Marta grinned at her friends while they ate lunch. "I had a weird dream last night," she announced.
Her friends groaned all together, as if on cue. Marta was famous for having long, intricate dreams, and remembering every single detail. She could spend twenty minutes describing a dream to someone and not even tell half of it.
"Alright," Marta said, eager to begin sharing her story. "So, at first, I was at school, and it hadn't started yet, and I was like, 'Where is everyone?' because I was the only one there, and I knew other people had to be there because there were lights on and the doors were unlocked and all the computers were on, so I kept telling myself, 'someone else has to be here, because they turned on all the lights'
"So, anyway, I went to the computer room, and there was this guy in there. He's actually a character from a book I'm reading, but you're not reading it right now, so you don't know who he is, but anyway, his name is Tobey. And he was a ghost- well, he's not a ghost in the book, but he was in my dream, and he looked like a ghost and everything, but I thought he couldn't be a ghost because he was still alive in my book. "Anyway, I was like, 'Hey, Tobey, where is everyone?' and he was like 'It's five in the morning, no one is here yet,' and I didn't believe him, but I looked at the clock and it said five, so I was like, 'man, that stinks, I was really tired last night,' which I really was, 'and I'm going to be even more tired when school starts because I got up at five.' "
"Marta!" cried Katie, one of her friends, cutting her off. "Breathe! You're talking really fast."
"Oh, sorry," Marta said. She continued to tell about her dream, but the more she told, the more excited she got, and once again she was talking so fast her friends couldn't understand what she said. "So, I couldn't decide if I wanted to go home and sleep, or stay at school, because my gas tank was almost empty, and I thought my parents would be mad at me if I needed more gas, but I decided to go home, and my car wouldn't start!"
"So, I was going to get help, and there were teachers at school, but I didn't want to get their help because I thought they would be angry at me for being at school early. Then, this girl appeared, and she looked like she was eight years old, and she said, "I'll help you if you take care of my baby." I knew she had a baby, but I didn't believe it because she was twelve years old, and so I said, "OK."
"Then, she fixed my car, but she gave me this baby, and I was like, "Oh, I know! You're Susan, that eight year old girl with the baby!" and then she just left and didn't say anything. Well, I didn't want to take care of the baby, and my mom was standing there, so I said, "Here, hold this for a second," and she did and I drove away."
"So you just abandoned the baby?" cried Lisa, who was the only person who could keep up with the speed Marta talked.
"Hey, it was a dream," said Marta. "Anyway, I was driving the new car, and it was red, but I wanted a black one, but I figured it was too late now, and next time I would ask for a black one. Then, Tobey was standing in the middle of the road, and I tried to stop, but I couldn't, and I hit him. Then I thought that must be the reason he was a ghost and he was dead."
"So you just killed him and left?" Lisa asked, starting to crack up with laughter.
Marta laughed at the absurdity of it all as well. "I don't remember!" she cried. "I remember there was something about snakes and the ocean, but I don't remember what else happened!"
"So that's it?" Katie asked, obviously relieved that she didn't have to listen to Marta carrying on so fast she couldn't understand her anymore.
"For today," Marta said, winking at her friend mischievously. "You never know what sorts of dreams I'll have tonight and tell you about tomorrow."
Katie made a face, and Lisa laughed. "I think you told that entire dream without breathing," she said. Marta's friends often claimed that she talked so fast she forgot to breathe.
"I did not!" Marta protested. "Or did I? I don't remember. To tell you the truth, I can't remember what happened five minutes ago."
"And yet you do seem to remember every single detail of every dream you've ever had," Lisa said.
"Actually, I think forgot a ton of details," Marta said sheepishly. "And that was the shortened version. I don't believe you don't remember as much about your dreams."
"I just keep waiting for your dreams to get longer and longer until finally it takes you so long to tell them, you pass out from lack of oxygen," Lisa said, returning to the earlier conversation about Marta's lack of breathing.
"Yeah, odds are I'd probably pass out, have a strange dream while I'm unconscious, and want to tell you all about it when I wake up," Marta said.
Lisa and Katie both laughed, then the bell rang and everyone had to go back to their classes.
Marta went to throw away the food she hadn't eaten. She carried her lunch tray with one hand while pushing the locks of her white hair behind her ears with her other. Many people thought her hair was died or Marta had made a mistake with blonde highlights, and that was the cause of her strange white hair, but the truth was that it was natural.
The conversation Marta had at lunch was not unusual. While she didn't remember every dream she'd had, Marta did remember amazing amounts of her dreams about once a week, and she loved sharing the details with her friends, who didn't quite appreciate all the information.
Marta laughed quietly at the strangeness of her dream, and went to class.