Dreams Of DestinybyKrenna Smart©
Destiny Lysander awoke with a gasp. Her heart was racing. The bed sheets were soaked with sweat. Her cranky little air conditioner had done little to lower the stultifying heat and humidity of the early July Washington, D.C. morning.
It was a dream, Destiny gasped with relief, only a dream. God, it was so real
Destiny struggled to separate out the tendrils of fantasy and reality. She looked around her bedroom. Yes, that was her dresser on the left of her bed. Her overflowing closet was on the right. The iridescent light of her clock radio showed that it was 6:30 a.m. It was early enough for Destiny to take a morning bike ride. She could leave the dream behind and meet the real world. She paused for a moment and shook her head to help sort out what was real and what was not.
Okay, she thought, today's Monday, June 30. I have a juvenile trial this morning for which I am ready. And I had a good night's sleep.
What was it I was dreaming about this time Destiny thought to herself? Dr. Pheaton said I should tape record my dreams, at least the troubling ones. He said it was kind of like taking control of an addiction. Owning it.
Destiny had always been a deep sleeper and a heavy dreamer. Her dreams were vividly colorful, sensual, audial and aural. But over the past two years her dreams had taken on lives of their own, or so it seemed. A dream would start one night and continue on through several days until completion. Some of her dreams were serial, like soap operas and some of the stories were frightening.. And she was spending more and more time asleep, which was starting to worry her. Finally in desperation, she had mentioned the problem to her friend, Dana.
Dana had suggested that Destiny seek professional help and given her names of a few psychiatrists. Destiny had taken her time to settle on a doctor. The doctor she picked was an unusual man she knew as Dr. Phaeton. She had seen him for the first time last Thursday. After listening closely to her tale, he suggested she tape record memories of her dreams so she would have a record of what was happening to her. Dr. Phaeton was an imposing man, but his manner had been reassuring.
After her appointment with Dr. Phaeton, Destiny bought a tape recorder and put it by the side of her bed but she hadn't worked up the courage to record any of her dreams yet.
Destiny decided to give Dr. Phaeton's idea a try. "Okay, here goes. I was driving a red car very fast in the dead of night somewhere near the ocean. It was very warm outside. I think it was Florida. I was being chased and somehow I knew the person chasing me was the serial killer from the amusement park dream I've been dreaming all my life. The air was wet, there was heavy metal on the radio. My foot was on the accelerator and I was losing control of the steering. The car chasing me bumped me from behind. I veered off the road onto the right shoulder and into the marsh. The car slid to a halt. I jumped out and started to run, but I was running in slow motion. My hair was long and tangled and I was wearing a long silky red nightgown with a slit up the left side. I ran further into the marsh. I was pursued. It was misty and the vegetation was pulling at me, sucking at me, dragging me down. I fell, face first, into the salt water and I knew my pursuer was right on top of me and then I blinked my eyes and I woke up in my bedroom with a cry. I was sweaty and I swear I could smell salt air and hear sea gulls calling. That's all I remember."
Destiny popped the tape out of the recorder and labeled it D.L.Dream 1, 6/30
That done, Destiny threw on a pair of cut off shorts and a T-shirt. She padded into the bathroom where she combed her long black hair and put it into a pony tail. She brushed her teeth, and reached down to pet her cat. Top Cat loved to invade Destiny's privacy first thing in the morning. Destiny wasn't sure if it was love or hunger that brought the beast into the bathroom every morning at 6:30.
Destiny moved on into the kitchen and opened a can of cat food. "Yes, I know you love me," Destiny purred to the big black and white feline that was trying so hard to trip her. "What if I stopped feeding you?" she asked. "Would you still love me?" She dumped the smelly mess onto a saucer of Norotaki china and put it down for the cat. She refilled the water bowl and then poured herself a tall glass of orange juice.
Destiny loved her kitchen. It was unusual to have a real kitchen in an urban apartment. It was modern, spacious, and airy, with white walls, dark wood cabinets and new, beige linoleum. And it opened out to a sun deck, which is where Destiny headed with her orange juice.
