Reality Blurred Dream: Part 1.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about two children, eventually adults. Living 2,000 miles away yet the best of friends, only knowing each other in a shared dream.

First of Two Parts.

It's not the best, and this is only a rough draft.. Let me know you're thoughts though?

Submitted: August 20, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 20, 2012



Emma sat at the desk staring blankly out the window; her teacher gave an exasperated sigh, as she asked for the second time the answer to the problem on the board.

"Emma Ray!" She called out again, the young girls head jerked around to stare in surprise at the teacher.

She blinked a few times, taking in her surroundings as if she had forgotten where she was.

"Yes. Mrs. Wells?" Came the girl’s soft polite reply. There were snickers from all around the class; the other students had been watching the encounter between the two very intently.

Mrs. Wells sighed and shook her head, "Just answer the question on the board already Ms. Ray." "Oh! Sorry.. Umm... 64?" The teacher turned, viewed the board, and wrote down the answer, surprised that she had been right the answer was 64.

Finally recess then lunchtime came, Linda Wells walked back to her classroom with the art supplies for the project they would be doing next only to find little Emma sitting in the classroom, staring out the window again, her soft brown hair fell in unruly waves around her tan cheeks, hazel eyes were entranced by who knows what.

"Emma? What are you still doing in here? It’s play time.." "Oh, sorry Mrs. Wells.. I was just.. Thinking.. I will go play now." And with that she gathered her things and went out to the playground.

Linda shook her head again and watched her small figure retreat through the door. She wasn’t as spacey as she was, thoughtful. She was a brilliant child, the problem she had answered earlier was hard, not many second graders could answer it that quickly in their head, let alone first graders.

As she set up for the art project she silently wondered what the child was always thinking about to make her so out of it.

Emma stared out over the top of the roof, she was currently contemplating the structure of the school building below her, she had been in many buildings, and they were all different.

They had to all stand somehow, she was wondering how such heavy brick didn’t break the bricks below them with their own weight, and it was clearly more weight than any human could carry. She had tried making buildings with stone and sticks that had fallen from the tree she was currently sitting at the top of, she found her main problem was keeping it together and if it got too heavy the dirt shifted, providing an awful foundation and a unstable base.

In the middle of her contemplations she heard her name being called from far below, she looked down to see her brother at the bottom of the tree she was currently perched in. She quickly clambered down, jumping the last four feet to the ground, landing with a slight thud in a crouched position.

"What is it Isaac?" she inquired after the 8 year old. "Mom told you to not climb you know." He said in his haughty 'I caught you doing something bad! Nah nah nah!' way. Emma rolled her eyes.

"So? You weren’t supposed to be sneaking out to go see Dave yet did that stop you? Or what about all those times you sneak cookies and ice cream from the kitchen after dinner? Mom doesn’t know about that right?" he glared a reply; he knew she could go on. He huffed and stalked away to join his friends Dave and Jim.

Before Emma could climb back up the tree though, the school bell rang, calling all the kids back to class, with a collective groan, all the students made their way to the school building and their respective classes.

After the final bell the doors were almost thrown off their hinges as children streamed out, excited to finally be out of the hell known as school.

Emma was among the last out, Isaac had long since left for Jims to play some video games. Since Emma only lived a little ways away from the school and since her parents worked fairly late. She usually walked home, today was no different.

She was less than a block from her apartment when a little girl ran laughing towards her carrying a bright pink ball. "Emmy! Emmy!" She called out. A smile spread across Emma's face, little Brianna loved Emma, and she loved her in return, she spent as much time playing with her as she could.

"Ball?" Brianna asked hopefully. "Oh, alright!" Emma said with a sweet smile. "Yay!!!" Was her only reply.

Things were going well, they had thrown the ball, played tag and practiced cartwheels for nearly an hour when Brianna got the ball back out.

"Meh, I have homework to do, I’m sorry Brie, I gotta get home..." In an instant Brianna's eyes were brimming with tears, "No! Emmy no go!" She cried out! "But I have to!"

Brianna's mother came over, trying to calm the little girl, but this only made things worse, in her anger Brianna threw the pink ball, it hit the sidewalk and bounced into the street, Emma hurried after it, quickly checking for cars she raced into the street, unaware of a car speeding down a side street just to her left.

