The weather is beautiful today. I open the windows and set my laptop under the overhang in the attached patio to enjoy the soft breeze blowing through the trees. It’s hard to concentrate on my schoolwork, though. Instead, I use the wind as my own personal musical muse. It takes me back to a time and a place before memories exist.
Then the gentle coo of a pigeon brings me back a memory, but it’s not one I remember. Not at first. It yawns at my soul and opens a hole that becomes a cavern. I remember a white pigeon outside a beauty parlor on a long-ago wedding day. “The dove was telling me I was right,” I remember out loud.
Then I’m no longer alone.
“What else do you remember, my dear Faith,” the voice behind me says. I don’t need to turn. The warmth coats my suddenly awakening fear with the sweetness of Teacher’s voice.
“A pigeon, but I thought it was a dove. Why do I think it was my wedding day, Teacher?”
“What else do you remember, please?”
As if he’s been waiting for this moment, Teacher perches himself on the edge of my couch. He holds my hand in both of his.
How dangerous is this memory?
“Is this a memory? It feels like it is, but I don’t remember this.” He motions for me to continue. I close my eyes and listen to that still, quiet voice in my heart. “I remember not being sure if this wedding was right. I took the dove as a sign from my guardian angel that everything would be fine. That this marriage would be right. This is a pretty intense dream.”
I glance up and his penetrating blue eyes pierce me and open another memory inside of me.
“I don’t think it’s a dream.”
I wait. In the past, when I’ve wondered about lost, ghostlike memories, I’ve sped through the questions and filed them in the crazy-dream file. Now I know, in some weird, powerful way, that this is not a dream.
“You’re beginning to remember.” His words are a direct response to what’s going on. There’s no question there.
“What am I remembering?”
Teacher removes his purple baseball cap, slowly shaking his head and, in my own head, I hear his thoughts, “I cannot be the one to say it.”
My soul shaking as if I were caught in a snowstorm without a coat, I open my mouth and let loose with a truth that’s been hiding for too long.
“I used to be married. I was happy. That’s when I was a teacher. Why couldn’t I remember being married?” I answer my own question, “I would have missed that life too much if I remembered how happy I’d been. When was that life, Teacher?”
The memories come like a flood. I remember that accident I almost had. The one where I barely missed dying. I don’t think I missed it. Did I really die?
“Teacher, where am I?”
Then I can’t hold back the tears. Now I remember. The accident. The blood. Fighting with my guardian angel. Fighting with Teacher. He is one of my angels.
Then the veil shimmers away. I see the light that surrounds my body like a shield. I see attached to me, like a cable holding back a hot-air balloon, a golden thread that disappears into a haze.
“You can go back, my dear. Now that you remember, you can go back home. The thread that ties you to your body is still healthy.”
The question is, do I want to go back to a life I barely remember? Do I want to lose my friends here? My teacher? My Beloved?
I’m still not convinced. Teacher places a hand on my face and I’m flooded with images I remember immediately. The wedding. A baby. Another baby. A family. The hugs of grateful students. A second wedding just-for-fun many years after the first. Birthday parties. Laughter, and much, much love.
“Go back, my Writer. We will still be here for you. All you need to do is visit.”
Then I wake up.
With much love,
The Dragonfly’s Student