Chapter 39: Dreams
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At dawn, his father wakes Mark from his sleep sitting with his head resting on the bed. Mark’s eyes are blurry but he can still recognize the gentle voice of his father.

“Kiddo, I need you to stay with your mom. I’m gonna go to work. I’m gonna tell your school that you can’t attend your classes.”

“You’re going to work? It’s still early.”

“Kiddo, you know I work in Toledo, remember? It takes more than an hour to travel. So I want you to be a good boy to your mom, ok? I’m gonna go. Don’t wake her up, she needs all the rest she needs.”

Mark looks at his dad with uncertainty in his eyes, “Dad… Is ma going to be alright?”

George smiles and says, “She’s going to be alright, I promise you that. We’re gonna do whatever it takes to make her well, I promise.” George messes his son’s hair and kisses him on his head. “I’m gonna be back. Bye for now.”

George opens the door and lets himself out then closes it. Mark hears the footsteps fade in the corridor as he slips back into sleep.

Mark then wakes up in a park in Toledo, sensing someone beside him. He turns and sees Samantha with his arm over her shoulders.

‘What the heck? Where am I?’

Samantha turns to him and smiles saying, “I love you, Mark Mercado.”

Then a voice speaks to him out of nowhere saying, “Prophesy. Samantha will be your wife.”

Mark suddenly wakes up and sits up from his chair. He now has no weariness in his eyes, pondering on what he just dreamt earlier.

‘What just happened? What does that even mean? Samantha as my… wife?’

Sunlight shines right at him through the slit of the curtains. He savors for a moment the warmth of sunlight in the chilly air of the hospital room.

‘Everything will be alright’.

Mark then goes over to his bag that is on the floor and opens it. He grabs his phone and turns it on, telling him the time.

7:04 AM

Mark goes over to his chair and sits on it with the phone in hand. He ponders again staring at the wall opposing him.

‘How is that even possible? How can I be with Samantha when she likes Cesar? It’s not possible.’

“What bothers you, Markie?” a weak and gentle voice graces over his ears.

Mark turns to see his mom with a tired look on her face and a look of concern for his son. Mark just smiles at her and says, “Oh. Nothing, ma. It’s just a dream.”

“I just saw you jolt back and looking stunned.”

“Oh, you saw that?” Mark chuckles but then concern governs his face. “Wait. How long were you awake, ma?”

With a weak smile, her mom says to him, “Just as your dad is about to leave, I’m awake. I can’t help but pity you two for getting you through this.”

“Ma, we’re family. We’re supposed to help each other. If one of us falls, we’ll all fall. We’re all in this together.”

Mark holds her mother’s hand and feels the death-like coldness.

“Ma, you’re cold. I will increase the temperature of the aircon.”

Mark goes over to the aircon and increases the temperature. After this, he goes back and sits on the chair.

“Thank you, Markie. No wonder I can’t sleep,” Gemma says as she chuckles. “Going back to you, what did you dream tonight that it stunned you?”

Mark looks at the ceiling, “I don’t know, ma. I don’t know if I’m deluding or having hallucinations. It’s just hard to believe given the circumstances.” He looks down and fiddles with his hands. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Could you tell me your dream?” Gemma says with a face of confusion.

Mark turns to her without making an eye contact and says, “I have this dream that I was in the park in Toledo, sitting on a bench. And then I noticed someone beside me, and it was Samantha. I was shocked when I saw that my arm was around her. She then said to me ‘I love you, Mark Mercado.’ And a voice said to me out of nowhere, ‘Prophesy, Samantha will be your wife.’ What does this mean, ma? I don’t understand. She doesn’t like me, she likes Cesar. But this dream tells me otherwise. What should I do, ma?”

Gemma sighs, looks straight ahead of her, and says, “I have that kind of dream.”

Mark turns to her and says, “You did?” With a bewildered look on his face.

“Yeah, I did,” Gemma nods approvingly. “I had a dream with the man I was dating with. I and he were in a boat together in the middle of the ocean, riding into the sunset. That’s how I knew that we would be together. Forever.” She looks at him and says, “It was your dad. And I’m glad that it happened just as the dream showed me. I had no regrets marrying the man I truly love and who truly loves me.”

“Wait. You didn’t tell me about this, ma.” Mark says with even more bewilderment on his face. “Why didn’t you tell me this earlier.”

Gemma chuckles as she strays her gaze into the ceiling, “I don’t know, Markie. Maybe we’re so caught up with us being together without even telling you the signs and wonders God has given us.” His mom looks at him again and says, “Just pray for the dream, make sure it’s from him. But I pray that whatever plan God has planned for you and Samantha, may his will be done in Heaven and on Earth.”

Soon afterwards, their hospital breakfast meals arrive in their room with an attendant delivering them. They pray for the food and eat afterwards.

Throughout the morning, Mark tells his mom the happenings of yesterday. He tells her of the game of how they overcame the troubles and hurdles leading to their victory on the court; especially when he scored the game-winning shot.

Gemma smiles and says, “Wow, I didn’t know you could do such things. I’m so proud of you, Markie. I wish I’d been there cheering you on.”

“Thank you, ma. It’s ok if you didn’t go to my game. Besides, you were busy with work and then you got sick. You didn’t do anything wrong, ma.”

“Now that we talk about it, what about I watch a game or two when I’m alright and out in this dreadful room.” She chuckles as she looks around the room. “I hope I can see you grow to be a man someday, Markie.”

“You will see me grow, ma. By my faith in God, ma, you will be well.”

“Thank you, Markie.”