Books are heavy.
I carry four thick, hardback books covering the topics of Astronomical Equipment, Planetary Rovers, Space Technology and Astrobotany from the library back to our apartment on a quiet afternoon as most people have returned home for the summer. I have quite a few project ideas and have produced a brief design of each one. The first one is a hubble telescope with a feature that excels the current maximum magnification, the second is an enhancement of the space suit and the last idea is a similar design to a rover but with a feature that allows it to plant plants and monitor their growth or a rover that can actually return to earth. All are challenging my mind very much, but I like it, because this is what I think and daydream about anyway. After a brief design of each, the telescope seems a little futuristic and not possible for me to actually build and for the second I would need space suit. So at the moment it looks like I’ll be building a rover prototype that can return to earth or that can actually attempt to assess the growth of simple plant life on Mars for example.
I reach the crossing on a small road that leads to the back entrance of our apartment and lean my head over the books to look both ways. Clear. I begin to cross as I hear someone’s heels click-clocking behind me.
I know that annoying voice. It’s Betty… Blondie. I get to the other side and stop just before heading inside and attempting the climb.
“Betty! Hi,” I say more enthusiastically that I intended to.
“Oh I’m good. How are you?” she peers at my books. “Are those science books? Don’t you study literature?”
My eyes widen for a moment as I try and think of a lie to tell. “Oh… yeah, no, haha, these… are for Kye, you know she’s always… err…reading… stuff.”
“Kye? Really?” she larks.
Damn. I should’ve said Rio.
“So do you two just stay here all summer? Not planning on leaving anytime soon huh? I mean, you know, leaving to go home, for the summer?” Betty says, but before I could even answer she continues, “I’m going home tomorrow, the second year drama performance just finished last week, oh you already know that, so I’m still packing and I thought I’d spend a few more days here with Nick. But, anyway it’s about time Kyara started concentrating on science stuff. She’s always, you know, getting in my way,” she jests sarcastically.
I don’t know what she’s trying to do, she never really talks to me and she doesn’t even like me. I’m just concentrating on holding these books at the moment. I nod along.
“You know what she did,” she begins to gossip. “She was like totally talking to my girl Abbey about me.”
“Really,” I respond not caring much. It’s like she’s trying to befriend me, she’s trying to be nice I guess by gossiping and telling me something that she thinks I don’t know already. Or is she trying get information out of me about Kye? Whatever she’s playing at, it’s a little creepy.
“Yeah, she’s been talking to Abbey like a whole lot these days. They’re both getting along really well. Abbey wants to join the dance team next year and not the drama society. I think Kye has something to do with that stupid decision of hers.”
I already know that, we do tell each other everything, maybe it’s not like that for Blondie and her girls.
“Oh, well, you know maybe that’s a good thing. I mean you’ll have one less person to compete against,” I say.
“Compete?” Betty laughs out loud. “Abbey is no competition for me,” she gets a little defensive.
“Hmm,” I don’t really know what to say next without completely obliterating her high self-esteem. “Whoosh! These books are heavy, Kye’s waiting,” I indicate my leave from this awkward situation.
“Oh yeah sure. You should try the gym, weight training is good for girls too you know. You could work on those arms a little,” she calls as I enter the building.
Work my arms? Try the gym? Seriously! I’m in the gym five days a week! I train with two extremely motivated girls and four tremendously fit guys. My arms are cut, carved and toned, and this little shrimp thinks I need to try the gym! Asshole!
I reach the living room and drop the books down on the table stretching my arms out immediately. Kye sits on the couch typing away. She’s editing her book. As I take some deep breaths so that I can begin my gossip, Deq walks in with Lia behind him.
“Alright I’ll see you guys in two weeks,” he calls walking into the living room.
“Aww, why do you boys go home more than us girls?” Kye stands up making a sad face and giving him a tight hug.
“Because you girls complicate things and like to make your own lives inconveniently busy,” he replies sarcastically.
“Have a good break Deq, see you soon,” I hug him.
“Thanks, you too, take care,” he says as he walks out with Lia.
We hear them kiss and then Deq makes his way down the stairs. We wait for Lia to come back in. She does slowly with an exaggerated sad face and falls onto the couch next to Kye hugging her.
“Ah, I know, it sucks doesn’t it,” I say. “It’s only been a week since Brian went home. It feels like a year.” I know exactly how she feels, I hate being away from Brian for so long but I suppose that’s something I need to get used to.
Kye’s face saddens, “Aww, can someone please find me a guy! Why doesn’t anyone like me?”
“It’s not that no one likes you, it’s that you are too fussy,” I tell her.
“All I want is like a Chris Hemsworth or a Chadwick Boseman,” Kye replies.
Lia and I make a face at Kye. She only chose like the two hottest guys on the planet right now.
“How long will Deq be gone for?” I ask.
“Two weeks,” Lia replies.
“Brian will be back next week, I was video calling him this morning, he said Rio will be back the week after and Marcus is on an internship so he’ll be away all summer,” I inform them.
“Well, at least we get some girl time, where we can actually do girly stuff without being interrupted or bullied with sexist comments,” Lia makes a good point.
