I can’t tell you this because it will make you sad. Remember you told me you don’t dream of Candy and if you do, you don’t remember? As I told you, I see her often in my dreams. Still 26 and beautiful as ever. She never grows old, Mama. You should see her. Her skin is baby-soft sweet and fair as her photos, and those unforgettable eyes, her huge dark orbs with the sparkly center and thick, fringe-y lashes grazing her brows… just like a porcelain brown eyed doll. She still looks the same. For 25 years, I have seen her now and then, never speaking and always smiling that stunning, super white tooth-y but cheesy grin everyone was crazy about, always standing somewhere in a crowded room of family members like nothing ever happened, like she is supposed to be there… and maybe she is… supposed to be there, or never really left. I know she left but she is still alive, Mama. I am sure of that.
Today was rainy and cold, good napping weather. I dreamed of her today but this dream was different than all the others and it’s bothering me. I woke up with hurt, mixed and confused feelings because… well, because Candy was crying today and I don’t know why. I woke before I had a chance to ask her, and I wanted, needed so desperately to know. I needed to know because it must be the end of the world when Candy cries. When tears flow down the face of the gorgeous, goofy, laughing girl we all counted on to warm our hearts, the end is near or surely here, right? I shudder to think it but I can’t help it. I know she was human, that a few things broke her heart, but wasn’t she usually the heartbreaker? Her life was so charmed and short, she had not much to cry about. She didn’t live long enough to experience many tears. Besides, it wasn’t her nature. She was happy; the one-in-a-million super gorgeous girl who could pull off being hysterically, slap-ass, goofball hilarious and somehow it worked. I’ve still met no one who holds a candle to her, Mama. Our Candy Girl. God, she was rare.
In my dream we were in your house, our house, the one we were raised in that still has the horrid, sickly blue fluorescent light you or Daddy keeps replacing. It’s awful. Take it down. Candy and I had a terrible time getting our 80’s club face on in that bathroom light. Both of us hated it and that’s where the I saw her today. Maybe she was crying about that light. I’m joking now but she would laugh at that. Anyway, you had brought her home from somewhere and silently mouthed to me behind her back to be careful with her, she was having a bad time. I was just so stoked and beside myself at seeing her I did the normal thing I had done in our time together. She was kneeling down in front of that awful white and blue plastic, wannabe granite countertop, resting part of her head on it. I went crazy kissing her cheek, the side of her face available to me. I was crying tears of bliss and kissing away at her sweet skin I could smell as vividly as the time I was actually blessed to kiss it. She was always so damn adorably cute, I couldn’t keep my lips off her. Her skin just felt so good to kiss and she always smelled precious, like a fresh-scrubbed baby. My baby sister, less than one year younger than me. So, I’m kissing away, still flipping out from joy at how happy I am to see her and I noticed something I never wanted to see then or now. Her eyes were filled with tears and she was crying, Mama. I sensed remorse, a strong sense of it, and while typing this, now understand she was crying tears of sorrow from remorse. I can’t bear the thought. It’s too painful to think she remembers what happened and feels bad for us, bad for her babies who are now grown men who grew up hard without her, bad about herself for the accident she didn’t mean to have. We know she never meant to hurt us. She didn’t mean to go away.
There’s more. I don’t know where this came from in my loony subconscious but…. She was rocking the greatest haircut. Ever. Because her face is still so young and fresh, she was working an extreme asymmetrical bob, perfectly executed and totally fitting of her in every way. One side was shaved, not radically close to her head but still maintaining her fresh, young, soft features just enough to keep from tucking that side behind her ear. The other side fell just below her chin to a sharp point, the back was cut to the nape in long layers. Her bangs were cut to those knockout lashes and she wore them slightly brushed over to the side in her effortlessly phenomenal, flirty-cute style. She was always the darling, so classic in her cheerleader fashion it’s hard to imagine her choosing that style, but I saw it on her, clear as spring water, and it, she was (is) lovely. She also had a tat; some kind of vertical, geometric design on the first vertebrae of her spine. Don’t freak out, Mama. It was only about three inches long and an inch wide, not colored in. I wanted to check that out but her skin and tears were more important and I started crying too…. and I woke up crying aloud…. that I woke up; that she was crying, that she wasn’t here, that I wasn’t able to comfort her, that I was grieved but overjoyed I got to see and kiss and smell and touch her, that she was sorry, that she is gone, that I miss her more the older I get, that she is still young and I am not, that her hair is so perfect, that her face looks like a doll I want and cannot have, that the dreams we shared were cut so short and so deeply entrenched since young childhood I never made another dream, that I have needed her so badly these past few years and…. that she is still alive. Oh my gosh, Mama. Your loss. Our loss. It’s been so long and hard. I saw Candy, Mama. She had a bad day only in my dream….and she is more alive than, as you told me, you can dream of or remember.