I didn't want to tell Courtney that I didn't think we would find anything in the library about what Alex was experiencing, but I at the same time I didn't want to dismiss her idea before we had tried.
Surprisingly, the library had a number of books about the nature of dreams and I began to think we might find something to explain Alex's problem. But after an hour of reading about how to interpret dreams I had lost hope.
'Courtney, this is pointless,' I said, closing my sixth book of the session. 'Neither of us have found anything and I don't think we will. We should be spending our time trying to convince Alex that this is the real world, not the other.'
'But I know we will find something,' Courtney said stubbornly, refusing to put down her book, her eyes still scanning the page. 'We have to.'
'Courtney, stop.' I reached out to take the book from her hands but she held onto it with more strength than I thought she had. 'Courtney, please. Anyone would think that you don't believe this world is real either. You do believe this is real, don't you?'
'Of course,' she replied a little tersely, 'I just want to help our friend and I don't understand why you don't want to do the same.'
'Of course I want to help Alex,' I said, slightly outraged by Courtney's accusation but trying to keep my tone calm. 'My methods are just different to yours. You want to solve the problem with books and research, I want to take Alex's mind off it by planning her wedding. If she realizes that Prince Aiden truly loves her then maybe she will be able to accept that the other word is just a dream.'
I stood up from the floor where I had been sitting, put my book back on the shelf and prepared to leave.
'I'm not saying you should stop looking,' I said, 'I just don't think that I will be much use to you here.'
I have never felt so helpless in my entire life. I was spending most of my days sitting with either Alexandra or Pippa, praying they would wake up. I couldn't believe that Alex's parents hadn't been to see her. It made me feel sick.
My parents didn't know how much time I was spending in the hospital. They still thought I was going to school when I was skipping any lessons I could to come and hold my friends hands.
Luke came with me a few times for moral support. Although we hadn't spoken about 'us' since the night of the accident he was beginning to act more and more like a boyfriend and less like a best friend. I could see it in the little things he did; holding my hand when I needed him, holding me tightly when I cried and tenderly wiping the tears from my face.
'Please come back to me,' I whispered to Alex when I was sitting beside her bed, her hand clasped in mine. 'I don't know what I'll do without you. I'll fall into obscurity and you won't be there to help me out again. Alex, I need you.'
'Ellie has gone,' I said, trying to hold back the tears. Even though I knew she couldn't see me I didn't want her to have to watch me cry. 'She killed herself because she couldn't bear to live anymore. Please don't be like that Alex, I know you can fight this and come back to us. You're the strongest person I know and if you can't fight this then no one can. I don't know if I can keep on fighting without you.'