The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

Title: Dream State

Version: $Revision: 1.24 $ $Date: 2004/08/01 01:30:28 $

Synopsis: Joy and Pain


This work is copyright © 2000-2004 with all rights reserved by its author. The author specifically states that this work may be redistributed, without charge, as long as it is published with the same the story name (“Dream State”), author (“JimC”), and that the story is distributed in its entirety, including the disclaimer and all chapters. You may also modify this story by partitioning this into multiple parts, as long as this disclaimer is included on each part. I specifically do NOT permit this story to be published on any site that charges any mandatory membership fees.

The web sites StoriesOnline ( and ASSTR ( have explicit permission to archive this story.

The following is a work of fiction (actually, “FANTASY”). Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental and rather far fetched, if you ask me.

This is a story that describes some sexually explicit situations in a fictional (remember fiction?) setting. The target audience is adults (people over the age of eighteen) with broad minds. This audience is getting harder and harder to find each year.

Final disclaimer—I doubt that any of the people would act in the way described herein, or even if things described herein are even possible. This is just fantasy, and should be treated as such. This fantasy takes place in the mid 1970s to late 1980s, without any fear from AIDS or any other sexually transmitted diseases, so don’t try this at home.

Chapter 26—“Jeremiah was a bull frog! Was a good friend of mine!”

William Voder disappeared about a year after the confrontation in Hawaii. During a routine message from Aimee to Mr. Voder, she received an email bounce message that indicated that his account was closed.

At around the same time, Aimee received a communication from Patricia that she thought somebody was following her and that she intended to move and would let Aimee know her new location. Aimee never heard from her again.

We knew William’s secret, and were a danger to him. On the other hand, he knew our secrets as well.

Years passed and we didn’t hear from William or his goon squad, nor did any of us get any premonitions that we were being followed or that danger was imminent. Aimee told me about Patricia when she was sure that she’d never hear from her again. I felt bad, but that part of my heart had healed in the years that had passed.

The fact that we didn’t feel any danger didn’t mean that we were not constantly on our toes. None of us ever traveled alone, and either June or Mary would always be close to me and the children. During school, the children kept locator devices on them. June giggled that we “lo-jacked” our own kids. It may sound funny, but we were serious about it.

June and I got our certification to pilot the jumbo jet, meaning that we no longer needed the services of Mely Rodriguez. As a parting gift, Debbie purchased an estate in Maine near where Mely’s family lived and gave it to her ex-employee. She occasionally flies to visit us; she had many good memories working for us and we liked her as well. Mely, who had always been bisexual, eventually married a man she met in Boston named Scott McMahon. They continue to live in Maine and have started a family.

I learned to sail, and eventually Debbie bought me a nice sized yacht that is large enough to sleep a couple of dozen people—more than big enough for our growing family. I christened the boat “Precious Cargo,” due to the nature of the people it carried, and June and I spend about two months of the year sailing around the islands, always accompanied by some of the other women and/or the kids; a lot of the time, the entire family comes along for a wonderful holiday.

* * *

In 1995, I finally followed through on my promise to Debbie to visit all the Goddess clubs. It was right after school vacation, and June, Debbie, and I took Dawn and James with us, who were six and four and a half years old. The tour took us four weeks, and we had lots of fun. At our second stop, the club in Memphis, the House Band was playing, and Jim and Kristen saw us in the audience. They asked about the family, and were delighted to find out that our trip was a special one just to visit all their locations.

At our next stop in New Orleans, the manager of the club excused himself when we arrived, and Patty Nadal came out and greeted us. Jim and Kristen had called Aimee to get our itinerary and they sent Patty to meet us, and hopefully travel with us. From that point one, we were all given V.I.P. treatment, and our trip became even more enjoyable.

Debbie and Patty talked a lot during what we dubbed the “Goddess Tour,” and on our return from the Goddess Tour, Debbie purchased some business property near Waikiki Beach. She opened the first (and still the only) franchise of the Island of the Goddess. Aimee and Patty worked together to hire some good people to run the place, ensuring that their rules regarding alcohol, acoustics, and the record companies were followed religiously. The law firm that we keep on retainer made sure the books were accurate and that all applicable laws were obeyed as well. We even hired off-duty policemen to handle security within the place.

Jim and Kristen Swift-Crittenhouse now perform at Debbie’s Goddess club one week out of the year, usually in the beginning of June. This is usually followed by a visit on Maui where the Swift-Crittenhouse family now has vacation property. Our families have a great time together, which culminates in an weekend trip around the islands on the Precious Cargo. On one of these trips, Jim presented to Dawn a ukulele and Kristen taught her how to play it in about a day. That ukulele is one of Dawn’s prized possessions to this day.

My money, which had been sitting in a bank in San Diego, was invested in some technology stocks during the 1990s. Aimee had taught me about computers, and I soon invested in Microsoft and Amazon, as well as a couple of other companies that didn’t do quite as well. My personal fortune is now close to a million dollars (on paper). When the tech stocks started to sputter near the end of the millennium, I moved everything except Microsoft into certificates of deposit and a small stake in Dawn’s name of the Waikiki Isle of the Goddess.

Life was enjoyable throughout the 1990s. We made money, obviously, but we also watched Dawn and James grow up.

