I dreamed about him last night.
I haven't done that for many years. He's been dead for almost 10.
The gist of the old dream was always the same: He's no longer dead. He is back in my life. In my house. In my face. And I know that he will steal my baby and hide, like he did with his sons with his first wife.
When I dreamed this dream before, I would wake up in a cold sweat, shaking. It would take many, many minutes to come back to the present and remember that he was dead. That I had spoken to doctors. That I had seen the medical records. And the death certificate.
That I was there when he was buried. I wasn't there for me. I went for my 3-year-old daughter. I went in her stead and cried for the little girl whose father was dead. I cried for her. I would never cry for him.
The dream this time was different. I was calm. I dictated the rules. I was not afraid, only matter-of-fact. And irritated. And amazed. Amazed that he had been in hiding for 10 years. That he had tricked us all, including his own sister, at a funeral.
Where had he been? Who knows.
Why was he back? I don't know. But when I woke up, I was calm.
And I reached over to the man who now shares my life and my bed ... and hugged him very, very tight.