He stared at the picture of the young woman that lay on his night stand on top of the folder that contained her life history. Since he took on her case a few weeks ago, Daniel couldn’t stop thinking about Celestina. He wondered if she had hopes and dreams before her life came crashing down. He picked up the worn photo. She was pretty in an earthy sort of way. Skin a light mocha. Hair to her shoulders and flipped at the ends. Her attempt to straighten it was not completely successful.
Daniel sighed. He wished he had known his mother. He thought maybe his mother might have looked like Celestina, still a glimmer of life there before the realities of a child to feed and clothe kicked in. Daniel knew he had to help her, had to make sure her child could grow up with his mother and get the care and education he needed. There was a women’s shelter in Whittier that might be able to help. He had heard good things about it and so had asked Shiori to go talk to the director today to make sure it was ok. Since Shiroi worked over here she could make a visit. The shelter was full at the moment, but he was hopeful with its good reputation that women were being helped quickly. The shelter nearest to Celestina’s home was full and wasn’t the best. He really hoped he could help her get in over here. Daniel thought about his past. Though he was adopted out of a horrible situation by a successful white couple from Connecticut, he still wondered what it would have been like to grow up with his mother.
He put down the picture and as it touched the side table an image of a girl child jumped into his mind. He had a strange dream last night. It wasn’t until this moment that he remembered dreaming at all. He closed his eyes. What was the dream? He remembered traveling down a dark corridor. There was a light up ahead so he kept going toward it. Suddenly a little girl jumped in front of the light. She looked like a paper doll silhouetted with the light behind her. She was all shadow and he wondered if maybe he was only seeing her shadow on a wall. He kept moving toward her. When he got close, she fell backward. He looked where she fell and saw only an opening in her sillohuette. He remembered thinking how curious that was and started to walk over to the hole. He realized suddenly that he would fall in, so he went around it toward the light. Then he woke up.
Daniel thought about it for awhile. He felt like there was something he was supposed to do in that dream, and he had somehow missed his chance to do it. He was lucky to have been saved from the life Celestina and her son were living by being adopted by a lawyer and his wife, but in some ways he felt like he missed a lesson of life by not falling into that abyss.
Shiori rolled over and moaned. She snuggled up behind him wrapping her arm around his waist. “Turn off the light and come back to bed. It’s too early.”
He turned and rolled himself in next to her. She felt warm and safe. But now that he remembered the dream he found his mind wandering over its meaning. He often had dreams. As a child, he’d had more and scary ones. This one wasn’t scary exactly, but something disturbed him about it. Maybe it’ll make more sense in the morning. He closed his eyes and finally fell back to sleep.