“Speaking of that, guess what just happened?” I recall the Betty incident that occurred a few minutes ago. I spill on everything that just happened in frustration. Kye and Lia giggle uncontrollably.
“It’s not funny guys!” I throw my bag at them.
“Ouch! What? She’s like that!” Kye replies still laughing.
“Does it not look like I go to the gym? I’m pretty fit and toned right? You can see it,” I say looking at myself in the reflection of the balcony doors.
“Now you sound like her,” Kye giggles back.
“What is she still doing here anyway?” Lia asks.
“She said she was hanging out with Nick before they go home for a few weeks,” I say understandably.
“Oh, I see,” Lia also considers Betty’s feelings genuinely.
“Argh! Oh will you two stop or wait for me at least!” Kye yells making Lia and I chuckle.
“She still peed me off though, like she was really trying to get on my good side. And how! Just how? Can she tell me that I need to work out?” I shriek.
“You need to get over it,” says Lia.
Kye adds, “Yeah, forget about it, look I need some help.”
I take a deep breath and then flop onto the couch next to Kye and look at her screen because that’s obviously what she means by, she needs help.
“What?” I ask.
She hands me her laptop and stands up to stretch, “I’ve got like a motivational speech bit that I need to put in this highlighted section, but I can’t figure out how to word it.”
Kye walks over to the kitchen and pours herself a glass of water. I look at the screen with Lia, there are a few blank lines highlighted in yellow. I read a few lines before to gain an understanding of what is going on. What I gather from it, is that the character is going to explain why dreams are important and why we should support them, to an audience who doesn’t really agree with the whole idea. Yep. I’m pretty sure that’s real.
Kye walks out of the room and then walks back in with a box of nail kits so that we can do our nails, something girly. Kye likes her nails and hairstyles and she’s drawn me and Lia in too.
“Right. Any ideas?” she sits down looking through the box of colors.
Lia also scurries through the box and then finds me a nude color that I quite like.
“Hmm, I’m not too sure,” I say still thinking and beginning to paint at the same time.
“How long do you want this part to be?” Lia asks.
“As long as it needs to be. This is like the main part of the story. The turning point or the eye opener, if you know what I mean. So it really needs to be good and it needs to hit the audience.”
“Yeah, the part where you get that enlightening music in the background and people begin to feel sorry for their sad lives?” I say looking interested.
“Yes exactly,” Kye replies.
“And then they get really inspired to do something they really want to do and then they just go and do it, with extra exaggeration?” Lia adds on.
“The kind that last for like five minutes before you give up again because life is just that damn hard?” I imagine it as I speak.
“Yes. However, in the book it lasts a lot longer and actually gets the character to where she wants to be.” Kye comes back.
“Alright, I think you should say it out loud. Perform it to us.” Lia has a good idea.
“But I haven’t got anything written down yet.”
I like Lia’s idea, “Just improvise for now Kye, see what comes out when you’re acting. The feelings and emotions will help you come up with the speech. We’ll write stuff down if it’s good,” I nod at Lia. “It’s best to just go with the flow. Ready?”
Kye stands up startled, “Err, wait,” she fixes her hair and takes the center of the room. “Okay, so, err…dreams… dreams are…” she pauses trying to think of something. “A dream… is… a wish that your heart makes,” she bursts out laughing and so do we.
“Is this character Cinderella?” Lia jokes.
“Nope,” Kye replies holding her head trying to come up with something original.
“It’s a great line and it is true,” I turn my head to tell Lia and then look back at Kye, “But it’s taken. Be you Kye. You’re always giving us motivational speeches. What would you say?”
“What would I say?” Kye asks herself in thought. “I would say…dreams are there for a reason… dreams give us a reason to live, they are what drives us to continue into our future.”
Kye looks at us and we stop to look at each other for a brief moment. She’s getting it out. Lia waves her hand indicating Kye to continue and I start typing.
“We all have dreams, some seem bigger than others, but for a person their dream is theirs and to them, it’s a big deal. For some it can be to get married, or to have children, or simply to wake up every morning in good health. For others it’s a profession or an achievement like becoming a Lawyer or going to university, winning a medal in the Olympics or even just to taking part in the Olympics. They are our goals in life. We only have one life...”
Kye’s emotions come through. It’s hard to tell if she’s acting or just being her but I know Kye, this is her when she talks about dreams. There’s a soft tone in her voice, like the one she had when we first met and spoke about our dreams on the balcony. I can almost hear that motivational music in the background of my imagination. The atmosphere changes as she speaks, the sharp evening sunshine hits the wall behind her, the sound of trees softly rustling and the tweets of the birds outside gently flow inside the room, accompanied by my typing, which is ignorable. We listen intently.
“…One life, to make our dreams come true. You know, it’s funny because whether you admit it or not you all have a dream, or have had a dream. Especially when you’re young and you really want something in life or you want your life to go a certain way, but then life itself gets in the way; our families, friends, relationships… money. Then, we forget we even had dreams. But who are we to get in the way of dreams? I ask you, think back to when you were young, what was your dream?” she pauses. “Has it come true?” Another pause. “I didn’t think so. Why didn’t it come true?” Pause. “Because you didn’t have the guts to pursue it.”