Dawn inherited her mother’s seriousness, and anybody can see that she has a single-minded determination to achieve whatever she puts as a goal in front of her. Dawn also has a special relationship with Aimee, and I wondered if Dawn was blessed with any of the gifts that we had. Aimee wouldn’t tell me, though, explaining to me that Dawn would tell us herself when the time is right, and it would be wrong for us to push her, as she is still quite young and impressionable. Dawn now speaks three languages almost fluently, learning French from Aimee before she was in the first grade.

James, on the other hand, is more of a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, and even when he was just six years old, he had a bevy of girl friends looking after him. Dawn gave James the nickname “J2” (short for James II), which has sort of stuck at school.

Despite the fact that James isn’t as intelligent as Dawn in his studies, Dawn eagerly helps her cousin, and his high marks attest to both his and Dawn’s efforts. He speaks Hawaiian almost as well as Dawn and Aimee—and better than some native islanders.

About the time that the children were entering public school, Debbie began teaching both children self-defense three times a week, allowing the two to spar together. The basic tenet of Debbie’s instruction is Aimee’s philosophy: “The best way to win a fight is to avoid that fight.”

Of course, before the kids had started their self-defense classes, I took James aside and told him, “J2, if I ever see a mark on Dawn after one of your workouts, I will personally take offense.”

James, of course, had said, “Papa, I wouldn’t hurt Dawn! Besides, Aunt Mary told me the same thing, and I think I’m a little more scared of her!”

Together, we laughed.

It turned out that my warnings to James were unnecessary. Dawn quite easily demonstrated that she could happily wipe the floor with her younger cousin. In fact, I eventually had to have that same conversation with my daughter!

Aimee had tried, repeatedly, to have me learn Hawaiian, since she didn’t want the language to die. The best I was able to do was learn a few phrases, and she’d work with me to get the pronunciation correct, since I tended to Anglicize the sounds inappropriately.

* * *

One Friday in the middle of April, 2000, Aimee found me sitting in the atrium. “When did you say the Cargo is scheduled to leave?” she asked, referring to the family yacht.

I shrugged. “I’m guessing the week after next, when school is out for Easter holiday. Dawn and James are raring to go, and it looks like Mary and Debbie are about to give in to their requests, especially since I was having the engine serviced during Prince Kuhio Day at the end of last month. I’d like to make it a family outing... if you wish to come with us.”

Aimee simply nodded. “I would like to come.”

I smiled. “Thank you, Precious. I think that will swing Mary and Debbie.”

For the first time in memory, Aimee didn’t smile after I called her that name. Instead, she asked, “May I request you in Sunrise tonight?”

Sunrise, of course, was the name of the room that Aimee used.

I raised my eyebrows. Usually, the women didn’t ask for my services so early in the day—or even ask me at all, for that matter. I had figured that I would be with June that night, but I knew that she wouldn’t mind if I postponed her for a day. “Of course, Precious. I’ll let June know...”

“I’ve already talked with June,” Aimee said. “She has given permission.”

This was totally unlike Aimee. Since when did Aimee ever need permission?

“Sit down, Aimee,” I said, pointing to a love seat near the recliner that I was sitting on.

Aimee did so, obediently.

“What’s up?” I asked.

Aimee didn’t immediately answer. I saw her making up her mind what to tell me.

I simply waited.

Finally, Aimee answered me. “I intend to conceive tonight. It will be our child.”

It took a minute or two for Aimee’s statement to sink in. “I thought you couldn’t...”

Aimee shook her head. “I can, and I will, tonight.”

“You’re thirty-six years old, Aimee,” I said. “Has Doctor...”

“I can, and I will, tonight.” Aimee got up and left the atrium.

That evening, I appeared in Sunrise. I loved the festive brightness of the room.

“Good evening, Precious,” I said.

“Good evening, Master,” Aimee replied. “I’m sorry if I was short with you earlier today, but this is important to me.”

“Aimee, you don’t need to compete with Mary or Debbie...”

“No, Master,” Aimee said. “It’s not that, but this is very, very important to me.”

I nodded, seeing the pleading look in Aimee’s eyes.

Usually when I sleep with Aimee, the two of us just hold one another and relax. That night, however, I met a different Aimee, one I hadn’t seen since Christmas day over a decade ago. It was an aggressive Aimee, who astounded me that night.

We started with what usually is Aimee’s favorite insertion position, rear entry with Aimee lying on her stomach with her fanny raised, allowing me easy access. Occasionally, in this position, I find Aimee extremely aroused, as she seems to be very sensitive when my penis rubs against the front wall of her vagina.

After an unhurried orgasm, first by Aimee and then by me, Aimee took my cock into her mouth a sucked me until I was hard again. She shifted positions so that we were both on our sides, with Aimee’s legs wrapped around my legs, and her arms holding her body very close to mine. I smiled as I relished a kiss of my beloved Aimee.

“Ahh,” whispered Aimee, her eyes closed in bliss.

I continued pumping into her, and I could occasionally feel Aimee’s erect nubbin of her clit rubbing against my public hair as I reached maximum penetration for the position that we were in.

As I achieved my second orgasm that night, I felt Aimee’s presence in my mind. “I will love you forever, Master!”

There was something about our intimacy that overwhelmed me. I pulled Aimee tighter to me, and as she opened her eyes, I whispered, “I will love you forever, my precious Aimee.” I put every effort into meaning every word of that vow.

