Chapter Fifteen

Dreams Do Come True!

That night I dreamed quite an extraordinary dream. The first part was not quite so strange or surreal, but rather a dream that I carried about with me in my heart all day. I dreamed that I was offered the job as the hotel Receptionist at The Thornley, which was hardly surprising as that was the dearest wish of my heart at the present time. One generally dreams about the things that are the constant subject and meditation of one's thoughts and daydreams. But often dreams are not just one simple story – other subjects that are either stored in the back of one's memory or events that have happened during the day or week cross-over into one's dream at night, and become blurred, mixed-up and complicated. I had just such a dream that night. Not only did I dream that I was now the Receptionist and enjoying my job at The Thornley, but I dreamt about Ethan Richards, too. No matter what I was doing in my dreams or where I was going he was there with me, always. Wherever I looked, wherever I turned he was there – always before me, watching me with those deep, penetrating eyes of his and that thoughtful, judicious look that seemed to see right through me.

I didn't just dream about him that night, but the next three successive nights he was the subject of my night visions, and each night, our relationship grew from being just aware of one another's presence like the first night, to then seeking out each other. At first I was aware of our relationship with each other merely being one of employer and employee, and then it gradually changed. Each time we were at The Thornley, and I had the position there that I had applied for as a Receptionist.

Then on that fourth night, I actually dreamed that we were standing facing one another, at The Thornley Hotel, just staring into each other's eyes, adoringly and lovingly; we must have stayed like that for a long time, before he reached out and affectionately drew me closer to him. And then he cupped my face tenderly in his hand and gently drew it closer to his, ever so slowly and deliberately; I could feel all the surmounting and rising emotions from deep within me even in my sleep. Then he kissed me, quite ardently, and I could almost feel his arms about me as I relaxed into his fond embrace. And then I quite suddenly woke up, stunned and confused. It had been so vivid and life-like that I wondered for a moment whether it was real. I then felt quite disgusted with myself, that I could have dreamed such a thing, but also knowing that I couldn't help it. I couldn't control what I dreamed, no matter how crazy or mixed up they were, it wasn't my fault that I had dreamed such a dream. I couldn't even understand why I had dreamed it – thoughts like that had never even occurred to me once, so why had I dreamed like that? It almost frightened me, especially as Ethan had now appeared in my dreams four nights in a row. What was the matter with me? And then quite suddenly and out of the blue, a quote from Disney's Sleeping Beauty entered my head, without me forcing it there or even trying to think of it: They say if you dream a thing more than once, it's sure to come true. My heart suddenly skipped a heartbeat at that, and all kinds of buzzing emotions swirled round in my head as I tried to puzzle them out and put them together. What did it all mean? It unsettled and alarmed me that I should be dreaming such dreams, and experiencing such fluctuating and new emotions and feelings that I had never felt in my life before.

I lay awake for a couple of hours after that, worrying and trying to figure things out, without coming to any conclusion. In the end, I determined to put the whole thing, and Ethan Richards, completely out of my head, and eventually I drifted back to sleep, where school exams replaced the previous subjects, and were, surprisingly, nowhere near as daunting and disconcerting a dream as the preceding one, though they were a more troubling and nerving matter!

One thing I couldn't put out of my head completely though, was the dear hope I cherished that I would be offered the job at The Thornley. I wanted it more fervently as each day passed, and with each new morning that dawned I prayed that that would be the day that I received the blessed news. It had become the dearest wish and dream of my heart; to be able to stay in Plymouth and have such a respectable job in such a beautiful place as The Thornley was a very fine placement for a young girl like me, and I hoped with every breath I took that Ethan Richards would deem me worthy enough of the post. I was sure he was impressed with me, I thought the next day after my disquieting dream. He seemed to be. He had that kind of half-smile playing about his mouth, and his eyes almost seemed to twinkle . . . he has such handsome eyes . . . and then I stopped myself with irritation. There I go again! I thought with annoyance. You're thinking about him again! Stop it, Julia, and pull yourself together!