It pulled the corner too fast swerving into the left lane where Emma was trying to retrieve the ball, there was the loud screech of tires, a cry from Brianna's mother and the sound of metal slamming metal. The car has skid out smashing into a parked car on the side of the street, but not before colliding with Emma first.

Doctors and nurses rushed around in the small emergency room, they didn’t have much time, and the young girl had already lost a lot of blood and was completely unresponsive.

She was breathing and alive, she just wasn’t giving any signs of mental activity. She had long since slipped into a coma.

Her family sat, blurry eyed and confused in the waiting room. They didn’t truly believe this was happening.

Isaac silently wished that at any moment, Emma would come rushing out of the emergency room yelling "Surprise! I tricked you!" Like she used to do when she was little, except.. Then she was just hiding in his closet, not in a comatose state after being hit by a fast moving car.

The hours dragged on, no one said anything, they were all still in shock of the events that had just transpired. They felt like they were living in a haze, waiting for someone to come bring them out of it, and back to reality. That happened when an exhausted looking doctor walked over to them, a sad, but relieved expression on his face.

Emma's father, Nathan jumped up suddenly trying to focus on the look in the doctor’s eyes, and figure out what the emotions behind it meant. After a moment's silence in a raspy voice he managed to choke out one word. "Well?" the doctor sighed.

"Mr. Mrs. Ray.. We have stabilized your daughter, but.. She’s still in a comatose state on life support.. She has given no signs of responding. At this point, only time will tell. She could be in a coma for a day, a week, a month.. A year.. Who knows? You have the option to remove her from life support, she won't feel anything. It’s up to you. I would give it time though. You're welcome to go in and see her if you wish?"

Lauren, Emma's mother let out a sob and buried her face in Isaac's shoulder, her whole tiny frame shaking from sobbing at the thought of letting her little girl die. Isaac wrapped his arms around his distressed mother, trying his best to keep the tears back, but he was still in shock from it all.

They made their way to the room, when they walked in he had to stop. Seeing his little sis lying there, laboring to breath, cuts all up and down her arms and on her face. It was too much. Everything hit him all at once. The whole family as one collapsed onto the couch and let they’re bottled up emotions pour out.

Everything was white, pure beautiful white. As pretty as it was, it was also haunting in an eerie sort of way.

Emma made her way through the whiteness looking for anything to indicate where she was, she tried to remember, how did she get there? What is the last thing she remembers? Who was she with? Who was she? Was there someone through this whiteness trying to find her?

She looked at her tan arms, perfectly smooth skin, she felt nothing. Wasn’t she supposed to feel something? Coldness maybe? The white place was comfortable, but she decided it wasn’t where she was supposed to be.

She walked for what felt like hours, but she couldn’t be sure. “I suppose this is why mom and dad where watches, and why Isaac insists on mom letting him have a phone. So they can tell the time…”

She stopped a moment, as images of her family rushed into her mind. Other faces came too, Mrs. Wells, Brianna’s, Isaacs friends Dave and Jim, kids from school. Where were they though? Brie, she was the last face she had seen before this whiteness, she was sure of that, but that is all that came to mind for now.

She continued walking, a curious thought occurred to her, her feet were strangely not hurting from the long walk, and she didn’t grow tired or short of breath. Sure, she walked a lot, exploring mostly, but shouldn’t she be tired?

Again, a watch was very needed. She decided to ask mom about one as soon as she found her. Loneliness and longing to see her mom’s sweet smiling face swept over her.

“No, not gonna be sad! Emma, mom is at work helping people with their marriage and daddy is helping people with claims, they are busy. They will come find me later.” She decided to talk aloud; it filled the echoing silence of the white place.

“So, I for sure need a watch.” Her head slipped slightly to the side, was that yellowish light ahead? She hurried forward yes, it was. She ran faster, until. Suddenly she was falling, a shriek escaped her lips as she fell out of the white place and into a warm pool of water.

She kicked to the top of the water, enjoying the feel of the water on her skin. It was warm. She had missed the feel of warmth, and water. She swam to a grassy bank. And lay under the hot sun, soaking in the heat and the smell of the grass and sweet wild flowers around her.

Curiosity soon roused her; she looked around the meadow she had fallen into. Than up, a cloud lazily drifted overhead, the same white color as the white place.