“I know, Master,” was Aimee’s silent reply.

My eyes filled with tears; I was overcome with emotion.

I remember nothing else about that evening; I believe I fell asleep, still coupled to Aimee, feeling loved and loving her as much as I could humanly love a person.

The next morning, when I opened my eyes, Aimee was lying next to me. We had uncoupled during the evening. “Thank you, Master. It is done,” she whispered.

Sometimes, I wished I had Aimee’s gift.

* * *

Aimee was apparently correct. She took a home pregnancy test a few days later, and then went to our family doctor to confirm the diagnosis. She was indeed pregnant.

Mary, June, and Debbie were ecstatic, as were Dawn and James. Dawn had been quite young when James was born, and she was now going to have a new cousin born to her favorite aunt.

Since Aimee had a smaller build than Mary or Debbie, their old maternity clothes were mostly useless for her. That wasn’t really a problem, as Aimee mostly wore muumuus when she was in Makena, and they were always loose around her to begin with.

Of course, that didn’t stop the women from purchasing maternity clothes for Aimee. June seemed to be the happiest doing so, but even Aimee bought a few clothes, and even some clothes for her baby.

When I noticed that most of the baby clothes that Aimee purchased were pink, I knew that Aimee had another premonition, even though she never specifically mentioned it to me.

Aimee’s body began to show after a couple of months. The other women made sure that her diet was proper for an expectant mother, and you could feel an air of excitement in the shack.

When Jim and Kristen brought their family to visit that summer, they all fussed over Aimee. I made a promise to visit their family compound in Chicago the next summer and show off Aimee’s new child. Aimee spent a lot of time in private with Kristen, most likely discussing maternal things.

Like Mary and Debbie before her, Aimee experienced mood swings, although to a much milder degree. There were some days when she would just look longingly at the Orchid room, which the women were now preparing for Aimee and her unborn daughter (I wasn’t the only person that noticed Aimee’s choice in baby clothes). There would be a wistful look in her eyes, and every time I would ask her if something was wrong, she’d just look at me and say, quietly, “I will love you forever, Master.” I could tell that having her baby was extremely important to Aimee, and her emotional state seemed to bear this out.

Unlike Mary and Debbie, there was no time during Aimee’s pregnancy when it seemed that she doubted my love for her. Despite this, I would always make it a point to tell Aimee that I loved her, and she’d kiss me deeply in return.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, Aimee had June visit a “lactation consultant” (I had never heard of such a thing before). Aimee told June that her mother had a problem nursing Aimee and that Aimee seemed to have the same problem that her mother had, as she hadn’t lactated yet. She told June that she’d really appreciate it if June could act as a “wet nurse” in the event that Aimee couldn’t generate enough milk for her baby. June actually jumped at the chance to at least experience some of the special joys of motherhood, and she apparently was successful in having lactation induced. It was interesting to see June pump her breasts a few times, although as I mentioned before, I’m not a person that gets a sexual thrill out of a woman lactating.

Aimee was very cheerful on Christmas day, and, like every Christmas day since Dawn’s first Christmas, Aimee and June met me in the atrium to relive my first sexual experience with June. This year, however, due to Aimee’s advanced pregnancy, Aimee didn’t ride my cock as she ordered June to kiss the two of us, but rather ordered June to fellate me at the same time that she did.

A shared blow job was always wonderful. Aimee and June were both in my mind, and knew what their tongues were doing to the nerve endings on my cock. Aimee started sucking the head of my dick right before I was ready to shoot, and after my orgasm, she and June shared a long kiss, during which Aimee fingered June into a lovely orgasm as they shared my semen between them.

Despite the fact that I was hard again after watching the two women, June and Aimee closed my robe over me and quickly pulled on their robes.

About a minute after the two women got themselves presentable, Dawn and James were at the top of the stairs.

“Daddy!” Dawn said. ”Kanaka’s been here!”

That name is, of course, “Santa” translated into Hawaiian. Neither one of my children really believed in Santa Claus, but they kept up the pretense, mostly for their mothers’ benefit. Dawn decided many years ago that any Santa on Hawaii should be respectfully called by his Hawaiian name. I always got a kick how similar that name was to the Jewish holiday Chanukah.

“I’ll make breakfast first,” Aimee said. “Christmas omelets!”

“Onions and sausage,” June and I said simultaneously, causing the two of us to giggle. My children laughed as well, as they placed their orders for themselves and their mothers.

June left with Aimee to help out in the kitchen.

“May we come down?” Dawn asked.

I felt a bit nervous, wearing only a robe with my children around. Dawn was eleven, and I didn’t want her to get improper ideas about her father. “Sure, honey,” I said. I knew that one day, somebody would have to have a talk with Dawn about the relationships within the house, if she didn’t understand them yet.

I found a lighter and lit the pine incense to create a more festive mood in the atrium.

Dawn called into the kitchen after she ran downstairs, “Aunt June, Aunt Aimee? May I help with the sausages?”

“Me, too!” yelled James.

I watched the youngsters dash into the kitchen and I tiptoed upstairs to my changing room to change into my usual outfit of a Hawaiian shirt and slacks.

Mary caught me going downstairs. “Merry Christmas, Jim!”

I kissed my wife and asked about Debbie, who had been Mary’s bed partner the previous night.

