(Dan’s Point of View)
I couldn’t tell if I was dreaming or not. Haylee was in danger, I could hear her struggling. Everything was dark, and I couldn’t see a thing. No matter how fast I ran, I couldn't get any closer to helping her. All of the sudden, the darkness lifted, and there she was, unmoving. Just as I was about to run towards her, my eyes flew open, and I sat up. My brain wasn’t functioning properly. Was that real? Where am I? Is Haylee okay? Without thinking, I jumped out of bed and into the camper’s small family room. There, I saw Haylee, unharmed. It was then that I finally came to my senses.
“Dan?” I could hear Haylee’s voice coming from the other side of the camper.
I blinked, clearing the sleep from my eyes. “Yeah?”
It was still dark; I heard rustling, then Haylee appeared in front of me, barely visible.
“Are you okay?” Concern weaved into her voice.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Should I tell her about the dream? Deciding against it, I continued. “I think I just need to go for a walk.”
As I was getting my shoes on, the sun started to just barely peek over the horizon, enabling me to make out Haylee’s shape.
“Well, now that I’m up, I might as well come with you.” Haylee said, slipping her flipflops on before I had any time to interject. We walked for a while around the campsite in silence
Haylee spoke. “Bad dream?”
I blinked. “How did you know?”
She shrugged. “You look troubled. I can talk to you about it if you want.” She hesitated before adding, “I took a class one time that studied what dreams meant, and how to decipher what your mind was trying to tell you.”
We walked quietly for a while, not sure if I wanted to tell her or not.
“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want. Some dreams are personal and not meant for anyone but the dreamer.”
“No, I think that it meant something.” I took a breath, hoping that she wouldn’t think I was some kind of freak. “I was walking through darkness, and couldn’t see anything. But then I heard a voice calling for help. Listening closer, I realized that it was you. I wanted to help, but no matter how far I ran, I couldn’t get any closer to your voice. All of the sudden, the darkness lifted, and there you were. The thing is, you didn’t exactly look…” How could I put this? “...Alive.” I took a side glance at her, and seeing the thoughtful expression on her face, I was relieved that she was taking this seriously.
After a long time, Haylee spoke. “Have you ever had a dream like this before? Not like the exact same dream, but a dream where someone you love has died or..” She ended awkwardly. “Something like that?”
I shook my head. “No, this is a first for me.”
“Okay. The thing about dreams is that your mind takes things that you try to forget about and keep reminding you. One of the most common things that you try to push to the back of your head is an albatross of some sort. Have you been troubled recently with… Anything of that type?”
She knew the answer, but wouldn’t meet my gaze. “Yeah, I guess so.”
“Okay. Very rarely do people have dreams about the future, but they are possible. Life always has to come to an end, no matter who you are.” She took a breath. “Your self-conscious mind says not to worry about it, but your subconscious mind keeps the worry there, and since you refuse to think about it, your brain made a decision to bring it to you in a dream.”
I was silent through talking the whole time, barely even acknowledging her. Dreams about the future? What if I had had one of those dreams? Haylee was way too young to die!
“So what are you saying?”
“I’m saying that this dream could have meant anything. With the limited amount of information that we have, it’s nearly impossible to be one hundred percent certain of what it could mean.” She took in a shaky breath. “This affects me, too.” Her voice was quiet. “On an adventure like this, anything could happen. Just… Just try not to worry, okay? I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.” She tried to lighten the mood, but it didn’t work very well.
By this time, we were on our way back to the camper, and the dawn light was brightening our path. I stopped in front of our camper door.
“Thanks for talking with me. I’m a huge worry wart and if I hadn’t talked to someone, I would probably be driven mad.” I smiled, seeing that she was, too.
“No problem. I would’ve…” She stopped herself. “No, actually, I guess I wouldn’t have done that for just anyone.” She met my gaze, and raised her eyebrows. Before I had anytime to react, she hopped inside the camper door. I leaned against it, my head resting on the side. I wasn’t sure how to think about her statement; I was afraid to overthink it and get my hopes up. We’re just friends, remember? That’s what friends do for each other. It’s normal. Shaking my head, I walked into the camper, and crawled back into bed, waiting for Haylee to get done in the shower.