The next day, Rachel came to her senses. Completely to her senses.
First of all, she gave up on the silly ridiculous delusion of her dreams being real.
Second, she decided that what the dream was trying to tell her was that she needed to stop obsessing over some celebrity she'd never meet. And if by some miracle she did meet him, he'd never give her the time of day. That is unless she fell down in front of him and broke her nose. If she did something totally humiliating. He'd probably notice. He'd be polite, help her, laugh about it in private, and then have forgotten her by the next day.
She knew the dreams were’nt real. Why? Because, as pathetic as she was, she had read pretty much every little thing written about David Tirlson. And she knew for a fact he had no brother.
So why had she created this brother for him in her dream? Probably because....
Well, actually she had no idea. Obviously there was some deep psychological meaning. She could spend months trying to analyze herself. But that last little dream movie was not what was important. The important one was the thirty-year-old virgin one. That dream was a warning. If she didn't get her act together, that was likely to come true.
She needed to do something. Take action. Change her life.
First step on the agenda: throw away all her magazines that featured David. Well, recycle them. There was no need to be environmentally irresponsible.
Next, she would delete all the David movies from the D.V.R.
She needed to erase David from her life.
She needed to move on.
She needed to go out and meet real people...have a real boyfriend.
At least, she should go on a nice long run.
So, she put on some jogging shorts, a cute matching shirt, and actually put on make-up. Make-up to run...because who knew who you could meet out there? Today might be the day she met her future husband, or at least the guy who prevented her from forever remaining a virgin.
She ran and ran. And sweat because it was June. And in Texas, June is unbearably hot.
She didn't meet any men. Or boys. Just one girl passed her by on the trail. The girl was much prettier than Rachel.
And although Rachel tried to push it from her mind, she kept thinking of the same thing over and over...how wonderful it had been to hold David's hand.
David left the studio and made his way up Fifth Avenue toward his apartment.
No one noticed him.
He thought about the dreams.
His temporary insanity crept in and allowed him to forget Rachel was an imaginary friend. And he wondered what she thought of him. Was she surprised that he had a brother? He had never been mentioned in any interviews...well, except one. When he was seventeen, only a year after the accident. His career had just taken off. He had gotten his first part in a movie. And Like Totally Cool magazine had done an interview with him. His whole life he had fantasized about being interviewed. And here was his chance.
He wanted to be honest. Open. He wanted to share himself with the world. Be human. Let his true colors hang out and still be loved.
He talked about Billy. He talked about the whole accident, and how it was so hard to lose a sibling. He imagined that maybe other people who lost a sister or brother might feel a connection to him...know they were not alone.
The woman who interviewed him shook her head and clucked her tongue in sympathy. Over and over she said "How sad! How awful! I'm so sorry."
At the end, she said something like "Well, thank you so much, David. I look forward to writing this. But uh I do want to warn you that although the general feeling of the interview might stay intact, we might have to edit things a bit. You know to keep with the spirit of the magazine."
David said fine, thinking she meant edit length. Maybe she'd take out one or two inappropriate words he had used. Not that he remembered using them, but maybe they slipped out without him noticing.
But a few weeks later he saw the magazine and Billy wasn't even mentioned. The whole damn thing had been edited out. And David could not recognize the man interviewed in the article. He sounded extremely shallow and over-interested in things like fashion, dating, and furthering his career.
He called the magazine to complain. The woman who had interviewed him was now much less friendly and patient. She did apologize. Sort of. She said the accident was way too harsh for kids to read about. "David, I'm not sure if you have noticed. But our magazine has a very light tone. The key word here is 'happy'. We're not into depressing stuff."
"I'm sorry for depressing you," he said, totally pissed off and not at all sorry.
"Look David. I'm very sorry about your brother. Tragic story. And if you want your story heard, trust me, there are many outlets for it. Most magazines thrive on stories like that. We're just not one of them."
After that, he gave up on the whole thing. The woman at the magazine made him realize that although he hated the shallowness of her magazine, the magazines that would have joyfully devoured his tragedy bothered him even more.
From that day forward, he gave interviews, but only revealed the very surface of himself. He avoided serious subjects and talked about his favorite ice-cream and what movies inspired him as a child.
Revealing the tragedy might have brought him more fame. It might have made him a tabloid prince; reining next to Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan, etc. But instead he went a quieter route. Noticed. Respected. Infrequently mobbed.
He created a new persona. David Tirlson. The happy actor with the happy life who had no dead brother.
Happy happy happy.
He could have even learned to believe it himself. Gone into some kind of denial. Erased the past from his memory...if it wasn't for his mother constantly reminding him about Billy.
Oh, and then there was his current crazy dreams.
He laughed a sad little laugh.
What would all his fans think if they knew about his brother. And even worse, what would they think if they knew about his weird dreams?
Why had he once wanted the world to know so much about him? What did all that mean? And what did all his dreams mean?
Why did he keep thinking about holding that girl's hand?
Oh and why did he always tell everyone that his favorite ice-cream was Rocky Road when it was actually vanilla?
So many mysteries
So much potential for a nervous breakdown.