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Dreaming of Reality

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The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. The water is as blue as the sheer dress the perfectly thin mother Sarah is wearing. The sun begins its slow descent into the horizon, emitting the most wonderful hues of purple and red and pink. Sarah looks at her family. Her husband Pete, tall and muscular, with teeth as white as his leather shoes. Her son Adam, young and shy, who loves reading books. Her daughter, Lila, the most beautiful thing she's ever seen. Sarah looks at the photographer placing the lens on the thousand dollar camera.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. Adams temperature begins to climb. Sarah knew he wasn't feeling well when they left the house. Pete yelled at her and told her to hurry up and get the kids in the goddamn car. She had no choice but to pick up the small child, whose cheeks were an odd shade of white, and place him in the minivan with a small dent in the bumper from when Sarah drank a little too much and backed into the mailbox with the children in the backseat.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. Lila becomes restless. She wants her cell phone, the one that she dropped in the tub after she lifted the blade from her wrist. She had not known how badly it would hurt, but she did not mind because it did not hurt as much as her fathers hand as it slapped across her face after he caught her with the sweet smell of marijuana on her skirt.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. Pete's hands begin to shake. He had not taken his medicine that morning.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. The camera is not working. The photographer struggles to fix the lens and take the picture that he is being paid so well to take.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. Sarah's makeup begins to sweat off her face. She feared the camera would pick up on the wrinkles forming on her pretty, small, face. Pete hated the wrinkles and told her to get them fixed. She watched her friends walk out of the surgeons office with bandages on their already beautiful faces. She would go home and watch the money drain from the bank account from her husband's constant business travels, wishing that she could be enough to fulfill his needs.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. The wind begins to pick up and dark clouds roll in. Pete stares out onto the horizon and curses his wife for picking this date. A loud clap of thunder fills the still air and Adam begins to cry. Sarah tells him to stop, but when he doesn't, she does not hesitate to scold him in front of the photographer.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. Adam continues to wail. Sarah yells at Adam. Pete yells at Sarah. Lila yells at all of them and tells them to stop or she'll cut herself again.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. The photographer tells them to smile before the rain begins to pour.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. A photo is taken, a precious moment in time. The sun is setting, waves are crashing, and a perfect family with perfect smiles stands on a perfect beach on a perfect day.

The Watsons: the perfect family on the perfect beach. The pictures is taken. The moment is gone. The Watsons leave and go back to their car, back to their lives.

The Watsons: the American dream, threatened by reality.



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