Anna stared out the window, taking in the nocturnal view at one o’clock in the morning. She usually went to bed much earlier on regular days, but tonight was special. You see, every year, on this very day, she would lie down in bed at two forty three in the morning, taking a maximum of seven minutes to fall asleep, just to be in time to board a train.
It was a special train; an old train alike the Orient Express that would come through a cloud of white smoke. It was her dream train. When the clock in the forgettable train station strikes three, the train would start moving, and Anna would be on board.
Anna would get off the train at the next station where the first step she takes off the train would be on freshly cut grass, in a park, where children would be playing.
There, in the midst of the laughing children, she would meet him, the boy with bright blue eyes and brown hair; the boy who would be turning 12 this year; the boy her parents took from her, 12 years ago.
The boy’s name was Bryan. Anna was 15 when she had him, and every 3rd of December, she would meet him in her dreams. When he was one years old, she saw him in a stroller, by himself, in the park. He was laughing as butterflies flew around him.
When he got older, Bryan would be seen playing with the other children. And three years ago, when Bryan turned 9, Anna befriended him. Strangely, she never told Bryan who she was, for she was not sure if he was her son. But she believed that he was, even though he might just be a figment of her imagination.
Today, in her dreams, she saw Bryan again. And when he saw her, he ran into her embrace.
“I miss you Anna!” Bryan said.
“I miss you too Bryan,” Anna replied, as she pulled him in for another hug.
“How come I only see you once a year?” Bryan asked.
To be completely honest, Anna tried to board the train every other day of the year. She would lie in her bed at the same time, and fall asleep right in time to catch the train, but oddly, there was no train to board. She would appear in a different place, and not in a train station, or so she remembers.
“I don’t know Bryan, I just can’t seem to get here every other day of the year,” Anna said with a sigh.
“It’s o.k. I’ll try to find you tomorrow.” Bryan smiled as he took her hand and led her under a slide and into their secret hideout, a cave.
Funny how dreams work, you never know what you’ll find beneath a cupboard, or inside a refrigerator. It is always a surprise, unless you know where to look to find what you’re looking for.
“Anna, look at my sand castle!” Bryan said excitedly as he exited the cave into the isolated beach.
Far in sight, stood a gigantic sand castle, 20 feet high, with flags on the roof of the towers.
“Do you like it?” Bryan asked.
“Yes, I do!” Anna said in amazement as she ran up to his side.
“I made it for you.” Bryan took her hand as he looked up at her.
It was then that Anna could not take it any longer; she had to tell Bryan who she was.
“I have to tell you something Bryan,” Anna said, kneeling down on the soft sand. “I’m your mother.”
“What?” Bryan looked confused as he narrowed his eyebrows at her.
“I’m your mother Bryan,” Anna said again.
“I don’t have a mother. I’m an orphan.”
“I know, but-“
“If you’re my mother, why am I an orphan?”
Anna didn’t know how to answer her child. It was hard enough to tell him who she was as she feared it might ruin their relationship. But this was just a dream, wasn’t it?
“I made a mistake, and I would take you back if only I knew where you are,” Anna explained.
Bryan merely looked at her, unsure on how to react as he stared deeply into her eyes, which were as blue as his.
“Come find me then,” Bryan finally spoke after the rapid change from day to night.
“Where are you?”
Whoop, was the sound Anna heard next. In a swirling motion, she watched as Bryan finished his sentence inaudibly, and then he and the beach vanished.
Anna woke up immediately after that, in her bedroom, and the clock by the side of her bed was ringing a wake-up call.
Still unsure of what just happened, the memories of her dream slowly slipped away. And no matter how hard she tried to hold on to it, the only thing left to remember was the sand castle and Bryan’s blue eyes.