“Still sound asleep,” Mary said. “She’d sleep through a volcano.”

I laughed at the comment, and went into the Indigo room, where Debbie was passed out in the middle of the bed.

There was one sure way to arouse Debbie in the morning. I spread her legs and started licking.

“Hmmm,” Debbie moaned. “I love the way you wake me up. Are the kids downstairs?”

“Yeah, lazy britches,” I answered. “They’re helping Aimee and June make omelets.”

“Cheese and onions,” Debbie said, automatically.

“J2 already has your order,” I chuckled.

Debbie pretended to wince at the nickname. Actually, she had long ago stopped fighting that name, and secretly liked it. After all, it made her son unique in a special way.

That Christmas, there were lots of presents for Aimee, and Dawn noticed that all of the baby clothes were dresses and items for a girl.

“You know your Aunt Aimee,” I explained to my daughter. “She sees things before they happen.”

“She could confirm it with an ultra-sound,” Dawn pointed out, ever the practical youngster.

I sighed. After Aimee’s initial diagnosis of pregnancy, she had only visited the doctor once, despite repeated requests from her doctor for follow-up visits.

Luckily, Aimee was in a happy mood, and opened all the presents for her and her unborn daughter with delight.

It was an enjoyable Christmas for everybody involved. James got his Playstation and some games, and Dawn got some fashions from her Aunt Debbie that I know cost a fortune since they were shipped from designer boutiques in New York and San Francisco.

I always hoped that our money wouldn’t spoil the children, but neither one seemed to have that air of expectation of having things done for them. I recalled with fondness their insistence on helping out with breakfast and cleaning up afterward. They were pretty good kids.

June gave both of my children a special gift of a matching pair of hunting knives. June was going to take the two children to a survival course, which emphasized self-defense and making due on your own. She thought, and apparently their mothers agreed, that this would be fun for the kids, as well as educational, much like the self-defense classes that the kids were still practicing.

* * *

On the twelfth of January, June and Aimee took a trip to nearby Kanahena. The trip lasted only a few hours, but it had worried me, mostly because of Aimee’s pregnant condition. She was due on the nineteenth, although Aimee seemed fixed on the Friday the fourteenth.

Almost immediately after they came back, we were on our way to Oahu in advance of Aimee’s delivery. June was very reserved and worried about something, but I was mostly fixated on the radiant and lovely Aimee.

Of course, Aimee was the one correct about the delivery date (when is she ever wrong?).

At three o’clock in the afternoon, after ten hours of labor, Aimee delivered a six pound, ten ounce baby girl. I knew that Aimee’s chosen name for the child was Joy Porter.

It was at Aimee’s insistence that only June and I be in Oahu for her delivery. The other women and the children protested, but the children had school and their parents needed to be home to make sure everything was all right. June was still reserved, and I knew that she had something troubling her mind. I figured that once Aimee delivered her daughter, I’d find out what was bothering June.

Even though I wasn’t officially the husband of Aimee, the nurse handed Joy to me after the baby was cleaned up.

As I held Joy in my arms, I started to sense panic in the delivery room. I looked over at Aimee, whose eyes were open, but who seemed at peace with herself, breathing regularly and steady.

The delivery nurse, however, was frantic. “She’s still bleeding!” she yelled.

Suddenly, medical personnel snapped into action.

I looked curiously at Aimee, but her expression didn’t change.

I felt a calming presence in my mind, and heard the one expression that I heard countless times from Aimee: “I will love you forever, my beloved master.”

“What’s going on?” I said aloud.

“Please,” an orderly said hurriedly, pushing me away from Aimee’s bed.

I glanced at June, who had tears in her eyes.

“What’s going on?” I repeated, only this time, I projected the thought into Aimee’s mind.

“June knows,” Aimee’s mind-voice told me. “I told her... I... my spirit...”

There was lots of noise and confusion going around me. Joy was in my arms, not crying, but breathing regularly. I projected a thought into June’s mind. “What’s going on?”

“I’m sorry, Jim. Aimee told me in Lahaina, and made me promise not to say anything until tonight.”

“She’s dying,” I said, cutting to the chase.

“There’s nothing that anybody can do for her, Jim. If I could, I’d willingly give my life to save her, but we can’t.”

“Joy... is the white... in the spiral...” I heard Aimee calling within my mind. Was Aimee trying to tell me something?

I shook my head at June. The nurses were pushing me further away from Aimee. “Your sister-in-law is experiencing complications,” the nurse said. “Can you step outside?”

“No!” I insisted, as the nurse attempted to take Joy from my arms.

“Don’t touch them!” June said, her voice sounding eerily like Mary’s and it was menacing enough to make the nurse actually freeze. “That’s his niece.”

After a brief standoff, the nurse allowed me to continue to hold Joy. After all, the baby wasn’t fussing, and was probably just another complication in the delivery room at the moment.

“I will love you forever, my wonderful family!”

I felt that inside me with my entire being. A heart monitor that had recently been attached to Aimee started was beeping ominously and suddenly stopped.

“Shit!” yelled the doctor. “She’s fibrillating!”

More doctors entered the room. One of them looked at June and me and said, “I must ask the two of you to leave.”

The nurse that had attempted to take Joy from me said, “The room across the hall is not in use. Take your niece in there and wait for me to come back.”

