Chapter Thirty-Three

They lined up at the concession stand.

 A robot handed Eddie a box of popcorn and then the all-mighty master of dreams, stepped out of the way.
"What do you want?" the robot asked Daphne.
"A small popcorn." Daphne answered. "With tons of butter."
When it was her turn, Rachel said nothing. David gave her a look. She wondered if she was being silly. Why was she afraid of eating? It's not like she'd gain weight. But she didn't like eating in front of David. It embarrassed her. Why? She had no idea. Maybe it was kind of like pooping. Everyone did it and everyone knew you did it. But you didn't want to admit it...or let people see you doing it.
David's turn came next. "I'm going to share a large popcorn with this pretty little woman here."
Rachel blushed.
"Butter?" he asked her.
She shrugged, and decided to let him decide. Would she even eat any popcorn? Or would she be too embarrassed to stick her hand in the box and then stuff her face. What if she ate like a slob?
Jason got some chocolate covered raisins, and then they went into the theater. David held the popcorn. Rachel held two diet sodas.
 Rachel waited for David to sit down, guessing she was supposed to sit next to him. Of course that was what she wanted. Sort of. She did feel kind of self-conscious being next to him....a little less than the last time they had sat in the theater. But still....She'd probably be more comfortable sitting alone. Lonely though.
David sat.
She sat next to him, and put the drinks in the drink holder.
He held the popcorn out to her. She took one piece. He laughed at her.
 "Showtime, Boys and Girls," Eddie announced.
The curtains opened.
The lights dimmed.
A mansion appeared on the screen with a perfectly manicured lawn. Tulips, roses, topiary trees....
Daphne walked happily across the screen. She wore an elegant blue gown and huge diamond earrings.
 "The money made you happy," David remarked. "Why am I not surprised?"
"I'm already a happy person," Daphne said.
David laughed.
    The next movie appeared. It was young Jason, with tons of muscles. He had an even better body than David, Rachel had to admit. Not that David was even known for his body.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything like Brad Pitt or Ashton Kutchner.
 Young-Jason-With-Lots-of-Muscles sat at a desk writing.
"That's me!" Jason said. "Let's win!" Rachel was a bit surprised he had said that. The guy usually seemed very senile, and she sometimes wondered if he even knew they were playing games.
The next image appeared.
David and the adult version of Billy walked on a beach.
The scene was kind of corny. Rachel hated to admit that. And of course, she'd never admit it to David.
Billy raised his arms to the sky. "I look at you. The air. The ocean. My wife. Our children. And I'm so happy."
Daphne burst out laughing. Rachel couldn't exactly blame her.
David whispered to Rachel. "Who writes this crap? I promise you this isn't coming from my own imagination."
Rachel wondered about that. How was Eddie coming up with this? She had thought maybe from their own self-conscious, but maybe not.
Hopefully not.
And then Rachel's wish appeared.
 A man and woman walked across the sand. It kind of looked like the same beach Billy and David had been on. Then again, it also looked a little like the beach from Lost. Maybe all beaches look alike. Or most of them do.
The man and the woman were far away. Rachel assumed it was supposed to be her. She wasn't sure about the man. She hoped there wouldn't be a close-up. She didn't want to see the man because it might not be David, and that would be a huge disappointment. And if it was David, she didn't want David to see. That would be completely humiliating.
The camera thankfully never got too close.

 Later, Rachel sat alone outside the theater, holding the box of popcorn. She hadn't eaten another piece during the movie. David had offered again, but she had politely refused. He ate about half the box by himself.
Daphne and Jason had left the theater. Rachel didn't know if they wandered around the dream world now, or if they had awakened.
David had asked to talk to Eddie alone for awhile. She tried not to let that bother her.
She tried to make herself busy....or at least look busy.

Then she came to her senses and thought, hey, I'm alone here...with popcorn. I'll eat a little. Next thing she knew, the box was empty. She threw it away, hoping David wasn't still hungry, or that he'd be curious and ask where the popcorn had gone.

David returned with Eddie behind him.
He didn't ask about the popcorn
Eddie took a seat next to Rachel on the bench. Rachel wondered if she had ever been so close to him. She didn't think so. She felt nervous being so close. But to her surprise he didn't stink. She realized she had expected him to smell really bad.
 "So--" Eddie said.
David took a seat on the other side of her.
"So you guys are still talking in the real world."
"Not too much," David said. "Just twice."
"Oh," Eddie said.
"What's going to happen?" Rachel asked. "I mean after tomorrow night."
"Then you'll be dreaming from your own mind." Eddie answered. "The good old fashioned Freudian stuff."
"Oh," Rachel and David said at the exact same time. He looked at her and smiled. She smiled back.
"You can't visit each other anymore," Eddie said. "Not in the dreams."
Rachel didn't say anything. She waited for David to say something. Hoping for a "Well, we'll have to get together in real life then."
He didn't say that.
He said, "Oh well. I guess tomorrow we'll have to say our good-byes."

Rachel begged herself not to cry. And “herself” listened to “herself”. She stayed strong.
David obviously didn't care about her that much. He was very ready to say good-bye and let go. He said ever so casually, "I'll miss the two of you." He grinned. "Maybe even Daphne too."
"What about Jason?" Eddie asked.
"Him too," David said and disappeared.
When he was gone, Rachel lost control. She cried.
She was heartbroken.  And she was embarrassed because she knew Eddie was still there.
He said quietly. "Sorry.”
She just kept crying.

Subpages (1): Chapter Thirty-Four