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He dreamt of her again.

It wasn’t quite like seeing things through her eyes, as though he was her, but like a silent bystander, a faithful shadow. For the past six months he had seen her in his dreams, always the same face.

Jamie had read somewhere that the strangers in your dreams were people you had seen at some point in your life. He wondered if he passed by her every day and had just never noticed.

But truth was, he would have noticed her.

In the weird, dreamlike state, he watched her make a cup of tea, her hand shaking ever so slightly as she poured sugar in and stirred. He could almost hear the clinking of crockery against the spoon. She closed her eyes as she sipped and the warm drink seemed to steady her.

She was afraid.

She walked out of the kitchen, into a small den, where she turned on the TV to BBC News. Jamie still stood next to her, unable to sit or go anywhere else in the house. A dream where he knew he was dreaming, but powerless to steer. He looked at the screen for a few minutes, and recognized the news presenter.

They were in London.

Before he could react, he heard a slamming door down a corridor and a man hurry into the den, straightening his tie.

“Is there any for me?” The man waited next to the woman, next to Jamie, who shrugged and waved her own cup towards the kitchen.

With a huff and a roll of his eyes, the man disappeared only to make his presence felt by the banging of cupboard doors and rattling cutlery.

The woman closed her eyes, screwing them tightly as though wishing the man away.

Jamie could hear mutterings, something about keeping things organized, taking the time, going back to work… Apparently, it made the woman angry, for she set her cup down (narrowly avoiding smashing it), picked up a purse hanging on a coatrack, and grabbing a set of keys from a bowl by the front door.

As soon as the door shut behind her, Jamie woke up, in his own bed in Glasgow. Dim morning light suffused his bedroom, as he lay and pondered over his dream. He had never seen the man before, only her – shopping for groceries, going for walks in a park, in her apartment. But only in this dream had he noticed where she lived, and the ring on her finger.

No matter.

He watched the light creep steadily across the duvet, until the alarm on his phone beeped time to get up. He reached over to turn it off quickly, but she woke up anyway.

His girlfriend Laoghaire stretched an arm across his chest, holding him with a murmured good morning.