It was a typical late June morning in Washington, D.C. Muggy. But this was the kind of weather Destiny loved the best. It was still cool enough to work out comfortably. Destiny went through fifteen minutes of tai chi with the morning sun beaming its red eye over her left shoulder. Destiny worked her lanky body through the routine smoothly, feeling peace in the movements that she hadn't obtained through sleep. The air was fresh, and scented with the roses and honeysuckle which grew wild in the courtyard below the deck. Morning glories were just opening up.
Destiny finished her workout and strode through her apartment. She grabbed her house keys and her bike helmet, skipped down the front steps, and unlocked the front door and the iron grate. She smiled when she saw her garden flowers blooming in the front yard. She grabbed her bike, hauled it out onto the sidewalk and was off.
On mornings like this Destiny felt like she was flying when she rode her bike through town. She headed towards the Capitol at full speed. There was very little traffic at this time of day. Especially in the summer. Riding like this reminded her of her dreams of flying. In her dreams she would just lean forward a little into the wind, let her arms trail out behind her, and off she would go. She could see the world like a topographical map below her when she flew. The colors in her flying dreams were cleaner, clearer, crystalline. For a second Destiny was confused. Am I dreaming this bike ride or am I really riding towards the reflecting pool?. She was not in bed with the sheet over herhead. This is real. This is today. Get a grip
Destiny was spooked. It was not the first time she had been in a situation so much like a dream that she questioned whether or not she was awake. But this was the most compelling incident. She had felt for a moment that she could have twisted reality with a blink, and ended up back in bed.
How many times in the past, she thought, have I dreamed that I was riding a red bicycle, and now, here I am riding a red bicycle wondering if I'm dreaming? What if I have the power to decide this time it's a dream, and then I blink, and I'm back in my bed? Destiny shook her head to help sort out what was real and what was not. Wake up Destiny! she commanded. Yes she was still on her bike, heading west. She picked up her speed as she passed the pool. The traffic lights were in her favor so she hit the mall in high gear. Pedaling helped clear her head and she started thinking about the case she was supposed to be trying in two hours.
It was a stupid unauthorized use of a motor vehicle by a fourteen year old kid without a criminal record. She biked down to the Washington monument and kept going. She passed through the woody area ahead of the Lincoln Memorial. When she got to the Memorial she crossed to the path on the other side and headed back to the right of the Monument, past the Smithsonian and the old carousel.
Destiny had spent a lot of time with her client, working the angles of the case. She knew what the government would be putting on as evidence and she knew the advantages and disadvantages of her client's position. She reviewed the case in her mind as she sped by the sculpture garden and the renovation site of the botanical garden. Her witness was under subpoena and she hoped he'd show up. Destiny plugged up capitol hill past the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, and back home by way of Maryland Avenue. Maybe the government won't be ready for trial, maybe there will be too many cases and too few judges today. Maybe my client won't show up. Maybe I should call in sick. No not today.
The thing about the UUV (unauthorized use of a motor vehicle) was that all she had was a kid and a car. The car had a punched steering column and was started with a screw driver. The vent window on the driver's side was broken. But the kid was in the passenger's seat when the car was stopped by the police and it was dark outside. He swore he thought the car belonged to the driver's cousin Angelo, whose last name he didn't know and whose address he didn't know. He hadn't noticed the broken window or the punched steering column. His buddy who was in the back seat of the car wasn't caught and is, for some reason, willing to testify that he was with the kid the whole evening. When they got into the car the driver (who was charged as an adult and so cannot be used as a witness) said his cousin loaned him the car.
Destiny loathed the case. It could go either way depending on the judge, the prosecutor, the attitude of the witnesses and, of course, her own performance. It was a crap shoot. One judge might curse the kid and his witness for lying while another might find their testimony fully credible and acquit. You just never knew.
Destiny dragged her bike inside and headed for the shower, shedding her sweaty workout clothes on the way. She turned the water on full blast, ice cold, and jumped in. Goose bumps rose on her skin and her nipples hardened. She turned her back on the flow and let the water stream through her hair. She shampooed quickly. Her shower curtain was a map of the world and she fantasized about a trip to Sydney as she worked in her conditioner. She rinsed, then soaped her body with moisturizing cleanser. She briefly caressed the place between her thighs, feeling a welcome tightening. It's been so long, she thought to herself, since... She brought herself up shortly. "Don't go there Destiny"she said to herself.