“Have I been wondering around a cloud all this time? I have always wondered what that would be like.. But I imagined it would be a little… Wetter?” She glanced at the pool of water she had landed in, then up again towards the strange cloud.

“Maybe I WAS wet and didn’t realize it? I can’t tell now though..” She looked around the meadow again, it was pretty and peaceful, and nothing seemed amiss.

A chickadee sang it’s sweet song in a tree by the water, bees and other bugs buzzed here and there. A deer poked its head out from behind a tree on the other side of the meadow; there were many trees actually. There was much to see, she turned taking it all in.

Then she saw the most curious thing. A little cabin made of logs sat just on the other side of the stream feeding the warm pond.

Hunger suddenly reminded her of the hours she was sure had passed since the lunch she had mostly skipped. She took a running jump over the stream, scaring a mouse into frenzy and sending it skittering off to some small home she was sure.

She politely knocked on the door, hoping the owner would be kind enough to share food with a hungry lost child. There was no reply, so she knocked again.

She almost opened the door when she remembered the story of Goldilocks. She circled the house, it was small, and no more than one person could fit in it she was sure. And no bears would likely be inside. So she tried the doorknob, it opened without problem.

“People really should lock their doors, but I doubt this person has many visitors.” Emma mused to herself.

Inside was homely, there was a fireplace with wood stocked in it, but it wasn’t lighted. There was a small kitchen and table, comfy looking chairs around the fire, and stairs leading to some other part of the house.

She decided to call out before going further. “Hello? Anyone home? I’m hungry. Do you have food?” No reply.

“Well.. I’ll make it up to them somehow.” No fridge, a wood stove, and no microwave. She checked the cupboards, climbing on the counter to get to the higher ones. She found a bowl of grapes, some cheese and bread. It would work.

She sat at the table munching and examining the house. It didn’t look abandoned, but clearly no one was there. Unless they are in bed? She would check after she finished her food.

Next problem she had was thirst, she had seen cups in one of the cupboards, but no water. Could she drink from the stream? As weird as things had been that day, what harm could come from it.

Leaving the door slightly jarred, she didn’t want it closing and locking her out of the only shelter for who knows how long. She was careful to get some from the fast flowing water of the stream not the still water in the pond.

She was alarmed though to see that the sun which just a little while before had been mid-sky was now almost to the tree line. Casting long shadows over the still pretty, but now slightly foreboding meadow. She hurriedly took a sip of the water; it was sweet and crisp, after refilling the cup she rushed inside.

Stopping in the doorway she looked around, still no one. She placed the wooden cup on the table, reminding herself to wash it later. She cautiously made her way to the stairs, climbing them one step at a time.

The upstairs was one big room, like the downstairs. A bed in one corner, big enough for one, a dresser, desk, bookshelf, chair, and wardrobe, or what she was sure was a wardrobe. And yet, still no people.

With a yawn she made her way up the last few steps, would they care if she napped? It was so dark out. Again the story of Goldilocks nagged at her mind, but tiredness pushed it away. She sank onto the bed and drifted into a restless dream filled sleep.

She woke with a gasp; a car had hit her. She was sure of that. That’s all she could remember. “Than.. I’m dead… Aren’t I? But.. Where is everyone? Where is grams and gramps, and great auntie Lucy? Shouldn’t they be here too?”

She hopped out of the warm bed and rushed downstairs, a quick glance revealed nothing, so outside she went, the sun was coming up over what must be the east horizon. No one was outside.

“Where are they? Why am I alone?” For the first time, Emma wanted to cry, and she did, a few sad tears leaked from the corner of her eyes, before she stood up straight and wiped them away. Trying to be brave, “There must be a reason for this. There must be.” Back into the house she went to sit and figure everything out.

Matthew glared at his mother and stepfather; they were going at it again, screaming at one another. He hated it. Dad left and this no good mean man had replaced him!

He stormed out of the house and down the streets, heading anywhere but the place his mom insisted was home.

He wondered and wondered, heading nowhere in particular just anywhere quiet. Matt ended up on the edge of a forest; he was feeling bold and careless of his actions so in he dove, he wasn’t sure which way he was heading or how long he walked.

Eventually the trees thinned and he made it to a clearing in the woods. It was nothing special, just some grass and a tree. Tired of the long walk he slumped down under the tree, still mad with his mom and her poor choice in men.

