Don't Go To Sleep
Shome Dasgupta
Break
You know how some people have window shutters for their houses and how they open them during the day to let the sunlight come in, and then at night, they close them to keep the stars out? Well, she was like that, except completely the opposite.
I was at Caroline's house one day— she invited me over to watch Stolen Kisses. I've seen the movie a million times, maybe even a little more than that, and when she asked me to come over and watch it with her, I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation. I'll take every opportunity to watch that film.
Anyway, I spent the day with her. She wasn't wearing any cosmetics, and she kept the window shutters closed. We ended up having a Truffaut marathon— Stolen Kisses, 400 Blows, Small Change, and Day For Night. We had a really good time, stuffing ourselves with popcorn, ice cream, pretzels, and we even ate some lettuce to feel healthy.
By the time we finished watching the movies, night had settled, and a storm made its way over Tallahassee. She was kind enough to ask me to spend the night, as she was worried with the notion of me driving home through the lightning and rain. Again, I accepted her offer. I'm a horrible driver as it is anyway.
Well, she had to go to bed early that night, as she had to go to the office early the next morning. Before the slept, she opened the shutters to her house, letting the rain come through, but I didn't ask her about it. She gave me some blankets and a pillow, making the couch as comfortable as possible. As my eyes started to droop, I saw Caroline walking though the living room to the kitchen, in a glittering and extravagant red dress. She had make-up on, as well.
"Are you going somewhere," I managed to mumble.
She shook her head.
"No. I'm going to bed."
"How come you're all dressed up?"
"I always dress up," she said. "I want to look the best for my dreams."
With that, I soon become lost in my own dreams, which I think were about Dolly Parton singing hip-hop to a sold out crowd. She was jumping up and down. When I woke up the next day, I saw Caroline sitting at the dining table. She was sniffling.
"Good morning," I said.
She tried to hide it, but then she started crying full force, just like the rain last night.
"What's wrong?"
"He didn't come."
"Who?"
"Thomas. He was supposed to show up in my dream last night, but he stood me up. I even wore my best perfume, but he never came."
Shome Dasgupta holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University-Los Angeles. His fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in print and online journals, including CAFE IRREAL, VERDAD MAGAZINE, THE MEADOW, GERTRUDE PRESS, MAGMA POETRY, SHELF LIFE MAGAZINE, and THE FOOTNOTE. He has a short story appearing in the November 2008 issue of WORD RIOT.