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“Phillip?” says Loretta.
I’m out of breath and gasping for air.
“Look at you baby, you’re covered in sweat!”
She puts her hand to my forehead. I shove it away, then mount and kiss her with every ounce of passion I have. She pushes me away.
“Phillip? What is it?”
“God almighty, Loretta. I thought you were dead.”
“You have no idea.”
I try to kiss her again, but she scoots out from under me. “What was it?”
“You and I, we were in a psychiatrist’s office… I watched you die, babe.”
“Hmm,” says Loretta. “In your dream, you and I are seeing a psychiatrist.”
“And he attacks me.”
“Yea, he set you on fire.”
“What did you do?”
“Nothing… I couldn’t move.” I lean to kiss her, but she dodges back and catches my face with her palm.
“So you sat there and watched it happen?”
“I had no choice, I told you.”
Loretta scoffs, then rolls over and throws the cover over her head.
She doesn’t say anything. Her silence makes me feel worse than her yelling. I rub her shoulder.
“Hey, I’m sorry Loret-”
She springs out from her side of the bed and wrestles me onto my back. She’s got my shoulders pinned to the mattress as she straddles me.
“I don’t care if you have dreams about trains splitting my brains across the rails.” She darts her head forward and smushes her lips into mine. “You know why?”
She sucks in my lips as she grips my pecks. “Because in real life, Phillip, you would stop that fucking train. You would figure out a way to stop that train and save me, and nothing in the world could stop you.” She kisses me softly, only for a moment.
“And that’s why I love you.” She leans back, then pulls up my eyelids with her thumbs, studying me like a child.
“What?” I say.
“I see it in your soul.”
She kisses me again, then falls away from her straddle of me and returns to her side of the bed. “Baby, what was the name of the psychiatrist?”
“In my dream?”
I laugh. “He wouldn’t tell me. Made me call him Master.”
She turns over and looks at me. “Seriously?”
She sits up to her elbows and stares straight ahead.
“What?” I say. “Remind you of someone?”
She laughs, then turns back over and faces away from me. “You’re too paranoid, baby.
Your mind is going to get the better of you.”
I roll out of bed, kick on my jeans, then head out the bedroom. I’m surprised to find the
door to Avery’s room cracked open; usually she keeps it closed.
- Thomas M. Watt