Infinite Possibilities
By Valerie Muriel Mckinley
Published: October 16, 2007
Updated: October 4, 2008

Vermilion smudges stain the canvas of sky, streaks of purple in patches paint fingers of darkness to stretch the arms of night tightly around my world. The promise of a fine day tomorrow comforts my unease into a maybe things aren‘t as bad as they seem thought, just before I drift into a light and restless sleep.

Something wakes me, a noise, a stealthy movement, an almost imperceptive shifting of perspective. I find myself gazing at the same view I had looked upon before I had dozed, yet I become aware of a change taking place. The scene before my eyes begins to tear like an old picture disintegrating with age. Miraculously I find myself floating toward the rent and passing through the gaping hole, daylight is on the other side; the sun is up tempered by a refreshing breeze. The ocean laps onto the silver sand of an exotic beach. I feel a momentary happiness like I’ve never felt before and look down to find my hand encased inside a larger, stronger hand. The voice that addresses me is a soft rich baritone, with a trace of laughter bubbling beneath its surface.

“You look as if you’ve just woken from a dream my love.”

I look up into the bluest eyes imaginable, humour lines crinkle the corners.

“Why so pensive darling?”

I feel I know him, he is dear to me, my eyes familiar with his every look, line and movement yet my mind struggles to remember…

I stare down at my legs, long, slim, and tanned, my hands small, tapering off to perfectly manicured nails. My skin is soft, my muscles toned, jubilant realisation… I am healthy, whole, I can walk WALK!

When no answer is forthcoming he stops and pulls me into his arms, he tips my chin with his forefinger and lowers his mouth onto mine. My heart is thundering in my ears and I find it hard to breathe, until I fall down , down, down, plummeting into the blackness of a bottomless abyss.

Slowly, my wits return, but the darkness still engulfs me. I try to move my legs but they won’t obey me. There are no soft lips on mine, no strong arms to hold me safe. I realise with a sinking heart that it was all a dream. A thought crashes uninvited through my poor disabled brain.

This is it then, no matter what kind of weather tomorrow brings, things will always be this bad for me. This is my existence until the day I die.

From the corner of my eye I see a speck of light, as I watch fascinated, it grows bigger and bigger, bluer and bluer. A shape starts to form and there he is! Standing in a pool of brightness his smile as dazzling as the sun, he reaches out for me, his voice full of concern and love,

“Come on sweetheart, come back to me, you’ve been gone far too long”

With joy blooming inside my heart I move quickly toward him and into the tantalising circle of his arms…

The last day of our honeymoon, I’m feeling so happy. William has promised that every five years we will return to this beautiful island to relive our honeymoon.

I sneak another look at him, unable to believe that he belongs to me. My heart is so full of love for him my happiness is complete. We stroll along the shore holding hands chatting excitedly about our future, when something lying half buried in the silver sand catches my eye. I stoop to pick it up turning it slowly over and over finally letting it rest in the palm of my hand. Almost at once the most peculiar feelings engulf me and I blink to clear my blurring vision. The shard of broken glass is worn and smooth from endless ebbing and flowing of the tide. As I peer at it, it seems to dissolve into a clear liquid, shimmers then calms as I watch the shapes forming on its surface. It was like seeing something in a crystal ball. A face, familiar, tired, lined, making it an old before her time kind of face. Hands awkward with swollen joints and legs that stretch useless before her, stick thin with muscle wastage. Overall a pervading impression of hopelessness and desolation. For a few seconds our souls seem to touch and I feel her despair.

William’s voice cuts through my trance.

“Come on sweetheart. Come back to me you’ve been gone far too long”

I look up into his handsome wryly smiling face.

“What planet were you on?" he asks.
"It’s like you were in a world of your own! Come on pay me some attention will you?”

Dropping the shard of glass I leap up and throw my arms around his neck laughing shaking off the feeling of strange sadness that had taken hold of me for those few minutes. Whatever had caused the odd vision was fading fast as William takes control of my senses once again.