At that moment my mobile phone awoke me out of my present reverie. I glanced at it with wild, expectant eyes. Once again the number was unavailable, and I felt a nervous clutch at my stomach as I reached my hand forward to answer it. I think I was trembling slightly, whether from nervousness anticipation, excitement or both I do not know, but I took a deep breath before answering calmly as once before, "Hello, Julia Evans speaking."

"Good-morning, Julia," came the familiar voice of Ethan Richards. "This is Ethan from The Thornley Hotel. I'm calling to offer you the job at Reception that you applied for, if you are still interested."

Was I ever? "Oh, thank-you, yes! I am very much interested!" I said, unable to contain or disguise my delight and ecstasy. "When do I start?"

"Mrs Fellows, the manager, arrives back from her holiday next week. If you can come in next Saturday you can begin your briefing session with her. She'll be the one to train you up. Hopefully then you will be ready to take the place of Nina when she leaves in two weeks time," Ethan said. His voice was steady and void of any emotion. In fact it sounded rather flat and impassive.

"Yes, that will be wonderful," I replied enthusiastically. "My school exams finish next Friday, so that's perfect timing!" I exclaimed felicitously.

"Good," came the inexpressive reply. I could not even hear a slight smile in his voice, which dampened my spirits slightly, but not for long. "Until next Saturday then."

I could hardly believe my luck! So, dreams do come true! I couldn't wait to tell Mrs Carson, after all, it was really because of her that I had this job. She was the one that deserved my thanks for her kindness in seeking me out a position.

I waited for the year sevens to come out of the classroom, and then I quietly tiptoed in where I found Mrs Carson collecting books on her desk. I ran to her side in an instant and enveloped her in a warm hug.

"Oh, my!" she exclaimed. "What's all this for?"

"For being such a good friend!" I said, as I looked at her exultantly. "It's because of you that I now have a job – I've been offered the receptionist job at The Thornley!"

A glow of joy swept over Mrs Carson's face, and she gave me a tight squeeze. "Oh, Julia, I'm so proud of you!" she said happily. "I knew you'd get the job – you're so intelligent and such a fast learner. You'll suit the job perfectly."

"Thanks to you," I said gratefully. "It was you who found out about the job for me, and recommended me to Ethan Richards. I can't thank you enough, Mrs Carson. You really helped me when I was feeling so low about not being able to go to University."

"God works in mysterious ways, Julia," Mrs Carson replied knowingly. "All things work out for the best in the end. Even when we think things are hopeless, God is always in control. When He closes one door somewhere He'll open another."

Mrs Carson's words didn't really sink in at the time. I was too excited to really give God a thought and see things the way Mrs Carson did. It wasn't until later on, when I faced a truly 'hopeless' situation that God really meant anything to me, and I truly sought Him out.

"Remember you're going to board with me, Julia," Mrs Carson reminded. "You can start moving in next week if that's agreeable to you."

"Oh, yes, thank-you so much!" I said with a grateful smile. "I do really appreciate all your kindness to me, Mrs Carson."

"It's nothing much, Julia," came the soft reply as Mrs Carson beamed at me with that winning smile of hers. "I'm glad to help you out."

"I'm glad to know you!" I said, as I gave my favourite teacher another warm hug.

I was truly happy. To think that my school exams were almost over, and next week I would be staring my new job, and I could live with a true friend whom I respected and loved very dearly! It was almost too much happiness to handle all at once, and I rushed to e-mail the good news to my Aunt and best friend in all the world, Hannah.

As I logged in to my e-mail account, I fell to wondering again about Ethan. What a strange man he was. He seemed totally different to the man I met at the Ice-Rink that time. He was almost cold and distant now, but then he had been friendly, warm and extremely kind. I had thoroughly enjoyed the time I had spent with him at the Leisure Centre; he had been fun to be with, but now he seemed changed somehow, almost as if he had two personalities. And why I had I had that strange dream about him last night? If part of my dream had come true, and I now had that job that I longed for, what about the rest of my dream . . . . I shook my head as if to break myself away from my present musings. Stop it, Julia! Now you're allowing your imagination to run away with yourself!