H. M. L. Swann
Day 3: Dreams
300 Days of Writing
Day 3: Dreams
When she was six, she learned to dream. She dreamed of chocolate ice cream, for best friend bracelets that never broke, and for her little sister to get out of her room.
When she was nine, she dreamed of bicycle rides with friends and acing the spelling bee. She came in second.
“That’s still great!” her mama said. “You spelled Mississippi! You finally did it.”
Her praise didn’t make the girl win, but she felt a little better.
When she was twelve, she dreamed of going to the movies with her crush, of hiding her period pads from everyone, of pretending she was older than she really was.
At seventeen she dreamed of going to college, of getting out of her small town, of buying a house.
“That’s the American dream,” her mama said with a half-sibling on her hip. “It ain't possible for us.”
But still, the girl dreamed, and in that dream, she became a woman, on the cusp of graduating without debt from her full-ride scholarship. “Miracle!” her mama’s pastor said, in a big screeching voice that shook souls. “She’s going to make it.”
Make it where, the woman who was once a girl didn’t know, but she was well on her way when her dream was interrupted by a nightmare.
When she was twenty-one, her once friend invited her over to dinner to celebrate her new job. One glass of wine for her, half a bottle for him, and he got mean.
He got angry.
Because he had dreams too. Dreams that hadn’t come true. Dreams he blamed on her.
“Stop!” she screamed into the kitchen counter.
“No!” she cried when she was home alone back in bed, a period pad in her panties to catch the bleeding.
Five weeks later, she sat in a doctor’s office. The nurse looked at her with kind eyes and worry lines.
“We’re running out of time. The law is going to change. I’m sorry to rush you like this dear one, but…”
“It’s okay,” the woman said. She understood and she had dreams that not even the lone star state could take from her. “I’m ready.”