To sleep, perchance to dream
She was sitting halfway back in the crowd, alone, watching the show. He saw her from the stage, incredulous, unable to believe what was unfolding before his eyes.
He made it through the last couple of songs, managed a brief "goodnight" and watched as she made her way to the door.
It's now or never.
He caught up with her in the parking lot.
"I...can't believe you're here," he said.
"I had to come," she said.
He looked into her eyes, the eyes that had haunted his dreams for so many years now, and reached out to her. She returned his embrace and they stood there, together, first one minute, then two.
He touched her face. A solitary tear fell down her cheek.
"I'm not going to marry him. I can't do it. I love you."
These were the words he'd waited all his life to hear.
"I love you, too."
He awoke with a start, to the strip of sun beginning to creep across his room. His face was drenched in sweat. He felt disoriented, as if he'd been asleep for weeks.
"No," he said softly to himself. "Please, God, no."
It was but a dream.