I shook my head, but June took me by the shoulder and led me out of the room. “Quiet, Jim,” June said. “Aimee’s in God’s hands now.”

“Aimee doesn’t believe in God,” I said, quietly.

June said quietly. “She doesn’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God, but she believes in her own concept of it.”

I reluctantly handed Joy to June.

The tears that I had been trying to hold back started to flow freely. Aimee... my precious Aimee... was dying and I was helpless to do anything about it!

June directed me to a chair, and I sat down. “She’s dying, June!”

“She left us a wonderful present,” June said, soothingly, despite the fact that she was also sniffing and her face was as wet as mine.

I looked at the lovely Joy, and realized that her mother never held her. Aimee would never nurse this precious bundle...

June and I hugged, careful not to crush the baby.

Finally, June found a tissue box near the bed in the room, and she moved over to wipe her face. Despite the fact that the box was full, in the end, it was futile. I let the tears fall freely down my face.

Next to the box was a telephone. June went back to me and handed me my daughter. She returned to the telephone, picked it up and dialed “O.”

“Hello, this is June Smythe. I and Jim Montgomery are assisting Aimee Porter in the maternity ward... Yes... May I get an outside line? Thank you.”

June dialed a number. “This is June Smythe... Yes... The situation you were told about has just happened. I know... I’m sorry, too... Thank you.”

“What was that?” I asked, confused.

“Our lawyers. Aimee has a couple of them here in Oahu to take care of the adoption.” June handed me a tissue.

I blew my nose, but the tears wouldn’t stop. “Adoption?”

“Aimee’s dead, Jim,” June said. “Or she will be very soon. She already made out her will, and she already has the adoption papers worked out. I’m already named Joy’s Godmother. Aimee told me the Hawaiian name for that.”

Papekema Makuahine,” I said, absently, remembering that Dawn called Aimee ”Papekema“ when they were alone or in the garden. I was in a state of shock. Adoption papers? The reality of the situation made it difficult for me to think. Aimee knew about this?

I don’t remember when Joy was taken from us and put into the nursery.

* * *

Aimee was declared dead less than a half hour after her daughter was born. She had a few moments of clarity before she passed away, and she talked with a hospital chaplain that had been called into the room, saying that she intended June to have custody of Joy. June and I were also able to see Aimee during those times, but we had very little time for privacy, and it seemed that Aimee’s condition would worsen if she tried to communicate mentally. All I got from her was more babbling about spirals. I had a vision of Aimee descending into a spiral in something that reminded me of a Hitchcock movie.

I called the family compound and tearfully gave everybody the news. It took both June and me to convince Mary and Debbie not to pack up and get out to Oahu, but there wasn’t much to be done.

I’m not sure if Aimee had been lying about her mother having problems lactating, but it was definitely true that she would never generate enough milk for Joy, and in any event, June was able to nurse Joy almost from the first day of her life.

It took a few weeks for all the paperwork to be processed and we were told it would take nearly a year for all the legalities to be addressed. Meanwhile, June had temporary custody of Joy Porter, based on the fact that the adoption papers had been filed before Aimee had passed away. There was also the testimony from the chaplain about Aimee’s dying request, who had also helpfully filled out the birth certificate for Joy.

We would have to endure some rather invasive visits from family services to ascertain whether our family compound is a proper setting for raising children. We’d always been good neighbors, and we had no difficulty in getting testimonials from local businesses and people from our community. That, and some subtle pressure by our attorneys make us expect to be able to tilt the balance of the scales of justice in our favor.

For somebody who had prepared for her death, Aimee’s will did not mention what she had wanted done with her body. We readily donated any of her body organs that were usable at the hospital, and then had a funeral home on Oahu cremate her remains. The entire family thought it was a good idea to scatter part of her ashes through Aimee’s Garden, so a part of her would always be part of her pride and joy. June suggested scattering the rest of her ashes over Hawaii from our Cessna, but in the end, we decided to scatter the rest of her ashes in her beloved Pacific Ocean, in a ceremony attended by all the members of our extended family, including Mely and Scott McMahon and their children.

Aimee left each of us personal letters, including the children. I never read any of the ones she left for the others, but I know that it took me quite a long time to read mine, despite its brevity.

* * *
Dear Jim,

Of all the letters I have written, I’ve kept yours for last.

You have been a wonderful father to Dawn and to James, and I know you will be as wonderful and as caring to Joy. Dawn will be entering puberty soon, and I know she is going to need a strong and understanding person with whom she can confide.

Please help June as she learns the essence of motherhood. She has desired a child of her own ever since her first night with you, although she has kept that desire a secret from you. June needs your help, as well as help from Mary and Debbie, to get through what I know will be a difficult time for her.

I have shared my mind with you more than anybody else in my life, and I know that when you read this, you will probably be extremely sad. Please be assured that I went into this with my eyes open and without any desire to look back.

I ask you not to mourn my passing, but to instead celebrate my life. I have known for almost a year that my time was coming to an end, and despite one or two times when I had my doubts as to whether or not I could actually be brave enough to go through this alone, I hope you, of all people, will eventually understand.

I am sorry for keeping this a secret from you and the family, and I hope you will eventually understand.

You have never been angry that you lost twelve years of your life in a coma, and I have always admired your strength of character. I consider the time that we had together as a family the best years of my life, and also consider you the most influential person within my life, even more so than my aunt. You have always called me “Precious,” and I always felt as if I were the most loved person in the world every time you called me that. I am proud that I was able to spend the time I have been able to spend with all of you.

