Dreaming in Colour (POB-WOTW #dreaming / Inkwell #64 sailing)


Hey! Are you with me on this?

Her laughter was a vibrant lilt on the sea breeze.

I opened my eyes, shaken from my reverie, and squinted into the late afternoon sun. Tracing the contours of my lips with my tongue; salt-encrusted spray coated the dry, cracked ridges of my smile, and I could feel the raw whip against my face - the wind was picking up; a good sign.

I stood and moved towards her. She grinned, her eyes sparkling, reflecting the same glints of sunlight that presently graced the waves, dancing to their own unspoken symphony, her fiery red hair pulled back in a loose messy bun. She stuck her tongue out at me, taunting... as the ropes ran knowingly through her fingers, trimming the sail; second nature.


She shoved me playfully in the chest one-handed as I brushed past her.

Her voice rose over the sound of the waves now crashing gently against the bow, cascading salty waterfalls over the boat, and onto the deck.

Get ready for the change...

Her voice, at once authoritative, and disciplined, hung in the air.


I nodded, stuck on autopilot.

God, she's beautiful.

OK! Tacking...and 3,2,1 duck...!

The rest of her sentence was lost in the rising wind. The boat lurched. I stumbled, reached, flailing for the side ropes. I missed.


Her terrified cry pierced the air.


The boom?... a large metal pole, attached to the lower end of the sail; it swings around when the boat tacks to change direction. It is also the sound you hear when it hits you squarely on the back of the head...when you don't duck in time. In my case, it's the last sound I heard before I fell... overboard, and felt my body sinking into the depths of the ocean.

And then I wake up. Every... single... time.

It's like this, with increasing regularity.

I have never sailed in my life. But those dreams can be so weird...the ones where you find yourself dreaming about something or someone with such intensity of feeling... I started to yearn for the evenings and hope that I would fall into the same dreams alongside her every night.

I fought logic - no matter how real she felt, she was just a figment of my imagination. My sailing dream must be the manifestation of my state of mind over the past year. I do feel like I have been sailing through life, non-commital, scared, a shadow of my old self. My doctor says those emotions are quite normal and could very well be evoking these strong visuals and feelings that I have been experiencing.

My life just wasn't the same anymore. I'd been single for the best part of a year. Ever since the accident, almost a year to the day, the dreams had kept me preoccupied; distracted from daily life. And, as strange as it seemed, I had stepped back from my own relationship, broken off our engagement rather abruptly, because rather irrationally, I could not stop thinking about the woman in my dreams. It had not been fair to my fiancee, but I had needed the space to work out what I really wanted in life.

I'm meeting Laura downstairs in half an hour. I feel I owe her closure. A final goodbye. It would just be a quick meet-up, I'd reasoned. There was something I had been holding onto too, that I wanted to give her. It would be the perfect opportunity, and for both of us enough time had passed that I felt we could handle the emotional kickback.

We had chatted on the phone before I had agreed to fly into London. She said she needed to move on with her life - this we could both agree on.

The time came and I made my way down to the hotel bar.

I spotted her immediately, sitting alone at the table across the room.

I'd know her anywhere.

She takes my breath away.

She looked up, spotted me, and beckoned me over.

She rose to greet me, and we hugged tightly. She felt exceptionally good in my arms. A strange familiarity.

Thank you for agreeing to meet...

She pulled back slowly, and then, as I stared at her, incredulous, those same feelings flooded my every muscle and sinew. I was mesmerised. How was this even possible?

She leaned again into my chest, resting her head against my heart, which beat faster. I held her for a few minutes before she looked up at me from a tear-stained face.

I couldn't help myself. I gently brushed the fiery red hair back from her freckled wet cheeks.

Gesturing with her hand, she posed the question.

May I...?

Of course!

If she needed this, I needed it more.

She gently ran her fingers under my shirt and across the raised ridges of the scarred flesh holding my heart in place, a heart she once knew too well. Tears slowly filled her eyes.

I miss him... David, I miss Matt so very much. When are you leaving?

This afternoon.

I replied.

Please stay longer. Come and see me tomorrow.

I looked into her eyes, those eyes that implored me to reconsider not just my travel plans, but the plans for the rest of my life.

The woman of my dreams was standing before me... Ever since Matt's heart had been sewn into my body 12 months before... giving me a second chance at life, my love for Olivia, my fiancee, had dissipated and my overwhelming desire had been to be with this mysterious woman who visited me regularly in the depths of the night, whose face, and voice, and fiery red hair had graced my dreams.

They say that dreaming in colour occurs primarily when intense emotions are involved... and that's when the realisation hit me.

My dreams were not simply dreams. They were memories. Memories of her, memories of them... memories of us.

My heart... Matt's heart knew her, and was still in love with her... but that same heart was now fed with the blood of my body that coursed through my veins, the oxygen-rich blood that fed my lungs, the very breaths of air that I sucked in to keep me alive... and so the intensity of emotion had been mine to harbour, the painful longing, mine to endure. No longer, I mused, no longer.

At the time, her gift to me, a complete stranger, had been immense. Matt's heart - a second chance at life.

Now, I got to return the favour.

I'm at the Marina on our... erm... my boat...it's the...

I've only ever known it in my dreams.... but I finished her sentence with ease.

The Daydreamer

She nodded and smiled.

I gently ran my fingers through her fiery red hair.

I'll come and find you.


This is my entry to the POB-WOTW prompt: dreaming and to the Ink Well prompt: sailing.


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