My Friend's Dream

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CHAPTER FOUR

JENNIFER

Later that night, we decided to eat out and well, go out. After all it is fresher’s week! We had a good dance and I have to say, the guys dance pretty well; Brian and Marcus seemed to be quite popular at the club and Rio was hitting on any girl he laid his eyes on. Kye’s a quiet one but man she can move! She knows all of the coolest dance moves like the viral ones in memes! I’m more of a two-step dancer, but I still had a great time!

We get back at about four a.m., Lia had left earlier to go home. We are all pretty tired from the long day. The boys are out of it and head straight to bed.

After changing into our pajamas, I find Kye in the kitchen finding a midnight or early morning snack. She goes for the milk and I open up a pack of cookies, good thing we went grocery shopping together yesterday after meeting because students snack all the time.

“Tonight was fun!” Kye says as she pours milk into two glasses, “I’ve never been out before.”

“Oh my God! Really? You cannot tell at all, girl your hips don’t lie!” I say, surprised by the fact that this was her first time clubbing.

“Me? No, I’m not that good. I had to do a Latin dance in a play once so I just picked up some of the moves from there. And my brothers are always dancing around to those viral meme things and they force me to dance along too, so, yeah!” she bites into a cookie.

“Well, it looked awesome,” I say taking a sip of milk.

The cold milk washes away my tiredness, I hear chatter and giggles coming from outside, we walk towards the balcony.

“Wow! It’s almost five a.m. and people are still out,” Kye says, as we carry out our milk and cookies through the double doors and out onto the deck.

The air is warm and the university is lit up. Small bulbs light up the garden blow. A few huddles of people walk along the paths. I soak in the view and breathe in uni life.

“How are you finding it so far?” Kye asks.

“I like it more than I thought I would,” I reply. “I like the people, the place, I love the apartment! And the guys opposite are lovely too, though they are all guys.”

“Ha! Yeah, but I guess, it’s a good thing, lots of protection,” Kye says.

I laugh, “Or none at all!” Why would I even say that? I think to myself after blurting it out like an idiot. Kye laughs with me anyway. There’s no awkwardness between us, she gets my silly jokes.

“Speaking of the apartment, we need to decorate our rooms,” she says.

“Oh yeah! We need to personalize them and funk them up,” I begin to picture my room decorated to my taste. My brain quickly forms an image, “I need to have a huge poster of ...of…” I pause briefly and then spit something out, “…of Shakespeare…” I realize I’m getting carried away with my thoughts. Shakespeare? Really? That was the expression on Kye’s face too.

She reads my mind, “You were going to say a rocket or the solar system or something weren’t you?”

I keep quiet at my embarrassment and puff a smile.

“Hey, that’s fine by me Jen,” Kye continues, “I would have a red carpet going through mine and a poster of the Hollywood sign.”

“The red carpet would be cool. I’d have rocket ornaments in mine!” I dream.

“Yeah, and I would have an Oscar!”

“Oh, the famous golden naked man!” I say.

We laugh for a while until silence falls and neither of us know what to say next. Nothing I could think of really makes any sense to come after that. So I just finish off my milk.

Kye finally breaks the silence with a question I don’t know how to answer, “Jen, you still want to be an astronaut don’t you?”

I feel stupid, I want to say yes but I would sound like an idiot. Saying no would be lying and she is asking so sincerely that lying would be betraying the dream. Why is it so damn hard to admit? My brain and my heart fight between themselves; saying ‘yes’ would be stupid and would hurt me, but saying ‘no’ would kill me inside. No one has ever asked me that question before, not so sincerely. No one ever asked me what I wanted to be! I am taking such a long time to answer that actually saying ‘no’ now would be stupid. I look into Kye’s eyes, which seem somewhat hopeful, trustworthy and as if they already know the answer, she’s just waiting for confirmation. Words don’t come out of my mouth, instead I just nod. I already trust Kye, we are going to live together for the next few years so she might as well know the truth. Kye doesn’t react much, instead of surprise, I see understanding in her eyes… I see pain…a similar pain to mine… the pain of an uncontrollable dream. Her dream of becoming an actress. Strangely, I feel more comfortable – just knowing that someone is in similar shoes – I always thought I was the only one.

“And, you really want to be an actress, like really,” I tell her. “And you’re still going to try? You don’t need qualifications for that,” I answer my own question.

“I don’t know,” says Kye, sounding fed up of her dream. “I mean, I’ve been trying my whole life. Agencies have scammed me, I haven’t been picked out from theatre shows and online auditions for movies have rejected me. Maybe now I should just concentrate on my degree,” her voice shakes.

My frustration kicks in, “Yeah, so just concentrate on something you don’t even want to do! Because that makes sense.” And my sarcasm too.

“You’re one to talk,” Kye raises her eyebrows at me.

“My situation is different, I would have studied astrophysics if I passed the entry requirements. My grade in physics messed it up, my parents were breaking up at the time – it’s not a big deal, it happens and everything’s cool now. Anyway, I knew a ‘C’ grade wasn’t good for university so I retook the test and got an ‘A’, but when I actually applied to universities I found out that they don’t look at any retake grades, they only consider the first sitting grades.”

