The next morning, as soon as I had come in from work I asked her where she thought I should start looking.
“Morning Ma, have you got a minute?”
“I have about half an hour before work, so I think I have some time to talk to my daughter. What’s on your mind?”
“Well, you remember that dream I had a while ago? The one with that painting from work in it?”
“Yes I remember.” I needn’t have asked, the woman never forgets a thing, especially when it’s something that concerns my health.
“Well I was thinking about all that dream interpretation stuff, and was maybe wondering if I should try to find out what the dream could have been trying to tell me. They say that all dreams have a message within them if you know where to look for it.”
“Right…” The look on her face told me that she thought I had gone completely mad. She had never been one for, as she called it, all that hippie nonsense.
“What do you think?”
“I think that if you really want to look at this, even though it seems a bit far fetched, I will bring you home a few books from the shop that might help.” Bless her, even when she thinks I’m acting like a crazy person she’s willing to help me. Sometimes, I think my mother might just be a saint. A slightly mental, overprotective, cynical one, but a saint none the less.
“Thanks Ma. I know it seems a strange thing to do but I’ve been curious about it for a while now. If it does turn out to be a load of old rubbish, at least I’ll know.” It’s not like I was expecting to find definite truthful meaning to everything; I was (for the most part) in the same mind as she was. I didn’t believe in any of it but I was still curious.
“Well, whatever makes you happy. Now, have something to eat and remember to get some sleep while I’m at work. I don’t want you falling ill.” Sometimes it seemed like she totally forgot that I’m a grown woman, it’s not likely that I would forget to sleep.
“You don’t need to worry Ma. Have a good day at the shop”
So she was going to bring back some books. I had half a mind to start searching the web for dream interpretations but I knew that there would have been so much to sift through. The internet just goes on and on forever, especially when you have no idea what you’re actually looking for. I could have searched for hours and found nothing at all that I needed. No, the internet was not the place to start. Perhaps once I knew what I needed to look for, once I had even a tiny amount of knowledge on the subject, I could move on to the great and powerful World Wide Web. But it was always good to start with a book, an opinion that I can only assume I learned from mother. She’s always favoured books over the Internet claiming that books have to be verified by an editor and a publisher so they’re more likely to be somewhere close to truth, while anyone can put anything they like on the net. I felt slightly guilty for not telling mother the whole truth about my dreams, but at the same time I knew that she would more than likely have tried to stop me from going back to work if she knew everything. All I could do was wait for her to return with the books that I would need, so, for once, I did what I was told to do. I made myself a sandwich, watched a little news, then took myself to bed.
More dreams. It would have been unusual at that point to not be dreaming of him. It wouldn’t have been a particularly memorable dream, just the usual floating by his side, except for the voice. It still wasn’t especially audible, but it was there. Just for a moment I heard it. He was reading a letter from somebody, and though I could hear his lips moving there was no sound, I had gotten used to that. Until the last word, I could have sworn in those last moments of the dream I heard him murmur one word. Elizabeth. This left me with an entirely new puzzle to contend with. Who was Elizabeth? Why had that one word come whispering through my dreams? Several strange and unusual theories as to who this woman could be sprang to mind in the early hours. These are the ones which seemed most sensible. 1. I was going crazy, imagined hearing the name Elizabeth and should forget all about it lest I go even battier from thinking about it so much. This seemed like a reasonable option, though it ended up with me being mad, so maybe not ideal. Option 2, Elizabeth is a random name that my brain pulled out of nowhere so that the letter could have a signature to it. While this was nice and logical, it didn’t seem like enough of an answer to me. So then there’s option 3. Elizabeth bears some relevance to the life of my painting, even though I’m pretty sure he never existed as a person, and if he did he was nothing like my dreams, and as such should be important if I consider him to be important. Also, if she’s important she may have appeared in the dreams without my knowledge, so I should look out for her. Denying all logic, this is the option I chose. At least it was the most interesting, though it more than likely pointed towards my possible looming insanity.