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Journal of Katherine Mansfield

A Dream

A Dream.

Sometimes I glance up at the clock. Then I know I am expecting Chummie. The bell peals. I run out on to the landing. I hear his hat and page 107 stick thrown on to the hall-table. He runs up the stairs, three at a time. “Hullo, darling!” But I can't move—I can't move. He puts his arm round me, holding me tightly, and we kiss— a long, firm, family kiss. And the kiss means: We are of the same blood; we have absolute confidence in each other; we love; all is well; nothing can ever come between us.

We come into my room. He goes over to the glass. “By Jove, I am hot.” Yes, he is very hot. A deep childish colour shows in his cheeks, his eyes are brilliant, his lips burn, he strokes the hair back from his forehead with the palm of his hand. I pull the curtains together and the room is shadowy. He flings himself down on the sommier and lights a cigarette, and watches the smoke, rising so slowly.

“Is that better?” I ask.

“Perfect, darling—simply perfect. The light reminds me of …”

And then the dream is over and I begin working again.