The Dream

by Nikki Hallowell

Quincy james stood on the porch of his small restaurant waiting for the lunch rush. It was the middle of December and the snow started to pile higher, the city park across the street was seldom unoccupied but today the snow was covering all the toys in a layer of pure white untouched snow but Quincy knew as soon as the school down the street let kids rush out the doors that, snow would be crushed under their innocent feet. All the toys would be wiped off by little hands and replaced with toddlers being placed on the cold swing by their loving mothers and fathers. Quincy sighed and walked back into the small restaurant. He inherited the small home cooking restaurant from his father and mother after they passed, he was given two options to demolish the building or keep it and run it himself, he decided he would run the restaurant, after all this was his childhood. He remembers coming here everyday after school instead of going to the park. In the summer Quincy would sit in the corner booth with his books and a homemade milkshake his mother would make him every day. Quincy stopped in the middle of the restaurant and looked around the completely deserted restaurant, his gaze stopped on the corner booth, its fabric was slightly peeling in the corners and its wood frame was chipped and scratched, his favorite place to sit. Quincy noticed from the window, you could see the edge of the park that was slowly filling up with kids. Quincy took one last look around the empty restaurant before proceeding across the tile floor to the coat rack where he reached into his coat pocket and pulled his pack cigarettes and his lighter, he lifted the red lighter, with a blue wolf plastered on the front, to eye level looks like Im going to need to get another lighter Quincy said turning the lighter upside down and noticing only about an inch of lighter fluid slide down the side. Quincy stepped out on to the porch, after three attempts his cigarette finally lit. As Quincy slowly puffed on the cigarette he let his thoughts wander to the far reaches of his mind.Quincy finished his cigarette, dropping it to the porch and stamped it out with the heel of his dress shoes, shoved his hands in his pockets and looked out across the street at the park that was now full of kids. One little kid caught Quincy's attention, it was a little boy of about five or six, Quincy remembered the kid from last weeks swing incident, the boy had his hands out trying to hold back his mother from putting the hat on his head, this made Quincy laugh to himself, he remembers when it was him at that very same park, the toys had been repainted since then, trying to run away from his mother and that awful wool hat his great Aunt Victoria had knitted for Christmas. Quincy took one last glance over at the little boy who had given up and let his mother put the hat on his head and had ran off to join his friends on the tire swing and walked back inside all the way to the back of the restaurant to the squeaky double doors, slowly pushing open the door Quincy saw the plump cook wiping the metal counter with a dirty wash cloth ready for the lunch hour mike? Quincy asked leaning on the metal counter yes sir boss man, all the specials are written up and all the ingredients are fresh Mike said throwing the dirty wash cloth over his shoulder and leaning back against the fridge. Quincy nodded his head and walked down the hall Quincy heard soft whispers and worried voices, opening the staff room door he saw all the waiters and waitresses sitting around, some were almost in tears others were laying the heads on each others shoulders. Quincy walked into the room dont tell me you're all nervous he said sitting on the couch next to the newest waiter John and patting him on the shoulder, we think were going to mess up the newest waitresses Kate said from the shoulder of the oldest waiter Gabe who had his arm wrapped around her shoulder, oh come on now you guys, youre going to do great! Quincy said looking around at the worried looks. Hey Quincy, the lunch is starting to shuffle in! Mike yelled from the kitchen, Quincy nodded his head and stood along with all the waiters and waitresses, okay guys, lets do this. Quincy was not prepared for what he saw when he pushed the double doors from the kitchen to the dining area open, hello son came the deep raspy voice Quincy hasnt heard in more than two years. Quincy closed his eyes squeezing them tight hoping what he just saw was a dream but, when he opened his eyes again and they adjusted to the light, it had not left, his father was still there, standing in front of him looking clean and healthy but a little shaken up, dad? Is that really you? Quincy said stepping closer scanning his eyes up and down his fathers body as if checking him for any sign of fault but, there was none it was in every way his father, right down to the brown old man shoes. yes my son, it is me his father said resting a hand on Quincys shoulder son, theres something I need to tell you his father said, tears slowly starting to serves in his