I am dreaming.

I am next to you, in a circle, playing Apples to Apples, with a group of other people whose names I do not remember, whose faces I do not see.

My arm is draped over your leg. You are warm.

I can feel that we are still estranged, yet we are here. I do not know why, but I am grateful.

I am explaining the card I have played, defending it wildly, with ridiculous reasoning. This, as always, is part of the game.

And you laugh.

And it hits me like a freight train and fills me up and part of me, the non-dreaming conscious slumbering inside, recognizes I haven’t heard this laugh in a long, long time. Your laugh.

I am so, so, so glad to hear you laugh.

And by golly, even in this dream, for once, it sounds exactly like your laugh. It is your laugh. And I’m smiling, keeping on with my explanation, making it sillier because I just want to hear you laugh again, keep you laughing, because it’s the best sound in the world.

I can feel my sped-up heartbeat, pumping away.

I am thinking, I am so, so glad to hear your laugh.

It’s been too long.

Way too long.

And it’s amazing.

You’re amazing.

And I can feel my heartbeat and I can almost hear it and everything else fades away and it’s just my heartbeat, my heartbeat, my heartbeat and I wake up to Easter morning with this gift in my heart that I didn’t have before.

I thank God for your laugh.