The hard pounding of my heart in my chest sharply pulls me into the world of the waking world. Memories from vivid dream that caused the shift fade rapidly as the grip of reality pulls me further away. Trying to grasp them is a futile task instead I stare up at the white ceiling that reflects back what little light is in the room. As my pulse begins to calm and regain a normal rhythm. I glance at the clock on the nightstand. The blue neon numbers Read 5 am. I groan inwardly , there is no chance I am getting up now when I still have a few hours before I have to start my day.
I decide to check my phone briefly. The sharp light of the screen blazes into the darkness causing a brief flash of pain as my pupil react to the offending light. There doesn’t seem to be anything pressing in the notification bar. Once again I lock the phone and place it facedown under my pillow. Turning so I am on my stomach nuzzling my face into the soft cotton of my pillow and pulling the blanket tighter around my body and feeling everything relax sleep begins to reclaim me.
An outside café setting in an alley materializes around me. small tabled are set aside at regular intervals along the sides leaving an row in between that is divided by barrel planters of wildflowers. Above is a net of string lights that give it a fairytale glow. It’s clearly autumn because leaves are scattered on the ground. This is a setting I’ve seen before because it’s one of my favorite locations in the town where I used to live. The alley is empty aside from one patron who sits at a table near the middle of the right side. He is wearing a jean jacket with a white t-shirt beneath it. It complemented his slightly tanned skin and his fingers where intertwined on the table top and he was staring straight at me.
He had brown eyes that where like pools of amber in the twinkling light. A warm feeling of familiarity spread through my chest when we connected. I knew this gaze only too well, the was a slight cooling when the cool storm of my blue eyes connected with his gaze. It was the ocean meeting the shore, inevitable but when it happened there was no separation. The power between us sang like waves in a storm hitting harder as the silence stretched on.
I broke the gaze first losing this battle I was sure but I moved over and sat in the chair opposite. While I was walking I began to take in my own outfit as the light fabric of the skirt of my dress clung then released with the couple steps. I grabbed the back as I sat down smiling at the pretty floral pattern. My upper arms were covered by a cold shoulder ruffle that rose briefly as air caught under the fabric before setting back softly over my chest. The dress was pretty and tasteful as were most of the outfits I wore in this dream world. The table where I sat was impossibly clean and the black metal gleamed despite being out in the elements. With a deep breath I locked eyes once again and broke the silence
“ I heard your message loud and clear” my voice rang out with scorn.
The man who was across from me was none other than Alex Corbis who was in a very popular band. He had recently released a new album that in it’s popularity was played almost nonstop and as such I was subjected to it no matter how much I tried to ignore it. We had been playing this game since I was a child, he would write things that had a weird correlation to this alternate world where the two of us shared our time sleeping.
Despite this we had never met in person and most of the time I feel like a crazy fan girl as these dreams have become more and more intense as the years have past. The most recent album though went from hinting to very pointed. There was a huge shift in energy in the world recently and the Veil that separated things like these realms have disappeared and while I had prayed this would go away it seems it was made more intense.
Alex’s gaze shifted and a smirk played across his lips as he looked at me. there was a knowing gleam in his eyes as he answered
“ I know you’ve been thinking about me, how can you pretend this doesn’t effect you? When you are thinking about me It’s a siren call. I hear it when I am hear all by myself, when I am in a crowd. There is no escape. So I write about it because you are my muse. This is how it has always been and you know that” the sincerity in his voice took me aback for a second and I had to fight not to be pulled in and lose my nerve.
“ You’re a popular artist and come up in my life is all. Sometimes I get annoyed about how pointed things have gotten recently and it’s annoying” I said in an offhanded tone and looked at the wall as his gaze narrowed and the amber in his eyes began to smolder with intense emotion. Frustration was making lines appear on his forehead.
“ I feel like I should be there with you, this never feels like enough” The emotion in his voice was enough to cut deep, I wanted to reach out and touch him but I knew better. Frustration began to bubble in my chest though like a white hot fury that consumed the sadness until incredulousness was all that was left. This time I held his gaze and I know that he could see the storm burning in my gaze.
“ I’ve never stopped you from trying to come find me until recently. We have been at this for YEARS! I haven’t moved Alex I’ve been here the whole time!” I was shouting by the end and my voice broke at the end because I was overtook with emotion remembering the turmoil and searing pain from the last 10 years. This has been going on for so long that it had become a constant companion but there was never and escape. Recently things had changed as my situation in the working world was changing as well. My path was leading me further from this and my pull to Alex.
