Leila Bridge woke up with a cold sweat, her feet involuntarily kicking up into the air. She jumped as her dog stood in surprise. He barked once as if to express his concern. She gathered herself before placing a comforting hand on the large brown dog. That was probably one of the weirdest dreams she has ever had. She shook her head.
She checked the time, 8:34 AM. She groaned. Well, I can try the breakfast menu for once. She thought, preparing for the rest of the day.
Leila was dressed in a large black hoodie and a pair of black home shorts. She combed her long brown hair into a bun as she silently listened to music while browsing through the food delivery app on her phone. Her head was swimming with thoughts of her dream as bit by bit she forgot most of the details that surrounded it. She did, however, remember the man she knew to be Tashi. The one that refused to swear for some reason.
She thought back to his appearance. He was of a fairly medium build, a bit tall. He had gentle eyes hidden behind his thick-framed glasses, and a demeanor that screamed he was soft. She hummed a soft tune to the music she was listening to. In terms of the anime she liked watching, he seemed like the type of guy who always had his eyes closed.
He looked like a grandma’s boy.
A handmade knitted sweater? Check.
Refused to swear? Maybe that’s just a personality trait.
If he were in an anime, he’d have an episode where he wore an apron for fanservice. She thought to herself. What am I thinking? She furrowed her brows.
It’s the first normal human interaction you’ve had besides Noah, she told herself. Normal? In a dream? I guess.
Am I dreaming about interacting with people?
She shook her head, inhaling. Breakfast.
“Do I want pancakes?” She hummed, glossing over the screen. Clicking on a couple of things, she hummed to herself as she drowned in the music. She looked up at the ceiling, as she plopped onto the couch that usually housed herself and her dog.
But maybe I just dreamt of a grandma’s boy named Tashi. She thought. Am I into grandma’s boys?
She pondered the people she had dated before. She pressed her lips together. “No.”
Maybe I should learn how to cook, she thought. Well, I know how to cook eggs. I might just be projecting. Maybe my mind is telling me to be more like a grandma’s boy. Her dog barked, wagging its tail. He broke her chain of thoughts. His name was Hunter, as we can surmise from the name etched on a crate that contained a soft blanket filled with fur. He looked like he came from a line of hunting dogs, albeit mixed along the way. Stretching, she dragged herself to get the dog food.
“Hunter, you eat better than I do.” She patted his head as she cleaned the food dish, before dumping a can of dog food into it. She silently watched Hunter eat enthusiastically, her mind still elsewhere.
Tashi seemed like the type who’d cook food for his dogs.
Okay. Leila. Get a hold of yourself.
Maybe Tashi is someone I saw before, she thought. I might be tripping.
Leila, she scolded herself once again.
What do dream invaders look like?
Grandma’s boys, apparently.
Maybe I dreamt of a dream invader.
My head hurts.
After a while, she heard a doorbell. She grabbed her phone and wallet, and opened the door. A delivery man greeted her.
“Good morning, here’s your delivery!” He handed her a paper bag. She shuffled for a tip. The man bobbed his head to the side, inspecting her a little. “Excuse me. Are you Leilaps?”
She blinked a couple of times, caught off guard. “Oh! Yeah!”
“Wow! Uhm… huge fan? Nice to meet you!” He held out his hand, tripping over his words. Holding the money for the tip, she accepted his hand, and when they parted, the money fell. She flushed and bent over to pick it up. The man also thought the same and they headbutted in the process. She winced and held her forehead.
“Sorry, sorry.” She apologized. The man laughed a little.
“Thanks?” Leila flashed a smile. She checked his nameplate. “Uhm… Denny.”
“No it’s cool! H-have a great day!” He tipped his head before leaving with the money. Her cheeks painted light pink, she slammed the door. She rubbed her forehead, her food in her other hand.
Smooth, Leila. Smooth.
Leila enjoyed her breakfast in silence, playing chill music in the background. She was used to this solidarity, this monotony. The small house she lived in used to be built for three, judging from the picture frames beside the shelves of the TV. You can see pictures of Leila and who appear to be her parents.
With the lack of stuff in the other rooms of the house, it can be seen that she doesn’t live with them. Her mother used to live with her, but she soon decided to live with her new husband across the globe. Her father had a new family a couple of cities away. They both invited her to stay with them, but she didn’t want to. Instead, she decided to linger in the house she grew up in, renovating it here and there.
Her parents didn’t want to stay, she guessed. Perhaps because of the memories this place once held?
Once done with breakfast, Leila walked back to her room. She looked at the dog plush hanging on her door. Hunter trailed behind her. It kinda looked like Hunter, now that she thought about it. She held it for a second and for a moment.
Just a moment
We see what we could recognize as fondness in her eyes.
What looked to be sorrow.
She let go of the plush. The soft material left a lingering feeling in her fingertips. She opened her door and kept it open.
When night fell once again, in her slumber, she tried to make sense of it all. In her dream, it was raining. She was drenched head to toe, clothed in a white blouse that hugged her curves. She was facing who she thought to be Tashi who was wearing a white shirt with white jeans. He looked at her intently.
How creative, she thought to herself. This looks like a damn romantic sitcom.
She huffed at her brain’s unoriginality.
Of course, it’s raining. She thought. Why not, right?
I just dreamt him up! Yeah. She thought to herself. There he is.
“You’re just a dream.” She told him. Tashi ran up to her and held her cheeks. Her eyes widened. He brushed some of the water away from her face.
“I can traverse the dream world with my magic.” He replied. She gagged at the retort and tried to force her face away from the man. He held her face firm.
“Ew, ew, ew, ew.” She chanted, struggling.
“Wow.” The voice was the same. It should have belonged to the figure in front of her yet she knew it didn’t come from him.
She shifted her gaze slightly and beside her was another “Tashi” crossing his arms and looking at her judgingly.