He wasn’t sure how he ended up walking through the trees again, but he somehow found a clearing. It was pretty he supposed, but the thing he liked most was the peace he felt here.

He looked around, taken aback by the very un-city like cabin in the middle of the meadow. He wasn’t sure which took him aback more, the cabin, or the pretty girl.

She was running through the meadow with a pup by her side chasing butterflies. After a minute she plopped down and let the dog lick her face clean, her laughter reached him all the way on the other side of the meadow. Sadly though her soft words to the dog were lost to him.

He didn’t even remember making the choice to near her, but the next thing he knew he was walking towards her calling out. “Hello there!”

The reaction was instant, she jumped up, crouched down and looked ready to bolt, and the dog crouched down and growled a warning.

“Whoa! Sorry, I mean no harm. I’m just lost…” She didn’t relax; instead she viewed him carefully, taking in every feature, from his messy dark brown hair, deep brown eye, baggy jean shorts and red tee.

She slowly eased up on the crouched stance but still looked ready to run off at a moments notice. “Who are you?”

With the question her head tilted to the side, as if viewing him from another angle would give her the answer she sought.

“I’m Matthew Braid. You?” The corner of her mouth twitched into a slight frown, as if by answering the question he was conformed to her that he really existed.

“I’m Emma Ray. Why are you here?” He smiled, trying to relax her some; it didn’t seem to do much good though.

“Nice to meet you Emma, and.. I’m not sure where here is?” She shrugged, crossing her legs and gracefully falling Indian style in the grass. Matt tried to copy her, with little luck and far less grace.

After settling in Emma answer his question. Kind of. “Here is here, here is not there or there. It’s not where you’re from or where I’m from. Here simply is. Maybe here is a dream, or another world. I have no answer more than, here is where I am. That is all I know.”

Matthew just blinked. “For an nine year old, I’m smart. Not stupid, but that made no sense! How old are you?” Again with the one shouldered shrug. “Last I checked I was six. I don’t know.”

“How can you not know? What’s the last birthday you celebrated?”

“My sixth. With my family. Her words were short, abrupt. And came unwillingly. He just stared at her; she was no longer studying him with her deep hazel eyes, now they just stared sadly past you into the distance.

“Oh, I’m sorry… Why aren’t you with them? Did they, die? Do you live on your own? You can stay with me?” She shook her head vigorously, he was sure she was trying to clear her mind of her thoughts as much as dissuade Matt from his invitation.

“No, they didn’t die. I had to leave..” With a frown he asked the next question.

“Oh, why?” She again shook her head, than jumped up. “It’s getting late, you should leave if you can.” It really was getting dark.

“How do I leave?” She gave him a look that said, ‘Really?’ “Wake up I suppose?” Matt blinked at her, he was dreaming? “How do I wake up? I’m not dreaming!”

“Oh really? Wanna bet?” She reached out and pinched his arm hard. “Ouch!” He sat up fast and confused, staring at the now bright clearing under the tree he had dozed off under. “It was a dream?” Jumping up Matt hurried in the direction he hoped was home, pondering the dream he had just had.

Emma stared sadly at the place the boy had just been standing. First person she had seen in, months she was sure. And he was from the real world. It had taken her a long time, but she had decided she was in a dream state; this couldn’t be what waited for her after death.

She still had dreams of her family, Isaac was eight, unruly and wild, mom worked as a councilor late into the day, and daddy often worked overtime. They visited her body in the hospital once a week.

It’s the one thing they did as a family now. Emma hated it. She should be there, making them laugh and annoying them. Not giving them one sad thing to dread every week.

This new boy Matthew though, he wasn’t in a coma, she was somehow sure of that. With a sigh she snapped her finger, getting the attention of the dopey mutt at her side.

“Bumi, where has your sis wandered off too?” As if in answer he gave a loud ‘Woof’ and rushed off towards the trees. Emma made her way through the non growing grass to the small bridge she had built the month before leading across the creek to her cabin.

Early the next morning Emma was washing her clothes in the pond when she saw him again. The boy Matt, making his way across the field towards her, she paused in her task, to watch him. As he neared she finished rinsing her clothes than hung them on the drying line, careful to pin them in place.

