I opened my eyes but I couldn’t see a thing. I heard her voice. She was running away from me, but her giggles carried on the air. My hands felt along the walls, the twists and turns until there were no walls, only bright light. I could smell the lilacs in bloom. I was in the garden. Kat was running barefoot in the grass, laughing and giggling, calling to me to chase her. I tripped as I fought to see. Her voice floated loud and quiet around me. I reached out for her, but I could not find her. Then, tiny hands touched my face. I looked up and saw her face blocking out the sun.
Get up, silly. Come chase me.
My eyes focused on her and I watched her dance around the grounds. I floundered to my feet and ran after her. Her sweetness continuously slipped though my hands, but she ran back to me to give me quick hugs, and then she was off again. I never could catch her. She was too quick, too young and impulsive. If I ran one way she went another, always one step ahead. Her laughter was infectious, and I laughed with her. It was all a game, wasn’t it? Just something to do so we wouldn’t have to do anything else. Just run and chase, see how close you can come to let it all slip through your hands and watch it all fall away. It all fell away. She ran farther from me and I panicked. She ran so far from me that I couldn’t see her anymore. I couldn’t hear her laughter. She no longer came back to me. The smell of lilacs vanished with her. She was gone.
I woke up in cold sweat, knocking two cats off my legs as I sat up. A soft rumble of snoring came from Tam. He was still asleep, completely oblivious of my sudden movement. The cats are used to it by now. Why they still sleep on me, I will never know. Why Tam has stayed with me, too, it still a mystery, but that’s not about waking him up in the middle of the night. I love them all so much. But as the dream has reminded me, all that I love doesn’t always stay, nor does it always come back. I suddenly felt very defeated.