You’re a critical dream, baby - she told me.
There was something about those words that really crushed me. They seemed to reach deep under my skin and pierce my insides. A critical dream. I whisper those two words, tasting their bitter flavor. I roll them on my tongue and then I just watch as they leave me. Floating out into the freezing air. My lips part for another short moment, and then stretch into a sharp smile. I come closer to her and hold a strand of her soft hair. She doesn’t respond in any way, just stares at me with those big hazel eyes.
Don’t you mean a critical mistake? - I ask.
No, and you know why?
I look at her, my smile turning into that of a blade. Sharper with every second. My fingers slowly trace the line of her jaw, her neck. I let my fingers sink in her skin for longer than they should. I put pressure on the touch and wonder if the dent will turn into a bruise. I sigh, and then I let my hand fall. My fingers leave her skin and roll into a fist. I step away.
No, why? - I ask, trying to quiet my rushing pulse.
Because mistakes can be fixed, you can’t.
I stare at her. My eyes turn cold. Something disappears from my movements, a sort of mannerism that I was playing with before. I take off the mask that I so carefully put on before. My voice is calm when I speak, as if answering a question that she didn’t ask.
Because I already fixed your mistakes and problems. And now, you don’t have the patience for mine.
Essentially. I have put myself back to a state I can function and take joy from the system. And you, M? How about you?
She asks as if challenging me.
I am a fixer, Clare. I do what I have to do and I am left with none.
No. I have the basics to keep me going. I get by.
I stare at her and wonder about the words that she spoke with so much confidence.
Why did you call me like that? Why?
Because that’s what you are, M... a critical dream that lights up for others, you catch them with the allure of unreached dreams. You are critical for them. You build them up.
I stop listening to her and walk slowly through the snowy path, my heels loud against the crunchy surface - and sit on a bench. I cross my legs and gaze at the bright winter afternoon.
I guess you’re right. You, my beautiful error.
I can feel her eyes on me, and I hear her words as her warm breath tickles my ear. My pulse rises but I don’t move.
I was always that, but I guess you forgot.
Yes, that I did. But in the end, critical dreams don’t really exist, don’t they?
No, and neither do the errors.
She sits next to me and puts a hand on my thigh. Her fingers are cold as they trace circles against my skin. Just like they used to once before. When the touch made a difference. Now, there is just this sense of numbness, even if some part of me acts on instinct and wants more. I look up again, staring at the winter sun and put my fingers on hers.
Neither of us did really exist in this dimension - me or her, but we still crossed our paths once in a blue moon... or once in a pale, winter sun.