Only In My Dreams

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When I woke up this morning I was in France. I don’t know how I knew I was in France. It was just one of those things you know without really thinking about. And I knew I was in France. Granted, my house was the same, maybe a little fancier and European, but basically the same- just in France.

Naturally, being in France and all, I was with all the foreign exchange students that had visited the US a few months ago. And those are the people with whom I am walking down the street right now. Just ahead of me is Chris. He’s not from France. He’s wearing a gray jacket with black sleeves that accent his shoulders. Something about those shoulders and the short brown hair on the back of his head, something about how they work together make me go up to him and place my hands on each of his shoulders. He turns and sees me. “I like you,” I say, “Let’s be blunt.” He looks at me with a confused smile. I want to be clear that his smile is confused, he understands everything perfectly.

“I like you too,” he tells me. I don’t know if I expected that or not, but it sure makes me happy to hear. What does that mean for the future? Is he my boyfriend now? We walk shoulder to shoulder. We don’t say anything because we’re both thinking about our future. But that’s just it- we’re thinking about our future. It’s a first person plural thing. And I must say, it feels awfully nice to have someone next to me and know that he’s thinking the same thing. We don’t even have to talk to know that we’re thinking the same thing. I can tell by the way he’s walking, just a little too calculated. And by how he looks at me with that same confused smile, but doesn’t want me to see. As if he doesn’t know how cute his smile is when it’s confused.

When we turn the corner we’re in a restaurant without a floor. I suppose we should have known that a restaurant is best with a floor (mainly because it’s harder to fall when there’s something under you), but we didn’t and we walked out where there was no floor. I make sure, of course, that Chris and I sit next to each other. The booth is round and there are a lot of people in it, but the faces that stick out to me are Hannah, Chris, Annie and Nathan. Mainly Chris, but there other people there, too, as I said I suppose Hannah, Annie and Nathan were there too. But again, it was mainly Chris.

So I look at my menu, not that I see anything on it. But I look at my menu, then look at Chris. But David is between me and Chris. David’s my brother. But right now it’s not David my brother, it’s David between me and Chris. I climb over him and force him back like brothers often do. Then I look back at my menu so that I can proceed to look at Chris again. But when I look up, David’s there again. I climb over him again, but this time I spell it out for him.

“Chris already told me he likes me!” I tell him, putting my arm around Chris. I feel that that settles the matter. And I think Chris feels that way too because his arm’s around me now. That’s his way of confirming that he likes me, I can tell- it’s just another one of those things I know without really thinking about. Speaking of things I haven’t been thinking about, I haven’t noticed that our booth has been sinking (there being no floor and all) with the weight of all of us sitting on it (even though it’s mainly just me and Chris). I climb on the back of the booth so that I don’t fall into the lake, but the booth is already halfway underwater and the water is up to Chris’s waist. I try to catch him, but the Earth’s mouth has already come up and is eating him. The ground is eating him and I have to watch as his head disappears under it, leaving only a plant where he used to be.

NO! Chris! “That’s just the way it is, William. He’s gone.” Hannah says, but since she wasn’t even really there it isn’t fair for her to say that. She doesn’t even know what is gone, and you can’t say that things that can’t be gone are gone because that doesn’t even happen. And Chris can’t be gone! No, please don’t let him be gone! I pray. We just started, and we weren’t done yet! Please, please! (I don’t think I can fully convey all of what I was thinking so you should just imagine praying that your true love isn’t gone, because that’s what I was doing. I could try to explain that I was thinking about how it had all been so close and now I was going to have to tell some other boy that I liked him, but boys that I like are really hard to find. And it’s even harder to find a boy that I like who says “I like you too” as well as Chris does. But you might not understand that.) So I pray really hard.

And then I see a light a few feet under the surface. The earth spits Chris out and he’s glowing and that’s how I know that God has answered my prayer, proving that something isn’t gone if it can’t be gone. Still, I jump down into the water because things that aren’t gone, unlike things that can’t be gone, can be gone if you don’t keep them around. So I dive into the water, catch his limp body and pull him up to shore. I hold his head in my lap with my hand. He opens his eyes and looks at me with a new smile. This smile is wide with all his teeth shining at me and it’s even more beautiful than when it was confused. Because while his other smile was cute, this smile is beautiful. It sends tingles down my spine but I don’t know why. That’s something you can’t just know. It’s something that somehow, you just know that you can’t know it and never will know it, but you just let it happen anyway. There are some things that you just know and then there are some things you just don’t need to know, and those are the most important things.

So Chris and I talk about how we’ve never had someone like each other before. When he’s better, he takes his head off my lap, though I liked it there, and holds me, I like that too. We stand face to face with his arms around me, even though he knows I’m not going anywhere he puts his arms around me just to be sure. I know because that’s why my arms are around him, just to be sure. We kiss.

***


When I get home from France I fall asleep from utter exhaustion. Later, I wake up and realize that I’m supposed to skype Chris. I open my computer, but there’s no keyboard. Skype is open and I can see that Chris is trying to talk to me. “Hello?” He types. I’m searching frantically for the keyboard but I can’t find it and it’s taking too long. “Tell me if you care” Chris says. I find a keyboard but there are no letters, just a bunch of other stuff that’s unimportant and a .com button. I try to type something but I can’t say anything without letters. “Kthnxbye” He types and I frantically try to type something because not saying anything is really hard when there’s something to say, even when there’s no way to say it. It’s so hard not to say it, in fact, that I take out my phone because I can’t not say it. That’s because it’s not just so hard, it’s too hard, and I’m no good at doing things that are too hard for me to do. Just as I pull out my cell phone, the power goes out and somehow that affects my cell phone, which really isn’t fair.

I run to the grocery store because I know that Chris will be there. At this point it’s probably unnecessary for me to explain that that’s something I just know. When I see him there, he smiles at me and I breathe a sigh of relief that his smile is still beautiful. He’s happy I just knew where he was and that I’m here now. I’m happy he’s here, too. So we hold each other again, just to be sure that we’re both here. And we kiss, again. And I feel really good but I don’t know why, that’s something I don’t need to know.





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