Destiny stepped out of the shower and began her morning dressing ritual. It was eight-thirty by the time she was blow-dried, made-up, dressed, and breakfasted. She loaded up her briefcase with her case files, calendar, note pads, pens and other accouterments of trial, grabbed her keys and headed out the front door. Her calendar told her that her case was set before Judge Raven on Juvenile Calendar 2 at 9:00 a.m. She had plenty of time to walk to Court today. Living where she did, at the foot of Capitol Hill, she had commuting options. She could walk the mile and a half to Court, take one of three busses depending on what corner she walked to, walk a mile to the subway, or, if really in a hurry, take a taxi. Driving would have been out of the question even if she had owned a car, since parking cost an arm and a leg, or a very stiff parking ticket. On a day like today the walk finished up a really good workout and cleared her head for the upcoming battle.
She arrived at the Courthouse at 8:55 and walked into Courtroom 114 three minutes later. Her case was called first. She hadn't even had a chance to check to see if her client had arrived when her case was called by the Courtroom clerk.
Destiny walked up to the defendant's side of the table. The prosecutor stated his name. Destiny then said "Destiny Lysander on behalf of the defendant, you honor. I'm sorry, I haven't had a chance to check if my client has arrived."
The Judge frowned. "Ms. Lysander, were you not aware that this Court begins at 8:30?" Destiny was aghast. "No, your Honor. My notice said 9:00 a.m." "Were you not aware of the change in Court policy regarding juvenile calendar calls effective June 1?" "No, you honor, I'm sorry." "Ms. Lysander, this is a serious infraction," the Judge stormed. "I intend to ensure that you receive no new Court appointments. And I may refer this matter to Bar Counsel."
" BBBBut you honor, " Destiny stammered, this is only a matter of a few minutes and a first incident. Aren't you being a little harsh?"
"Don't take that tone with me, Ms. Lysander," Judge Raven said with a scowl. "I don't take contemptuous manners in my courtroom lightly."
"If you want contempt, I'll show you contempt," Destiny retorted.
"Ms. Lysander, please approach the bench," the judge ordered.
Destiny complied, totally appalled at herself and the Judge. As she walked towards the bench, she found that her feet were weighed down as if by sand bags. Her eyes filled with tears. She looked up, imploringly at the judge and blinked....
Destiny woke up in her bedroom. It was a dream, she realized. Just a damn dream. It was four a.m., June 30. Destiny had been keyed up all night because ofa disagreement she had with her boss at her temporary job the prior evening with the law firm of Richter, Williams, and Twill. Her boss, Stephen Williams wanted her to complete answers to a set of forty interrogatories by Friday without putting in any over time. Destiny had told him that the deadline would be impossible to meet. She asked Stephen to take another look at the interrogatories and the documents she was responsible for. He refused so she went over his head to the managing partner. Destiny was awaiting a response from the partner, but expected that she would be told to find another job.
Such was life as a temp. At least the hours were more to her liking than with other jobs. At RWT she worked noon to nine. If a project required overtime she could go in early or work late. Working later meant taking a taxi home, which ate into her profits, but not by much. The pay was crummy though. After all that education she was working temp jobs at $20.00 per hour. Many of her classmates were working downtown making $150,000 per year. But who wants to make that kind of money if you don't have any free time to spend it? Working eighty hours a week, 51 weeks a year was not Destiny's idea of living.
Destiny yawned and stretched., and then rolled over in bed. I've still got plenty of time to sleep, thank God, Destiny thought. But maybe I should try taping my dream like Dr. Phaeton suggested. Destiny reached over and picked the tape recorder up off of her night stand and pushed play. She described as much of the dream as she could remember. When she finished, she popped the tape out intending to stick on a label. She was surprised to see an entry already made for the day: DL, Dream 1, 6/30. What the hell? I didn't tape a dream this morning. Then she shrugged her shoulders andmade a second entry: DL, Dream 2, 6/30. When she finished she snuggled down into the bed and pulled the top sheet over her head to block out the early morning light.
Slightly restless, Destiny started to tell herself a story to lull herself to sleep. This was an old trick she'd been using since she was three years old. A little fantasy to get into dream mode.
