Lexie and I are on a deserted island. Her black fur shines in the bright sun, and for a moment I am fooled into believing this mirage. Normally my dreams are dark, full of squeamish things. But Lexie’s eyes are bright. It’s been such a long time since she’s looked so aware, and I am eating up every moment.
I grab a small piece of driftwood and toss it into the ocean. Lex bounds through the waves and pushes her snout under to grab the knotty wood. I’m surprised to see her swim, and wonder aloud if this is her first time swimming.
Instead of coming right back, Lex swims circles and plays in the waves. I call her over, and she trots up to me, magically dry.
I bend down to touch her soft ears, but she turns and runs back to the water. She’s swimming farther and farther out. I call for her to come back in, but she won’t listen. She’s relaxed, buoyant.
I call again. My heart beats harder. She won’t come to me.
Then I see she is surrounded by four dolphins. Lex is in the middle. The dolphins dance.
I blink once. Twice. My heart drops. I can’t see her anywhere.
The dolphins drift below the surface one at a time. Lex is gone.
I wake up in a panic. Charlie is circled behind my legs, under the covers for the first time since we’ve had him. Smart boy.
I force myself out of bed, and silently walk downstairs. I see Matt, and tell him about the dream. My voice cracks.
Somehow I walk into the kitchen before the tears fall.
My dear Lexie. It was so good to see you again. If only in a dream.