Sarah awoke the next morning to the sweet smell of bacon wafting out from her kitchen. She sat up and saw her mother and Jenn cooking breakfast. Sarah listened to them talk for a moment before getting up.
"She's just so sweet. I don't know how I raised such a good daughter, but I'm glad I did." Tina said happily.
"Yeah! She's a good girl. I'm glad me and Emily were able to meet her. She pretty much the only sane one at our job too." Jenn giggled. Sarah rolled her eyes and thought to herself, 'If they only knew'.
Sarah stretched and got up off the recliner. For the first time in almost a month, she felt well rested, like she had boundless energy. It was still only seven in the morning, they all had plenty of time before they needed to be at work at nine. Sarah gently nudged Emily who was mumbling in her sleep "uhhh rocks aren't frisbees."
Sarah giggled at her friend. "Come on Emily, don't you smell the bacon?"
"BACON?!" Emily was immediately wide awake. She sniffed the air and smiled. "Oh my gosh bacon yes!" Emily bounded out of bed and ran into the kitchen. Sarah followed her with just a bit less energy. The four of them shared a breakfast of bacon and eggs expertly made by Jenn and Tina.
"Wow you are just good at everything." Sarah said to Jenn. "You can cook too!"
"Yeah, I learned from my mom, she's pretty handy in a kitchen. I sometimes have to cook for my brother when she has to work late too."
"I'm awful at cooking." Emily said, taking a bit of a strange sandwich she had made consisting of two fried eggs acting as bread and bacon in the middle. This wasn't working out so well for her as the yolk from the eggs ran down her fingers. "I once burnt water."
The girls laughed as they enjoyed their breakfast. All too soon it was time for them to go to work, and there was a bit of a hassle as they tried to balance out all three of them using the two bathrooms. It all worked out and they left for work on time.
Sarah had decided she had to find out more about Jeff, the real person, not just the one from her dreams. She had a sneaking suspicion and she wanted to check it out as soon as they got out of work. Work passed by quickly, and as Sarah was pulling her bag out of her locker, Jenn walked into the room followed by a skipping Emily. Sarah secretly wondered if Forrest ever got dizzy by the amount of jumping around his mother did.
"Hey Sarah, we are going to Starbucks, do you want to come?" Jenn asked politely.
Sarah was divided, she wanted to go out with her friends, but the weight on her mind about Jeff wouldn't cease until she had some questions answered. "I...I can't today, I'm sorry. There is something I have to do." Sarah shyly looked down at her feet. She still didn't know how to talk about her problems with her friends, but she knew that once she had some answers, it would be easier.
"Oh are you going to see your BOYFRIEND?" Emily gleefully clapped her hands together.
"It's...something like that."
"Go get em tiger!" Emily patted Sarah on the back.
Sarah drove home. The trees were bare and the sky was already growing dark this early in the day. It was cold out, it felt as if snow would soon be there. Autumn's last days were giving way to the chilly fingers of winter.
Sarah went to her computer as soon as she got home. She was a huge ball of nerves, and was trembling a bit as she logged onto her DreamTube account. Now she had three messages waiting for her, and she knew who they were from. She finally clicked on her inbox and saw the messages waiting for her from TimeInABottle.
The first one read: "sarah? did you watch my last video? i wanted you to see it. i hope you get this message."
The second one was even shorter, it simply said "where are you sarah? i can't find you anymore."
Sarah was scared to click on the last one, it had been sent only the day before. "i don't want to be awake anymore. i just want to sleep forever. maybe then i can find you again. -jeff."
Sarah stared at the last message for a long time, her heartbeat racing and a feeling like her throat was closing up. The message was depressing, and the name that was signed. It was Jeff. It had been him all along. He was real. But now it looked like he had given up hope. Sarah clicked onto his channel page. TimeInABottle, or, Sarah thought, Jeff, had been uploading videos daily, and without fail. From the shot that showed in each videos preview, Sarah knew it was from the very same city she had been seeing in her own dreams. There was one video missing, the one from today. Sarah feared that she might be too late. She quickly went to google and searched for "Jeff Durham." A search result appeared, and not one that Sarah had expected to see.
Sarah quickly pulled out her phone. She wouldn't have to face this alone. She reached Emily and quickly said, "Please Emily you have to meet me at Middlesex hospital."
Sarah didn't like hospitals. They were cold, sterile, impersonal places. Places that housed the sick, injured, and dying. It was a terrible place. Sarah didn't want to be here, but she had no other choice. She had to know the truth.
