An age of innocence seemed to pass in matter of a few hours. I went to sleep around 9:30. Daniel woke me up in pitchy blackness with his barbaric drunk dialing around 2 am. Without any cues from me, Daniel began addressing my motherhood again, pouring out heartfelt thoughts and feelings rather impressively.
“I do understand that you’re a mom, I just want you to know. It’s not a bad thing. You have a right to be happy too, you don’t have to be afraid of dating me. I want this to be fun for us.”
“It’s hard raising her by myself and all I need is a tiny window of time to unwind and feel like a grown woman. I just don’t want men to keep abandoning me because Aurora is my first priority. It’s actually nice when you’re here and I have someone to help me take my mind off of being a mother. That’s not who I am all the time and I feel so comfortable and happy and alive when I’m with you Daniel.” I murmured in confession.
“I know, I feel the same Jess. I promise I’ll spend more time with you in the sunlight. I just wasn’t sure what to make of everything. I haven’t had sex like that in years…I mean when you kept rolling over and asking to do it again, I couldn't believe it...the way we are together....it's just wild.”
"It's kind of electric." I agreed.
He kept talking as though he wanted us to merge into something meaningful. I was stunned and gladdened by everything he said. I just prayed he meant it and wasn’t rambling on drunk again and merely saying what I wanted to hear. I felt in my gut that he was finally being upfront with me. He’d only been away from me for about 14 hours, but as the conversation progressed, he began appealing to come back. At first I was reluctant to agree, but in spite of my sleepiness, I knew I was anxious to see him again too, especially after he’d opened up to me like that. I wanted everything to keep going as playfully and tenderly as it had been. I finally felt like I was on the same page with a guy I was over the moon about and there was no subjective reason to postpone the fast track we seemed to be taking.
I told Daniel to slow down and drive safely and then hung up with him and prayed. Blindly I stumbled out of bed and switched on a tiny lamp. Daniel had estimated that he would be over in a matter of 15 minutes. I quickly put on some nice lingerie and planned to surprise him at the front door, all done up in black lace and high heels. I was so excited that I had every intention of yanking him in and hauling him upstairs and giving him a really slow lap dance. I rarely have a man in the house, I never get the opportunity to make sexy gestures for guys anymore, so I was totally stoked.
45 minutes strained and stroked the clock and still no sign of Daniel. I made my way back up stairs and slipped into a white robe and reached for the cell phone. I dialed him and it rang and rang forever and then went to voicemail. I felt like something was wrong so I left a message.
“Daniel this is Jessica. I’m concerned. You told me you were going to be here in 15 minutes and that was over 45 minutes ago. If you decided not to come by or if you made other plans, it’s completely fine, I understand. Just please call me as soon as you get this so I know that you’re alright, you sounded pretty wasted when we were talking, I just want to make sure you’re ok.”
I hung up, waited 10 minutes and then called back again. Still no answer. I didn’t want to panic; I wanted to keep my head as clear as possible so I could piece together the psychic information streaming in. I closed my eyes and saw a vision of Daniel standing near a tree with a police officer. I could see the red and blue lights swirling around.
Well, at least he’s alive, I can see him. I thought. I tuned in as close as God would let me and I heard the police officer talking to Daniel. I could not make out any distinct words, I just heard the officer asking him a bunch of questions. I got panicked for Daniel, but kept my wits. I lain back in bed, guarded yogic breaths and prayed. Somehow I managed to fall asleep by 4 am. The dreams stayed away.
At 5:55 am, the phone rang me awake.
“Hello??” I said, worried.
“Jessica, it’s me. I’m so sorry I didn’t come by, I got into a really bad accident I think my car is totaled.” Daniel’s voice was puffy and congested, like he’d been crying for 3 hours straight.
“Daniel no!” I cried. The wind was knocked out of me, I felt awful for him. I felt somehow responsible because I didn’t yell at him beforehand and I knew he was driving drunk. “Are you ok? Are you hurt physically?” My voice quivered.
“I’m a little banged up, but I’ll be ok, I don’t have any major injuries.” He sniffed. I knew he had his left hand placed on his forehead. His eyes were probably swollen and redder than radishes.
I had a horrible feeling that I was supposed to be the instant voice of reason. The gravest of possibilities began bum rushing my mind and I didn’t try to censor my thoughts. I eased in calmly. “Daniel, please just listen to me, really listen to what I am saying. I didn’t want to interfere with your life, but I knew something like this was coming. I tried to talk to you before you left, when we were sitting here talking about these types of events in life, I was trying to warn you about what the angels had said to me. Do you remember what I said about the pine in the dream? Do you remember me saying something about the pine wood?”
“Yes.” He said slowly.
“You ran into a pine tree, didn’t you?”
I heard him gasp but he didn’t say anything. It had to be a pine tree. The dreams are never wrong.