You have shown excellent leadership in the running of this family, as well as defending our family when it was in danger, and I need you to continue to lead this family into the path of sunshine and warmth.

William Voder is no longer a danger to our family. I know you still think about danger, but I haven’t seen anything for the family to worry about. Of course, knowing you, you will rightfully still take precautions, which is probably the best thing to do.

Finally, I wish you will know that what I have told you repeatedly has been true ever since I met you, and remains true even now: I will love you forever, my beloved Master.

Love always and forever,
* * *

Epilogue: May 2001

I still recall with fondness the nights that I would spend in Aimee’s company, which often would be the most relaxing nights I have ever spent with a woman. It was something very satisfying, knowing that Aimee was there with me. Nothing needed to be said, nor did we always need to make love. We would just hold each other and could just feel the closeness that we shared.

There were other nights as well, when the two of us were alone and I would torture Aimee with her special peacock feather that she kept in the Sunrise room, making her beg for mercy during marathon tickle-fests. I know the other women were often curious about Aimee’s screams and laughter, and they may have suspected Aimee’s particular fetish (if that is the proper word for it), but nobody ever came into Sunrise during those times, nor did anybody ever ask me about them.

I’m always thinking about Aimee. I constantly ask myself what she’d do in any particularly situation. Every night, in my dreams, I hear an echo of her voice making that vow that she constantly made to me. I don’t know if it is her spirit or just her wonderful memory, but I’d like to think that there’s a little bit of Aimee’s spirit still dwelling within me, it makes me feel good and gives me hope that Aimee’s thoughts about the afterlife were accurate.

I still have Mary, Debbie, and June, and I know that they all love me with a passion and emotion that is consuming, and I try my hardest to make sure that each and every one of them feels as loved by me as I humanly can. I feel that if I can accomplish this, then Aimee’s memory is being well served, or, as Aimee would put it, her legacy is being fulfilled.

In addition, I have Dawn, James, and our precious bundle of Joy, all of whom I love dearly, and who will jointly carry on our legacy when our time comes to leave this earth.

I feel honored that I was able to know Aimee, even for the short amount of time that we had together. She mentioned in her final letter to me that she admired that I never complained about losing twelve years of my life. Well, I did complain, but mostly just to myself, and those “Rip Van Winkle” feelings don’t nearly occur as often now. In retrospect, I think that getting to spend twelve years with Aimee more than makes up for any loss that I could feel about my own missing twelve years. I think there is a mystic sense of balance in that—the yin/yang that I think Aimee would appreciate.

There is a part of me that would gladly spend another twelve years in another coma if I were to know that I could get to spend another dozen years with Aimee when I woke up. In reality, I would never be so selfish as to devote myself to Aimee in favor of the rest of the family, and I know for certain that Aimee would not approve of such a bargain. Eventually, my time on this earth will be over, and if Aimee’s view of the afterlife is correct, we may meet again in whatever form the afterlife takes. I’m still agnostic enough that I’m in no rush to hasten that day, however.

I wish that Aimee had trusted me enough to have confided in me about her condition. She had her own reasons for doing things the way she did, and I have never found Aimee to be wrong when making decisions like that, even when I disagree with her. Maybe she knew that I would try to talk her out of it, or try to prevent her death from happening. I don’t know how that would have been a bad thing—I mean, if I had told the doctors to be extra vigilant after her delivery, it might have given them some extra time to prevent her death. Would that have been so wrong?

* * *

Although the entire family took Aimee’s death pretty hard, one of the most affected was Dawn, who seemed to have seen in Aimee the influential figure that Aimee’s Aunt Tomeii must have been in Aimee’s life. Despite many attempts from Mary, Debbie, and June, Dawn hasn’t spoken to any of them about her favorite aunt. Eventually, each of the women had a talk with me, and they all separately reached the conclusion that I was probably the one that Dawn will finally talk to, since, aside from Aimee, I seemed to be the person that Dawn had always been closest to. (I was particularly surprised to hear this from Mary, who I considered to be closer to our daughter than I was.)

I don’t think forcing this particular child to talk about a rather painful memory would be helpful in this case, so I have decided to wait until whenever Dawn decides to open up. I know she’ll give me a sign that she wants to talk. This is not procrastination; it’s mostly about waiting for when Dawn wants to talk about her. When the right time comes, the two of us will know it.

I purchased a butterfly palm seedling for Joy and allowed Dawn to plant it after Dawn showed me a stake that had Joy’s name on it in Aimee’s handwriting just outside the landing on the western side of Aimee’s Garden that overlooked the ocean. Dawn insisted on taking over the maintenance of the garden, tending to it with the same loving care that Aimee used to.

Dawn allows me to be with her as she tends the garden. I think she likes my company. James is the only other person that Dawn doesn’t mind in the garden as she tends it. It’s not like she has forbidden the others entrance, but if too many people surround her there, she just leaves. The women seem to understand that, and were used to Aimee having the same desires. They give Dawn her space, just as I do.

