We were standing in my kitchen, Nathan, my out-of-town friend, and me. As I watched him add the boiling water to my French press coffee pot and the grounds mixed with the liquid like a miniature swirling storm it all came rushing back to me.
“I had a nightmare last night,” I told him.
He was quiet as he stirred the grounds with a long wooden spoon. His task completed he looked at me and smiled tenderly.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “What was it about? Killer bees?”
My eyebrows shot up, “No, but you’re close enough. Killer wasps,” I said.
He walked across the tile floor and kissed me gently on the forehead.
“You were there,” I continued, “And my father. And several other people I know. We were strolling along a sidewalk, me with a walking stick in my hand, when someone stepped on a wasp. That sent out some type of homing beacon to the hive. They came in droves and we were running, dodging them as we went. I thought we were getting away but when I turned to look over my shoulder, you, my dad, and everyone else was on the ground in the fetal position covering your heads as the wasps swarmed, stinging you over and over. I ran back and used my walking stick to swipe them off, helping you all to your feet, urging everyone to run. We set out and once again, I thought we had made it, but when I looked back you all were curled on the ground like before. I ran back and drove the wasps away a second time. This repeated three times in my dream before I finally woke up, so relieved that it had all just been a nightmare.”
Nathan pushed a strand of hair out of my eyes and caressed the curve of my face.
“So the wasps never stung you?” he asked.
“No, they didn’t. They just attacked everyone else.”
Nathan didn’t say anything else about the nightmare. He just wrapped his arms around me and kissed me deeply on the lips, wiping away the residual fear that came from remembering.