I'm so sick of being here. That was the first thought that came to her when she lay down on her small, uncomfortable bed. I wish someone would come take me away. She turned on her radio to the classical station and stared at the stained cottage cheese ceiling. Yeah, someone to take me far far away from here…she thought as she drifted off to sleep, listening to Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata'.
When she opened her eyes again, she wasn't in her bed. She seemed to be floating. "Where the hell am I?" she wondered aloud.
"You asked me to take you away, so I did" a bodiless voice stated plainly.
"And who are you?" she asked irritated, wondering why she wasn't more afraid.
"I am your dream" the voice said. She thought it sounded masculine.
"Oh, so this is all a dream? I guess that would explain why I'm floating" She responded.
The voice hesitated, "Well it is a dream, but then again, it's not" it said.
"What do you mean?" she demanded.
"It is only a dream if you wish it to be. I told you, I'm here to take you away from it all, if that is your wish" the voice said.
She snorted. "No one has that kind of power" she scoffed.
"I do. That's why I came to you. You said you wanted to be taken away. I want someone to be my companion, so what do you want?" the voice replied.
"I want you to show yourself! Right now!" She exclaimed.
The voice sighed. "As you wish" it said resignedly. A shadowy figure appeared in the corner of the dark space. She wished she could see him more clearly. A spotlight shone on the figure and startled a gasp from her.
"You look just like him!" she said angrily.
"Yes, but understand, you shaped what I look like from your own feelings and memories. Apparently, you wanted me to look like your first love" The man explained.
"Your full of shit. Why would I want you to look like him?" She snarled.
"Because he is the person you want to take you away more than anyone else, even though that's not possible" The man said.
"That's bullshit!" She said malevolently, with unshed tears starting to brim in her eyes . The man moved at a rapid speed and soon he was right behind her. He tipped her head to the side and kissed her neck tenderly. She stiffened as he touched her.
"It's true. This person I represent is the person you want most in all the world. You want Conor, don't you? I can smell it on you" the man said as he buried his nose into the nape of her neck.
"Who are you, and what do you want?" she asked hoarsely as she pushed the man away.
"I am whoever you want me to be, but for now you may call me Dream. The only thing I want is to grant your desire and take you away from it all. You do want that, don't you? You want to act like I'm Conor and take you away from your pain" Dream said seductively as he grabbed her hand and began to kiss her palm.
"No!" She shouted as she pulled away and slapped him. For a moment, rage crossed Dream's face. Then he smiled cruelly.
"I wonder why your so hesitant to come to the form of the only man you ever loved. Maybe it's because of the way you were separated. Do you avoid me for the same reason that you won't say or even think of your name, even in your dreams?" He said wickedly.
She covered her ears. "Shut up! You don't know anything! Don't you dare say it!" She cried hysterically.
"Is it because he's dead that bothers you so, or is it the fact that the last thing he ever said was your name, Rachel?" He snarled as he grabbed her arms and yanked her close to him and uncovered her ears.
"No, no, no! Shut up! Please!" Rachel begged, trying to cover her ears, but he pulled her hands away and put his lips right next to her ear.
"You killed him, you know that don't you? It haunts your every thought, your every moment. Even here in your subconscious, it follows you like a loyal rabid dog" He hissed into her ear.
"No! Not my fault! No…" Rachel sobbed as she thrashed against the man known as Dream. Dream held her tighter and gripped her face so that her eyes were looking directly into his.
"Look into my eyes Rachel. You know you killed him. Your seeing it right now. The car, the rain, and the fight that caused him to crash. You killed him with your stupid pettiness. What was that fight about again? Oh yes, you were upset that he had to work the next night and had to cancel on you yet again. How selfish of him. I guess he deserved to die for his inattentiveness to you." He sneered.
"No…" Rachel barely said. Dream kissed her neck again.
"Your pain is so beautiful. I bet you didn't even know that the reason he had to work was that he was trying to save up enough to buy you an engagement ring. He wanted to marry you, and you threw it all away for one stupid argument. How ironic that he didn't even say that he loved you with his last breath. All he said was your name. The name of the girl responsible for his death, isn't that right?" He said mockingly. Rachel looked him in the eyes. They were sad, tired, and almost lifeless. She sighed.
"Yes, it was my fault. I don't want to live. Please kill me. Please kill me as Conor. At least that way, he can claim what is rightfully his if even in this small way." She said somberly. Dream kissed her on the mouth and Rachel did not resist. When he pulled away, he smiled coldly at her.
"There's no need for that my dear. Just come with me and I will make you forget all the pain, all the doubt, and all the guilt. Just take my hand, and you can dream pleasant things for the rest of your life." Dream said smoothly as he put her hands in his. He waited for her to grip his hands on her own. Rachel hesitated. "What are you waiting for? I am offering exactly what you want. I'm taking you away from the pain." He said impatiently.