Sarah paced around the entrance way waiting for her friends to arrive. She didn't have to wait long, as she saw them running through the doors. "Sarah, what's wrong? Emily wouldn't tell me anything." Jenn panting, trying to catch her breath after running.
"No Sarah didn't tell me either. What happened?" Emily wasn't out of breath, but was bouncing nervously up and down.
"I...it's...just come with me please." Sarah pleaded, feeling tears forming at the back of her eyes.
They walked up to a information desk, and Sarah asked which room Jeff Durham was in. She heard Emily whispering to Jenn behind her, "Her boyfriend?" The nurse directed them which way to go, warning them that visiting hours were nearly over, and Sarah silently went off, Emily and Jenn trailing behind.
A door stood in front of Sarah. She was afraid to enter it, afraid of what was on the other side. She remembered the new artcile she had read online. It stated that an 18 year old young man had fallen asleep at a local diner and couldn't be woken up. That the young man had to be rushed to this hospital. That his name was Jeffery Durham. Sarah took a deep breath and entered the room.
In the bed lay a boy with reddish brown hair, the same color Sarah remembered. She carefully went over all his features, noticing them, recalling them from her dreams. She was sure if his eyes were open, they'd be the same blue she remembered, the same blue color she had chosen to paint her nails the night before without realizing it. She walked over to him, and the world seemed to slow down. He was real. Jeff was real. He wasn't just a dream. Sarah gently took his hand, feeling it for real for the first time. It felt just as it had in her dreams. The tears she had been holding back for so long began to pour down her face. Now that she had met the boy that she had spent so much time with in her dreams, it was too late. She couldn't talk to him, couldn't ask him questions. She had so many questions.
"What happened to him?" Jenn asked, but Sarah was spared answering when another person entered the room.
"He's in a coma, we don't know the cause yet." The man in scrubs answered. "Are you his friends?"
Sarah nodded meekly, slowly letting go of Jeff's hand. She asked "Will he wake up again?"
"We don't know that yet. We won't know until we can find what caused his condition. I'm glad you girls came, he hasn't had any visitors yet." The doctor looked at them sympathetically. "But visiting hours are over now, so you'll have to leave."
The girls filed out of the room. Emily hugged Sarah as the exited the room. "Sarah I'm sorry. I guess we are all having a terrible week."
Sarah sighed, not quite knowing what emotions she should be feeling. "It's ok. It's hard for me to explain right now, but Jeff isn't exactly my boyfriend. He's been my friend for a long time. I just feel sick right now." They had reached an exit with some chair nearby. Sarah sank down into one and started sobbing again. She wasn't sure why she was crying, but she just felt so entirely exhausted. Everything that had happened in her life, everything that had happened in her dreams, the whole world, everything was crashing down around her.
Her friends sat down beside her, both of them hugging her. Sarah felt as if she was going to be okay. She had two good friends at her sides, and even though they both had their own serious problems, they were helping her in her own time of need. She just wished she could find the words to explain to them what was really going on.
"Let's go home Emily, I'm just feeling really tired. I need some rest." Emily agreed, and they all left in their own cars. Sarah drove home, realizing that Emily had her car back now. Jenn must've taken her to her old apartment to pick it up. Sarah had forgotten all about that, and she was glad Jenn had helped Emily out. It must've been hard for her to go back there. At some point they'd all have to go back there and pick up the rest of Emily's things, especially all the baby things for Forrest. Sarah was so tired as she drove home.
That's when it hit her like a ton of bricks. She couldn't talk to Jeff in this world, the waking world. But what about her dreams. He had said that he was trying to find her in dreams. Sarah wanted to dream again, back in that same place she had dreamed about her whole life. She wanted to go there. She wanted to see Jeff again.
When she got home Emily was already there. "Are you gonna be ok Sarah?" Emily asked. "Your not boyfriend will wake up again, I know it." Emily tried to comfort Sarah. Sarah smiled at her.
"Thank you Emily. We've been through quite a week haven't we."
"Mmhmm!" Emily agreed.
"I just want to lay down if that's ok. I am so tired." Sarah went up to her bedroom with Emily trailing behind. She quickly changed her pajamas, put her dreamsight onto her head, and climbed into bed. Emily climbed in with her.
"I don't want you to have to be alone right now." Emily explained. Sarah lay in bed, with Emily's head on her shoulder, one of her arms wrapped around Sarah, and her stomach gently pushing into Sarah's side. Sarah felt comforted, and quickly fell into a deep sleep.
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Words Total 31022