“Good morning!” Came his cheerful voice, he was standing just on the other side of the creek.

“Morning, sleep well?” She really wasn’t ready to say good-bye, she missed people, even if she didn’t talk much with them before, they were still nice to interact with after a long time without them.

“I think so, but I’m probably sleeping now, so ask me after I wake?” He laughed a little, than quieted. “Want help? How did you sleep?” She shook her head at him.

“No thank you, and I slept well enough, have you eaten breakfast? I was just about to eat.” He gave her a sharp look; her attitude towards him had changed drastically.

“Sure, what’s for breakfast?” She tried to give him a smile of reassurance. “Eggs, bread and juice I think?” He shrugged, didn’t sound bad, maybe a little boring, but not awful.

“Sure, I’ll take food.” She led the way into the small cabin. After preparing the eggs in silence and pouring some juice and cutting bread they sat at the table.

“Wow, this is surprisingly good.” And it really was, the eggs were clearly fresh and full of natural flavor.

“Thanks, there is a small barn with chickens and a cow a little way into the woods behind the house, Bumi and Sadie, my dogs are probably around there chasing squirrels, they had this weird delusion that they might actually catch one some day, and Sadie is intent on eating a butterfly!”

They both laughed at the thought of a dog trying to catch a butterfly. “Look.. I’m sorry for last night…. I’m really not used to.. Well.. People around here…”

He smiled at her, glad that she seemed okay with him now. “It’s okay, I understand.” They spend the morning laughing and talking, till in a far off part of his mind Matthew heard his name being called, it was time to get up for school.

“I.. Gotta go… I’m sorry..” She gave a sad smile, they had been enjoying themselves, and she didn’t want him to go. “It’s okay, good luck with school, thank you for stopping by again. See you!” And he was gone.

A twenty one year old Matthew sat outside the official looking office bouncing his knee up and down waiting for news from anyone! He had been called in for an interview, and the company mainly focused on writing, a passion of his, he wasn’t about to tell anyone that his editor was, literally the girl of his dreams.

She helped him come up with ideas and critic his work. Now those very papers might get him a job at Haven Writers, (Made up.) one of the biggest writing/printing corps in all of Cincinnati.

He had just moved from his childhood home of Seattle Washington. He was hoping for a fresh start, his mom had been sad to see him good, but she understood that he and his stepfather Timothy anything BUT got along.

His main problem had been, if moving would mean losing Emma. He was relieved to find her still waiting for him every time he slept. They talked about anything and everything.

While in school he had been teaching her everything he learned, she interrogated him for information from the outside world; he read books just for her sometimes. He found his grades leaped from C’s to A’s, she seemed to think that talking everything over helped retain it in his mind. He swore though he sometimes heard her even when he wasn’t sleeping. She helped him some.

The door to the hiring directors office opened, yanking Matthew from his reveries. He jumped up, and gave a smile to elderly looking man who approached him. “Matthew Gavin Braids I take it?”

He bobbed a nod and held out his hand to shake. “That’s me sir. Nice to meet you, Phillip right?” The older man took his hand in a firm but kind grasp. “Aye, that’s me. Come on in, let's talk about your writing, you want to be a writer and editor right?”

Two hours later Matthew walked out of the big building trying his best not to leap around for joy, he hurried to get a bite to eat than rushed to his apartment in Blue Ash.

He leaped into bed and with skilled practice relaxed his mind till he was running across the meadow to where the young woman stood with her back to him brushing her dearly beloved pups.

She had told him once that on a scary stormy night while she was hiding under a blanket by the fire she heard scratching at the door, it took a lot build up the courage to open the door, but when she did those two soaking wet mutts leaped through the door.

They had spent that night comforting each other and staying warm by the fire. They were companions for life after that night; they were always close at hand and never strayed too far from their loved master.

Bumi was on his back in absolute heaven with the rubdown he was getting; Sadie greeted him with a wag of her tail but nothing more. Matt was in such a happy mood she snuck up behind Emma, grabbed her around her thin waist and spun her around shouting “I got it! I got it!”

When he finally dropped her back onto her own two feet she gave a happy laugh and tackle hug him. “Congrats! I told you so! I knew you could do it! I’m so happy for you!”

The dropped down on their favorite spot under the meadows lone tree and talked over the interview, Matt’s first day of work was in four days, a Monday.