“Ah, yeah you’re right they changed the rule this year. Damn, that’s annoying! I’m so sorry Jen. But, why did you chose literature? Why not something mathematical at least?”

“Well, I got really angry at the time and decided to go for the subject that I scored highest in which was English literature. The thing is Kye, I understand everything mathematical and scientific, I remember everything too, it’s just that at that time with everything going on, I don’t know what happened. It’s like it wasn’t meant to be.”

“Have you asked the admissions office to see if they might be able to change your subject?” Kye asks.

“Four times! Email, calls, a letter and even face to face. They say that they can’t break the rules,” I shake my head in frustration. “Anyway, back to you, all actors face rejection at first and I don’t care how stupid it sounds that you’re at university, I want to know someone who’s dream came true.”

“Hey, you read my mind. I would so love to know that person too.”

It’s true, I have never met anyone who’s dream has come true, it’s always ’I wanted to be, but’, there’s always a but.

Kye looks towards the stars in in the sky, “You know what Jen, acting is so diverse, it’s all in the imagination, I’ve always had these crazy imaginations and story ideas, some completely fictional to do with aliens and some very realistic, about life.”

I smile as she speaks, interested in each and every plot she tells me. I picture a new world, a world of imaginations and stories – Kye’s world.

“I had this idea of the sun reaching its red giant phase – as you would know – and then it gets closer to earth about to suck it in, ha! I also had an idea of a dance themed film based on flash-mobs and a mix of genres…” she continues with her adventurous ideas which range from fantasy to war. “I once created a film about two girls who get lost in an unknown forest and have to find diamonds and fight bad guys to get home – this was an imaginary game me and my friends used to play when we were like eight years old. The film was for a school project, I had never studied film or media, so I pretty much made it from research, wrote the script, directed it, edited it and acted in it. I remember my teacher telling me not to do it because the project too big but I proved her wrong of course and even got an ‘A’.”

“Woah woah woah, wait, you have got to show me this film!” I yell with excitement. “That’s awesome, it takes so much courage to do something like that.”

“It is way too embarrassing, the video and sound quality is shit and I didn’t have the proper equipment-”

“I don’t care, you’re showing it to me. No excuses,” I force.

“Alright! But I have to get to it first, it’s on my dad’s old computer at home. So you’ll just have to wait… for now,” Kye giggles.

“Man, a film, against your teacher, that’s great!” I’m amazed, Kye seemed like a goody two shoes but I can totally see why she did this, it’s her passion.

We continue to express ourselves, Kye tells me how she used to pretend she was a power ranger at school and I tell her how I used to wrap toilet paper around myself and then pretend I was an astronaut, I used so many roles of toilet paper, my mom was furious. Kye isn’t surprised by my stupidity, instead she laughs and admires the fact that I had the imagination to do such a thing. She tells me how she places herself in films that she watches, she creates a new role (obviously to be played by her), she gives the character a personality, a name, dialogue and explains how they fit into the storyline, she places them in the movie and in each scene of where they would come in. In Pirates of the Caribbean she created a female pirate character, one of Jack’s friends and previous servant of the Governor. In The Avengers she’s an agent with extreme knife throwing and rope handling skills. In the Fast and Furious franchise she’s Letty’s younger sister – cheeky, feisty, strong, the glue that holds the team together. Her made up roles seem so real and are so well defined that I can actually picture each and every one of them, they all fit in just perfectly. She speaks with excitement and is lost in her own world of imaginations taking me with her, I can see into her imaginations the same way I see my own imaginations of being an astronaut. I am seeing a world outside ours.

“You’re such a dreamer Kye,” I place my hand on her shoulder and let out the most sincere smile I’ve ever let out, “I’ve never met a dreamer before.”

Kye’s smile fades and she places a hand on my shoulder looking deep into my imaginations, “How badly do you want to be an astronaut?” she questions.

“It’s the only thing I want. Kye, if I could just wear that suit once, sit in a rocket, see Earth as a globe, see the universe above and do one spacewalk – my life would be complete.” My voice shakes as my honesty spills out, “I’m scared of getting old without my dream coming true, I’d rather die before I see the end of my hope.” My eyes fill with tears and so do Kye’s. I don’t mean to sound depressing to someone I’ve just met, but I feel comfortable talking to Kye and never have I ever expressed myself so clearly to anyone before – especially verbally – the only other thing that knows me properly is my diary.

I take a moment and then try to joke my way out of the tears, “I wanted to be Neil Armstrong but I’m going to end up being Shakespeare.” I see Kye blinking tears away too, “Kye, why don’t you still do it?” I ask her.

“Do what? Act?” her voice sounds like an engine running out of gas, “If only God would help me,” she begs looking up and then around as if calling God himself.

“Do you believe in God?” I ask.

“Yeah, well…I have faith in him. He’s got the controller, he’s the only one who can make my dreams come true. I talk to him just like this, I don’t get much of a reply but I believe he’s everywhere, watching, listening… just not listening to me… yet!” she cries, smiling like a child talking to the air around her.

