Here’s To You Abigail Beckett

Yesterday, when I typed the date, I realised today (the 15th April) would be the birthday of a girl I had a crush on many years ago. The only reason that I remember this, that I repeatedly argued in the following 24 hours, was that it was my password for many years. Including years long after I’d gotten over because I was too lazy to change them.

Facts of that last paragraph may be called into question in about three paragraphs time, but we’ll get to that.

Now to give you a brief recap of this girl, you can read my book, or you jump back a few blog posts where I go into things in detail, but basically it sums up like this:
1. I worked with her in my first job out of school.
2. She was nine years older than me. (yes, I can hear my housemate Craig saying repeatedly “NINE YEARS OLDER?!? NINE? NINE?!”
3. I, in retrospect maybe unjustifiably, lived in fear of losing my job if I said something so I never did until after I left three years later.
4. The feelings were not reciprocated.
5. When I, years later, contacted about my book she did not react well. (Where the pseudonym Abigail Beckett was born)
6. Despite all that, seven years after my last interaction with her I sent her an invite to my 30th.
7. Despite my humorous blindly optimistic proclamations to my friends, family members, and co-workers, she unsurprisingly did not show.
On and finally:
8. Today was her 40th birthday.

(She’ll kill me if ever finds out I put her age online. Then again she’ll have other reasons to as well so let’s just add it to the list.)

Quite possible because I’d consciously acknowledged that her birthday was today last night my subconscious decided to be a dick about things and present me with this dream:

I was getting home from work, walking up the stairs to my second story apartment when I found her waiting outside the door. I froze.
“Did…. hell just freeze over and nobody told me?”
She laughed.
“I know… after everything this is probably a bad idea… but I was just thinking about you, and it’s my birthday, and I found your website online annnnd….”
Cautiously I step forward, without saying a word, and we kiss.

That was pretty much it. I then woke up on the couch that I’d fallen asleep on the night before, switched off the alarm on my phone, and stood surveying my flat. I had let things slip in that whole ‘cleaning’ area in the last couple of weeks.

I’d just have to clean it up after work.

And that’s when it happened, that little voice in the back of my head.

“I know… after everything this is probably a bad idea… but I was just thinking about you, and it’s my birthday, and I found your website online annnnd….”

No. No. No. No. No. I was not justifying that dream with a response. I could list a dozen reasons why that dream would never happen. Some of those reasons had evidence that happened less than a year ago.

It was completely illogical to justify any sort of reasoning from triggering of neurons and synapses that happened in those brief five hours of sleep I’d had the night before.

It would be stupid to waste time cleaning the flat, when I could be doing I’d enjoy more, like running. Or sit ups. Or breakfast. Or using the cross trainer. Or hell, I could get into work massively early. Clock up some flex.

These are all highly logical things I COULD be doing, I told myself, argued myself, muttered to myself, while I cleaned the flat in the molecule of chance that dream was maybe a timeslip, a premonition, a glimpse into the future. (No, I don’t think any of those things are possible. At least, I don’t think I do.)

As I left for work I surveyed my now much cleaner apartment.

I solemnly decided not to tell anyone this had ever happened.

And I had I not thought about it for a moment, or a second, or even an hour. Had I not thought about it until 8 hours later when I was climbing the stairs just I had in the dream and then remembered what I’d dreamed last night IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE.

But alas, this is Liam Smith we’re talking about.

And my low latent inhibited brain and far too vivid imagination spent the day re-enacting the dream in my head. Each time was followed by a solid hour or two of conversation about how it was insane. Nuts. We had officially crossed the line into crazy. My old housemate was right: I would die alone.

I want to be clear, the voice of reasons here were valid. For every ‘but what if it does happen’ there were fifty reasons why in this, all other versions of reality, it wouldn’t.

But I’m sure as many of my friends and family will tell you: I’m not in the habit of listening to logic and reason. (Seriously, I just did a challenge that involved me doing 300 situps a day for 20 days.)

So after a full day of telling myself I was nuts, I left work, got home, climbed the stairs to my apartment, arriving at my completely unoccupied doorway and going inside only to find my clean apartment mockingly reminding me of the insanity it had insisted upon eight hours earlier.

Here’s to you Abigail Beckett.

I hope wherever you are you’re happy, hell I hope you’re in a happy loving relationship and that you had an awesome birthday.

As for me, I’m going to do what I should’ve done at 7am this morning, and go for a run.

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