His thoughts were racing; reliving every single second, overthinking every spoken word. The fire grew bigger, and the screams intensified. He ran to the window, shattering the glass with the butt of his gun. Sparks were flying, and bits of the roof were already falling down. He was just about to dive through the flaming window when he felt arms around his shoulders, and he was being pulled back to safety.
"No!!" He struggled and kicked with all his might. "I have to save her! I have to get the girl!" The arms were relentless, and he felt his lungs collapsing from the smoke. The screams stopped, and the roof went crashing down. He wished to turn back time.
He opened his eyes. There were droplets of sweat standing above his eyebrows, and his palms were soggy. He walked into the bathroom to splash icy water across his face.
Darby stood in the doorway. "Another dream?"
Robert nodded slowly, working out the kinks in his neck. "Her eyes were bright blue."
Darby nodded, smiling. "That's good," she said. "Write it down. Any new memory helps."
Robert turned to walk out of the bathroom, pressing a cold kiss on her temple on his way out. "I can't sleep. I'm going to go run a little bit to clear my head."
"Okay," Darby smiled encouragingly. "I'll be here when you get back."
Robert thumped back into the kitchen, grabbing a hand towel before he sunk into a rigid chair. He mopped his forehead, gasping a little for breath. He was just trying to sneak back into the bathroom for a shower when he heard muffled sounds from the master bedroom.
Robert dropped the hand towel on the floor. "Darby?" He knelt in front of their bed, gently turning his wife to face him. "Darby, what's wrong?"
"Oh, Bobby. I tried not to cry. I feel so weak...so wrong."
He gently stroked her hair, not minding the salty tears that were now mingled with his sweat.
"What feels wrong, Baby?"
"It's just-it's that I feel like I'm not fit. That is, not able to help you like you need. I feel weak."
He pulled her closer against his chest while she burrowed her nose even deeper into his shoulder.
"Love, you are the strongest woman I know. And of course you're fit! Darby, all of those days that I was lost in PTSD, you were there for me. I thought I could never open up to anyone; to share my scars or my mental pain with anyone. But God gave me you. You've listened, sympathized, and even cried with me. If I had it to do over, I still would have asked you to be my wife. I love you more than anything in this world."
She held him tighter, her tears slowing. "I feel a little silly for crying."
He kissed her tenderly. "I better go shower. I hope all of that snot didn't stain my a-shirt."
She whopped him upside the head with a feather pillow. "Funny, Babe."
"I love you."
"I love you more. Oh! How does coffee and some sunrise watching on the back porch sound?"
"Perfect. I'll be out in ten."
She held up a mug of creamy coffee, and patted the space next to her on the jumbo-sized quilt and plethora of fluffy pillows. "Here ya go."
She draped her arm around his waist, and he tucked his chin over her hair.
"You smell better, now that you've showered."
"Oh stop it. Look."
He took her hand, and pointed up at the sky with her finger.
"What do you think it would be like if you could only see one star up there in the sky every night?"
"Void, empty, bleak, hopeless."
"And how would that make you feel?"
"Sad, lonely, depressed."
He nodded. "Good. But what does it look like with all of the stars out?"
She tilted her head, thoughtful. "Well; it looks vast, magnificent, breathtaking. And it makes me feel small, but loved. God made those big lights, but He cares about me. And He made me, too."
"Exactly. And when He made you, He set you apart for me. See? This is why we should always look up for the bigger picture. It all adds up when you put it together, and He promises that it will make sense in the end."
"Thank you, Robert. That's just what I needed to hear. And look, here comes the sun!"
She snuggled closer in his arms while he held her against his heart, and they watched the sun rise in the sky, and with its rising the darkness sank, and hope was revived.
Just a little story I threw together yesterday and today. :)