"Would Conor want this? Maybe I should live with the guilt as penance for the great wrong that I did to him." Rachel said softly. A flash of annoyance crossed Dreams' face, but he quickly composed himself. He began to nuzzle her neck again, the exact way Conor used to. Rachel bit her lip to prevent an outburst of tears.
"Despite what you did to him, I think Conor would think that you've paid your debt to him already. He would want you to come with me and forget all of this sadness. Just come with me, and I can make you happy again. Say yes, and I can give you my mark. Then we can go to the place where you feel nothing. Just say yes." Dream urged her.
Rachel looked at the expansive nothingness around her. She looked at Dream, who still looked like Conor. She looked at her own hands, and wondered if she could even live again, after this dream. She looked again at the Conor look-alike and noticed that there was a hardness and a coldness to him that Conor had never possessed. This must be what Conor would be like, if he could come back from the grave. Cold, distant, and harsh, knowing that she had killed him. This Conor was what she deserved instead of dreaming that she would meet him someday on the other side and that he would forgive her and hug her just like he used to when they fought. She didn't deserve that hope. She should have to face what she did for the rest of eternity. She looked yet again into the cold Conors' eyes.
"Yes," she said with certainty as she gripped Dreams' hand, "Take me away from it all, just like I asked." Dream smiled, and while it wasn't cold, it wasn't warm either.
"Come with me then, my sweetheart darling," using the nickname that Conor had created for her, "and we'll go to a place where you'll never have to deal with what you did, and you can stay with me forever." Dream said almost jovially. Rachel gave him a small sad smile.
"It's what I deserve." She said mutely. Dream frowned a little at this, but decided to ignore it. He took Rachels' hand and led her to a red slash of light that appeared in the infinite darkness.
"On the other side is your eternity. Once you cross, you can never go back. Do you understand this?" Dream said as the approached the red light.
"Yes. Lead away…hey what is your real name anyway?" Rachel asked as they crossed the threshold.
"Well everyone calls me Luce…" Dream said as the passed into the red light and out of the mortal realms.
When Rachel, who was going by her middle name Trista, didn't show up for work that day, one of her co-workers and friend went to go check up on her. Her name was Ami, and she's the one who found the body. It wasn't a gruesome scene, but it shocked her nonetheless. She immediately called the police and rode in the ambulance once it had arrived. She grasped onto the slim hope that they might still be able to save Trista. Her hope was shattered when they got to the hospital.
"I'm afraid that she was dead when you found her. There's nothing I can do miss." The doctor explained patiently. Ami let out a small sob. Even though she had not known Trista long, she had seen what a kind and thoughtful person she was. She looked at the doctor
"What did she die from?" she wanted to know.
"Well it's the strangest thing. Her heart just stopped. No rhyme or reason to it, it just stopped" the doctor said curiously.
"Has anyone informed her parents?" Ami asked.
"She has no parents. They died a long time ago" A new voice said from behind. Ami turned around and saw a blond woman dressed all in black.
"What happened to them?" Ami asked.
" They both died on a rock climbing trip. Rachel was only ten at the time" The woman in black said.
"So who are you? Are you related, and who is Rachel?" Ami asked warily.
"Rachel is the girl who died last night and I have no blood relation to her. I was her fiancé's sister. My name is Sibley." Sibley replied gravely.
"So where is her fiancé? I think he needs to know about this." Ami said urgently.
"He's dead too. Died in a car crash exactly one year ago today. That's when she stopped going by Rachel" Sibley said quietly.
"Oh God, what happened?" Ami said, hushed.
"They were arguing in the car and it was raining out. Neither of them even saw the car on the other side swerve. It hit Conor's side dead on. He died, but Rachel survived, in a manner of speaking" Sibley said shortly.
"I'm sorry to bring up such painful memories, but what do you mean 'in a manner of speaking'?" Ami asked softly.
"Rachel never got over the loss of Conor. She pushed everyone close to him away from her and even tried to become a different person by changing her name. None of us could help her" Sibley explained mournfully.
"Oh my God" Ami cried.
"What?" Sibley asked.
"The doctor said that the reason she died was because her heart just stopped. I geuss she died of a broken heart" Ami said sorrowfully.
"No, that's not it." Sibley explained, "You see, Rachel thought that it was her fault that they crashed. She was convinced that if she hadn't been there, Conor would have lived. No one could convince her of anything different. So she didn't die of a broken heart. No, it was the guilt that killed her. Rachel used to say that the thought of Conor took her breath away. I guess this time, it took it away permanently".