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Imagination Land 2

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It smelled like salt, but it felt like elation. Her palms fell open, like flowers beginning to blossom. She had always loved the ocean. Something about it made her feel weightless and free. She opened her eyes and leaned forward against the railing of the deck. The ocean helped her to forget.


“It’s good to see you so happy,” he said as he walked towards her. She turned towards him as he offered her a glass cup. “It’s iced tea. Just like you like it- sweetened with Splenda instead of sugar.”


She smiled slightly, but did not raise her arm to take it. “You know I can’t drink that.”


He took a sip from one of the glasses. “Why? It tastes great!” he held the other glass closer to her, and he wore an amused grin as he said, “Don’t tell me the health nuts have been getting to you again. A little artificial sweetener won’t kill you.”


“That’s not what I meant,” she couldn’t resist the urge to smile at him, “I can’t drink that. It’s impossible.”


“Oooh,” he said as he set both of the glasses on the railing, “I see. You can’t drink that. Just like you can’t feel this,” he touched her cheek, letting the back of his hand run down her jaw line. She turned her head away sharply, and her eye fell upon the glass of iced tea. She seized it and took a long drink. It tasted perfect.


His lips pressed together and he brought his arm back towards his body. “What’s wrong?”


She swallowed and set the glass back down on the railing. “What are you doing here?”


“I wanted to be with you,” he said quietly, “I love you.”


“But you don’t.” She wanted to say that in a biting yell, but it came out as a disappointed whisper. “You’re not real.”


“But how can you tell?” he asked. “Don’t I look real? Don’t I sound real? Don’t I feel real to you?” he caught her hand and held it for a moment as her eyes met his. When he released her hand, she took a step back from him, confused. Her eyes closed for a minute as memories attacked her. She felt her heart beating hard against her chest.

When she opened her mouth to speak again, she crossed her arms, hiding the hand that he had touched. “I… want you to go away. Please.” She turned back towards the ocean and pretended to ignore him.


From the corner of her eye, she saw his head dip down slightly. “As you wish.”


She turned back towards where he had been standing, but he was gone. The smell of his skin lingered for just a second before the salty smell of the sea drowned it out.



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