He was going to go shopping for a few nicer outfits tomorrow for his first day of work. And he was going to look into classes at the colleges in the area. He liked the looks or Raymond Walters but was going to keep his options open.

Emma walked through the woods around her meadow and cabin, following the stream, the further into the forest she got the bigger the stream grew, she knew just a little further ahead was a waterfall, one of her favorite places to go.

Of course, it was always best to come with Matt, but he was busy, very busy. He started school, and work, and he hung out with friends. He got home late and left early, giving them only a few hours together.

He always said he missed her, but he was so busy, if he missed her as much as he said, he would make more time for her. Emma wasn’t stupid, he no longer needed her, when he was young, and she was his best friend. Still was, but he didn’t need her like he used to.

Some nights, she didn’t even see him at all. She was preparing herself for the moment when he said good-bye for good. She hated it, but at the same time she knew her parents weren’t going to keep her on life support for much longer. It had been almost twelve years, and she hadn’t stirred. Isaac was fighting it. He didn’t want them to let her go, but she knew they would.

The rushing sound of the waterfall brought her out of her saddening thoughts, she stood at the very top of the waterfall, watching it fall away below her. She took a few steps back, looked into the brown eyes of Sadie, and blue and brown eyes of Bumi and said. “Meet you at the bottom?” With that she took a running leap off the cliff face into the rushing water below.

After jumping a few more times and swimming around in the deep pool for awhile she climbed out, trying to squeeze some of the water out of her light brown hair, she laughed a little and yelled at Boomer and Sadie as they both shook themselves off near her.

They headed up the trail the dogs had used to get down; they would never leap off the cliff like she so often did. When they neared the cabin Emma noticed a fire had been started inside, Matt had showed up, she checked the sky; it was earlier than normal for him.

She ran the rest of the way to the cabin and rushed in. An exhausted looking Matt sat at the table helping himself to her left over dinner. He gave a weary smile when he saw her.

“Oh Matt, you haven’t been taking care of yourself have you? You need more sleep, and food!” He rolled his eyes some and waved the fork at her. “What do you think I’m doing now silly?”

She shook her head and sat down across from him. “How is work and school?” He launched into all the stories he had been writing and what he had been learning about at school, after a heated debate on Ohio worker break laws they burst into laughter.

Matt went on to talk about a movie he and Julia, the secretary he had become rather close to, had seen lately, and the restaurants he and Julia had been to, and the clubs he went to. Of course, with Julia. After he said he had to get up soon and get ready, because he was taking Julia to a Reds game but first they were going to wonder around New Port he excused himself and disappeared.

Emma sat at the tables, letting the tears slip from her eyes and down her cheeks. It was understandable that he would like someone, someone he could hug, and kiss, and hang out with other than in his head. Someone who he could show places to, but that didn’t stop it from hurting.

Emma had been replaced by, well. A real girl. Someone not stuck in a coma. She hadn’t been able to bring herself to say her body was lying in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Just a few miles away from where he work, and easily in driving distance from where he lived.

It would do neither of them any good; she wouldn’t wake up anytime soon. She tried talking him out of moving to Cincinnati, but he was set on it. She just hoped he didn’t find out somehow. That might kill him as much as it did her; she had been able to kind of avoid the topic of how she ended up in a dream meadow in the middle of the woods.

Matt just figured she was his dream, a made of character, it was best that way after all, right? Emma sat for a long time, she was jealous of this girl Julia, but it wasn’t right to try and break them up. She and Matt would never be. She would find a way to block out Matt, he would move on before too long.

“So you clear on what your assignment it? I know it isn’t the most interesting story ever, it’s actually rather sad and depressing. There are many hospitals you can go to. I hear there is a patient at Children’s who has been there for twelve years without any response. Don’t forget to get statement from the family okay?”

Matt stared at the sheet of paper he had been handed; he wasn’t looking forward to this one. “I’ll get right on it Mr. Hilbert, I should have it done by the end of the day.” Steven Hilbert nodded his approval. “Good man, better now than later, eh?”

“You got that right sir.” Matt hadn’t been sure his day could get any worse, him and Julia had gotten into a fight last night. He had been staying with her lately, and when he went back to his place and tried to talk to Emma about it he couldn’t get to her meadow. It had been weeks, it wasn’t like he forgot her or anything, he was just busy.

