It was her most troubling erotic dream.
That was pretty extraordinary in itself. Nadia could recall twenty-two lifetimes of sleepy mornings when she remembered dreaming of kissing boys and girls off-limits. No matter the body, no matter the lifetime, Nadia had rolled over and clutched a pillow, the details of a dream vanishing like mists around the ocean at the first burn of the sun.
There was an awareness of the dream, maybe the person, maybe the place, but it was hormones and physical, and the dreams were easy to let go.
This dream was different.
She was wearing nothing but a threadbare t-shirt worn soft by countless washes, and he had her pressed against the wall. Nadia closed her eyes; she couldn't recall what he was wearing, but his skin had been so warm. She was pressed between the soft t-shirt, the wall, and his hot skin. Slow, lingering kisses. Arms tightening.
She shook her head into her pillow. She couldn't even remember if they went farther than that, but even thinking about it made her skin flush. Which was stupid because she was a mother of two children--nothing was supposed to surprise her anymore.
Nadia knew the man in the dream. She had gone to Japan two weeks before, and he was a stationmaster who had helped her with the ticket barrier. He wasn't handsome and he was two inches shorter than her, but he had clean skin. He had spoken to her in Dutch--Dutch only a sixteenth century tradesman would know--because she didn't speak Japanese, and for the first time in twenty-two lifetimes, she instinctively knew she wasn't alone.
She had been the only person she knew who actually remembered previous lives. The Internet only confirmed her suspicions, but her spiritual side had always believed she couldn't be the only person on Earth. She pulled her comforter up to her nose, trying to shut out the blush spreading from the back of her neck.
Her husband rolled over, chuckling. "That good, huh?"
"Oh, shut up."
She rolled out of bed with a laugh, and they woke up the kids and ate a lazy Sunday morning breakfast. She chased her son around the sofa. Loved them so much it hurt sometimes. Everyone went to bed early, and Nadia tossed and turned, tugging the quilt off her husband. She draped her pillow over her eyes.
What was troubling about the dream was that in didn't burn away like the others, a lingering revelation about the world, hot skin, and her strange place in it.