"So, Why are you telling me all of this exactly, Derrik?" I asked him between mouthfuls of food. His tell-tale stomach had told me that he was hungry, so I had trotted down to the kitchen and I had returned with my arms full with a bag of chips and a jar of salsa.
He swallowed his mouthful of chips and salsa, and then replied, "Because you need to help me".
I paused. What is he talking about? "And how can I help you, exactly? What is the purpose in all of this?" I asked him, my patience wearing thin. His empty answers were starting to make me slightly annoyed. "Try to explain in details, if you will". I added, hoping his answer would be less cryptic than his previous ones.
"You are going to help me by Dreaming with me. I am going to teach you to Dream". He said.
I choked on my chips. He sat back and laughed at me as I tried to clear my throat and begin to breathe normally again. Of course he didn't help me at all. "Derrik, how can I Dream? I thought it was hereditary!"
He laughed at me again. "Verity. Do you remember what I just told you? About how everyone Dreamed? It was a common thing? Anyone could Dream?"
I nodded, not trusting my voice.
"Well, they didn't lose the ability to Dream. They just forgot how. Someone stole their memories of how to Dream. But I can Dream, so I can teach you how to Dream. I know how." He smiled at me. I probably looked ridiculous. Honestly.
"So, teach me." I said.
"You are taking this surprisingly well" he commented. His voice was growing softer.
"Why are you whispering?" I asked him. My voice also sounded faded. Then the room began to swirl and everything went black.
When I woke up, Derrik was gone. I sat up, my hand pressed against my head. It was pounding. I glanced around my room; my vision was blurry and spotted. Yep. No sign of the mystery boy who slept in my room. Wow. That sounded wrong. Am I going crazy? I shook my head, and my vision cleared a little bit.
I then proceeded to slowly inch my way into a standing position. It took a while, but once I got onto my feet, I performed an extensive search around my room for any trace of Derrik. Nothing. Not even a wrinkled bedsheet. I was beginning to think I had just imagined it all. I shook my head in frustration, but immediately regretted the motion. My head was pounding again.
I opened my door, and went downstairs. I was grateful, for once, for the cramped stairwell, because I found myself leaning on it heavily from time to time. It almost felt as if I had been drugged. But that was ridiculous. I pushed the thought away. As I went past the bathroom, I found the door open. That's wierd, I thought. I have never left a door open before. I proceeded to investigate. I found the medicine cabinet open, with some gauze hanging out of it's usual place. There was a considerably less amount present than before. So he IS real! I confirmed with a triumphant grin. Wait. Why was I happy about that? It's not like he was incredibly attractive or anything...
I was lost in thought when my dad stumbled up the stairs. I was started from thinking, alright I'll admit it, about Derrik. I stood quickly, and again my head swam. "Papa!" I exclaimed. "How are you doing?"
He grumbled at me, like always, but ignored my question. "Is dinner ready yet?" He asked gruffly.
I sighed and mentally rolled my eyes. "No, Papa. I was just about to go make it. Would you prefer steamed vegetables or steamed vegetables?" I asked him sarcastically.
He didn't notice my repetition. "Whatever would be fine. Just make it fast. I'm starving." I nodded, hiding a small grin.
"I'll knock on your door, then? When it's ready?" However, his eyes had already glazed over, and he just nodded, not comprehending what I had just said. He turned and wandered back down the stairs, no doubt back to his room.
I sighed as soon as he disappeared from sight, and slouched against the wall. My strength was gone. Maybe that was from fainting, but I always felt a familiar sensation whenever I conversed with my father. I knew in my heart that he was terminally ill, but every time someone tried to tell him, he zoned out again.
And I couldn't do anything to help him. It was torture. But I loved him too much to be harsh with him; to let my anger out, and freak out on his lack of being there for me. I was worried about him, and there was nothing I could do about it.
I heard a tapping noise coming from my room. Wearily I rose and entered my room.
At the window was Derrik. He was motioning for me to open the window.
I don't know why, but I found myself smiling as I moved to let him in.