Now he had to do some stupid paper on people stuck in comas. ‘Great, just effin great. This really made my day, not!’ He headed to the parking garage, ignoring Julia working at her desk, he didn’t want to see or talk to her. The one he wanted to talk to he couldn’t.

After four hours of visiting hospital after hospital he ended up at Children’s. Was there really a girl here who had been in a coma for twelve years? That was a hell of a long time to be stuck in a coma.

He walked in and asked the pretty secretary about the comatose patents? “Well, the Rays should be in soon, wanna talk to them in person? They visit their daughter every Friday.”

Matt smiled at her. “That would be perfect thanks!” She was right; a young man shoved his way through the door, clearly mad. Followed by a tired looking man and woman.

There was something creepily familiar about them. “Mr. and Mrs. Ray. Hello, how are you? Isaac.. What’s up?” The secretary asked the last question after shooting a wink towards the young man.

He wasn’t in the mood though. “I’m heading up to say my good-bye than!” He shot the words spitefully in the direction of his parents. The woman gave a shuddering gasp fighting back tears while the man gave a depressed sigh.

“Wait what? You’re pulling the plug on Emmy?” The man found his voice first. “It’s been twelve years Beth, she has been in a coma since she was six, she is now eighteen, that is no way for a woman to live her life.”

Matt thought it about time to step in. ‘Phil will love this!’ He thought to himself. “Hey I’m Matthew Braid. I’m with the Haven Writers, I’m doing a story on comatose patents, may I get the story about your daughter?” The father gave another sigh.

“Look Son, Matthew is it? Now isn’t a good time… Later okay? Ask Isaac… He should be in 616…” Matt nodded in understanding and headed towards the elevator while Nathan Ray asked about a doctor Simmons.

The hospital was nice, the people seemed happy and friendly, but there was still that undeniable hospital feel to the whole place. Five doors down from room 616 Matt saw Isaac leaning against the wall outside the room crying.

He glanced up, met Matt’s eyes than looked away. “Hey..” Matt tentatively said. “What do you want?” The reply was gruff, but more in a sad, broken way than out of any real feeling of ill will.

“I realize this is a bad time.. But I’m with the Haven Writers, and I’m doing a story on people like your sister, I was.. Wondering if you wanted to say anything? Maybe about your sister or, I would love to hear how she got here?”

With a shaky breath Isaac nodded towards two chairs across the hall, after they had both been seated he let his head fall in his hands for a few moments before he straightened himself up and steeled himself to speak.

“It was twelve years ago, dad and mom worked late, and I went to a friends… No one kept track of her, she was always okay, she never got into much trouble. Well, she was playing with a neighbors daughter, just a little four year old. When, the little girl threw her ball into the street, Emma went after it… No one saw the car coming, the doctors got her on life support, but… She hasn’t woken since…”

Matt felt his heart stop, he stared at Isaac inwardly begging whoever was listening that he has misheard her name. “ What did you say her name was?...” He glanced toward the room Isaac was standing next to and got his answer, the sign next to the door read: Emma Sophia Ray.

His heart stopped, his mind flashed back to twelve years before, a little six year old child, a dream in which they played, talked, laughed and even cried, a girl he told everything to. A made up girl, right?

“What? Oh, her name is Emma, why?” Isaac had taken a second to reply, lost in thought. “May I see her? Your sister I mean.” Matt’s eyes were fixed on the door. Sure that it couldn’t be his dream Emma, it couldn’t be. She couldn’t be real.

“Yeah, I have no problem with that.” Isaac stood and walked towards the door, he pushed it open, and walked in. Collapsing down on a chair next to the bed, leaving Matt standing, staring in disbelief at Isaac’s little sister.

He took a few cautious steps to her side, this had to be some elaborate joke, but then, no one ever believed them when he talked about Emma. He carefully reached out to take her hand, it was cold in his, her skin looked like it hadn’t seen light in years.

Her face, her hair, her lips. It was all so familiar to him, he had seen her almost everyday for the last twelve years. He had missed how beautiful she had gotten, even now with her skin pale, and her hair uncut, she had oval face, high cheekbones, full red lips, long dark lashes, a slight flush on her cheeks.

