As Hannah tries to process the bad thing that happened, she has a few unique dreams that give her some awkward feelings. In these dreams she gets unwanted protection from a cowboy she doesn’t want to think about much less get protection from. Feelings of frustration, annoyance, and anger mount as the dreams persist night after night…
Excerpt from Return to New Parish:
Chapter 3 – Palominos
“Sleep came swiftly, and Hannah was back at BYU, it was like a stroll down memory lane. She saw her first boyfriend, Scott, the dream evolved into the night when she was going home from work – when she’d seen him with another girl. Hannah could feel the emotions starting to surface, then she saw a large golden palomino walking toward her with Alex James sitting on its back. He wasn’t smiling – he wasn’t teasing her. His face had a look of hardness she hadn’t seen in the waking Alex James, but his face also held an expression of care and concern. He stopped his horse between her and the scene that would have happened had her memory been allowed to continue.
Hannah tried to shake herself from the dream, but only managed to shift it to another place. She could see a literal parade of guys that had tried to flirt with her while she was at BYU. They were all cute, charming, and smiling at her. Once again, the large palomino with its rider came between her and the scene.
Hannah looked up at him, he held out his hand as if he wanted to help her up onto his horse. Hannah pulled back and the dream evolved into the night when she was at the restaurant with Mark, who had laughed at her and let her know she wasn’t good enough to be his eternal companion. She could see the scene before her, him sitting at the table waiting for her to join him, but this time instead of the palomino riding up with its cowboy, just the cowboy came.
Alex James stood between her and the scene, the look of care and concern on his face was very evident now. Hannah was confused, “Why’s he here?” she asked herself. “And why would he care?” Again, he held out his hand as if to help her – she pulled away once more.
The scene faded away… The restaurant was no longer the one she’d gone to with Mark it was the one she’d gone to with Nathaniel. Mark was not sitting at this table, – it was Nathaniel. Hannah felt so ashamed, she could hear the soft music and see the soft glow of the drippy candles dancing over the scene.
Nathaniel sat there smiling at her, waiting for her to come over and join him. Hannah choked back some surfacing emotions, she could feel the fear, pain, and the nausea swelling up inside. As tears began to flow Alex James once again stepped into the picture, standing between her and the table where Nathaniel was sitting.
“No!” she shouted as she remembered what had happened that night. The ever present whirlwind of emotions that always tried to engulf her when those memories emerged, anger, embarrassment, fear, and the deep sadness that felt like it was now attached permanently to her soul… She’d kept this secret buried deep inside herself, she’d only shared it with Sarah. He couldn’t know, “not him,” she thought, “He can’t be here.”
Alex James again had a look of care and concern on his face, the ruggedly handsome face had lost all hardness. There was no teasing smile. The tenderness she saw in his face was almost overwhelming. This time when he held out his hand, Hannah took it, and ran to him. She was quickly wrapped in his strong arms. She felt safe… she hadn’t felt that way since the night she saw that little white pill dissolving in her drink.”
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