He who hesitates is lost. by Gwyn Lloyd Evans

The Dream.

Michael was a quiet unassuming young man in his early twenties, slim and about 5ft. 7in. tall with a head of thick brown hair and eyes. And although he was quite good-looking and had great teeth that lit up his face when he smiled, he didn’t have a girl-friend because he was rather shy; and he found it difficult to chat up most of the young ladies that he found attractive. 

One late afternoon he got on a bus and a lovely-looking young lady in her late teens, wearing a dark blue coat and matching bobble hat covering most of her hair, got on board a couple of stops after his. She was about 5ft. 2in. tall , also with dark eyes, and gave him a slight smile before sitting down, but with her back facing him unfortunately.

In view of the smile he’d received Michael wondered whether they had met somewhere before, and thought they might have been in school together a few years earlier. In any case, he was impressed by the fact that she had smiled at him and wondered whether he should say something to her.

He didn’t. But when it was time for him to get off the bus he was pleased to see that the young lady got up too and they both stepped off the platform almost together. But Michael still could not bring himself to say something to her at that moment, and they both started to walk away from the bus stop in opposite directions.

After walking a few yards and turning a nearby corner the lad quickly decided to turn back into the street where they had got off the bus; and after he did so he was just in time to see the young lady disappearing round a corner into another street. So Michael quickly ran to the corner where the young lady had just disappeared and saw that she was heading across the street towards a McDonald’s restaurant nearby. And he saw that on reaching the front door she entered the eatery. 

Michael waited undecidedly, but only for half a minute before deciding to enter the restaurant himself. It was quite busy inside but the young lady was nowhere to be seen. So the young man assumed that she must be working there somewhere out of sight at that moment. 

He decided to order a chicken sandwich - he had only eaten his breakfast and a light snack that day so he felt he had a good excuse for staying for a while in the restaurant. And he hoped that his sandwich would be brought out from the kitchen by the young lady he hoped to see again. For by now he had decided that he would definitely chat to her and try to arrange a date. 

However, when his sandwich turned up at the counter it was brought there by a middle-aged woman, obviously not the person he was hoping to see. So Michael sat down disappointedly to eat his food - very slowly, hoping that the young lady would appear from somewhere in the meantime. Unfortunately she didn’t, and eventually Michael finished his sandwich and walked out of the building.

It was only then that he caught a glimpse of the young lady in question, taking an order from a drive-through customer through one of the two hatches in the wall of the building. But he realised that he wouldn’t really be able to chat to the young lady if he went up to the hatch, because there was a queue of cars waiting for their owners to have their orders taken. And he couldn’t go home to get his car as he didn’t have one. So he reluctantly decide to go home and hoped that the young lady might be behind the counter, or cleaning the tables or something, the next time he called at the restaurant.
Now Michael had a very lively imagination and it would seem these creative thoughts of his often spilled over into his frequent dreams. For instance, he once dreamt that there was a ticking time-bomb in his bedroom. So he got up in his sleep, grabbed his old ticking watch from off the dressing table and threw it out of the nearby window. (He must have woken up just as he threw the thing, for he realised what he’d done. And he told himself, before going back to bed, to fetch the watch from the garden below the window in the morning.)

A couple of nights after seeing the young lady on the bus Michael got into his bed, after drinking his usual nightcap cup of hot milk, and was soon asleep. After some time sleeping he began dreaming that he was about to attend a second-hand books fair. There was nothing very odd here, for he used to visit such fairs regularly with his dad when he was a boy. But for some funny reason (well this was a dream of course) the books fair was being held in the fully floor-boarded attic of a bungalow. And there was an opened, rickety, aluminium ladder leading from the hallway up into the larger than normal opening into the attic. 

So Michael started to climb the ladder towards the opening. But when he was about one-third of the way up he found that both his slip-on shoes were firmly fixed to a rung of the ladder and he could not move. (It seems that when they dream some people often find themselves in situations where they are unable to move, especially if it’s a nightmare.)

Anyway, after a few seconds of his shoes being stuck to the rung, the young lady Michael had seen on the bus, who was already in the attic, came to the opening. She stood for a moment looking down on him with a lovely big smile on her face. She was no longer wearing a coat and hat and Michael noticed she had lovely shoulder-length silky black hair, and was wearing a tight white top covering the upper part of a slim but curvy figure. Then she crouched to listen to the lad. 
Michael quickly explained to her what the problem was. So she leant forward, with her lovely shaped top dangling invitingly above the lad’s head, and she suggested he should give her his hand. Then she would pull upwards while he tried to lift his shoes off the rung of the ladder. So he gave her his hand and she pulled hard as he pulled against the rung of the ladder. And after a few seconds both his shoes, and his feet inside them, shot up and on to the next rung of the ladder.

But this did not solve the problem because now both his shoes were firmly stuck on this next rung of the ladder. Michael called out and the young lady came back to the opening and quickly realised that they were back where they started. So she suggested they should do the same thing again and Michael quickly agreed. Therefore she pulled his hand again as he tried to pull his shoes off the rung, while taking a good look at her face and curves. And, after a few seconds, his shoes shot quickly up and on to the next rung of the ladder as before. 

This time the young lady didn’t move away because she sensed that the same problem would probably happen again. So she said to Michael that if he could get on to the next rung of the ladder he should be able to swing the upper part of his body sideways slightly, and then he could lean forward so as to be touching, or nearly touching, the edge of the floor of the attic. 

But she added he’d have to do so carefully. And if he did that movement she said that she and another person could each grab one of his hands and hopefully manage to pull him along the floor fully into the attic. Michael agreed, and with his head still not far from the young lady, he pulled once more on his shoes as she did likewise on his hand. And, sure enough, after a couple of seconds his shoes started to shoot up quickly between the two rungs of the ladder.

But when his shoes were about half-way between the two rungs, and Michael was even nearer the gorgeous young lady, the lad suddenly woke up… because… he’d banged his head into the headboard of the bed.