The smell of freshly cooked bacon filled the air as Sarah cooked her dinner and watched television at the same time. She wasn't really paying attention to the show, it was just background noise to keep her thoughts away from her dreams. Sarah loved to eat bacon, which might have contributed a bit to her chubbiness, but could you blame her? Bacon is DELICIOUS. Sarah loved to cook bacon, and then fry potatoes in the bacon grease. It was, in her mind, the yummiest thing in the world. She ate her dinner while sitting on her couch watching the show. On the show they were describing how wifflebats where made. Not the most interesting subject, but the host of the show seemed to think it was the most amazing thing in the world. Sarah giggled at his enthusiasm.
After washing the dishes and taking a nice long shower, Sarah was ready for bed. She had to work in the morning, but Saturday was her first day off since starting this new job. Sarah loved days off because they meant she could sleep in as much as she wanted, dream for even longer.
Sarah stopped her line of thinking there. She berated herself, "Am I always going to live in the world of dreams? I can't keep doing that. There is a whole world out there and I'm just wasting my life away." Sarah thought of Emily's boyfriend, and how she had never had a boyfriend in her whole life, in fact she had never even kissed a boy. All the school dances during middle school and high school she had just skipped. The closest she'd ever been to a boy had only ever been in her dreams. Sarah felt like a bit of a failure. She was going to be 19 this April, and she was still had never kissed a boy. Sarah sighed to herself. She didn't even want to sleep, she didn't want to dream tonight. She didn't want to see Jeff, Devon, or Lisa. She just wanted to go out into the world and make something of herself.
Still with all of these thoughts of self doubt and hatred in her head, Sarah managed to fall asleep. That night though, her dream felt a bit different.
Sarah was standing in a field she didn't recognize from any of her other dreams. It was a huge field, and in the distance she could see trees surrounding the field. She stood still for a moment looking around her. The sun was just starting to set, the sky a startling mix of purples and pinks. She took a set forward and there was a loud wooshing sound. She looked around her and millions of butterflies took flight around her. They were of every color of the rainbow, and they circled around her like a tornado of color. Sarah giggled and ran through the field watching the butterflies dance. The storm of colors kept whirling around her faster and faster until suddenly she collapsed.
All of the butterflies had disappeared. The sun had gone down while she was running and now it looked like a mat of black. Fireflies soon replaces the butterflies that had been there previously, dancing around like a shower of stars. Sarah reached her hand up and one of the fireflies landed on her hand. She watched the firefly on her hand and was filled with a sudden feeling of loneliness. She wasn't alone here, with all the fireflies dancing around her, but she was alone. Where was Jeff? Where were Lisa and Devon? Where was anyone? Why was she all alone.
Thinking these thoughts, a gust of wind came and rattled Sarah to the bones. The fireflies blinked out of existence, and now Sarah was truly alone. The sky was now stormy distances away from it's previously calm state. Rain came pouring down on her face. Sarah tried to stand, to run away from the cold rain. But she couldn't stand. She had to lay there and feel the brunt of the storm. Sarah started to cry, her tears mixing with the rain that was falling. Sarah had never really felt this alone before.
She awoke to the sounds of her alarm clock. Sarah sat up, and she felt the tears that were still on her face. She felt confused. Her dreams had always been her escape from the world that had always seemed so cruel to her, but now she was alone in her dreams as well. Sarah had worn the Dreamsight that night out of habit, so she uploaded the video to DreamTube like usual. She got ready for work, with the intense feelings of loneliness still hanging over her.
Outside, the trees were still clinging to the last of their leaves. Sarah knew that soon winter would be here, and the world would be sterilized in white. Sarah really didn't like winter time, especially with what had happened to her father that winter long ago. She drove to work, still feeling more depressed than ever.
Work went by without much incident. Sarah was getting used to working the register. It was almost second nature to greet the customers now. Sarah still felt just as shy as ever, but it helped that she didn't think of the customers as people. They were just customers and it was her job to greet and help them anyway she could. Just like at her last job it was her job to pack the sheets into boxes. This thinking helped Sarah greatly. She got the feeling that she could do this job well now, and she wouldn't be a failure at this at least.
Sarah clocked out and went to collect her things from the breakroom. The breakroom wasn't empty this time, Emily and Jenn were sitting at one of the tables chatting. Emily immediately greeted Sarah cheerfully. "Hi Sarah! How's it going today? We were just talking about how we are going to the movies tomorrow. We are gonna see that new movie, you know the one with the man who thinks he's a dog, but then he becomes a dog and there is a lot of pie? You know the one I'm talking about right. Well do you want to come?" Emily said all of this at once without waiting for an answer.
Sarah was unsure of which question to answer first. She was stunned. She was being asked to go out with two other people. Like friends would do. That sound so amazing to her. She wanted to go so badly. "I'll go with you guys, if you want me too."
