'Where am I?'
I woke up in a completely different place from where I was. It was dark and damp. The only thing around me were trees. Maybe I'm in the forest surrounding the city?
I carefully walked around trying to find my way out, while trying to remember how I got to this place. I don't think I walked here in my sleep so most likely someone had brought me to this place. I considered the possibility for a moment and concluded that I had been brought to this place as a joke, on behalf of the guys who hated me.
The road was illuminated by two lights, so I approached. They were two well-known faces to me.
'Those are... Nathan and Jenny? What are they doing here?'
I tried to call out to them, but my voice couldn't reach them.
I grabbed Nathan's arm, but my hands went through it.
That's when the situation became familiar. Talking and not being heard. Touching and not making contact. Both happened all the time in my nightmares.
When it all started, I was persistently trying to stop Nathan in my dream. I begged him not to do it, I tugged at his clothes, once I even tried to hit him, but nothing I tried worked. Eventually, I gave up. There was no point in continuing to waste energy if the person I was talking to was unable to see or hear me.
'Apparently, this is a new dream.'
I decided to follow them to see what they were planning. They were heading to a lake in the middle of the forest. It was a beautiful place and had a romantic atmosphere. Nathan had never come to the forest before so visiting this place must have been Jenny's idea.
She stopped in front of a tree and turned right in front of Nathan. She took a letter out of her pocket and shouted:
- Nathan, I like you, please go out with me!
Unfortunately for her, he didn't even blink. His face became expressionless as if this wasn't the first time it happened. Then, he looked at her with boredom and said.
- I'm sorry. I can't do that.
Jenny became very upset and pushed Nathan into the lake, and then ran out of the forest. He quietly came out of the lake and sat down under the tree where they were previously standing. He seemed to be meditating.
A couple of hours later he continued on his way. Nathan looked around desperately as if searching for something. Most likely it was the exit. He walked incessantly around the forest, but it was useless. No matter how far he walked, he always came back to the same place.
Suddenly, it started to rain. The rain was so heavy that he decided to seek cover in a cave he had seen while walking. Nathan carefully entered the cave and lay down in it, only to be surprised by a bear. The bear, offended by the intrusion, raised its paw and...
- Watch out! - I shouted.
Finally, I had woken up. It was confusing. That was the first time my dream had changed in 5 years. What was this supposed to mean?
I got up from my place and made my way to the dining room. On the way, I was trying to find the meaning of the sudden change, when Cindy and Anna ran into me. They were on their way to the dining room too. While walking, they chatted about insignificant matters, until Anna’s comment caught my attention.
- Did you hear what Jenny is planning? - Anna said.
- You mean she's planning to confess to Nathan at the lake in the middle of the forest? - Cindy replied.
I stopped moving. What they were saying was too familiar.
'Don't tell me...'
My legs immediately started running at full speed towards the dining room, hoping that my assumption was wrong. I would never have imagined that I would want to meet him. Noisily I entered the dining room, examining each table carefully with my eyes. Nathan was not there.
I approached the girls' table and desperately asked:
- Have you seen Nathan?!
The girls looked at me indifferently and continued their conversation. This conversation may not have been important to them, but it was to me. I tried to insist, but they saw me getting annoyed and started whispering among themselves. I didn't have time to deal with this nonsense, so I banged the table loudly. That got their attention.
- Listen, you can criticize me and make fun of me all you want later, right now all I want is for you to tell me where the hell is Nathan!
- He left with Jenny about 20 minutes ago. - Said one of them after seeing my genuine concern.
My face paled. I don't dislike Nathan, he's just... scary from my point of view, so I continually try to stay away from him. But that doesn't mean I want to see him dead! I have to do something about it. Hurriedly I made my way to the director's office and informed him about Nathan and Jenny's sudden disappearance. However, that useless old geezer bushed it off saying it was 'The wonders of youth” and that I should leave them alone.
Frustrated, I headed for the only place where they would hear me: the garden. I shouted my friends' names all over the place until their faces appeared in front of me. They seemed quite concerned about my insistent call in the middle of the night.
Anxious, I explained the situation. At first, they seemed to think I had lost my mind, but as the story progressed, their faces became serious. They closed their eyes for a moment and when they opened them again, they motioned for me to follow them.
We headed into the forest where they kindly directed me which way to go and which direction to avoid. After a while, it seemed we had gone too far into the forest and still we could not find where Nathan was.
'I hope he's okay.'
We continued walking deeper into the forest until we found the spring of my dream. Nathan was all alone, staring at the spring. He looked tired, so I sensed that he had been around a couple of times before. Relieved, I called his name and soon found myself wrapped in his arms.
- I was so scared. - he admitted as he cried.
I didn't know what to do to comfort him, so I simply hugged him back. It must have been hard for him. Just then I remembered something very important that I had been ignoring until now. The Nathan in front of me is not the bloodthirsty and cold guy that appears in my dreams, but a boy who recently lost the only person he trusted. He may have been surrounded by people, but that doesn't mean he believed in them. Just like me, when I didn't know my friends yet. I looked at the spirits out of the corner of my eye and smiled.
'I'll stop avoiding you, Nathan. From now on, I will become your friend, so don't worry anymore. You'll never be alone again.'
It was kind of embarrassing to admit it, so I'll keep this promise to myself. I pulled Nathan away from my body, undoing the embrace, and gently wiped away his tears as he pouted at me.
- Let's go home. - I said extending my hand in front of him.
He looked dumbfounded. I took his hand and started walking out of the forest, being guided by my friends. I took advantage of the long walk to scold him for being so careless and heading into the forest without considering the possibility of being abandoned there. Nathan walked silently beside me and nodded from time to time.
As soon as we arrived at the orphanage, we were surrounded by everyone. Jenny was already there. Then, we were called to the director's office who scolded us severely and ended up punishing us. Now we have to do the laundry and cook for everyone in the orphanage for a month, even though I warned this stupid jerk that Nathan and Jenny were missing. I was fine with it though because we had both come back safe and sound.
'Don't worry, now that I know what kind of person you are I will protect you. I won't let you turn evil.'