David sat alone with his Vegetable & Feta Cheese Wrap . He took a bite and the excess pesto dressing dripped onto his Homer Simpson T-shirt.
Kurt walked in just as that happened. "Oops."
"Maybe it will come out.
And if he doesn't, I'll live."
Kurt smiled. "You always have been a survivor."
A survivor and a complete jerk. He cringed as he remembered the way he had treated Rachel. Why had he done that? And why was he worried about it? A dream? Since when did it matter how you treated the people you met in your dreams?
"She doesn't exist," he said aloud.
"Excuse me?" Kurt said. "What doesn't exist?"
"The tooth fairy. Did you know that? It's just your parents. They sneak into your room at night and put money under your pillow. The whole thing is a scam."
They both laughed.
Then David said, "Hey?"
"What?" Kurt said, grabbing a pre-made salad from the table.
"Have you ever had dreams that seemed real?"
"Sure. Everyone does."
Was the true? Did everyone have dreams like this? For some reason, Kurt's response disappointed David. He realized what he wanted was for Kurt to say, "No. You're special. These dreams are special. Something amazing is happening to you." He wondered why he desired something amazing? He had already wished for something amazing. Fame and fortune. He had received, and now wanted something different more. He had gotten a gift, a huge gift. And he was no longer satisfied. How greedy could he be?
"I wouldn't worry about it," Kurt said. "Enjoy them. Well, unless they're nightmares."
"No," David said. "Not exactly."
"This salad is good," Kurt said before shoving a forkful of dressing soaked ham and lettuce into his mouth.
Nice. Safe small talk.
"I had a brother," David blurted out.
To his surprise, Kurt didn't act shocked or ask for details. "Well, we all have our secrets," he said simply."
David suddenly felt like crying. He felt the tears coming to his eyes. There was sadness, but also a type of relief.
"Want to talk about it?"
David shook his head.
They both ate quietly.
David thought about things. Not about his brother, but about Rachel. Her stunned hurt face kept appearing to him. It was so clear in his memory. And it seemed like the image and memory were strong enough to haunt him forever.
Rachel sat on the bed with the magazine cover in her lap. She stared at David. In the picture he looked so sweet.
There was a knock on her door.
She quickly hid the magazine back under her pillow. "Come in."
Her mom walked in. "Are you okay?"
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing," Rachel said. "Just sitting and thinking."
"Are you depressed?"
"No. I'm fine."
"Are you bored?"
"If you're bored, you can clean up your room."
"I'm not bored."
Her mother gave her a look.
"I'll clean up my room. Later."
Her mom sighed. "Okay."
"I love you," her mom said. And Rachel was grateful because she needed to hear that. She needed someone to love her even if it was her mother and not the man of her dreams. Pun not intended.
"I love you too," she said dutifully.
"I worry about you," her mother said. "I really do."
And that really was not something Rachel wanted to hear at the moment. "I'm fine."
Her mother gave her another look...one that Rachel could not quite interpret. Then she walked out of the room. She didn't close the door behind her. Rachel didn't like her door opened. She wanted to be alone in her cave. But she was too lazy to close the door. Plus, that felt a little desperate and neurotic.
So she sat there thinking...thinking about awful things:
1. She was not that pretty, and would probably never be able to get below her current size 8.
2. She had no real friends.
3. She hadn't done any work on her blog for three weeks
4. She was a disappointment to her parents
5. She had gotten accepted only to her local college. TCU...that purple place they passed each time on their way to the zoo. No NYU. No Columbia. No University of Miami.
6. Oh and last, but not least. She had just been attacked by her idol. In her dreams. What did that mean? Self-hate? Hopefully, just that. She was used to that. She could deal with that. But she feared it was something more. Perhaps the beginning of some major brain disorder.
imagined that she could very well find herself, not at college, in the fall-but in a mental hospital. She would walk around drooling like a zombie. Shed mumble, "David. David. Why don't you love me?"