by Kelly F. Barr
Callie walked down a street in the city of Lancaster where she was vacationing. She’d never been there before but was enjoying all the city had to offer. Last night she’d attended a production of “Wuthering Heights” at the Fulton Opera House. She sat in the balcony and was completely caught up in the turbulent romance between Heathcliff and Catherine.
She turned the corner and came to an abrupt halt—her senses reeling—overcome by an incredible sense of déjà vu. Everything around her was familiar—the old brick buildings, the little patio of brick and sidewalk with café tables and chairs of dark brown with red umbrellas; the scent of spices and something fried in the air, the sunshine on her face, and the sounds of voices and a violin tickling her ears. Callie had been in this exact place so many times in her dreams but she had never thought it was a real place.
Then she saw him. At least she thought it was him. She couldn’t be sure from the back, but he had the strong, confident stance and jet black shoulder length curls. He wore the same sky blue suit coat with tan pants. When he turned, her breath caught in her throat as she looked into the same sapphire blue eyes and dark beard, just a bit more than a five o’clock shadow, on a strong jaw.
He smiled, revealing perfect dimples set deep in his cheeks. His eyes were locked with hers. “Is it really you?”
Could this really be happening or was she dreaming?
The man from her dreams took a couple long strides to stand before her. “I can’t believe you’re really here.” He reached his hand out to her.
Callie’s head spun and her knees turned to rubber. As she started to crumple, his arm slipped around her back. He held her up and guided her to the nearest café table where he deposited her in a chair before seating himself in one across from her.
“Are you alright?”
“Y…y…yes, I … think so. Do you know me?” She fanned herself with one hand, hoping some air would stop her head from whirling.
“Only in my dreams … until this moment. I always hoped but couldn’t be sure we’d ever really meet. My name’s Chase Bryant, and you are?”
“Callie … Callie Holcomb. What do you mean you only know me from your dreams?”
“I’ve had a recurring dream that I meet you in this very spot.”
Callie closed her eyes and massaged her temples. “This can’t be happening.”
“Are you sure you’re alright. Would you like me to get you something cold to drink?”
She opened her eyes and Chase was still sitting across from her, his sapphire blue eyes looking at her with concern. “It’s just … things like this don’t happen in real life … do they? I mean, I’ve had that same recurring dream, but…”
“I know. It seems crazy, but here we are … and, I take it, you’re not married?” He raised an eyebrow.
She shook her head. “You?”
“No, I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Woa, just because we’ve had the same dream and now we’re here and we’re both single, doesn’t mean I’m jumping into any marriage.”
Chase chuckled. “Of course not. I just meant, I’ve suspected the dream would come true. I can’t explain why—call it premonition or gut instinct or a prophetic dream … I don’t know. I just knew that some day we would meet, and here we are. Now we can spend some time getting to know one another … uh, unless you’re already dating someone?”
His eyes searched hers and a strong desire to quell his doubts caused her to blurt out, “No, I’m not dating anyone. And … maybe we could start by getting something for lunch? I’m quite famished.”
“Of course. Would you like a café experience, fine dining, or taking a tour through Central Market and making a selection which we can enjoy out here at this table?”
“Well, since I’m not from around here, maybe you could make a recommendation. However, I’d just as soon leave fine dining for a dinner experience.”
His face became serious. “You’re not from around here?”
She shook her head. “I’m vacationing here. I arrived day before yesterday and will be here the rest of this week and next.”
“I see.” His gaze moved from her face to his hands on the table.
“Is something wrong?”
He raised his eyes to hers again. “Well that explains why it took so long for us to meet, but I’m not willing to meet you, start to get to know, then say goodbye.”
A couple moments of silence passed between them, then Chase rose from his chair, clasped Callie’s hand in his, tugged her to her feet, and offered her another smile. “Well, that’s not waste time worrying about that right now. Let’s go find lunch in the market. It’s something every tourist must experience.”
Callie spent the rest of the day with Chase, who played the role of personal tour guide. They talked and laughed together and found they had quite a bit in common.
As the sun began to sink in the sky, Chase escorted her back to her hotel. He walked her into the lobby, then stood facing her. “Go and prepare for a fine dining experience. I’ll return in exactly one hour to collect you for the evening.” His dimpled smile made her heart skip a beat.
“As you wish.” She gave a theatrical curtsy and the two parted.
One hour later, Chase returned and the two of them walked a couple blocks then entered The Imperial Restaurant where they enjoyed a delicious meal and great conversation. After dinner, Chase escorted her to a sleek, blue Lincoln Town Car. He opened the door for her and closed it when she was comfortably seated. He drove to a large park, retrieved two lawn chairs from the trunk, and led her to a large open lawn facing an amphitheater. He set up the chairs and they sat down. He explained that during the summer, the amphitheater was used for free concerts. A few minutes later, Callie enjoyed listening to Latin music and dancing with Chase in a nearby area of open lawn.
When the last song faded, they returned to his car and Chase drove her to back to the hotel. This time he escorted her to the door of her room, where he faced her, holding her hands in his. “I had an amazing day. Sadly, I have to work tomorrow, but I’d like you to meet me for lunch, and I want to spend the evening with you as well.”
“I’d like that.” She smiled up at him.
He took a step closer, lowered his head, and place his lips on hers. The kiss began soft and light, but deepened quickly. When it ended, Callie was breathless.
Chase remained close to her, looking into her eyes. “I feel like I’ve known you all my life … like we were made for each other. I believe I love you.”
When Callie opened her mouth to speak, Chase put a finger to her lips. “Don’t say anything. You don’t have to respond. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He gave her a light kiss, then turned and moved down the hall to the elevator.
Callie entered her hotel room, leaned her back against the door, and closed her eyes reliving the past few minutes in her mind. Could he really love her? Could she really love him so soon? It did feel as though they’d known each other a long time. They’d obviously met in their dreams over and over again. Other women had said they had found their “dream man”, but for Callie … that statement was really true.