She hopes for a place where he isn't dead. The times he never exists at all are better than when he has been and has been taken from her, his presence reduced to quiet nights with a man relieved to have his life back and two snaps of pine limbs made into a cross.
This in-between place is nice. She paints the walls in yellows and blues and writes "I love you" on the autumn-morning glass. A stray cheerio is helped into her baby boy's mouth. Her husband is the same man from the other worlds, with kinder eyes and a fondness for pillow forts. She adores him.
She feels the pull at the back of her mind constantly now, the dark fingers wrap themselves around her thoughts and beckon her. The first wave of denial comes as constant cups of coffee, and frenzied midnight housecleaning signals her growing fear. Caffeine pills are the last resort. He intervenes.
He takes her to bed. Thumb pressed to one of her dark rimmed eyes, he says, "We'll get those nightmares checked out first thing tomorrow, poppy."
"Please don't make me go, babe. In this other world," she begs, "Things are real different. Strange. I don't know why but I always have to fight."
She asks to see her baby. When he returns, she's gone; head rolled over onto her shoulder in sleep. The boy's soft cries turn into a loud and desperate wail.
And when she dreams, her name is Sailor Morpheas.