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The Dreamer’s Lover

Reflections: by Rita Joan Dozlaw

Josie was sitting on the passenger side of the car and, as she often did, opened a book to read while she waited for her hubby John to return from the strip mall where he was getting his ears lowered.

Their car was parked facing into a very bright sun, and Josie’s aging eyes squinted near-closed as she read. Tears swelled up in them from the glare and from the tender plot of the story. She turned a page realizing her heavy eyes could take no more, so she closed them along with the book.

She was vaguely aware that a car had pulled in to the spot next to her. She just laid her head back on the seat and let the sun warm her face while a young well-dressed stranger in the parked car glanced over at her. Their eyes did not meet at first. He smiled politely though as if they had. He fiddled with something, probably his keys and Josie heard the rattling and looked up to see the guy staring over at her.

There were no bucket seats back in 1958, and the stranger slid from the driver’s side of his ‘57 Ford to the passenger side and opened the door. Casually, he let his body fall forward. He’s coming towards me, Josie thought, and she felt her body quiver. He opened the back-seat door of his car and retrieved a stunning white sports jacket. While putting it on, his smile was more open and intense than just polite.

Josie watched him take a pair of shades out of the pocket of the door and thrust them into his breast pocket. As he faced downward briefly, she studied his half-closed eye lids. They looked dreamy, and she admired his winter tan. He must work outside, she surmised. She loved the youthful bone structure of his smooth forehead and couldn’t take her eyes off him. When they finally did look directly into each other’s face, their glance and the warm sun through the window melted Josie. Embarrassingly, she looked askance. He too appeared rather shy by nature and turned away drawing a clean handkerchief from his pocket. He wiped dust from the side mirror.

At that moment, Josie wanted to get out of the car and, from behind, lean into the stranger and surprise him by wrapping her arms around him! His blonde curls looked unruly wrestling with the starched collar. She wanted to touch his shiny hair, arrange it and touch the nape of his neck beneath the wavy strands. She watched as he turned and, facing her, tucked his shirt tail in. The front of his jacket gaped as he did so, and the profile of his muscular chest was defined subtly beneath the powder-blue shirt. Close up, she could tell he was about 5’9”. She wanted every inch of him to envelop her. She didn’t want to take her eyes off him and realized he knew it.

The stranger’s aura seemed protective of her, adored her and wanted her… yes, she knew instinctively it did. His full lips were so close yet so far it pained her. Without a word, the young handsome guy gestured for her to join him in his car; his face confident, as he pointed to the passenger-side.

Josie’s heart leapt inside her throat and her stomach knotted in an impulse of fearless passion. She couldn’t understand, though, why she couldn’t move from her car to his. She wanted to go to him but was helpless, motionless, catatonic… as though she was in an excruciatingly stifling dream.

Suddenly, a car door slammed and, as mysteriously as the stranger had appeared, he was driving away. Only slightly coming to from a stupor, Josie’s weary eyes gravitated to the rare ‘57 yellow and black Ford leaving the parking lot.

She rubbed her eyes eventually becoming aware that her hubby John arrived back at the car. “Happy 2020th anniversary of our first date, and a very happy Valentine’s Day,” the old guy with the slick new hair-cut, greeted Josie. He handed her a box of chocolates. The glare made it hard for Josie to fully open her eyes, and it was at that moment she came to the realization that the sun had put her to sleep. She’d nodded off as her book lay in her lap, and she’d dreamed a dream that rocked her world while she waited in the car for her hubby.

A state of dozing can do things to your mind, especially an elderly mind, and Josie had been swept away to 1958 when, as a naive girl of seventeen, she had met and fallen in love with John… so romantically, in fact, her subconscious mind had never let go of the awesome details which it re-played in her dreamstate. The man who had been in the dreamer’s life for 62 years looked at her with his warm smile and cloudy blue eyes, as he got in the car—just as he had on that February 14th night in 1958—when, as a young dude John actually did invite Josie to join him in his yellow and black ’57 Ford!

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