[The Epilogue]

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Two Years Later
The Island of Maupiti, French Polynesia
Approaching the Vernal Equinox

Day 63

Taciturn; inclined to silence, reserved in speech, reluctant to join in conversation. Dour, stern and silent in expression or manner. Uncommunicative, reticent, secretive, tight-lipped. Three syllables that begin in varying hard and soft consonants, a satisfying word that paints the one being defined as shrunken and tucked away into a self-imposed philosophical corner. An observer and a thoughtful one at that, almost as if their quietude stems from their ideas carrying too much weight or are merely shadowed by too broad of a canopy. A word that perfectly describes how Harry feels when carefully meandering through a colored premonition, a tactful decision to remain camouflaged while traipsing amongst eggshells and broken glass. A creature hidden within the bushes with glowing eyes of either curiosity or trepidation, a lungful of breath waiting to be released, a phobia of limelight. He is awake and he is asleep. He is himself and he is someone else. He is here and he is there.

Harry has opted to skip out on a staggering number of premonitions since learning to lucid dream that he feels the need to pay his dues to the cosmos once in awhile. He imagines colored dreams getting backed up like a faulty conveyer belt in a bread factory, one loaf jammed in a small tunnel while all the others spill out from behind it onto the floor in a pile. Or squeezing a tube of toothpaste with a gummy chunk jamming the opening, until eventually it's squeezed so hard that it explodes all over his hands and the bathroom sink in a pasty mess that's impossible to clean.

He's worried about interfering with the call of nature to such a degree that he'd one day drown in premonition after bloody premonition, his life reaching a point where sleep is nothing but a constant deflection. So today he's chosen to stay because this one in particular doesn't feel menacing. He knows where his brain is, he knows where his mind is, he knows where his body is. His intuition has him caught at a rare moment of ease and he trusts himself now more than he ever has before. It may have to do with your gentle and habitual suggestion that maybe his special dreams aren't all horrible if given the chance, that perhaps the premonitions that visit him match his whatever his current psychological state happens to be.

You're trying to help him see his gift from a different perspective, knowing that while a lot of them may remain difficult to swallow, that he's garnered enough skill to free himself whenever he wishes. Possibly he will happen upon something that is eye-opening or even utterly beautiful if his state of mind is open to receive it. For most of his life his mindset was almost strictly at a high level of angst and fear. But now, after years of feeling nurturing safety and protection, his brain naturally rests somewhere between pleasant and exceptional.

Within the dream, he recognizes his environment immediately. An outdoor market on the neighboring and touristy island of Bora Bora, one that you and he frequently travel to via boat for supplies or work. The entire marketplace is covered by a flimsy ceiling of dried grasses and pillared with palm trees, awash with booths that crowd inside the open-air space. The tables are covered in loads of brightly colored tablecloths, set up with various goods for sale such as black pearls, coconut and tiare soaps, monoi oil, vanilla beans, shell leis, wood carvings, woven hats and baskets and the colorful pareo fabric worn by the islanders.

The market is crowded beyond belief, children weaving in and out of their parent's legs and the random stray cat perched on tables or stools to silently judge passersby with wide, owl-like eyes. Within the midst of the hoard of people there is a loud, jarring ring of a cell phone that draws his attention. He doesn't feel fear, he doesn't feel anxiety, he doesn't feel apprehension as his feet command him towards the sound.

An invisible spotlight seems to appear and highlight a woman digging through her festive wicker bag, her mouth moving as if she were frantically cursing to herself. As if she had been waiting for this particular call and now that it's come, her cell phone seems to have magically drifted into the abyss of her purse. The sounds of the marketplace are drowned as the irritating ring of her device takes precedence over every other noise and then the woman locates the object before clicking the screen and jostling it to her ear. She listens intently, not speaking a word as her eyes dart left and right as if she were reading the speaker's invisible words in the air. Harry stands frozen as he awaits her reaction and then finally it hits; her hand falling slack as the phone slips from her palm and clatters against the ground, her hands covering her face as she breaks down into tears with her shoulders heaving to aid in their departure.

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