Since I’m allowed in the garden with Dawn, I try to help her work it. I love listening to Dawn softly sing songs in Hawaiian as Aimee had done before. If I close my eyes, it feels as if Aimee is with me instead of my oldest daughter. Maybe both of them are really there—if I can think that a part of Aimee’s spirit may live within me, there’s no reason to think that it cannot live within Dawn as well. Together, Dawn and I tend Aimee’s precious orchids. I feel that we both sense the closeness that Aimee shared with each of us, and having each other there eases both our minds. Gardening can be very therapeutic.

A month ago, Dawn, James, and I started a project to install an automatic irrigation system to help keep the garden healthy, and Dawn actually seemed happy as we worked together. Before the project was complete, the entire family was working on the project. I saw hope in the women’s eyes; Dawn was talking more and seemed to be a bit happier, but she still wasn’t talking about Aimee.

Dawn has also introduced some more native Hawaiian species into the garden as well, including the lehua taro plant, from which Dawn eventually plans to make poi for our meals. I’ve suggested that she create an entire section of the garden for vegetables and fruits, remembering Aimee’s fondness for them, and Dawn thought it was such a great idea that we now have a little patch for them on the southern side of the garden as well.

I am still waiting for the day when Dawn is able to have a long talk with me about her beloved aunt. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I will tell Dawn about her wonderful and mysterious aunt, and I wonder how much she already knows. As I said, the time is coming soon, I can feel it.

Meanwhile, I have written this story as a way of helping me remember everything I can about our family. For you, the reader, there may be some aspects of this story that you will find incredible or unbelievable, such as whether or not the gifts that Aimee talked about and that I describe actually exist. I leave it up to you to decide for yourselves. After all, as Aimee herself once said, they are just stories; most people still think that they are myths. This story was written for one person in particular, and she will read it soon, despite the fact that I left a lot of private things in it.

* * *

Papekema used to call me Puanani,” Dawn told me as she was pulling out some weeds the other day.

I didn’t need to ask who Dawn was talking about. Papekema was Dawn’s special name for Aimee. It was short for ”Papekema Makuahine,” which I understood was sort of a bastardized Hawaiian translation for “Godmother.” I noticed that this was the first time that Dawn mentioned her favorite aunt since her death.

I remembered that I had resolved that I would let Dawn choose her own pace. “I’ve heard her call you that,” I said, carefully.

“It means, ‘precious flower,’” Dawn explained.

I thought Aimee had told me that it actually meant “beautiful flower,” but I didn’t correct Dawn. Dawn, like most adolescent girls, was having doubts about her body and whether or not she was pretty, and I realized that this might be a place where we could start to talk. However, since I noticed that Dawn substituted the adjective “precious,” I figured there might be something else on her mind. Dawn had a very intelligent brain, and never did anything like that without a motive. Aimee always loved me calling her “Precious” and I’m pretty sure that Dawn knew that, so I needed to know what Dawn was thinking.

Reading Dawn’s mind was completely out of the question, of course.

“I’ve always thought that Puanani was a pretty name,” I said, softly. I didn’t ask Dawn if she wanted me to call her that.

Dawn smiled at me, and once again started to tend the garden.

After a few minutes, Dawn started singing in Hawaiian as she once again started to tend the garden. I recognized the tune she was singing from the radio, but I didn’t know its name or the lyrics. I listened to Dawn fit the Hawaiian phrases into a song that was originally written in English. She was actually quite good at that, and she really had a very pleasant singing voice. I did notice that Dawn sang the name ”Papekema“ occasionally, so I knew who she was singing about.

I watched my daughter singing the song. Dawn is very pretty, despite her doubts. I bet every father says that about his daughters, but in this particular case, it’s true. As I also said, she has a pretty voice.

Later on, I found June coming back from a run, and I asked her for some help.

“What’s up?” asked June. “I’m about to feed Joy.”

“Can you name this song?” I hummed the haunting tune to June.

“Was Dawn singing that?” June asked, surprised.

“Yes. In Hawaiian,” I answered, surprised that June figured that out so quickly.

June frowned. After a few moments, she found her voice. “It’s an Elton John song. It’s called ‘Empty Garden.’”

Shit. I remembered the song, now. It was a tribute written after John Lennon’s death. For the first time in a long time, I had one of those “Rip Van Winkle” feelings. I had been unconscious when the song was written of course, and John Lennon had been long dead when I woke up. Still, I should have associated the phrase ”Puka mai, Papekema!” in the song—it means something like “Hey! Come outside, Godmother!” in English, and is similar to “Hey, hey! Johnny!” in the song.

I realized that Dawn’s hints are getting less subtle.

Luckily, Dawn and I are still best friends. Dawn apparently doesn’t consider me a total asshole. At least, not yet. Just a minor asshole that doesn’t totally understand Hawaiian. Well, we’re all human.

* * *

Today, I was sitting on my favorite recliner in the atrium listening to the stereo, finishing up the last pages for this story. Dawn was sprawled out on one of the love seats, writing in one of her notebooks, as usual. Debbie, James, and June were in the swimming pool, with Joy asleep in in a playpen out by the pool underneath an oversize umbrella to keep the sun from bothering her too much. Mary came downstairs dressed in a bathing suit and passed the two of us in the atrium.

“Want to join us in the pool?” Mary asked.

I deferred to Dawn, who shook her head and said, “No, thanks, Makuahine!”

Mary smiled at her Hawaiian name (literally, “mother”).

I noticed that Dawn was using Hawaiian more and more.

