It was time to leave for the plane but we had to wait for the photographer. It was my sister's wedding after all. I couldn't understand how the photographer had left without taking this picture. How ridiculous - I know he'd been told at the very beginning who was part of the family and should be in the pictures. Besides, we'd taken group pictures with absolutely everyone, except him. What an idiotic photographer, what a silly mishap.
The bus arrived, but no sign of the photographer yet. Our bags were packed, everyone was ready to leave.
But I don't have a picture with him! I insist. I don't have a picture with you - we can't just leave like this. They're wedding photos!
He hugs me.
What kind of crazy world was this? How were we just going to leave without a single wedding photo of me and him together? A single photo with him in it at all? I hugged him, not really believing it. The photographer would be here soon, wouldn't he? I wouldn't let go - he'll be here, I know it.
I open my eyes. The light from the streetlight filters in through the shades. My blanket is still tucked in around me. I pull the pillow over my head. No. No. No. NO. We're supposed to have our pictures together. He's supposed to be there. He's supposed to hug me and smile as my sister cuts her wedding cake. He's supposed to make a speech. He's supposed to be in not just one, but in all the pictures. He's supposed to be right there. No No NO NO. No.
This is the part that's not real, I tell myself. This is the dream. This, lying here, thinking he's gone. Knowing. No. The blankets, the bed, the pillow. The streetlight. Here. This. This is the dream. I just need to wake up and go through the album. This is the dream.
But I kissed his paper thin skin didn't I? I felt his cool hand, didn't I? I saw his body lying stretched out there didn't I? I said my goodbyes didn't I?
This is the dream, I tell myself. This is the part that's not real.