It had been weeks since he saw her last, but now that he saw her, and knew she was real, he took the time to really take in her features. To him, she simply looked asleep. He had seen her sleep before, but never had he taken the time to see, well all of her.

Isaac had noticed the attention Matt was paying his little sister, and the sad pained look on his face. Strangers never acted this way. It was sad to be sure, but strangers didn’t care, they didn’t know her and her wacky fun and yet serious personality. This man treated her like a friend who, he was looking at for the first time. Sure, Isaac had noticed himself how pretty his sister had grown over the years, even in her condition, but few people took notice, they just saw a dead girl who could breat.

“Is there any way she will ever wake? Any hope at all?” Matt tried his best to keep the choked sobs from overcoming him. He knew though, that the younger man noticed them.

“You heard my parents... They are pulling the plug on her. Taking her off life support.” The despair in Isaac’s voice was clear, he couldn’t say goodbye to his little sister.

“You know... Sometimes... In really hard times.. I can hear her voice in my head.. Mom and dad say they have forgotten the sound of her voice.. And I don’t even know if it’s her or not.. But somehow.. I’m sure it is.. When I sleep.. She talks.. I know.. I can always talk to her.. She listens.. And says and knows things I don’t.. I don’t know how she can do it.. But.. She is always watching me.. I know she is... We weren’t close when she was alive... But... She was always there for me.. No matter what... When I got in trouble at school... Or with mom and dad... She always had some answer.. When I got in fights.. She always was there to comfort me and help me get back up... And even.. Now.. She helps... But.. I hear her voice fading.. Like she is slipping away... Like she is giving up... I can’t watch her die... I hear her voice weaken in my head... I wanna help HER for once.. But HOW?”

Matt collapsed into the chair on the other side of the bed. “I know what you mean.. I... I.. Have seen this girl in my dreams for the past twelve years... I.. Come to a meadow as soon as I fall asleep.. With a cabin in it.. She is always there.. To talk to.. Hang out with.. Laugh with.. She cheers me up.. Gives me advice.. I feel like I know your sister better then I know anyone else.. Is that crazy? Maybe I made her up.. That’s what I thought at least... But.. I don’t know now....”

Isaac was staring at him like he had truly gone insane. “Please tell me you're not just playing some sick twisted joke with me? Tell me you mean it and that my sister is really.. There somewhere?”

The look on his face was desperate, and it looked, almost hopeful. “I wouldn’t lie about this... Stop your parents from pulling the plug.. Give me one day.. I will go talk to Emma if I can.. Maybe we can wake her up...”

Isaac looked from his sister, to you. Mixed feelings flashed across his stricken, sad, yet hopeful face. “You have a day... Go! But... If I find out you’re just messing with me and my family... I swear I will hurt you so bad... Go... And don’t come back if you don’t have any luck...”

Matt nodded wordlessly and left the room, as soon as he reached the hall he burst into a full out sprint through the building, heading for the exit. He ignored the yells of nurses and doctors telling him to slow down, as soon as he got outside and to his car he sped through the city to his apartment.

He was in his room not even a minute after he parked his car. He dived into bed, closed his eyes, and tried to relax. He wasn’t sure how long he lay there, no sleep and no dreams of Emma came to him. Matt sat at the edge of his bed, head in hand, tears streamed down his face.

If Emma’s body died, Emma would too. He would lose his best friend, he would lose the one person who was always there for him. “Emma, please.. Let me in...”

He didn’t know how, but he felt Emma’s depression and despair before he heard her voice. “I’m here, I’ve always been here Matt... Isaac is right though, I’m weakening. I can try to hold on a little longer, but... Time's almost up for me.. I can’t wake up.. I don’t know why.. But.. I’m.. Stuck... I have tried so many times to wake up.. But I can’t... Help me.. Please....”

Head in hands again Matt nodded.. "Okay.. I’ll try.. But how?"

“I can’t answer that.. I don’t know...” Was the only reply.

“You know... You have never asked me for anything.. Emma.. I’ll try.. I promise I will...” He felt her weak smile.

“Just... Tell me you’re here.. Even if you can’t do anything.. Tell me you’re here.. And you care... I love you Matthew... I have for a long time... Don’t leave me again.. Please?”

He sat shocked for a moment before answering. “I... I love you too Emma... I really do... But.. When did I leave you?” No reply came for her.

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