“I’m almost finished this,” I said. “Maybe I’ll join you guys later. That bikini looks wonderful on you, Makuahine! Is it new?”

Mary’s cheeks dimpled as she smiled at the compliment, as well as the fact that I used Dawn’s nickname for her. “Flatterer!” she laughed. “I bought this last year.”

Mary left us alone to our writing.

After Mary left, Dawn asked me, “Are Uncle Oogie and Aunt Goddess coming over next month?”

“I haven’t talked with them since Joy was born,” I said delicately, avoiding direct mention of Aimee’s death. “I would imagine that they will come over. Would you like to see them at the club?”

Dawn looked at me. Since the Goddess Tour, she had never seen the House Band perform. “Could I?”

“Of course. I’ll work it through Debbie.”

Dawn gave me a rare smile. “I love Trisha Beth. She’s like an older sister to me. Think we could invite her, too?”

“I love TB as well, and I think J2 has a crush on her, or he did last summer,” I said. “Let me find out the next time I talk to Kristen or Patty.”

Lika Peka,” Dawn said.

“Huh?” I knew a little Hawaiian, but that didn’t sound familiar.

“’Trisha Beth’ in Hawaiian.”


“TB plays almost a dozen instruments now,” Dawn said. “I just play the ukulele. I got a letter from her last week.”

“We have a piano if you want to learn...”

“No,” Dawn said, firmly. “I think I prefer singing.”

“Think we can make it a special trip? Opening night with the House Band, just you, me, and J2, with their family as well?”

“Mom won’t let you go without June or herself.”

True. I shrugged. “I think we can make an exception.”

Dawn shook her head. “You aren’t allowed to go anywhere without June or Mary. Papekema’s rule, and you can’t make exceptions to it.”

I actually heard Aimee’s voice talking through Dawn that time.

I changed the subject. “You know, Pretty Flower, you sing lovely. Just like Kristen. Think you’re ready for the Goddess Circuit?”

Dawn gave me another rare smile and shook her head. Dawn had been the featured singer during her school’s Christmas concert last year, and I really thought she had a pretty voice.

Instead of saying anything, Dawn returned to her writing.

A few minutes later, the stereo played a beautiful song by Stevie Nicks. I remembered Kristen singing this song, the last time I saw her perform.

As I listened to the song, one part really touched my heart. I stopped writing and looked over to my daughter, who had also stopped writing, and I noticed that she now had tears in her eyes, just like her father.

I slowly got up, went over to the love seat, and pulled Dawn close to me. Dawn reacted by throwing her arms around my neck and hugging me tightly. Together, we hugged on the love seat for about fifteen minutes. Neither one of us said a word, not even when Stevie repeated that verse of the song again. I just let Dawn cry on my shoulder, offering my strength to my daughter, and letting her know by my freely flowing tears that I understood how she felt.

After all, I love Papekema very much, too.

When Dawn and I broke that hug, I noticed Mary, Debbie, and June all standing just out of Dawn’s sight in the doorway to the kitchen. None of the women moved to interfere with us, but all three of them had tears in their eyes as well. I don’t think any of the women had heard the song, but I had no doubt that they all knew what Dawn and I were feeling.

Living with Empaths leaves little privacy, but the women were smart enough to grant it to Dawn.

“Thanks, Makuakane,” Dawn said, softly.

It was one of the few times Dawn ever called me “father” in Hawaiian.

“Never a problem, Puanani,” I answered. “I’m here for you whenever you need me.”

Aimee’s voice was speaking in my head. I willed myself not to cry. This was an important moment and I did want my status as “minor asshole” to fuck things up.

I pulled my daughter’s face so that it was in front of mine. ”Mau loa aloha au ia‘ oe, Mea makamae,” I said, softly, to both my daughter and to that voice in my head. Having got that phrase out, I allowed my own tears to flow again.

“Oh, Papa!” Dawn sobbed, throwing her arms around me once again, pulling me close. Unlike James, Dawn hadn’t called me “Papa” since she was around three.

I don’t think Dawn had been ready for the burst of emotions that hit her when I said that. I know she understood every word of it: “I will love you forever, Precious.” I had never used that name for Dawn before; I had only called Aimee by that name. Somehow, I had a hunch that Aimee may have said something similar once or twice to her.

I know that Dawn won’t be able to gather the strength today to talk, but we will definitely be having that talk very soon. If not today, then I will allow Dawn to pick her own time and place.

I feel like I’ve earned that double-promotion from “minor asshole” to ”Makuakane“ and then to “Papa” today.

I have a feeling that I will hear Dawn softly sing that Stevie Nicks song in our not-so-empty garden. I wonder what it will sound like in Hawaiian. Just to be on the safe side, I will ask James later for the translation, one random line at a time. Papa can never be too careful.

Maybe I will sing along with my daughter for the first time.

Dawn is now upstairs in her room, slowly changing into her bathing suit as I finish writing these words. In a few minutes, I will take my daughter into the Orchid Room, and from there out to the Lanai to the slide that Debbie installed that goes from the Lanai into the pool. That always made her laugh before when she was younger. After she slides down, her Papa will slide down right after her.

One can only cry so much, and the pool is good for washing away tears, even if only for the moment.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing,
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder,
Children get older,
I’m getting older too.
Landslide (Stevie Nicks)