Strip mall and Christmas visit

We had already been travelling for some time but that part of the dream is forgotten. We arrived at this strip mall that was about the size and shape of your standard barracks, two buildings, with about 100-150 yards apart, parking lot between them. It was dark and dusky gray, like black and white but a tint of color, barely noticeable. We parked in front of the 7-eleven and got out, moments later this other guy shows up in a surprise visit. He pulls out a store front identical to the one we are standing in front of. My immediate impression is what good is just the windows and door going to do you? It was all attached together and he was moving it around like it weighed nothing. He said he brought it all the way from California himself because they sold it to him really cheap and he was going to open a store, this saved him a lot of money. (we were on the East coast) I pointed at the 7-eleven and said but theres already a 7-eleven here, he said he was putting it on the other side of the strip mall in that other building. I thought his idea was ridiculous and wasnt going to work.

So me and who I was with left him there in the parking lot to his own tasks, driving away into the town, and wondered why he of all people would show up like that considering the bad history we had with him and why he was so nice and calm with us when all of our experience with him before was very tense and stressful. He was the last person we would ever anticipate.

So now its Christmastime and I am in the passenger seat. Strangely I cannot remember who I was with or what they looked like, its a black hole in my memory. We are going to families house and everyone in the car sees this evening as a special event not just a holiday because I was gone for so long and we werent in touch at all during the absence. They dont blame me for it and know I acted in both their and my own best interests and saved them from danger. This city was like the one I was born in, the downtown area, making me nostalgic, but much larger because we drove for so long without reaching a mountain or a river or the ocean.

We get to where we're going and the house is beautifully decorated with Christmas stuff and the whole scene is picturesque and movie-like. The others disappear as we all enter and the person who was waiting for me was there and suddenly I was struck with how old he was, making me instantly sad to see him like that. First of all he wasnt family but he felt like family, he was considering me like one of his own. Second of all he was a famous guy who was very aware of who I was and what I endured in the early 2000's. He was so apologetic and saddened and fearful that I wouldnt forgive him. He sort of shrank away when I saw him because he felt so guilty for the cruel things I went through that he watched without acting upon. This was way in the past though and I was way over it. I was just so saddened to see he was that old, he looked 150. I gave him a hug and told him I missed him and I could tell that he had been waiting there for me distraught at what was about to happen. He was filled with regrets about me and all I wanted was to relieve that weight so he could be happy, it was Christmastime after all.

We walked around his house and it was decorated so nicely, very upscale place. He was like my grampa now and we were family although we really werent.