A Writer's Journey

August 10, 2015

Prompt #1: The Woman of his Dreams

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Write a story about a man who continues to have dreams of a woman he could fall in love. However, the dreams start to become more intense and lifelike. He even begins to think he sees her in random places in real life. It begins to become problematic for his current relationship.

It started out innocently. They were just dreams, after all. One couldn’t cheat with a dream, right?

That’s what Steve said when they discussed it over beers as they watched some game. He took a swig before leaning toward Matt. “We all have our fantasies. They’re nothing wrong with them. So bang your model. I do in my dreams and Lisa doesn’t mind. I’m sure she’s having dreams about some actor or something.”

In hindsight, maybe asking Steve wasn’t the best idea. He was a good friend but not the best at giving advice.

So Matt went to his sister. Christa always had the best advice.

“In some ways, Steve is right.” Christa sat down next to her brother on her couch. “I never thought I’d say that.”

Matt laughed. “I know. Maybe we’re in the Twilight Zone.”

“One can only hope,” she said with a sigh. Christa shook her head. “Anyway, back to your problem.”

“So it’s a problem?” Matt’s stomach dropped out.

Christa held up her hands. “Wrong choice of words. Sorry.”

“Good.” He let out a breath of relief. “So what did you mean?”

“I meant, back to your dreams. And this mystery woman. Tell me more about her.”

Matt sighed, smiling. “It’s hard to describe. She’s just someone in my dreams. But she’s in all of them. No matter what I dream.”

“Well, what do you see when she appears?”

He closes his eyes, recalling the familiar presence in his dreams. “She’s about my height and has short brown hair. Sometimes it’s straight, sometimes it’s curly. And she has a beautiful smile.”

“She sounds beautiful.” Christa sighed. “Is there anything else?”

“Hmm, I know she favors dresses. Cute ones, like you see in magazines. So I guess she has some money.”

“Or she’s a savvy shopper,” she suggested. She then gives her brother a look. “How do you know what’s in the magazines? Do you have a guilty pleasure?”

He shot her a look. “I’m not blind. Those magazines are everywhere. No one can miss them.”

“I know. I was just teasing you.”

“So, what’s the final verdict? Am I doing something wrong?”

Christa shook her head. “Not in the slightest. They’re just dreams. She’s not real.”

“You’re right. I’m just being paranoid.”

She laughed. “Glad you realized it. Now can we go to dinner? I’m starving.”

The two left her apartment, heading down into the subway. As he stood on the platform, Matt scanned the opposite side. People waited for their train—some listening to music, on their phones, reading and talking.

It was then he saw her. A woman of average height and build but with brown hair cut in a bob and a beautiful smile. She wore a cute yellow sundress with a white belt and was engrossed in a tablet. But there was no denying it.

His dream girl was real.

And she was only feet away from him.

“Matt? Is something wrong?” Christa shook her brother.

“Look at the woman over there. In the yellow dress, reading.” Matt pointed to the person.

Christa squinted before nodding. “What about her?”

“That’s the girl from my dreams. She’s real!”

His sister pulled back, frowning. “I think you’ve been in the heat too long.”

“We went from your apartment to here. That’s not long enough. It’s her.”

Matt strained to see her but a train pulled into the station. He waited, tapping his foot, as the people loaded and unloaded. Once he heard the familiar “ding dong” of the doors closing, his heart sped up. The silver train sped off into the dark tunnel, revealing the emptier platform across the way.

His dream girl was gone.

Disappointed, he let go of his sister. “Never mind.”

“You need a fun night out. Maybe you’re working too hard?” Christa suggested as the train pulled up.

He sighed. “Maybe you’re right.”

“Of course I’m right. I’m always right,” she insisted as they stepped onto the train. “Now relax.”

A week later, Matt had convinced himself that he had been seeing things. That the woman across the way hadn’t really looked like the girl in his dreams. He just thought so because he had been talking about her with Christa.

“Matt? Are you listening?” Kate, his girlfriend, frowned as she sat down across from him.

He blinked a few times before shaking his head. “Sorry, dear. I had something on my mind. Would you be kind enough to repeat it?”

“Yes, I guess so.” Kate sighed. “I said my company is having a big event next week. Would you be able to go?”

“You have to be a little more specific.”

“Next Wednesday night.”

