright.
She never turns back to acknowledge me. I never see her face. I just watch her scamper off and disappear into the tree-lined silence, scattering in her wake an overwhelming sense of unfettered, carefree buoyancy, forward-looking resilience and wild hope that I cannot quite comprehend.
I don’t believe in an afterlife. I don’t believe in Heaven. I don’t even believe in angels.
I believe in stardust, the big bang, string theory and an infinite universe where everything that can or has happened is happening and will happen.
This dream’s vivid clarity and continued persistence continues to wear on me like an iron skin, partially because this event never happened but also because the concept that in a parallel reality, her entire life is still in front of her and the possibilities of all that she can and will be are endless.
And if there is a reality that exists where she never died, it makes the one I live in where she did so much harder to accept.
Her light never sleeps.
Chase the light that shines and disappears.