eyes, Quincy began to worry as he had never seen his father cry his whole life what is it dad? Quincy said resting his hand on his fathers upper arm as if to hold him steady an uneasy feeling rising in his gut this isnt real, Quincy, none of this is real the tears slowly started to slip from his eyes as he spoke, what do you mean? Whats not real? Quincy said frantically as if his father was going to disappear again. His father leaned close to Quincy and whispered into his ear you need to wake up he pulled away from Quincy stepping back a few feet, Quincy noticed his hand had slipped through his fathers arm, dad no! You cant leave! Whats not real! What am I supposed to wake up from? Quincy became more and more frantic, looking around at the now fading waiters and waitresses Help me! Quincy yelled looking back to his father who was almost completely faded; tears were slowly sliding down Quincys cheeks. Quincy stepped closer to his father reaching out one last time.What happened next Quincy was not prepared for, as soon as Quincys hand touched his fathers shoulder his father burst into a bright white light, Quincy shut his eyes tight. Quincy? Are you awake? Doctor did he twitch? Quincy could hear the voices all around him, but he couldnt tell where they were coming from, he tried to move, to twitch, anything to let the voices know he was awake; he managed to move his fingers Doctor! His fingers moved! the voice closest to Quincys head sounded more famine; Quincy tried to move his fingers again doctor! His whole hand moved! His waking up! the female voice said. She grabbed at Quincy's hand holding tight Quincy, if you can hear me, I want you to open your eyes, please her hand gripped Quincys tighter, Quincy put all the strength he had into squeezing that hand, after a few minutes he squeezed the hand back, it wasnt a strong grasp but it was enough to make the woman cry out in happiness. Quincy doesnt remember who this woman is but, he feels like shes important, he feels like shes a big part of his life and all he wants to do is open his eyes to look at her face, to remember.Quincy concentrated on opening his eyes, Quincy could feel the strength draining from his body but, just before all the strength was gone his eyes opened, just slightly. The first thing Quincy saw was the womans face, her short brown hair, her dark greens puffy and red from crying. Quincy looked around the room, taking in all his surroundings, the room looked familiar to him, like his been her before, Quincy remembered where he knows this room from, his in the hospital. The man standing in the corner of the room walked closer to the bed Quincy, how are you feeling? he said resting a hand on his shoulder, Im kind of thirsty Quincy said looking to the woman then back to the man, he assumed was a doctor, of course the doctor grabbed the cup of water off the table next to the bed and handed it to Quincy, Quincy grabbed the cup nodding his head in a silent thank you and downed the water in gulps. Quincy handed the cup back to the doctor why am I? Quincy asked looking from the woman to the doctor well Quincy Im not sure how to tell you this the doctor said looking to the woman with sorrow filled eyes, Quincy, the restaurant burnt down and; a beam fell and crushed one of your legs the woman finished talking, Quincy looked down at the blanket covering his bottom half, he slowly reached down and pulled the blanket off his legs revealing his legs, one looked normal with the nightgown coming to mid-thigh but the other leg had a cast covering most of his leg, the cast stopped at his upper thigh, Quincy laid his head against the pillows after covering his legs again with the blanket.Quincy didnt know what to think at this point, he didnt even know what to do. dont look like that Quincy, you will be able to walk in about 6-8 months with possibly with a little help but its still be walking the doctor said nodding to the woman and walking out. Quincy turned to the woman Im sorry but I dont really remember who you are he said looking over her face to try and catch a glimpse of familiarities. I understand Quincy, the doctor said this might happen, would you like me to remind you? the woman asked sitting on the bed I would like that very much Quincy said grabbing her hand and holding it, a warm smile crept onto the womans face okay well, my names Sarah Grimes, Im your wife and weve been married for 8 months this Saturday. Sarah sat with Quincy telling him about their life, showing him home movies she brought from their house; she even slept in the hospital bed with Quincy.It was Early in the morning when Quincy woke up to Sarah curled into a ball next to him with an arm under her head as a pillow and her other arm draped crossed his stomach, Quincy looked down at her sleeping face, brushing the hair out of her face Quincy started getting flashbacks of their life together. Seeing how happy they are and were made a smile crawl its way onto Quincy's face. Quincy's glad he got to wake up from the dream to this world.

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