Woah. I look at what I’m typing on the screen. I feel emotional.
“How often do you meet a person who’s living their dream? Anyone you ask will say ‘oh I wanted to be this, but then I ended up doing this’ why? Because they didn’t have the determination to pursue it or because their parents told them something else. Everybody has the right to live their dream. Dreams give us freedom, they lead us on the right path. They give us an aspiration in life. Without dreams we wouldn’t look forward to the future. And you know what’s crazy? Everybody has them; the rich and the poor. You know, some people say money makes the world go around, yeah maybe,” she laughs gently. “Most will say that love makes the world go around, also quite true. But I say that hope makes the world go around because hope gives us faith in life and with faith dreams come true.”
I finish typing as she finishes talking. Lia sits in awe and I sit feeling a little bit sad but enlightened and motivated. There’s still silence. Kye waits for a response from us. She looks down at us waiting.
“Well?” she finally says.
“Wow.” Lia’s still in admiration.
“Yeah,” I breathe out. “That was it.” I’m still in the moment too.
“Did you get it all down?” Kye asks.
“Yes I did.” I snap out of my trance, “Sorry, wow Kye, that was really good.”
“Did you seriously make all that up?” Lia asks.
Kye nods, “I think so. It was a bit too much wasn’t it.”
“No, no, I thought it was really good. It was really inspirational actually,” Lia states.
“Thanks guys!” Kye says as she sits in front of us on the table.
“This book is definitely going places!” I say, handing her the laptop so that she can have a look.
“I really hope you two get what you want,” Lia begins in a similar tone to Kye’s speech tone. “You guys are so optimistic and I love that. I hope you become a Hollywood actress Kye, and Jen, I hope you become an astronaut. You guys really deserve it. And hopefully I will be a good lawyer and I hope I can actually help people. We’re all going to do great things,” she finishes.
We feel a rush of happiness and squeal as we form a tight hug.
“See how many times you said hope then?” Kye giggles as we hold on to each other in a hug.
We embrace the moment as we embrace each other. These are my girls and I love them. I hope they get everything they want in life. The moment is interrupted by Lia’s phone which buzzes. We untangle ourselves.
“It’s Deq, he’s on the train and wants to video chat,” Lia says looking at her phone. “I’ll talk to him on the way home, I better go now.”
“You’re not stopping over?” I ask.
“No, my mom’s taking me out for dinner tonight, remember?” she replies.
“Oh yeah. Well, enjoy!” Kye says hugging as she makes her way to the front door.
I follow them into the hallway and also see Lia off, “Talk to you later Li.”
She leaves and we stand in the empty hallway with the sunset gleaming right through the big window on top of the stairs. It feels so lonely without the boys here, I don’t know how we’re all going to split up after this final year. It’s going to be heart breaking.
“You want to call Brian now, don’t you?” says Kye, cheering me up as I lead the way back into the living room.
“Yep, exactly what I was going to do. What are we eating tonight?”
“I made pasta earlier.”
“I love you Kye!” I yell.
“Hey, what do you think we should call the book? I still haven’t come up with a title,” Kye asks. “And still haven’t painted my nails!” she sits down again and looks through the box.
We haven’t really thought much about the title, so that’s an interesting question. I find the pasta in the kitchen and then pull out two plates from the cabinet.
“I think we should keep it simple. By the way, it’s very well written thanks to me, you know because of my literature skills,” I boast.
“You only like it because it’s about you,” Kye quickly responds.
“It has to be eye-catching and unique,” Kye adds.
“How about… My Friend’s Dream?” I say.
Kye stops in the midst of opening a nail polish bottle that she finally chooses. She turns her head toward me and gives me a very peculiar look, “My Friend’s Dream? Seriously!”
“Yeah! It’s simple and to the point,” I reply quite certain about my choice of title.
“It’s stupid,” Kye responds. “It’s too simple. My Friends Dream,” she says it out loud again to me, making a silly face. “Yep. It’s stupid. It should be something like…Dreams…Destiny, yeah Dreams Destiny,” she waves her polished hands around in front of her, picturing it.
“What? Now that’s stupid. It’s the person’s destiny to fulfil the dream not the dream’s,” I say irritated, making a good point and carrying our pasta plates to the living room table.
“Okay, what about…A Dream…” she pauses to think, “… A Dream within the Stars,” she winks at me. “Do you get it? Now that’s clever and unique.”
I give her a plate and a fork, thinking about that one. It does make sense but dreams and stars in general are always grouped together so the whole astronomy thing might lose its value here, or maybe that would be the whole point. For the first time ever I’m actually using the analytical technique we’re taught in literature.
“Hmm, maybe,” I say not too keen on it, “I still like My Friend’s Dream better,” I take a mouthful of food.
“Okay, A Dream within the Stars, it is,” Kye blows on her nails and then quickly types the title on the laptop before clicking the save button and shutting it down.