As Sierra entered the kitchen, she saw Chantal. She sat with her face buried in her arms on the kitchen table. Sierra tip toed quietly to the cabinet to get a plate. The dishes rattled when she opened the cabinet door, and Chantal lifted her head off the table and sat up.
“Oh, you’re back from taking your bath,” said Chantal.
“Yes, I didn’t want to make too much noise because I noticed you were resting.”
“After I took my medication, I felt a little distressed. My heart was fluttering, so I decided to sit here and be still.”
Sierra walked over to Chantal. She took a serious look at her and asked, “Are you alright?”
“How do you feel now?”
“I feel fine. I think I’m tired from the excitement today, that’s all.”
Well, she won’t hear about Miles Banks from me tonight. It’s too much for her to handle now, thought Sierra.
“Where did you and Devlin have your picnic at?”
“We had it near the white water-lily pond under the large sycamore tree.”
Sierra’s eyebrows furrowed with her disapproval.
“Chantal, that’s almost two miles from here. It’s four miles altogether, considering you had to walk back to Brooke Manor.”
“Please don’t be upset Sierra.”
“Listen, I’m not upset with you. I want to let you lead as much of a normal life as possible, but you have to remember that your health is fragile. I want you to promise me that you will take it easy tomorrow. Be careful. Don’t overexert yourself.”
Chantal looked earnest as she placed her hand over her heart and said, “I promise you, I will be more careful.”
Sierra smiled at Chantal, and took some of the food left over from the picnic out of the refrigerator and placed it on her plate. Then, she sat down at the table to eat.
“OK, tell me why you’re so happy,” said Sierra.
Chantal’s face crinkled as it lit up with excitement.
“Devlin was so kind today. He went out of his way to plan the picnic with Ella, he listened attentively when I told him about the man in my dreams, and he adored the finished portrait that I sketched of him.”
“That’s nice. I’m sorry to interrupt you, but we have to get the recipe for the scotch eggs from Ella. They are good,” said Sierra.
“Thanks. Go ahead, I’m listening,” said Sierra.
“Devlin helped me recognize similarities between the dreams and my life. It was sort of like your advice to me about my health. She took a deep breath. “I think I love him.”
Sierra stopped eating and looked up at her.
“What?” asked Chantal. “Why did you look at me that way?”
“You said the man in my dreams, plural. Are the dreams connected somehow?”
“Yes. The symbols in both dreams are love and death during a dreadful storm. I’ve never seen the face of the man in the dreams, but I’m hoping that will change soon.”
“I read somewhere once about lucid dreams, and different methods you can practice to help you recognize when you are dreaming. To help you with details, you should consider writing down any information you remember about your dreams daily, in a journal. That may help you meet the mystery man face to face. We do not have an internet connection at Brooke Manor. So, when I go back into town, I will download some information that you can transfer to your eReader and read offline.”
“That’s a great idea Sierra!”
“Chantal, I would like to ask you a question, if you don’t mind.”
“Sure,” said Chantal.
“Do you think you still have post traumatic stress disorder from mom and dad’s death?” asked Sierra.
“I don’t think so. I’ve accepted and acknowledged the pain from that experience. I miss them, but I believe the dreams are relevant to my life going forward,” said Chantal.
“Fair enough,” said Sierra.
“Oh my goodness, I just realized Miles had a habit of twirling his hair when he was anxious or troubled. His mother commented about it at the dinner party, on the night he broke up with me. The mystery man in the dreams had the same habit under similar circumstances.”
“Really?” asked Sierra. “Perhaps, you’re correct, and the dreams are a premonition.”
“I wonder if Miles and the mystery dream man have anything else in common,” said Chantal.
Sierra looked at Chantal with a tight-lipped smile on her face, and quietly considered the secret she decided to keep about Miles. It was for the best, she thought.