Matt checked his phone. “Looks open. I’ll write you in.”

“Thank you!” Kate jumped up and kissed him on the cheek. “You’re the best.”

Matt sighed; Kate’s work functions were usually awkward for him. He didn’t fit with the company she kept. They always looked down on him, like he was a speck of dust she had tracked in. But he would smile and pretend he was having fun—for her sake.

If only she would do the same for him more often. Matt stopped himself, not wanting to go down that road. It was a dangerous one.

So he showed up that Wednesday, stuffed in a suit and overheating. He smiled and tried to make small talk but failed at both.

Kate, though, thrived. She smiled, she flirted…oh, how she flirted. Leaned close, giggled, batted her eyes. The men ate it up. It made him sick.

“You okay? Do you need some air? Water?”

He turned his head and almost did a double-take. A woman about his height leaned against the wall, concern filling her brown eyes. Very familiar brown eyes.

His dream girl was standing next to him.

She was real.

“Can you hear me? Do you need medical attention?” She shook him gently, worried now.

Matt recovered his senses enough to shake his head. “I’m fine. This just isn’t my scene.”

“I get it. This isn’t my scene either.” She sighed, leaning against the wall. “So what brings you here?”

“Girlfriend. You?”

“Friend.” She motioned with her head toward a tall woman in a short black dress. “I guess you could say I’m her wingwoman.”

He nodded. “I’m just here to smile and wave when she points at me. Like now.”

Kate and whoever she had been talking to waved at him and he waved back. The woman next to him did so as well, smiling. Kate frowned and turned back to whoever she was talking to.

“Uh oh. I don’t think she’s happy to see me.” His new friend frowned. “I’m sorry if I upset her.”

Matt shrugged. “I doubt you did. She wanted me to be friendly anyway.”

“I doubt she wanted you to be friendly with another woman.”

“She’s not the jealous type.”

“You sure?” She raised an eyebrow as she studied Kate. “She looks pretty green to me.”

Matt looked at Kate but shook his head. She looked at ease and like he was the last thing on her mind. He probably wasn’t on her mind at all.

“Well, I probably should move on. Don’t want to get you in trouble. It was nice meeting you.”

As she started to walk away, Matt felt a twinge of panic rise in his chest. “Wait!” he called out.

She stopped, turning and tilting her head. “What? Is something wrong?”

“No. You’re just the only person I want to talk to here. Please don’t subject me to everyone else.”

“Well, when you put it that way…how can I refuse?” She smiled and took her spot again on the wall beside him.

He held out his hand to her. “Name’s Matt.”

“I’m Sarah,” she replied, shaking it. “Nice to meet you.”


They remained against the wall, making comments about the partygoers for a bit before talking about other topics. Matt never had enjoyed one of these functions more.

Kate, though, looked sour when she approached him later. “It’s time to go.”

“Oh, okay. Just give me a minute.” He turned back to Sarah, holding out his hand. “It was nice to meet you.”

She nodded, shaking it. “Same here. I hope we meet again.”

“I think we will,” I said as Kate dragged him away.

Once they were out on the street, she turned to face him with her arms crossed. “What were you doing?”

“Being social.”

“You were flirting.”

He raised an eyebrow. “And you weren’t?”

“We’re not talking about me.”

“We never talk about you,” Matt said. “Why don’t we change that?”

She crossed her arms. “What are you going on about?”

“You’re always flirting at these functions.”

“I’m being nice. That’s all.”

“Right, that’s what it is.”

“Stop being jealous and possessive. It’s not attractive.”

“You’re doing the same thing!”

Kate threw up her hands. “I can’t deal with you like this. I’m going to stay with Bethany. Call me when you find your reason again.”

She stalked off, hailing a taxi as Matt watched her leave. He sighed, wondering if it was worth waiting for her to cool down or if he should just end it.

“I take it things didn’t go well with your girlfriend?” Sarah stepped out into the street, standing next to him.

He sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Not really.”

“Is it my fault?”

“Of course not,” he said. “I think we’ve just had some issues we’ve been good at avoiding and just can’t anymore. Not if we want to have a future.”

Sarah nodded. “Do you want a future with her?”

“That’s the million dollar question.” He let out a laugh.

“Need to talk it out with an objective person? I know a good bar up the street,” she offered.

Matt smiled. “That sounds great. Lead the way.”


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