Jessica M. Simpkiss
When I was seven, my aunt gave me a dream catcher and told me to hang it above my bed. You will see the world through your dreams, she whispered to me as we huddled closely in the corner of the living room so my mother couldn't hear the mumbo jumbo she expelled on me – you will see my world through your dreams, she continued, and one day, other’s will be inspired by your dreams. Maybe if I’d hung it correctly from the start, the ending wouldn’t have been such a shock.
We didn't see my aunt much but when we did it was always interesting; tales or foreign and exotic lands and just as many men of the same description. Crazy aunt Kate. She and my mother varied in every respect; the way they looked, the way they lived, the way they loved. My mother was plump and dark while crazy aunt Kate was tiny and blonde. My mother had settled down early in life, found young love and married, had a baby, found a good job and lived the life of pleasant routine, while crazy aunt Kate had lost her marbles in her mid-twenties when a man she thought she loved drove the sanity out of with well-hidden demons. She'd called off the fall wedding in late summer in a display of gut wrenching pain and torment. I remember when her fiancé randomly disappeared from our weekend visits to the beach house which coincidentally was a few streets down from their house, mostly because I missed his dogs. After that, we didn’t see much of crazy aunt Kate and it was just the three of us and the lives my parents mad
e for each other, as best they knew how.
The two of them overcome the trials and tribulations most working, busy, exhausted, polar opposite couples experience and lived a life of quiet normalcy. I remember them fighting out on the deck one evening when I was little, younger than the dream catcher age. My mother had given me a cup of ice cream and sat me in front of the television for a show. Any other night I’d have reveled in this treat and ignored the goings on around me with the utmost enthusiasm. But I could hear them fighting and talking about me. I sat in the sitting room on the couch and watched my mom through the sliding glass door yelling at my father, who was just out of frame, like a ghost. I waited quietly while they fought, my ice cream melting away into milk in the other room.
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