“Look, I know you think my dream journal is just a bunch of crappy theories and I’ll be the first to admit that the dreaming is not an exact science, but I know what I’m doing and I know what I’m talking about. I don’t alarm people or yammer on about these dreams for my own health. I see everything in distortion before it takes place, that’s why I was trying to talk to you about this yesterday, I knew something was about to happen. I couldn’t see the entire scheme of accident. I only had a few clues to work with and I was trying to convey the urgency to you. I just didn’t want to freak you out or make you afraid to go out and live life. I wanted to let you be free to make your own mistakes. Bluntly, I didn’t know how far into your business I was supposed to go, but I…I don’t want it to seem like I’m lecturing you now, but perhaps you need the lecture…”
“No, I can tell you are trying to be helpful, I mean you’re defiantly being compassionate about it.” He paused. “And you’re right. I slammed into a pine tree.” He choked out.
“Daniel, I have been where you are and I wish someone had said to me what I am saying to you now. There are always going to be people out in bars getting drunk, there are always going to be people younger and more beautiful parading around at clubs, falling under the spells of glamour and liquor. But after you go home, after the bars close and the girls are out of sight, you are totally stuck with yourself and your vices. If I drink anymore, I usually drink at home, that way I'm not risking my life or anyone else's by being carelessly hammered. You are the only one who can make the decision to walk away from the accident that is social drinking. You are the only one who can save yourself. I cannot save you if you do not want to be saved and I cannot make these life-altering choices for you. You know I wanted to stop this, but your free will is the trigger.” I said crossly.
“I know. You’re absolutely right. I should have thought about this before, I can’t believe I did this. I can’t believe how fast it all happened.” He moaned stuffily. It didn't happen fast at all. I was the bystander who had watched and known of all the tiny details leading up to this disaster. I became livid.
“I told you to just come back here and hang out with me, I tried to tell you to skip the damn bars and the beers, but you didn’t listen to me and you mocked the dream that tried to save you. I don’t know what you are trying to do. Are you trying to prove something? Is this just about you having freedom and showing me how it is? Showing me where my place is at the end of your nightly check list? I mean, were you out trying to pick up a better looking girl? Do you call me only after you failed in trying to leave with strangers from the bar? You'll have to forgive the third degree. I am just trying to understand where your fucking head is because you’re a danger to yourself and now to society, so you sure proved your point! I don’t know if you went out and got drunk because you like me and you wanted to dilute your feelings because it freaks you out, or what, but I really tried to level with you and tried to convince you to not go out binge drinking again. If you’d have listened to me when it counted and spent quailty time with me rather than going out and pigging out on liquor and eye candy, then we would not be having this discussion and your car would not be wrecked.” I shook my head as if he could see me. I wanted to shake him. Fire was rippling through my blood.
“I still can’t believe I am alive, if you could see my car, you would think I should be dead.” He said solemnly, intentionally avoiding answering some of my questions.
“I am so sorry this happened, but you need to take some responsibility. You made a series of bad and dangerous choices and I really hope you learned the lesson here. Drinking and driving always leads to disaster, you may side step it and luck out here and there, but the odds are against you. My friend Eric died when he was like 23 because he drove drunk. The last time I saw Eric, I was six and a half months pregnant. We were standing on the corner of first street right by the Ocean club. I saw him and I almost ran away because I didn’t want Eric to know I was pregnant. But I changed my mind. I knew it would be lousy if I pretended not to see him just because I had gotten knocked up. So I sucked in my tummy and I walked over to Eric and gave him a huge hug. We stood there talking for about five minutes. Less than two weeks later, Eric was gone. Since then, I have gone over that one night in my head at least 500 times. Do you think I want the same thing to happen to you?”
“No.” He said meekly. More sniffles.
“You are so blessed and so lucky that your ass didn’t die tonight and you’re lucky you didn’t kill another person on the road because you made a really shitty choice to get plastered and then drive. You have no idea how many times I have prayed for you and held my breath as you were on your way over, just worrying about the possibility of this very thing. Why I think the only reason you are in one piece is because I started praying as soon as I got off the phone with you and I asked archangel Michael to put a bubble of light around your car. You are so fortunate the angels were with you and protected you. The car can be replaced, but you are so precious and so irreplaceable. You are a loveable, wonderful, and extraordinary man and it hurts me that you are doing this to yourself, it hurts me because I really care about you and I know you’re a beautiful human being and I know you can do better than this.”
Daniel whimpered a few times and tried to muffle his sobs. I couldn’t cry with him. I was still too far embedded in shock to be having this discussion at all. I’d known for a while it was coming. Only difference was now Daniel was actually listening to me and absorbing everything I had to say. He never listened to me before, he had always just waited for me to stop talking so he could make a joke or recite more comical movie lines. He wasn’t laughing now. Maybe God was cracking up. The dream angels and I were certainly having some kind of righteous, ‘I told you so’ moment. It was foreign to be speaking to Daniel without the sound of his laughter following each sentence. I’d never heard him be serious before, it was kind of refreshing to know this side of him existed under the phony laugh factory persona. I guessed then and there that the seriousness would last maybe two weeks and then he’d be right back to the exact same antics and irresponsible driving. I really hope I’m wrong. I don’t have to be right, but I know my dreams are always right and truthful because they come from God. Maybe Daniel will listen the next time I come to him with a dream. One day, maybe the world will listen.