Destiny fantasized that she was on vacation on a tropical island. Before she left to go on vacation, a friend of a friend asked her to deliver some computer discs to a relative on the island, and perhaps pick up some discs to be brought back to the United States. Destiny thought it was kind of a strange request, but was told that it was sensitive material and the mail couldn't be trusted. She was told that she would be given instructions on where to deliver the discs upon her arrival on the island.
In her fantasy, Destiny arrived on the island and, ran headlong into the island's head of security, who happened to be a gorgeous, black haired, blue eyed, army colonel, as she was leaving the airport terminal to collect her luggage. The colonel, Juan Rodriguez, had been advised that someone from the states would be smuggling in information harmful to his country's leader, the Colonel's uncle, President Pietro Rodriguez
Colonel Rodriguez was a proud man. He came from a long line of soldiers and politicos. He had been groomed since birth for action, and for life in the public eye. He was vain, not about his looks, but about his very being. He had the world by the balls and took his future as a leader of his country for granted. This showed in the manner he carried his powerful frame.
The colonel was sizing up the passengers arriving on Destiny's flight. When Destiny and the colonel collide, Destiny was floored by the raw sexuality of the man.. He was like a big, black panther, poised, ready to pounce. She stumbled two steps back before she regained her composure. Rodriguez reached out to steady Destiny.
Rodriguez's hands gripped Destiny's upper arms for no more than five seconds. Destiny gasped as a little shock of electricity shot up through her shoulders and neck. Destiny looked up at the man she had just bounced off of and their eyes meet. Destiny suddenly felt as if she has just awakened from a life-long slumber.
"What is this?" the colonel laughed. The words sound to Destiny halfway between a growl and a purr. "You are American, si? In such a hurry. Where do you rush off to, piquena? Don't run away from me, I don't bite." His accent was velvety smooth.
Destiny fell into a deep, untroubled sleep and her dream took on a life of its own.
Destiny tried to compose herself, but instead managed to drop her hat and her purse and her carry on bag. Even at five foot seven she felt dwarfed by the man standing in from of her. And damn it, she blushed. She hadn't blushed at a man since high school. "Oh my God, she with a strangled half-laugh, half sob. I'm such a klutz. I'm really sorry. I hope I didn't hurt you."
"You, hurt me?" he responded, with a grin. "Hardly." His teeth were white against his dark tan. "I wish I could be accosted so pleasantly more often. You are very soft, even at full speed."
"Well then, maybe you won't give me a ticket for poor driving this time. You are a cop, I take it?" Destiny asked, taking note of his uniform for the first time.
"Yes, Rodriguez, replied, amused. "I guess you could say I'm kind of a cop. Security is my business at present."
"Do all of the security guards down here carry heavy weapons?" Destiny asked innocently, eyeing Colonel Rodriguez's military hardware .
"Reduced to a security guard." Rodriguez shook his head ruefully, and laughed. "I'm Colonel Rodriguez." He stuck out his right hand. "And you are...? "Destiny Lysander," Destiny replied, taking his hand for a perfunctory shake. Again she felt the electricity. She caught his eye as their hands clasped, and something in his gaze told her the he felt a jolt just as she did.
And he did. Right down to his bones. Ah woman, he said to himself, are you to be my Destiny then? His loins tightened as he looked into the emerald pools that were her eyes. He caught her scent and it was familiar to him. She smelled vaguely spicy, delectable. Like a hot drink on a cold night. Something to savor, he thought.
Juan closed his eyes briefly, and when he opened them he was awake, in his bed, in Washington D.C., on a hot summer morning in July. July 10, to be exact. It was 4:30 a.m. He was John Rodgers, an officer in DC Metropolitan Police's Youth Division, not Colonel Rodriguez on some fantasy island. But the dream was so real," John thought with some desperation. The woman. I can still see the look in her eyes, smell her, feel her breath on my face. For a woman like that one might want to sleep forever."
This dream must be recorded, John said to himself. Out came his handy tape recorder -- the one that Dr. Phaeton suggested he purchase. He kept it under his bed and had already recorded about fifteen dreams since he first started seeing the peculiar psychiatrist two months ago. That was when his dreams began invading what he thought to be reality. He, like Destiny, had always slept deeply and dreamed vividly.