“ I can’t find you, I’ve looked for you everywhere. I’ve looked for you in the center of the sun! I’ve tried but I never really know just where to find you. I look in the crowds over and over hoping to catch a glimpse of your face! I see you everywhere but it’s never you. ” He said with exasperation “ Most of the time I feel like I am chasing a feeling. When we are here and sharing these dreams it’s so easy to believe that you are out there. I hope and pray you are searching for me. I see you when my eyes are shut and it tears me apart but I have to move on” He stood up and looked at me his brown eyes burning with a scary intensity “ You think you know how this works how to get under my skin? Nothing you have seen is permanent, it always seems like I am coming back to you.” He turned around for a second seeming to collect himself running his hand through his short brown hair. It just moved right back into place like nothing happened.
He turned around fixing his gaze on me before continuing “I try and try but I don’t know where to start to look! It feels like I am going insane and I know taking a pill can’t numb this.”
I stood up and walked around the table until I was right in front of him. He was only a little taller than me but I still had to look up into his eyes. The intensity of his emotions were coming off him in waves like walls of energy and they hit my soul and seemed to energize it. Being around his was like charging a battery. When I finally stopped we were so close that there was only a breath between us. when I spoke my voice was surprisingly level but low and intense.
“ I’ve never gone far Alex. This isn’t a normal situation it’s not like I can call you like I would a friend. We live in different worlds and my voice will and does get lost in the tide. I’m a whispered scream in the tide of the world.” I said in a defeated tone. “ It’s maddening because I am beating my head against a wall. Most of the time I feel like a crazy fan girl and that this is all in my head” Tears were falling freely down my chest as the futility and the self-loathing of this whole situation hit hard. In the waking world these dreams were like a constant fear that it will get out. I’ve never been interested in fame and fortune and I don’t care about the lives that it favors. My own life was all I was interested in living but Alex was a bridge to a world I never wanted to be part of.
My tears though proved to be the catalyst though and Alex pulled me onto his arms. I tired to pull away because physical contact was just too intense in this setting and my very soul seemed to light where he was touching me. He didn’t let though and held me closer until I wrapped my arms around him and let the tears run freely. All around us the air seemed to shimmer with the glitter that the evaporating essence created. I pulled back and once again looked into his eyes.
“ I know you were there once. Knowing that you left without seeing me messes with my head. “ this was a whispered confession ‘ I saw you in the balcony and I knew it was you. I blew it though because I was scared, this seemed like it could be real and that was to much. I never should have let you leave without reaching out to you. The opportunity was perfect and let it go. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over not being with you. ” this confession seemed like it was hard for him and I could see the agony in his face. This was clearly something that he had though about a lot.
The memory of that night flooded to my mind. I had finally decided to got to one of his concerts. It was a small venue and I was so worried that it was going to be weird. This was also my first concert so I didn’t exactly know what to expect When he came onto the stage though I felt the connection was instant. I was watching someone I had always known it wasn’t like watching a stranger like I expected. I wanted to see him do well and the love I had felt back then was so string in my chest. I remember thinking that he has to feel it to. But when the concert ended I left, I stuck around for a little while after to see is he would come out and see his fans. He didn’t.
“ I know you saw me, I know it and being there was such a strange experience” This caused tears to once again spring to my eyes “ It should have felt like I was watching a stranger but instead you were someone I had known my whole existence. You ignored though like it wasn’t worth your time. I could almost see the tether between us. “ talking about feeling insane you’re a freaking celebrity who’s name is known everywhere!”
He shook his head and put his hand under my chin so that I was looking into his eyes “ I didn’t know what this was back then. I had to grow and things changed. When the veil broke everything changed. When I’m talking to you I never know if it goes through. So I keep trying to get through the only way that I can. ” A small smile played on his lips “ there is only so much I can do before I look crazy and as you mentioned the stage is worldwide for me. It doesn’t make it right but it puts perspective”
I want to stay wrapped in his embrace but I also know that now is the time to separate from him, So much had had happed in our waking lives that made this wrong. When we were here though being close felt like the most natural thing in the whole world.
Shaking my head I stepped back “ This is so complicated”
As I stepped away the world had started to shimmer and fade away our time was up once again. With a sign I said my parting words that echoed my thoughts
“ It’s been to long now, we’ve both moved on and we should keep it that way. This needs to stay in the realm of dreams and not permeate reality there is too much at stake” I gave a weak smile as the alley faded more in a second he was going to be gone once again and I would go back to my life and he would go back to his.
His words rang out “ This isn’t the end, Don’t give up on this. Don’t give up on us, we’ve just a different kind of love. I feel it in my soul because when are here it’s like this is heaven. I don’t know how this could get much better Liana” he was starting to fade now and I could tell that I was the one waking up.
“ I don’t know Alex, I just don’t know” the words echoed faintly as my eyes started to flutter open and I was once again in my bed. It was time to get up and continue my life. This was the end until the next dream.
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