Simply a Dream

"What are you doing this Friday night?" Asked Ray Foley. "Nothing that I know of," replied Alisa Cooper. "Well, would you like to catch a movie Friday?" "Now that I think about it, I'd like to see that new Antonio Sabato, Jr. flick, but I don't really like to see movies by myself," she said teasingly. He laughed. "I meant with me." "Oh! That changes everything," she said. "So, does that mean you'll go?" "It means I won't," she watched as his face fell in disappointment, "unless I get soda and popcorn, too." He laughed again. "You're so mean to me, but it's definitely a date! I'll see you in study hall, ok?" "Ok. We can work out the details then." "Great! I gotta run, so I'll see you then," he smiled, gave her a quick hug, and left.

When she got to 3rd period, her friends surrounded her and started asking so many questions that she couldn't keep track of them all. "Slow down, slow down!" They did so. "Now what's the deal, people?" "We saw you talking to Ray Foley!" said Bertha. "Oh, so you guys wanna know what happened, huh?" "Yeah!" They all exclaimed at seemingly the same time. "Ok, ok!" "Well?" Her friends were talking as one now, just as they always did. She had grown tired of it. "He threatened to kill me," she said with a straight face. "For real?" They almost screamed. "No, geniuses, he asked me out." "Oh my god!" Now they were screaming. "Shush! Do you people think I want the whole school to know my business?" "Why not? They'll know sooner or later no matter what you do. You know nothing stays a secret long in this school," said Susie. It was true. Alisa knew that better than anybody. In a school as tiny as theirs, people knew your business almost as soon as it was done. She hated the lack of privacy, but what can a person do besides moving, which half the student body wanted to do. "Ok, don't scream like that because I don't want to get in trouble." "Oh, all right," they said. "Well, at least have the decency to tell us what happened." "What's there to tell? He asked me what I was doing Friday night, I said nothing, and then he asked me to the movies." "Oh my god! You are beyond lucky, Alisa," Sarah said. "I know. But, my favorite part about me is how modest I am." Alisa said, laughing. Everyone laughed along with her, knowing she was joking. A few seconds later class started.

The week passed by. Friday night found Alisa in her room, getting ready for her big date. It took her hours to get the exact look she wanted, but about 10 minutes before Ray arrived, she was ready and getting more and more anxious. What if he doesn't like the way I look, she wondered. 10 minutes later, all her doubts were set aside when he told her that she looked great. They went and saw a movie that kept them laughing through the entire show. Afterwards they went to Starbucks and had coffee. They talked about the movie, what the other's future plans were, music, basically whatever came up in the conversation. When they got to Alisa's house they discussed another date.

The days turned into weeks and before she even knew it, it was their 1-year anniversary. They were going to stay in and watch a movie on the big day and then on Saturday, their friends were throwing them a party. They went to the video store and picked out a drama called Hard Times. It was a movie about a girl who died in a car crash and how it affected her family, friends, and boyfriend. The movie struck Alisa as familiar from the very beginning (which is why she had picked it, she realized on the way home). They got home, popped some popcorn and put in the movie. As the movie began, Alisa began to feel uncomfortable. Ray noticed and asked why. "I don't really know, it's just making me feel kind of weird." "Want me to turn it off?" "Nah, I'm sure it's nothing." But it wasn't. She knew this for sure. The movie was just getting way to familiar. They were at the part when the girl was getting into her car for the last time. All of sudden she knew why it seemed so familiar. "That's me!" Alisa realized, but did not dare say it aloud. "That car is mine! That's my house she's leaving! But how can this be?" She watched as the girl drove toward wherever it was that she was going. Alisa watched with horror as the girl went around a bend and hit a slick spot in the road. The car went careening off the side of the road and all of a sudden it came back to Alisa.

The night after the big storm, Alisa had decided to go for a drive to Ray's house. She was driving carefully, but not carefully enough to miss one slick spot. She hit it at about 40 mph. She thought she was going pretty slowly, but it was obviously not enough. She flew off the road and hit a tree. She died instantly.

Suddenly, Alisa wasn't in her living room. She was in a different realm. "This place is beautiful," she thought, filled with awe. Suddenly, she heard a loud voice. "Are you finally ready to acknowledge what has happened? Or are you just going to play some more games and go back to your fake little cocoon?" "My fake little cocoon?" She echoed back weakly. "Yes. You'd call it a dream, I guess." "Huh?" Alisa was really confused by now. "For the last 11 months or so, the months you thought you were really living, you've been dead." "How can this be?" She whispered to herself. "You got up here and just couldn't accept what had happened. You have nothing but free will here, so you chose to live your life out until you could come to terms with what happened, even if it took centuries. You decided to start from a month before you died." "So, almost all of it was basically a dream?" "Yes, it was simply a dream." "So, I guess that means that the movie was meant to help me accept it, huh?" "Yes, you're finally catching on. Now are you ready to move on?" "Yeah, but one thing first." "What is it?" "Will I ever see Ray again?" "Of course. He's not immortal, you know." "Great! How long do I have to wait?" "Oh, about 90 years." "Nuts. Guess I'll just have to wait. Man, this is going to be hard. Patience was never one of my virtues. Ok, I'm ready! Let's go." The voice laughed and then she felt herself pulled forward toward her new home.