Phil dreamed June was dying of some disease that caused her whole body to swell and deform. She was cold so he covered her until all he could see was her head sticking out of a cascading pile of quilts and comforters.
“What do you think it means?” he asked her.
“The sickness, or your holistic blanket remedy?”
“So am I. I’ve had this stomach bug for the past two days, and I’m wondering if we should hit up the linen sale at Bed Bath and Beyond.”
In one of Phil’s dreams June died in a car accident where he drove their car and the oncoming milk truck simultaneously. June thought the way he described holding her in the pool of blood mixing with milk was beautiful and alarming. She joked it was too early in their marriage for him to be fantasizing about her death.
“I had a dream about you too,” she told him. She was getting ready for work and had hot curlers in her auburn hair. “We were up north, and you’d gone off drinking and snowmobiling with Marty and George. You got into an accident and lost your leg.” Her eyes cut toward him from the mirror. “But you were too embarrassed to tell me about it, so you tried to pass your prosthesis off as the real deal, and I was too embarrassed by your efforts to let you know I knew.”
“When have I ever ridden a snowmobile?” he asked.
“That’s not the point.”
“Would you still love me if I only had one leg?”
She dabbed at her eyelashes.
“Probably, but stay away from snowmobiles in the meantime.”
Phil worried he’d always had the ability to see the future, and was only now realizing his potential.
He told her about it at the supermarket.
“You’re afraid you’re psychic?” she asked. Grocery shoppers with carts passed them in the canned vegetable aisle. “But you can’t use these powers for anything like predicting lottery numbers or reading minds?”
Phil selected a can of kidney beans. “It pretty much only works for your death.”
“Bummer,” she said.
The next week June told him she was pregnant. When he sat down next to her on the couch, she put her hand on his knee and said, “I know it’s not exactly the way we planned it.”
“We only just got married,” he said, staring straight forward.
“It explains the dreams I was having though.” Standing up, Phil continued, “I think I knew you were pregnant, and the dreams were my subconscious worrying about you. And the fetus.”
“Again with the fortune telling?”
“What else could it be?”
“You don’t think it has to do with being freaked out by all the changes over the past year?”
“No.” He smiled. “I’m really excited about having a, you know.”
June gave Phil a look she’d given him in a dream once: the look of a woman being told by her husband that he’s standing upright, when clearly he could tilt over at any moment.