Remnants of the blood red sun gave birth to an orange sky that lay quietly beyond the windshield. I twisted in my seat and fed the belt buckle into the clasp by my left hip. I looked directly at the driver’s face trying to determine who was in control, but the sun’s gaze skewed my view and kept her definable features hidden. Sensing another presence in the car, I inquisitively turned my head to the back seat. My eyes fed the image directly into my heart and it burst open with a joy unprecedented. In a small car seat she sat quietly, innocently looking into my eyes. My body convulsed as if thrown into an icy pool. My eyes cracked like an overstuffed dam. My heart was overflowing. I felt no fear. I felt no loneliness. The sun became a backdrop to this tiny ray of light. She was my daughter. My creation. My intention. I was in love with her. Nothing else mattered.
I immediately woke in the same state of emotion: tears soaking my pillow, chest heaving, heart speeding. The dream was real. It couldn’t have been a dream. My body felt its weight. My heart had never been so full. I clumsily slid open the drawer of my nightstand, uncapped the obedient pen, and wrote as many already fading details as my sluggish brain could recall. As I caught my breath, I felt my cheeks swell. My teeth revealed the impact of seeing my unborn and unconceived daughter only a few inches from the ends of my eyelashes. I had never been in love until that moment. And it was years until I fell again.