After Arnold lost his wife to cancer, he started dreaming of a mysterious woman. He painted her face everywhere but didn’t know where they had ever met. To his shock, he ran into her during a flight and had to introduce himself. They later discovered the surprising reason why he kept seeing her in his dreams.
“You’ve been painting this woman for months, right?” Arnold’s friend, Cass, asked him through the phone. Cass was going to housesit while Arnold traveled to Los Angeles to see his parents. He didn’t want to leave his cat, Bob, alone, and his friend offered to stay over.
It was the first time Cass had seen all of Arnold’s new artwork, which was inspired by the face he saw in his dreams. “Yes, Cass. It’s the woman I’ve been telling you about,” he responded.
“You still don’t know where you know her from? You know… apparently, the human brain can’t make up new faces. I think I read that if you dream of someone you don’t know, you have definitely seen them before,” Cass continued.
“Yeah, well, I still have no idea who she is,” Arnold replied, pursing his lips. He was sitting at the airport terminal waiting for boarding time. “Listen, I have to go. We’re starting to board. See you in a week, Cass.”
Arnold was sitting in his seat already with his headphones on and rummaging through his bag for his book when he heard a female voice. “Excuse me, please.” He raised his head and started moving his body to let the woman through, but when she sat down, Arnold was shocked.
“Ahh, finally. I hate flying, but at least this airline has comfortable seats, right?” the woman said and smiled kindly at the stranger next to her. But that’s when she noticed that Arnold was staring at her with wide eyes. “Is everything ok?”
He shook his head and snapped out of it. “I’m sorry. Wow. I’m… yeah, these seats are great,” he mumbled and stared straight ahead. It was her. It was the woman of his dreams. Literally. The woman, who he had never met before, was sitting right beside him. And Arnold felt guilty. His wife had only passed away from cancer six months ago, and he was noticing how beautiful this woman was.
But they were going to sit together for the next three hours as they traveled to Los Angeles from Texas. Should he say something? Should he explain why he had wide eyes? Ask if he scared her?
Luckily, she broke the ice and offered him some of her chips. “So, I get a little nervous during takeoff. Can you tell me about your life to distract me?” the woman asked. “I’m Rachel, by the way. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Ah, yeah, sure. I’m Arnold. It’s nice to meet you too. Well, I’m an artist…,” he began, and they talked for the entire three hours of the flight. When they landed, he asked for her number and decided not to tell her anything.
After visiting his parents, Arnold decided to make a permanent move back to L.A., where he had grown up. Being alone in Texas without his wife had been horrible, so he returned to Texas, packed his things, Bob, and said goodbye to Cass.
When he finalized his move, Arnold called Rachel, and they started dating immediately. After two months, he finally revealed his story; how he had been dreaming of her, his paintings, and how her face plagued her. The difference was that her eyes were green, and it was never too specific in his dreams.
Instead of being freaked out, Rachel seemed to love it. “Oh my God. That means we are meant to be, right? I mean… what are the chances? We sat together during our flight. Oh! That’s why you had that weird look at first! It’s pretty cool!” she told him cheerfully.
Arnold showed her some of his paintings, including a few new ones he made after meeting her in real life. She loved them all.
Rachel was a hopeless romantic, with an emphasis on the word “hopeless.” She was 35, only five years younger than Arnold, and had had a string of failed relationships. Her first long-term boyfriend didn’t want to marry her, another one got her pregnant and dumped her when she miscarried, and finally, the latest man discovered he was gay after months of being with her.
Arnold was perfect, and if he dreamed of her, he had to be the one. Therefore, they dated seriously and decided to introduce each other to their parents after a few more months. “There’s no time to waste, right?” she said.
Rachel’s parents loved Arnold. Of course, they were also hoping their daughter would marry soon and start having babies.
One day, her mother decided to bring out Rachel’s old photo albums, and they were browsing through them after dinner. “And this is Rachel’s first-grade class,” the older woman said, pointing her daughter out with her finger to Arnold.
Arnold smiled politely and thought his girlfriend was cute as a little girl. Then his eyes focused on the boy next to her in the picture, and suddenly, he exclaimed, “Oh my God!”
“What?” Rachel’s mom shouted in fright. But Arnold looked up at Rachel and beckoned her with his hand.
“Look, Rachel! This is the answer. It has to be,” Arnold said as Rachel rushed over and looked at the picture. “That’s me. Now, I remember the day we took that picture. I hated wearing that bowtie, but my mom insisted.”
Rachel’s eyes widened too. “Are you sure? Wow, this is crazy!” she cheered.
“What’s going on?” Rachel’s mother asked, and they explained how they met and how Arnold had dreamed of Rachel for months earlier.
“But you drew her as an adult, right? Maybe, you met in Texas before?” Rachel’s mom suggested.
“It’s a possibility. Maybe, on the streets,” Arnold said. “But I remember changing schools for second grade because we moved to another district. Otherwise, we might have been friends.”
They might never know why Arnold started dreaming of her all of a sudden, but Rachel loved the mystery, as it brought them together. And she told everyone their story for many years to come.
What can we learn from this story?
Dreams tell you more than you think. Arnold thought it was some random woman, but it might have been destiny sending the image of Rachel’s face.
You never know what could happen when you start a conversation with a stranger. Arnold and Rachel talked during their flight, although they could’ve focused on themselves. That’s how they fell in love and became a family. The same could happen to you if you take a chance.