Last night I dreamt about my brother again.
I have a real love and hate relationship with these dreams.
The setting is always the same; it's my parent's house and he suddenly appears in his bedroom/the lounge/the kitchen.
"Lee's back!" I will always scream.
In some dreams this is very normal. It's as if he popped out for a loaf of bread (albeit, with a 24 year detour) and he's home again. Isn't that nice. Now let's all have a cheese sandwich and move on.
In other dreams it is very distressing. Family members and friends are present and we are all beside ourselves with grief and happiness.
"But you died," I will say. "We didn't think we'd ever see you again."
Lee will explain that yes he did die, but we are incorrect in assuming that he is no longer with us.
"You may not be able to see me, but I am still here. My presence and love will never leave you. I will always look after you and be here for you. It's just a different way than before."
By this point we are all sobbing and rushing to hold him. It's emotional.
There are also dreams where I question his mortality and he insists there has been a mistake, there must have been another Lee, another family who mourn. I even feel silly, embarrassed, in these dreams. How on earth could I have got it so wrong?!
Last night's dream was different. For the first time ever it took place in somewhere other than my parent's home. It was Mark and I's kitchen. I was actually scolding Mark for not putting a recycling bag in the dustbin. I then turned around and gasped. I was not moaning at Mark. With his handsome looks and his cheeky grin, my brother was standing next to the dustbin.
This time I was mortified that he was alive and well and I was talking about something so insignificant as rubbish. Plus, he admitted it was him, not Mark, who'd forgot the recycling bag.
I apologied profusely for moaning when there were so many other important issues, such as the fact he was back!
We embraced and laughed and everything was as it should be. I even told him how much I'd missed him.
Then I woke up.
And that's the part I hate.