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Owners of the Dream

go to my old house tonight for my ex-husband’s 40th birthday. It’s warm and filled with his new friends, my old friends, the still-empty walls where my furniture used to be. Women I’ve never met shake my hand and look at me with a weird kind of curiosity.

I look at them and think, huh, you’ve been with the father of my kids. You’ve been with him in this house that I poured so much heart and soul and care into for so many years. This warm little home with its Christmas tree and my abandoned wreath on the front door. You slept in my bed.

The jealousy bypasses the man and goes directly to the dream. Someone now is the owner of that dream. Someone now snuggles in that bed and feels that sense of secure peace that I had believed to be mine.

I would’ve loved to stay in that dream forever, but I was the one who woke up first. I was the one who forced the questions out into the open. I was the one whose disillusion raged inside the house until the windows shook. And I regret none of it. The awakening had to take place. It was as inevitable as the dawn.

I look around and wonder if one of these women will wake up in my old bed someday and wonder what happens next. What choices will she make? Is it the nature of all dreams to fade into reality and become made new, over and over again? If so, I embrace the next awakening. And I look forward to the next dream that I will be graced with, someday.

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