The evening sun cast a warm and golden glow over the orange cafe, its golden rays filtering through the slightly parted curtains. The air carried a gentle breeze, bringing with it the promise of a serene Friday night. Tonight, the cafe was bustling with activity. The soft hum of conversation, mixed with the occasional clinking of cups, created a soothing soundtrack.
Emily alighted from the bus in front of the cafe and looked at her time. It was thirty minutes after seven o'clock. The girls would have had to wait an hour and thirty minutes. She winced as she remembered the client who had slowed her down by asking endless questions about a property and ended up not buying it.
Emily strolled into the cafe and looked at her favorite corner, nestled in a nook. Pendant lights hung from the ceiling, casting a warm glow on the wooden tables and cushioned chairs. Nancy and Gloria were seated, chatting over a half-empty smoothie cup. She heaved a sigh of relief and proceeded to meet them.
As Nancy and Gloria saw Emily, they stood up and exchanged hugs and kisses. She signaled to the waitress for her usual and settled into her seat. The soft melody of a piano played in the background creating a perfect ambience. It was the perfect way to unwind after a long day.
Emily reflected on her dreams as Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" filled the air. She has been having strange dreams about a beautiful romantic connection with a mystery man every night for the past month. She grappled with the thought of sharing her dreams with her friends for a moment before she finally decided to let them into her dream world.
"Girls! There is something I want to share with you. Call me crazy, but this has been happening for a really long time now," she said.
Nancy took the last sip of her smoothie and dropped the cup on the table while Gloria leaned in to listen to Emily.
"You won't believe the dreams I've been having. Every night, this mysterious man appears in my dream. I do not see his face, but he is tall and thin. It feels like a different world. I don't know how to explain it, but each time I am with this stranger, I feel complete in every way. I feel loved in ways I've never felt loved before." She gushed.
Nancy saw the sparkle in her eyes. "That's wild! You sure look like you are in love. Do you ever wonder if this mystery person exists in real life?" She asked.
Emily chuckled and took a sip of her coffee. "I doubt it. It is a dream, too surreal to happen in reality. Last night, I dreamt we were at the beach picking oyster shells along the seashore. I was dressed in a free-flowing flowery gown, and he was in denim shorts. We spent the whole day there. When evening came, he lit some wood and built a fire. We sat next to it and gazed at the moon."
"Please give me all the juicy details. I want to know everything you guys did in the dream. Did you make out?" Gloria rambled. Nancy tapped her mouth, and Emily giggled.
In a nearby corner, Jay sat quietly working on his laptop. As Emily told her story, he felt a surge of recognition. Emily was talking about him. For a long time now, he had been having dreams about a mystery woman that got him really worried. He looked at her when she talked about the beach; she was the same size as the woman in his dreams—small and curvy with curly hair. His heart skipped a beat as the realization hit him. The mystery woman was a few strides away from him.
Jay bit his nails and inhaled sharply. He wasn't sure what to do with this new discovery but his sixth sense tugged at him, urging him to approach Emily and her friends.
"Good evening, ladies. I couldn't help but listen in on your conversation. Please, if you don't mind, may I speak with you for a moment?" He inquired, his finger pointing at Emily.
Emily and her friends turned to him with a mix of surprise and curiosity on their faces. "Goodevening. I'm not sure who you are, so I'd rather you speak to me here, Emily replied.
Jay offered himself a seat beside Emily. He forced a smile and hid his shaky hands under the table. "I am Jay. I was over there working on my laptop when I heard you talk about your dreams. I think I am the man in your dreams," he said.
Silence fell on the table as the girls exchanged glances, eyes widened in alarm.
"Your dream last night... After I lit the fire, we sat on the sand and watched the moon. After a while, I drew a love sign in the sand and told you I'd love you forever."Jay continued. The ladies listened with rapt attention as he shared the remaining part of the dream.
By the time he was done, Emily's mouth was wide open. She couldn't believe the mystery man in her dream was real. She looked at Jay with eyes bulging from their sockets. Blood drained from her skin as she struggled to take it all in.
"I know, it's a lot to take in. At least now, we know it is more than just a dream. How about we get to know ourselves, and maybe we can figure out what it all means together?" He asked, placing his hands on the table.
Nancy's eyes conveyed a coded message to Gloria, and they both excused themselves, leaving Jay and Emily alone. Emily closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She introduced herself formally to Jay and they went down memory lane to when it all started discovering that the strange dreams started at about same time for both of them.
"This is surreal, but I'm willing to explore it. It's like we've been sharing a secret universe without even knowing it." Emily said. She reached out and held his hand. "For some reasons, I'm glad you are real. I once dreamt we got married and had kids.
Jay took her hands in his and pulled her closer. "Three kids, a boy and two girls. I feel like I've known you since forever".
As the stars flickered like distant diamonds and the moon's ethereal glow filtered through the parting curtains of the cafe, Jay and Emily resolved to embark on a journey of discovery of a future written in the stars.