"Of course we do!" Emily smiled brightly. "Can I get your phone number? We were gonna go at 6, but if that changes I want to be able to text you."
Sarah, Jenn, and Emily all exchanged numbers. Sarah felt so excited. She was going to go out with some friends for the first time in her life. She wasn't going to be alone on a Saturday night. She wanted to cry out with glee, but she refrained from that. The three of them all said goodbye to each other, and Sarah drove home in a much better mood than she had gone to work in.
When she got home, she noticed her mom sitting on the couch eating some yogurt. "Hey Ma! Guess what?"
"What's that sweetie?"
"I'm going out with some of the people I work with tomorrow! We are going to the movies!" Sarah could barely contain her excitement.
"That's great Princess! You never go out with your friends." Sarah's mom smiled brightly at her daughter. "I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun." Sarah crashed on the couch and talked brightly with her mother as they watched the news.
That night Sarah went to bed without thinking about her dreams or any of her doubts. She was happy for her future now, wondering what it would be like to have friends now. She wouldn't have to be alone now. She wondered if they'd share their dreams with her, their secrets. Her mind eventually stopped whirling around, and Sarah fell asleep.
The sky was dark and stormy. The wind whipped around Sarah, forming a barrier from which she could not remove herself. Sarah could see branches from the trees around her breaking with loud bang sounds. Some of the trees even started falling down. Sarah tried to scream out, to escape from this terrible hurricane. She couldn't move though, she couldn't wake herself up. Sarah closed her eyes and prayed for this torture to end.
Waking up was such a relief for Sarah, a sharp contrast to how she normally operated. Sarah was unsure about if she should upload this dream to DreamTube, but she decided to anyway. While she was online, she noticed another message, again from TimeInABottle. This one said. "thanks for friending me! your last video was beautiful, but then it got really scary. are you ok?"
Sarah replied to her new online friend "I'm doing fine! I don't know why I had a dream like that, but it freaked me out a lot. I had a similar dream last night, but I'm sure you'll see it. How are you doing?" Sarah hadn't been sure about that last line, but she felt like it was a good question to ask a friend. She was slightly curious about this person who was messaging her. She didn't know anything about him except his age and gender.
Sarah spent the day nervously wandering around her bedroom thinking about the night. What should she wear to go out with her friends? She didn't want to dress up too much and seem like she was trying too hard, but she didn't want to be too casual and look like a slob. She finally decided on a pair of jeans, a cute sweater, and a pair of black boots. It wasn't too fancy, but it was classy enough she decided. It was only noon by this point, so Sarah still had a lot of time to waste before she went out. Sarah went back on her computer and watched some more videos on DreamTube. There were some good ones about a man being chased by a monster but everything was going in slow motion and he couldn't escape. Then there was one about a girl who went to school, but then she realized she was only wearing her underwear. Some of these dreams were comical to Sarah. She had never had dreams like these, and she almost wished she could, considering how her dreams had been lately.
Sarah ate only a sandwich for dinner, knowing she'd be stuffing her face with popcorn at the movies. She left at 5:30pm, even though it only took her ten minutes to get to the movie theater. She really didn't want to be late, she was also too excited to sit at home anymore. Sarah got there way before the other two girls, so she bought her ticket and waited at a table next to some arcade games. She played with her cellphone for awhile so she didn't look too out of place. At about 5:55pm, Sarah spotted the tall Jenn and skinny Emily. She waited until they saw her before she said anything.
Sarah waited in the ticket line again with Jenn and Emily. Emily talked rabidly about how her boyfriend had surprised her with dinner the other night while Sarah and Jenn nodded and agreed with her. Sarah was glad Emily was doing most of the talking, she didn't feel like she had anything that interesting to say. They all got snacks and sat down in the mostly full theater.
Sarah sat in between Jenn and Emily. This would normally make her feel awkward, but it was a lot of fun. Emily didn't take the no talking warnings too seriously. She kept laughing uproariously at every funny scene (and some that weren't even meant to be funny) and poking Sarah and whispering to her jokes that made Sarah laugh as well. It was the most fun Sarah could remember having in a long time.
The movie ended and Emily cheered at the screen screaming "BEST MOVIE EVER" even though it wasn't really.
Jenn spoke up for the first time, "Do you girls want to go to Starbucks?" Emily and Sarah agreed and they all walked over to the Starbucks which was near the theater.
They talked and joked about the movie for awhile before Sarah said "I have to get home soon, I have to be work in the morning." The other girls agreed and they all left in their own cars, but not before saying that they should all do this again soon.
Sarah drove home, thinking to herself that this had been a lot of fun. The wind had picked up, and the leaves were falling almost as fast as soon does. She drove slow afraid of her car slipping on the leaves.
Sarah went to sleep that night, her heart full of joy. She had finally made some friends for the first time in her life. She didn't think that anything could ever take this joy away.
In her dream however, she found herself in a world of blackness.
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