The doors we thought we mistakenly opened are ones we were meant to enter.
“This is not what it looks like.” Leila Bridge said as the man cupping her face looked at her. The “duplicate” of this man, rather, the original looked at her with a tired look in his eyes. Caden Mistral frowned.
“So it’s not you dreaming about…” He inspected the man further. “...what is supposed to be me in what appears to be a reference to a bad telenovela series?”
“I know it looks bad.” Leila paused. “I assure you this is just to emphasize how ridiculous everything is.”
“Mmhmm.” Caden raised a brow.
“No!” Leila huffed. “I thought I dreamt of you.”
“This me probably has a 12 pack.” Caden snorted. “Are we brother and sister separated by birth?”
“I traverse the land of dreams!” The “duplicate” said, dramatically. Leila cringed and Caden choked on a laugh.
“I thought I dreamt of you being a part of my dream!” Leila exclaimed.
“Did we get switched at the hospital?” Caden questioned. “What did you find out?”
“I found out that dream walkers are dicks!” She huffed, pushing the “duplicate”. It puffed into nothing and she crossed her arms.
“You mean a dingus.” Caden corrected nonchalantly. Leila pursed her lips.
“Did I stutter?” She scoffed.
“Nope. Very impressive.” Caden shot her a sly grin. “Can you stop the rain?”
“Right.” With that, Leila snapped her fingers. The rain stopped, although they were still dripping wet. Caden didn’t really know what to make out of this.
“You’re just an oddity. People tend to dream about things they think about and you just don’t make sense to me.” Leila explained, trying to sound as genuine as she could. She wasn’t lying, but somehow it felt like she was.
“Whatever you say, sister.” Caden teased, earning a glare from Leila. “I believe you. Don’t worry. Relax.”
Leila eyed him suspiciously but decided that this man literally had nothing to lose in this dreamscape. Neither did she if she thought about it. They were, after all, two strangers in a dream. Caden shifted and looked around, seemingly searching for something.
“Have you seen a huge dog around? Like this tall,” Cadden motioned with his hand, placing it between his waist and chest. “He’s brown and he has floppy ears. He looks like the ones they use for hunting.”
Leila thought for a moment and thought about her dog, Hunter. “Like this?”
With a snap of her fingers, her dog materialized before them. Caden was a bit taken aback, surprised by the accuracy of the dog.
“Yes! But no.” He said. The brunette furrowed her brows confused. Caden shuffled a bit trying to get his thoughts in order. “I entered your door because of that dog. That’s the dog you made though. The one I’m following isn’t something you made,”
Leila was confused. This was apparent on her features and Caden just waved it off.
“Just tell me if you see a dog you didn’t poof.” He continued.
“Okay?” Leila was still a bit lost. Why would Hunter lead a guy into her dreams? Can Hunter even do that? She was pretty sure Hunter was cuddled up next to her with his butt shoved on her unconscious face. “We can try looking for it.”
Caden shook his head. “It’s fine. It shows up at the dumbest times. It would show up eventually.”
“Then are we just going to wait for a dumb time?” Leila questioned. Caden hummed in agreement.
“It’s your dream. I’m just here to hang out.” He started looking around. The area was what appeared to be a park that didn’t have people around. The ground was still wet from the rain and there were the occasional puddles here and there. Further down the brick road that directed different parts of the park were more bushes and trees with occasional food tents. Caden started walking towards the tents. He called out to Leila. “Is this place your idea of a telenovela?”
“No!” Leila shouted after him, jogging towards him. “I’m just going to change this place.”
“No. Don’t. I think it’s pretty interesting actually.” Caden commented, stopping in front of a tent that had a game in it. There was a large piece of wire that coiled into different loops with both ends mounted on a wooden board. A small metal circle with a handle rested on the wooden mount. “A wire loop game?”
Caden eyed Leila, silently questioning why this particular game was in the dream. Leila responded. “I always beat this game when I was younger.”
“How about now?” Caden leaned forward to grasp the small bit that held the metal ring. Leila stood beside him, leaning a little to watch the man as he carefully maneuvered the ring around the game.
“No. I can’t. My hands shake too much now.” Leila commented as she watched Caden play the game. The man reached the end victoriously. The light at the end of the game didn’t light at all.
“I traverse the land of dreams!” He proclaimed, mocking his ‘duplicate’. Leila pushed him, unamused.
“Why don’t you try it again?” Caden returned the metal ring to the start, a soft smile on his face. Leila examined it for a second, doubtful. “It’s just us here anyway.”
“Fine.” She started the game, holding the metal ring carefully. She took a deep breath, carefully trailing the ring, inching it towards the end. Caden slowly stood up, placing his hands in his pocket before removing his gaze from Leila. The woman relaxed, but still led the metal ring with great care.
Caden trailed his brown eyes elsewhere, looking around. Perhaps this wasn’t a dumb time, he concluded in his thoughts. The dog’s not anywhere. He looked back at Leila who slowly dropped the metal ring at the end of the game. He whistled. “You did it!”
“I did.” She said in disbelief.
She pressed her lips together and her eyes were wide. She had done the game but why is it that she had a hard time believing it? She looked at her hand, as if waiting for something.
“Hey, it’s done.” Caden remarked as he took his spot beside the girl again. “Hello?”
She shook her head and tugged a small smile on her face. “Nothing. Sorry.”
“Let’s go. I want to see what else your head thinks belongs in a cheesy romance novel.” He said, leading the way.
Leila shook her head and just followed after the man. With the two’s backs turned, a dog sits in front of the game. It was the very dog that matched Caden’s description. It brought its nose towards the game, inspecting its smell. It sat back down with a seemingly small grin on its canine face. It looked towards the pair walking down the rest of the park, an unreadable emotion on its eyes.
When Leila Bridge woke up in the morning, she immediately sat up and looked at her hands. She outstretched her palms and watched them both carefully. She waited as they remained still. Sure enough, moments later, some parts of her fingers twitched and her palms trembled. She sighed, balling her hands into fists, and plopped back down into bed. She stared at the ceiling.
“It’s nice to dream.” She whispered.