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Please Let This Be A Nightmare

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It's just a nightmare. It’s just a nightmare. It has to be...  

And I woke up choking on air as I sprung up into a sitting position. I felt horrible. My nose felt stuffy, my ears felt like they could pop, and my throat was dry. My eyes were itchy and puffy, I felt cold sweat sliding down my warm skin, and my body felt heavy. I had to remind myself I was sick with a fever and that I was sharing a bed with Pepper before a cool slim hand touched my shoulder and allowed chills to run down my spine.  

My coughing fit still hasn’t let up and I was struggling to suck in air. I felt her hand rubbing my back and I could just feel her worry stare. Great. I didn’t mean to wake her, I know she’s been busy lately with me getting sick and the fever induced dreams I have been receiving. Another moment goes by before the tickle in my throat isn’t so overbearing and I'm able to swallow down sweet air without choking.  

I squeeze my dry eyes shut but I quickly snap them open at the scene that plays in my mind’s eye. I quickly look over to the love of my life for reassurance for her healthy self. Her eyes aren’t dim and her skin isn’t pale. She's alive and well and worried but I rather her feeling worried than dead though I would rather her be none of those.  

Her hands move up to my shoulder and grasp it tight, her warm skin just confirming her status of being alive. The problem is just that every time I close my eyes I see her dead eyes and pale skin and her tombstone in a cemetery and there’s nothing I can do but just watch the nightmare go by.   

“Are you okay?” I exhale slowly as my shoulders slump.  

“Y-yeah, I'm fine. Just had a bad dream, no problem.”  

I try to avoid her eyes but they are persistent and hold my gaze as she asks her next question, “What was it about.”  

I try to shake my head but she squeezes my shoulder in a reassuring way as she says my name. I can’t say no to her and I don’t want her to worry. That's the last thing I want for her.   

“You,” I swallow around the lump in my throat, “Your death to be specific.”  

Her face softens and the dam over my emotions kind of breaks into little pieces and next thing I know I'm telling her everything.  

“We’re back there and I don’t comply with the people in charge and they kill you and there’s nothing I can do about it except watch as you t-try to fight but it’s futile and all I see is your dead body staring right at me. They everything happens in a blur and I'm in a cemetery as your f-funeral happens and-”  

She pulls me toward her until she’s able to lay herself down on her side and I'm draped over her back on my side with my right arm being pinned down by her body and my other arm is draped over her. She guides my hand to her chest and I feel her steady heartbeat under the palm of my hand. I snuggle as close as I can to her and press my face into her hair as I breathe in her scent.  

“I’m alive,” she whispers.  

I nod my head as I ignore the stinging in my eyes, “I love you.”  

“I love you.”