It was that morning I first saw her standing next to my bed. I opened my eyes to a mostly dark room. The only light was a soft glow from the oversized alarm clock that sat on my nightstand. Daylight wasn’t yet peeking through the blinds. I was dreaming of her. We were sitting in our usual coffee shop—not because it was especially good. It was just the better of two in our neighborhood. We would meet there regularly chatting about everything from purses to our greatest fears. (Her’s came true.) The last time we had coffee together, it was my birthday. She told me so much that day.
There she was only inches away from me; her hair hung long around shoulders. Casey’s kind eyes sparkled alongside her subtle smile. Many different emotions scatted through my body, bumping into one another. Extreme elation ( a relief I never thought I’d feel again), and sadness because I knew seeing her was either temporary or an illusion.
“You promised me,” she said. Her voice wasn’t mad or disappointed. Casey was reminding me, even though I never forgot.
I could never forget.
I took a deep breath, preparing myself to explain why I hadn’t done what I’d say I would.
“I tried,” I managed the squeak out.
I wanted to hug her, to wrap my arms around her slight body and tell her everything I didn’t get to before time ran out. But, I didn’t move.
“Did you?” Her voice traveled off this time. “Could you try again?” She tilted her head and smiled. That’s how she got me willing to do just about anything.
“I miss you,” I said selfishly. “It hurts,” I added. Tears pulled at my eyes.
“And, I miss you,” she whispered.
Then, she was gone.
I ran my fingers through my hair. Was it a dream, or was she here? I asked myself this only seeing her that first time.