“They’ll come to you when you need them,” he whispered.
“And I will know?” He could sense the disbelief in her voice.
“You won’t – they will.” That was the best he could say, not sure himself of how to explain something he knew he couldn’t.
She gazed back at the night sky, her eyes crinkling in exasperation. Here she was, in desperate need of help, and he found it prudent to throw fairy tales at her, out here in the middle of the night. ‘Dream Guides’, as he called them, were (according to him, of course) beacons of hope, faith and positivity. Like a tall lighthouse calling out to ships lost on the high seas of distress and doubt, he said (always had a flair for the dramatic, he did), they pierce the darkness with their resolute beams of faith – becoming the guiding light for the needy.
“What you may think you lack, they more than amply make up for” he continued his monologue.
She gazed at the stars, attempting to make sense of what he seemed to be talking about so earnestly. She certainly wasn’t inclined to give in to fairy tales – not at this late stage of her life. There was a time when she had left milk and cookies at night for Santa and woken up to gifts he’d bought her, but those days no longer seemed like hers anymore. A few flashes from a life long gone past sometimes came back to her – like memories of an old movie from a distant era. Brushing aside her thoughts, she dragged herself back to the present, the stars dotting the sky slowly swimming back to focus. This was a good idea, she thought to herself.
She had trudged back home earlier that night carrying the weight of her world on her shoulders, after yet another impossible day. Pressures were mounting at work, and in what seemed to have now become routine, she’d come back complaining, shovel some food into her mouth while continuing to complain, and drop exhausted soon after – still mumbling in consternation. He had dragged her away from dinner earlier, both of them tumbling out of the door while still chewing on cold pasta and grilled vegetables. He’d stopped only when they got to the lawn – a little patch of green that was now an integral part of their lives. Living in the suburbs had its advantages. She looked at him in confusion, a sense of irritation welling up inside her. “Shh..”, he motioned – putting a finger to her lips, and calmly proceeded to lie down on the grass. She was about to snap at him when he tugged at her leg, muttering a quite “come”. She lay down next to him, sighing with resignation. This wasn’t what she needed.
He had been quite for some time. Was it five minutes? Or was it ten? She wasn’t sure. The calm had slowly seeped into her, replacing the throbbing in her head. Their breath found solace in the silence of the night, noiselessly becoming a part of it.
“You know, they’re among us” he had murmured.
“Who?” she inquired, raising an eyebrow to the skies.
“The dream guides” he replied, and she could see his smile in the night sky.
She chuckled, knowing only too well how fanciful his thoughts could be.
“You don’t have to believe me, you know. You won’t – I know that too. Not until you meet yours, of course” he continued.
“You may know when they’re there, or you may realize later. They go about silently touching lives and making a difference, and for that, the world is a better place.” He seemed to be in a trance, talking more to himself than to her. She was listening, or maybe she wasn’t. She had lost herself to the skies sometime ago. He didn’t need her to acknowledge. He knew the universe would get his message across to her. Not everything could be said the way it should be. He needed her to believe – for he knew that it is only then that the magic would unfurl. He gently nudged her, willing her to open her mind, to accept.
She surrendered to the darkness, her senses taking in every bit of misty night.
A tiny star far away in a distant galaxy slowly woke up, shaking off centuries of sleep. Stretching and yawning (quite like us), it twinkled back to light, happy to be bright yet again. It did a happy little jig in its corner of space, sending an enduring ray of radiance her way.
She smiled as her gaze zeroed in on a cheeky star winking at her.
“But how will I know?” she asked, amused.