I rise slowly from the buff arms of Morpheus in faint regret. He smells so springtime fresh. Who knew? Pulling the pillow closer, I try to catch a few more winks but it’s no use. My eyes open and scan the bedding. Snowy white pillow. Snowy white soft duvet flowing to mahogany posts – wait, snowy white linen? I can hardly get my laundry done once a month. This isn’t my room. I sit bolt upright.
Jada, my superego, sitting on one side of the bed, sighs. Jodi, my id, adjusts her flowing skirt. Quiet One, my ego, stares apparently engrossed with something outside the bay windows. Something leafy green rushes past.
Jodi grins widely. “You really do like to nap, don’t you.”
I groan. “Ohh, not you again.”
Jada fiddles with her matched cream two-piece sweater set. “You know you’re supposed to meditate instead of nap. It’s not good to throw off the schedule.”
I open my mouth to ask what schedule but stare harder at Jada. She still looks prim, only expensively so. Two strands of pearls, gray Anne Klein skirt – I peer over the bed’s edge – yup, Ferragamo pumps. Jodi wears a vividly orange retro ’50s couture number paired with some strappy gold Jimmy Choos. A flowing intricately painted silk kimono wraps Quiet One. Whoa. My psyche has come up in the world. Another leafy green blur rushes past the window.
I eye the baby blue patterned wallpaper and tastefully coordinated rug and drapes. “Er, where the hell am I?”
Jodi sighs impatiently. “You’re in your own bedroom, in your own flat of course, just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.”
Jada frowns, concerned. “Oh dear. You really should have adjusted by now. Maybe you should ring Dr. G.?”
Quiet One speaks up. “Don’t worry. She’s always disoriented when she first wakes. After she pets Patty, she’ll remember.” There’s a happy yap and the red pomeranian jumps onto the bed and into my lap. Good grief, she’s groomed too.
I gape at the suddenly chatty Quiet One. She turns her head slightly towards me, a faint smile on her lips. Instead of hanging back in the shadows, she’s lit by the afternoon sun. There’s a curious look of expectation in her eyes. This is new. Patty nudges me for attention and I pet her.
Jada adds a prompt. “You’re in London. Remember?”
London? Panic suddenly rises. I’m in London and don’t remember? Frantically, I glance around for the only culprit, Winston.
Jada pats my hand. “Just take a deep breath, luv.” Both Jada and Jodi look to Quiet One.
A corner of Quiet One’s mouth curves up. “Winston is gone.”
They all nod. Patty chuffs affirmatively.
I try to unscramble my thoughts. Winston is gone. Yes, Winston is gone and everything changed. I joined life, socialized, exercised, found hobbies, started to write –.
Jodi pats her upswept French twist. “You’re in London researching your second book, a murder mystery. You were frustrated about the plot so you took a nap.”
Jada chides. “Instead of meditating!”
Shock hits. A writer? I’m a writer and a successful one? I feel breathless. Could it be true? I’m distracted but another green blur falling past the window.
“What the hell is that?”
Quiet One’s face breaks into a beautiful smile that lights up her eyes. She looks content, self-assured. I’m enthralled. Do I really look like that?
“Come see. He’s been pulling ivy off his house all afternoon.”
I leap off the bed, nearly tripping on my red silk pajamas. Nice.
Looking over the fence, I spot a tall man toiling in the neighboring yard. Toned muscles ripple underneath a now grubby t-shirt and jeans as he pulls at the vines. He raises his dark head and I can see light eyes in a finely chiseled face. White teeth flash. He sees me looking and waves.
Oh. My. God.
Jodi and Jada peer over our shoulders.
Jada pokes me. “Wave back, dear. And close your mouth.”
Jodi smiles wryly. “Mmmmmhmmm. I’m so glad this place was a steal.”
I gawp at them, then laugh. “Okay, I have to be dreaming.” I wonder what I’d eaten before the nap so I can have it again.
Quiet One stares for a moment. She arches a brow. “You do you really want a pinch?”
I open my mouth and then close it. Hmmmm.