The last thing Travis expected to do was dream. For him, it was a hazy sensation that cleared, and this young girl with dark mocha skin was crouching a short ways in front of him, her arms wrapped around her legs as she tried to stifle her tears against her knees. Travis felt a flash of something. The pink nightie dragged on the on the ground behind the girl, but did nothing to conceal the curves of womanhood. Her hair was black with pink ends. Short, cut to shoulder length, and a slight wave, it seemed whimsical. At the same time it felt transitional, like changes were going on beneath the surface. The whole scene felt like one of despair and a desperate privacy, as if the girl was trying to hide. It tugged at him, yet felt unreal.
How am I here? I don’t remember waking up. He waved his hand, then tried to bite it. Nothing happened this time. This is a dream. He wanted to wake up, but the soft shoulders shaking as the girl sobbed touched him. He’d seen Kimmy cry the same way, perched on the edge of their bed as he tried in a drunken stupor to comfort her, realizing it was him causing the pain. The pain of regret filled him, making his knees nearly buckle in shame for the hurt he’d caused while he was alive.
This was a chance to fix things. He started towards the girl, but he stopped short of reaching the girl. Instead he stayed two steps away, unwilling to close the final distance. Do I try? Or is this something I’d just make worse if I tried. The indecision tore at him, and he did nothing but stare at the girl, paralyzed by indecision. The scene faded as he watched, and there was a vaguely unpleasant sensation, like a weight being added to him.
Light streamed in through the window, bathing him in a cold, discomforting light. The room shuddered slightly, like a large truck rolling by the house. There was a feel like someone tapping him on the head. As he opened his eyes he saw, ‘Wakey, wakey, up and shaky’ print in large purple letters on the sign over the silver and black door. Somehow they felt a touch disapproving this morning to Travis.
“What now?” He started to get out of bed, and found like before he was naked. “I want my reg’lar work clothes again,” something made him say, “please,” at the end. A light breeze ruffled the curtains and blew across him. His clothing appeared like coalescing smoke and solidified. He pushed off the bed with a groan, and tapped each boot with the steel toe to make sure he had them on. Satisfied he was ready, Travis lumbered to the door. The sign was blank as the doors opened to the grey room once more.