“I want to grow up and tell stories to the world.” Leila had remembered her sister telling her. Young Leila’s eyes glittered when she heard her sister tell her that.
“That’s so cool Lily!” Young Leila proclaimed. Her sister flashed her a grin.
It would be the grin Leila would always remember to this day.
Leila Bridge was humming to herself as the small sounds of the mouse clicking and the tapping of some keys. The white light illuminating from the several screens in front of her reflected in her eyes. She was completely entranced in her little own world as Hunter slept on her bed. She didn’t hear the knock on her door, nor the ringing of her phone. Shortly after the ringing hushed down, another ringing played through her white earphones.
Ah, someone was calling her through messenger.
She sighed, interrupted in her train of work, and switched through tabs. The name ArkNoah flashed through her screen.
“What?” She asked, not meaning to sound grumpy at all.
“You sound grumpy.” It was Noah. “I’m outside your door.”
“Creep.” She chimed. She heard a sigh.
“Mom told me you were getting thin. She asked me to bring you some food.” He added.
Leila didn’t even bother dropping the call when she shuffled to her feet. Hunter perked up, watching his owner leave the room. He huffed, and as if forced, he trailed after her. By the time Hunter arrived, Leila was already setting the table. Noah was shaking his head and unpacking a couple of plastic containers from a tote bag.
“What did Auntie cook for me?” She questioned with a spot of excitement in her voice.
“Buttered vegetables and fish fillet.” He answered as he transferred the food to a couple of plates for her. He brought out a huge thermos. “She made some soup too if you want.”
“Thank you, Auntie!” She proclaimed and sat snug in her chair. The tall man shook his head but felt a smile creep onto his lips. He set the dishes down and sat in front of her, a camera dangling on his neck. She eyed it curiously. “Did you pick up photography again?”
“Yeah.” After replying, he took the camera and brought it up to his eyes. He snapped a photo of Leila as she was shoving the food in her mouth. She mumbled in surprise.
“Hey!” She finally said, after swallowing. Noah laughed sheepishly. She shrugged and continued eating, trusting the man. Soon enough, Noah joins her and they both eat with the occasional chatter here and there. It was comfy and familiar.
“Say, do you believe in dream walkers?” She asked. With her other leg raised, she brought the bowl of soup to her lips. Noah shot her a confused look.
“You really are Lily’s sister.” He sighed, closing his eyes. Leila wrinkled her brows.
“What does this have to do with my sister?” She questioned.
“She asked me the same thing before.” He shrugged. “Remember? She was always fascinated with dreams. It was pretty much the only thing she talked about.”
“Well, she always knew whenever I had a nightmare.” She said to herself. She hummed. Could she be? She thought to herself. She remembered. She remembered the bespectacled dream walker invading her dreams. If that’s true there are more dream walkers.
She thought of Caden once again.
It isn’t just him?
How many else are there?
“She always did. And before you were born she knew when I had those too.” Noah commented.
She parted her lips to speak but a small phone alarm resounded through the room. She checked her reminders and jolted up, grabbed her phone, and jolted towards her room.
“Sorry! I need to start getting ready for a meeting with a new sponsor.” She called. “I’ll fix those later!”
Noah shook his head and started gathering the plates. He thought to himself. “What? In the 30 minute break before you do something again?”
He looked forward and eyed the plush dog dangling from Leila’s door. Solemnly, he whispered to himself.
“If only you could see your sister now, Lily.”
Hunter walked up to Noah and barked. He smiled at the dog and bent down to caress its head.
“Take care of your master, okay? She still misses her sister very much.” He closed his eyes and nuzzled the dog with his nose. The dog barked happily and licked his face. He laughed.
“I know I miss her too. We all do.”
Leila came home later that night, tired. She plopped down the bed and sighed. She checked her watch.
Only an hour until I go live. She thought. Have I set everything up?
Yeah. She sighed, closing her eyes. Her mind wandered to the many things she thought she needed to prepare but she had already done so. Her mind wandered to Hunter but he was sleeping in the living room. She wondered.
Should I really just rest?
You’ve done everything already. A voice in the back of her said.
Yes I did.
There’s nothing to do right?
I want to grow up and tell stories to the world.
She opened her eyes slowly. She stared blankly into the wall, feeling her chest get heavy. She remembered the grin that adorned the lips who said those very words to her. She breathed in.
“I’ll tell your story.” She whispered to no one in particular. She gathered herself and sat up. “And I’ll make sure it’s perfect.”