The Dream Man is a strange tale about a woman whose husband keeps having the same nightmare, night after night.
One morning, at breakfast, my husband seemed very tired. His face was pale and sweaty. When he reached out to pick up his cup of coffee, I noticed his hand was shaking.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. “Did you get enough sleep last night?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “I’m not sure if I was sleeping or if I was awake. Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that you weren’t sure if it was actually a dream?”
He paused for a long time before continuing.
“Last night, I had one of those dreams,” he said. “In the dream, I woke up in a cold sweat. My heart was racing and I was breathing heavily. I went to the bathroom to get a drink of water, but something didn’t feel right. I looked up and saw that the ceiling wasn’t there anymore. Instead, it was as if I was looking up out of a grave. I could see the edges of the grave above me. There were people gathered around the graveside, but I didn’t recognize any of them except for one man. He looked exactly like me. Same eyes, same nose, same face, same everything. He bent over the grave and peered down at me. A broad smile spread across his face and he said, “You’ve lived long enough. Time to let someone else live for a while.” I went back to the bedroom and lay down in bed. I can’t remember if I lay awake or fell asleep.”
The next morning, when my husband came down for breakfast, he looked even worse. His hair was disshevelled and his brow was dripping with sweat.
“I had the same dream again,” he said, his voice shaking.
He wouldn’t say anything more, but as he left for work and kissed me goodbye, I could see the fear in his eyes.
I began to get very worried. My husband had always been a calm and relaxed individual. Now, it seemed as if he was turning into a nervous wreck.
Every night, for the rest of the week, he had the same dream. Each morning, before he left for work, he would tell me about the dream. His face grew grey, his eyes became haunted and he began looking gaunt and sickly. I decided that it was time to have him see a psychologist.
However, on Saturday morning, he woke up much later than usual and when he came down for breakfast, he looked as if the extra sleep had done him some good. He appeared to be healthy and vigorous again.
“Did you have that dream again last night?” I asked.
He looked up at me. A broad smile spread across his face and he said, “What dream? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”