Chapter four: The dream
"What can I get the two of you to drink?" asks the waiter after Johnathan and I have been seated at the restaurant. I order sweet tea and he orders DR. Pepper. As we wait, I take in our new surroundings. It's a very beautiful restaurant, there is an aquarium on my right, further inside the dining room. Many gorgeous fish inside. I see a small school of yellow tangs and a few blue ones, I might have spotted a puffer fish in there too, I'm not sure.
"This place is amazing." I tell Johnathan.
"I thought you might like it." Johnathan replies, "I've been here a few times. With my mom and dad, I mean." He must've seen my attempt at masking my curiosity. "Before they were divorced, we would come here to eat before the last leg of our journey to Pumpkin Town."
"In the car?" I ask, surprised. "I always thought you guys flew up here."
"Nah, Momma hated planes, still does. That's part of the reason I haven't seen her for so long; I was never able to get time off to come visit her. And she refused to drive here on her own."
"Mom was like that too." I say before I realized what I was saying but choosing to continue, "That's how we ended up in the accident. Damned black ice."
"Look at me." He says beginning to reach for my hand but stops, "It's okay to talk about them you know."
John," I say locking eyes with him, "How do you do it? How do you
"But it's been three years. Three years, John. I don't feel any better than I did the day it happened." Tears begin to slide down my face.
"Maybe it's a good thing you're going to see your brother. I'm glad I'm going with you too."
"Yeah, I'm glad we're going together. I've been alone for too long." I smiled weakly.
"Sweet tea for you," the waiter cuts in, "And a DR. Pepper for you. Do you know what you would like to order, or do you need more time with the menu?"
It was the usual run down of sides and things that you get at any other restaurant. After the waiter took our orders to the kitchen, we sat in silence. I kept thinking about what he said to me before we were interrupted. I'm glad I'm going with you. I keep turning it over in my head like a stone with a scorpion underneath it however, I find nothing there meant to hurt me. I already knew there wouldn't be.
Johnathan and I didn't talk much while eating. It was just: "What do you think?" and "It's really good!". After we finished, Johnathan paid for dinner, and we left. We walked to the boardwalk, and we talked for a while. Things I've seen while traveling the country. Strange cases he had since becoming a police officer. Small town kids do some weird stuff. He said that he got a call about a break-in at the high school only to find a major rave in the gym. The resident band was there and everything. There was basically the entire town except the elderly there. ("That's saying somethin' considering the size of the school." Johnathan chuckled.) I told him about my encounter on Uma, Arizona's marine base. About how I ended up with rubber bullets in my pack. In total honesty, I didn't even know where I was at the time.
As I look around, I find myself in the familiar surroundings of my car. I wonder if I can get a radio station out here. I think to myself as I fidget with the station dial. We have been on the road for 10 hours.
"Honey, let me do that. You drive." My mother says from my right side.
I remove my hand from the dial and let her look for a station. I see we are catching up to a large semi-truck and I slow our pace in my little Honda Civic. Reception has been spotty on my little I phone 4 so, we started using a paper map to get to Pumpkin Town, South Carolina. A slow rain has started to fall on the road. It is already cold here, I'm worried that black ice might form.
"Mom, I think we should pull over for a bit. I don't want to hit any black ice." I say, voicing my thoughts.
"No, we should be fine. It is only rain." My dad says from the back seat of my car. "Just keep going."
Okay. I think as I push my worries aside and return my focus to driving. A few minutes later I catch up to that semi again. Every time we get near that truck, I get a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I'm just hungry. I think to myself and don't think anything else of it.
Somethings wrong. Think as I see the semi-truck begin to swerve slowly and the longer it swervers it becomes more erratic. I let on the breaks a little bit and let the car fall a little bit further behind om the road. The truck stopped swerving but it begins to drift, and the trailer is angled in a way that makes the cab of the rig face my car. Everything feels like it is moving in slow-motion. I press the brakes but, nothing happens. I jerk the wheel, nothing. I pull the parking brake, nada. My little civic begins to turn and the rest is black.
"Jackie! Wake up!" I hear as my eyes fly open. "Jackie what's going on?"
"Bad dream." Was all I was able to say before I began crying into Johnathan's shoulder. I wasn't able to say anything else for the rest of the night. Johnathan started to get up and leave the room until I grabbed his wrist and shook my head. "Please don't leave yet?" I ask him and he sits back down on the bedside. He grabs my hand and just sits there rubbing my back with the other.
I guess I fell asleep because the next thing I remember is opening my eyes and Johnathan is there asleep. He is lying on his stomach with his arm around my middle. The sun is coming through the window, and I see the shadow of the tree swaying against the wall. I roll over but I don't leave the bed. What time is it? I think to myself and looking at the clock on the nightstand. It reads: 6:37 AM. I look at the ceiling and think about the dream I had last night. I haven't had a dream like that in weeks. At least not that bad. I thought I was better. I guess not.
I roll back over to see him watching me. Neither of us say anything. I see him drift back to sleep and I do the same.