Kiersten grabbed my hand and dragged me along the white hallway to where the roller coaster was loading up. "Hurry up!" She climbed into the only seat. "Watch me, Mama!"
I watched, smiling, as she went around the short track three, then four times. She laughed, her dark hair flying out behind her. As she got out of the car and ran around to re-enter the non-existent line, she yelled, "Come on with me this time!" I climbed in with her, then noticed she was not sitting in the seat, but floating next to me. She was in some sort of water slide, whooshing along on her back. Laughing, she grabbed my hand again. I felt so happy. Then I remembered.
"You're not real, are you?"
She looked at me briefly, "No Mama. I'm just in your dream."
"So you haven't come back?"
"No, Mama. But we can play for now."
"So I'll wake up and you won't be here."
She nodded. "Uh-huh."
Then she hugged me. I could feel her arms around me, could smell her hair. I felt her in my arms, whole and solid. My joy was transcendent.
"If I know it's a dream, why am I still here? Don't you have to go? Am I awake?"
"Not yet. Let's ride another ride."
Then my alarm went off.