Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Man in My Dreams - A True Tale of the Supernatural

It was always him.

I was in my late 20s when he first appeared in my dreams. We would pass each other on a busy afternoon in the bright light of day. Our eyes would meet, and we knew instantly, our faces eerily familiar to each other. We would look, not believing and not understanding why. Watching each other walk past, wondering with an uneasiness how it was that we knew each other.

He was thin, but not slight, and wore a grey suit. His rich, black hair was combed back, straight, except for a precise side part. He was attractive and dark, with brown skin that shined from being freshly scrubbed. In the dream, I would be rushing, almost running, as I passed him along the inner side of the street. He would be standing on the edge of a curb, pausing as he readied for a step.

We immediately recognized each other, in an uncanny, bewildering way. He would continue standing, and I would briskly rush past. No words were ever said between us, but I would glance back over my shoulder, my eyes fixed on him, haunted by why he was there. His eyes remained on mine, asking the same thing. That was the scene, over and over, never changing.

I often told my mother about this man in my dreams, and confessed how hard it was to not wish for him in real life. My mother was a superstitious woman, and she told me that he represented one thing: Death. She had me promise to never go to him in my sleep. And if I were to ever see him in real life, I was to ignore his calling and run from his grasp. I hated to hear her say this, but I promised her I would not follow him. Still, every night before I fell asleep, I felt no foreboding as I held the hope to see him. 

My dreams with him didn't stop. They didn't happen often, but when they did, my heart would race simply by the angle of his face as he turned to look at me. His presence in my dreams made me feel more alive than any man I had known, and I wanted to reach for him. Despite my mother's fright, I purposely concentrated on this man before bed in the hope that I would see him. As much as I feared him, I was drawn to him. Privately, I practiced what to say to him if he did ever appear to me in real life. I fell asleep wondering about his voice, if it would be smooth, if he spoke English. More than anything, I wanted to ask him why we were in each others' lives.

On the nights I dreamed of him, I didn't want to wake because then he would be gone. I wanted the dream to grow into something more, the barrier of not speaking when there was so much to say, was like a hundred pound brick that sat on top of my chest. But the scenario would play out the same; in the middle of a crowded city, we would sense each other amid the weaving and bobbing heads, and we would inexplicably know who we were before we even looked. His dark eyes would find mine, and would stay pinned to me as we both continued in our opposite directions, with me running west, in my dress clothes and work shoes, and him standing at the corner, facing east, not moving. His look when he saw me was one of disbelief, and mine of equal confusion. We moved past each other, asking with our eyes, why do you know me?

One summer when I was in my early 30s, on a day warm enough that I wore only a light blouse to work, I took an early lunch. I had decided to step out of the closed office that I had been in since morning and take a fast walk. I was trotting west, into the bright sun, and hurried through to enjoy the minutes of fresh air. I stopped and waited to cross at a busy corner, holding my hand over my eyes as a visor from the high sun. While I waited, I absent-mindedly scanned the crowd across the street.

I felt my knees turn to rubber when my eyes, with a mind of their own, stopped on a man in a grey suit who was standing at the edge of the curb. His hair glistened, dark and shiny, under the noon sun. From across the way, I could see his face, rosy cheeked as if he had just come from a fresh shave.

Instantly, I knew. Blood pounded in my ears because it was him. The man from my dreams.

I couldn't believe the moment, and I stood with my hands trembling as to how something so impossible could be. I thought of the promise I had made to myself, that if I were to ever see him in real life, I would run to him with my questions. But I froze, my tongue dry in my mouth, and panic taking over my body. My heart raced as I thought of my mother's warning. She was a believer in the message of dreams, and I had more of her ways than my own in me. I knew I couldn't go to him. My mother's insistence of his ominous presence was the only thought in my mind.

He was Death, and I knew that if I allowed myself to be lured to his side, then that would be exactly when a car would come from nowhere, and I would fall victim to the purpose of his presence in my dreams.

My legs shook, knowing I had to escape. But before I did, I couldn't stop myself from one last look. My heart pushed against my chest when I looked up to see his stunned eyes meeting mine. He stood stiff and frozen, and I watched as his mouth fell open in slow motion. He was a statue, his face stricken, as if he had just seen a ghost.
With my heart in my throat, I began to run, no longer wanting to ask how and why it was that we knew each other. I took the nearest street that led away from him. I never looked back, though with every step I felt his breath on my neck.

Since that day, I haven't dreamed of him. No matter how hard I plea.
* * *
**The photo above is of my mother. She is the woman looking at the camera. This is also her tale. If I counted to a thousand, it still wouldn't cover the number of times she told it to me. Despite its many recountings, she was frightened every time she recalled it. In the last months of her life, my mother would wonder aloud about the man in her dreams, and ask me, "Why did he know me? Why did we see each other? I have never forgiven myself for being a coward and running." She wondered of him her entire life, this man, the one she couldn't resist but had to. What I wondered, is why out of six siblings, I was the only one she had told this story to.


  1. Wow - what a tale! His reaction seeing her too, just whoa

  2. Eek! That made my arm hair stand up! Cool story!

  3. CoffeeLovin' - Thank you! You know, this story spooked her her entire life!
    TKW: Tell me about it. She told me this story so many times it got to the point where I could see him myself.

  4. chill bumps...how interesting too...coming in close contact with one you only dreamed of...oy, i wanna ask him questions....

  5. That was sensational. Amazing. What would you do in the face of such a seemingly impossible encounter? I thought at first it was going to be a couple who later got married. Wow. What would have happened if they spoke? Good job setting the mood - perfect for this week. Reminds me of your tale about the black bird on the apartment table when your husband was moving in.

  6. You, and your mother, are darn good story tellers! (I don't mean "telling stories" - I just mean I can never stop reading, once I start!

  7. Okay, I am spooked. Like hair raised on my arms spooked.

  8. Stunning storytelling. I have chills!

  9. Some dream interpreters say that every person in your dream is really you. And others say that dreams represent your subconscious desires, wishes, fears.

  10. Brian: she was so scared of this man, and wondered about reincarnation.
    Hillary: it's amazing that these stories are true!! I know my husband is not an embellisher, and I can barely believe his story myself.
    Anne-Marie: do you have a spooky story to share?
    Alison: right? She used to scare herself with her own story. So incredible.
    Leigh Ann: It was just this exact way that she told it, Leigh Ann. THANK YOU.
    Suzy: I believe dreams represent ourselves BUT occasions arise, like this one... and I wonder, was he from the life had she chosen a different path?rpres



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