In the Middle of a Dream

By Amber Nicole

[Six: Her eyes scanned the almost empty restaurant]

Her father's Mercedes pulled into a parking lot she had memorized too long ago. Like a robot, she climbed out of the car, barely breathing.

She heard the familiar bell as the door opened. Her arms felt numb and fluid. There was a sudden crash behind the front counter, and Ava looked into the eyes of the waitress.

"You came," Betty whispered under her breath. Her family and the Parkers looked at her with awe. What was going on? her mother wondered.

Just then, a man walked out of the restroom in the back corner and yelled, "Betty!? You okay? I heard something break." He looked up to see his love. But she was different somehow: paler, and more fragile. After regaining his composure, he walked to the Cartwrights and shook their hands.

"Ethan, it's good to see you," Mr. Cartwright declared. Ethan nodded in return.

He gazed at Ava for a moment, who made no movements and spoke no words. His head fell to the left as he started to walk away. "Ethan," Ava choked out.

They looked at each other for a moment, until Ethan smiled. Pushing past her parents, she closed the distance between them and wrapped her arms around his waist, and he kissed the top of her head. Before her parents or the Parkers had time to respond, Ava was laughing on her way out of the café under Ethan's arm.

.

"Ava!" her mother snapped. Ava's head shook as she looked through the car window. "Get out of the car! The Parkers are looking at you." Her eyes shot over to where the Parkers stood near the door to Rosita's Cafe. They looked impatient and hungry.

"Sorry. I was in the middle of a dream."

Her mother looked at her weirdly, until she said, "I can't hear you. Just hurry."

She followed her mother into the restaurant, walking out of the beating sun. Betty greeted them at the door. Ava's face paled as her eyes scanned the almost empty restaurant.

.

Author's Note - thanks to everyone who read! I really enjoyed writing this short story, even though it forced a little out of the imagination. The ending is kinda unknown, however, I think if you deduce you can figure out whether or not Ethan was there. I hope you liked it, despite it's -traditionalism qualities. Have a good holiday weekend to everyone in the US!