I saw her; I felt her arms around me. I heard her voice… my mother, long gone, comforted me as she never had when she was alive.

I had been tossing and turning for most of the night, plagued with dreams of rejection, loss and anxiety. It seemed I had barely escaped from one frame when I found myself in another, and then another. I ran and I ran, hoping to find friendly refuge as the early morning light began to filter through the bamboo shades. The large cement block building rose up in front of me as I got to the top of the stairs. The door was huge and solid as I pushed against it. It began to open and I flung myself into the cavernous space beyond. I leaned against the wall, listening to my heart as it pounded. I closed my eyes and turned my attention to my breath, to slow, to slow it down.

That’s when she quickly entered the room, coming straight towards me, arms outstretched, her familiar fragrance preceding her. I fell, sobbing into her arms.

She pushed my hair aside and spoke into my ear, “It’s alright; you’ll be fine. I’m here with you.”

She held me close as she breathed light kisses on my forehead and ran her fingers across my cheek. I leaned into her solid presence and as I did, I felt her fading away. I reached out as if my longing and need could keep her with me.

I awoke, tears running down my cheeks. I could still feel her skin, smell her smell, hear her words…

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