“You have faith?” I’m intrigued, I’ve never thought of God in the scenario of my dreams but the way Kye is talking around her makes me feel a little mystical.

“Yes I do, I think faith and hope are the two most important things in surviving life. Faith gives us hope and hope keeps us going.” says Kye.

“So you are a dreamer and a believer, yet you’re still planning of letting go of your dream?” I question her. I am confused, her thoughts and words motivate me, but here, she is the one backing down. “Kye, what you just said and the ideas you have, prove that you can be an actress. It might take longer than getting an agent or being noticed but you’ll get there eventually!” I feel a rush of excitement as an idea crosses my mind.

Kye squints at me, “What do you mean? And what do you mean eventually? I don’t want to begin my career in movies playing someone’s grandma.”

“Well, we better get started then!” I yell. With Kye still confused I begin to explain my brilliant idea, “Look, you have these amazing ideas and I study literature, in other words story writing,” I focus on Kye with all seriousness. She raises an eyebrow. I expand, “So, I will help you write your ideas in the form of a story, a book, or even scripts, which we’ll publish! And then like a lot of books nowadays, hopefully some producer will turn your book into a film and then ta da!” I spread my arms, “You’re an author and an actress of your own book slash movie!”

Kye’s confusion turns into a thought, “Really?” is all she manages to say.

“Look, I know how much you want to be an actress and I just think now that you’re here and while you’ve got the chance, you should try it out. You’ve tried everything else, right? So you might as well try this too,” I beg. I really want this to work for her.

An impulsive sparkle lights Kye’s eyes, “Fine!” she says with excitement. “Let’s do it, but I warn you I’m no good at writing so you have to help me.”

“Yes of course I will Kye! And so will he,” I look around holding my palms up indicating her God. “It is like destiny intended for this to happen; me studying literature, you studying physics and us meeting-”

“Destiny?” Kye questions with another glint of energy, this time she squints in thought, a cheeky thought. She looks at me.

“What?”

“If it is destiny, then surely I can help you become Buzz Lightyear!” Kye exclaims.

“Yeah. Kye, I actually do need a degree and a certain amount of knowledge and experience to do that.” I say.

Kye reminds me of how well I did in my physics retake and I see the whole fate situation before me, but I actually need to study some sort of science to even think of realistically becoming an astronaut.

“Okay Jen, you are going to do two degrees,” Kye explains.

I’m baffled by the idea. As if doing one degree isn’t hard enough already.

She continues, “Most of my physics classes are mixed with the astro-science classes, so you are going to independently study astronomy, astrophysics or whatever-”

“Astrophysics,” I nod with all certainty. “Astrophysics.”

“Yes, astrophysics, by attending lectures and learning independently and then with my help, you’ll take exams and you’ll graduate. I’m sure you won’t even need my help much, you know it all anyway and you’ll understand it when you study it.”

I like the idea, but how is that going to be possible without being enrolled on the course, I hope Kye has a solution to this, and she does.

“Don’t worry about how you’ll sit exams,” she says. “We all have to register for our examinations online anyway and you can register for the astrophysics ones as well as your literature ones, you only need your student number!” Kye’s excitement is overflowing, it’s amazing how much joy we’re getting from carving each other’s paths towards our dreams.

“I know it’s going to be hard, I know,” Kye controls the excitement but doesn’t lose determination. “The science school here have so many internships and work experience opportunities from people like NASA! You could get selected if you study the subject. You have to be in it to win it,” she insists.

I like Kye’s keenness and she’s quite right - in it to win it - that clicks a thought in my mind. Kye didn’t join the drama society. They have all sorts of opportunities like performing at top theatres where you could possibly get seen by directors and producers. I have a deal to make.

“Alright!” I say. “But on one condition.”

“Condition?” Kye’s eyes narrow.

“I’ll study astrophysics and literature and you’ll write your stories, but, you have to join the drama society.”

Kye closes her eyes and sighs but before she can reject the offer I persuade her.

“Like you said, you have to be in it to win it. You could get selected too! That Blondie and her Co. pushed in front of you, I saw, but who cares, they can make adjustments.”

“Blondie?” Kye looks surprised.

“What? I can say it. I’m blonde. I wouldn’t mind if you said it too.”

Kye giggles and then takes a moment to think, she opens her eyes and then, “Deal!”

We shake hands and embrace each other. The deal is sealed, on faith. We have the drive to make each other’s dream come true. I feel happy and overwhelmed to have met a friend who feels what I do, who dreams like I do, who is actually pushing me to achieve my dreams rather than the general push of ‘get a good job, good money, live well’. I need her as much as she needs me to get our dreams. It really is as if fate has planned this. We are both average girls, leading normal lives and we have decent middle class families. There is no sympathy towards us and we don’t need it. We really do have everything yet there is something missing, a want not a need. Sometimes the things we want in life are the things we have to chase and with the sun rising we are just about to do that. This is the beginning of the journey to our dreams.

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