"Well, what’d you think of that?" The boy asked Sammy. The two were exiting the local cinema after watching Sherlock Holmes.

"The whole thing was just one long preview for the sequel. And I’m pretty sure that the original Sherlock Holmes wasn’t part of an underground brawling society. But still, Dr. Watson’s character was amusing, and the film itself was very clever. It kept you guessing until the end."

"Maybe it kept you guessing," said the boy. "I had the plot figured out halfway through."

"Sure you did," said Sammy. "And Guy Ritchie has a long and successful directorial career ahead of him."

Just then, the two passed by a poster for the upcoming movie Ninja Thunder.

"That reminds me of a dream I had last night," Sammy told the boy. "Some ninjas had kidnapped my dad, so I had to fly to China to save him. Only I couldn’t get a plane ticket, so I had to run across the ocean instead. Then when I got there, the ninjas challenged me to a pie eating contest, so I ate 21 cherry pies and beat them. Then one of the ninjas took off his mask and I saw that it was my dad. And then the rest of the ninjas did the same, and it was all of my family and friends, and the whole thing was a surprise birthday party for me. I woke up and was like ‘What the heck?’ Isn’t that weird?"

"Weird, yes." said the boy. He had a strange look in his eyes.

"Dreams are stupid," said Sammy. "They never make any sense."

"Dreams are not stupid." the boy snapped back suddenly. "You can do things in dreams that you could never do in a million years while awake."

"Yeah, so what?" said Sammy. "I don’t need the ability to eat obscene quantities of cherry pie."

"But wouldn’t it be cool if you could if you were ever inclined to?"

"I guess, but-"

The boy completed her thought for her. "But eating cherry pie isn’t that important?"

Sammy nodded.

"But there are important things that you can only do in your dreams." The boy asserted.

"Like what?" asked Sammy.

"Before I moved here, I had a best friend named Noah. We used to do everything together. In the summer we used go to the park and play for hours and hours, just the two of us. We’d play soccer, or baseball, or else we’d just invent some game on the spot and play that. But as great as summer was, we both lived for the winter. In the winter we’d go tobogganing on this big hill near my old house, or else we’d ditch the toboggans and just slide down on our stomachs. We’d spend entire days sliding down that hill, walking back up, and then sliding down again. And sometimes, we’d-"

Sammy interrupted him. "Okay, I know where this is going. When you moved here, you lost touch with Noah, and dreams are the only way you can see him. That’s why you think that dreams are important. Well you’re wrong. If you wanted to, you could call him and arrange to meet up. I’m sure your parents would let you visit him for a day. Wakeville isn’t that far away. So, while I’m sure it’s nice for you to dream about your old friend every now and then, it’s not something that you couldn’t do while you’re awake. Your example doesn’t prove your point at all." 

Sammy grinned from ear to ear. She had finally outsmarted the boy.

The boy looked very sad. "You didn’t let me finish my story. One day, that hill was particularly icy. I wanted to have a contest to see who could get down the hill fastest. Noah went first. He took a big running start, jumped onto the toboggan, and down he went. I’ve never seen anyone go so fast. He practically flew down the hill. But when he got to the bottom, the sled didn’t slow down like it should have. Friction was practically nil, so the sled continued along the icy plain at breakneck speed. He looked back at me and gave me a big thumbs up. He never saw the car coming. I yelled at him, but he didn’t hear me. Even if he had, there was no way of steering that thing. He died instantly."

Sammy’s smile evaporated. She felt as though she had been hit in the face by a sledge hammer.

The boy continued, though he was much quieter now. "Sometimes he visits me in my dreams, and we do all of the things we used to do. Only there’s no car in my dreams. There’s never a car in my dreams. There’s just us, our toboggans, and that hill."

"I’m so sorry," Sammy choked out. "I didn’t mean… I never knew…"

"Never tell me that dreams are stupid." the boy said. "The only stupid thing is waking up and realizing that all of the amazing things that just happened weren’t real."

Sammy was silent, and the boy walked away from her.

Sammy was used to being abandoned by him in the middle of a conversation. This time though, she knew she deserved it.

***

This one took a lot out of me. Let’s see if I can compose myself enough to write some commentary.

I had the idea for this at the worst possible time: Five minutes before my Spanish class started. My Tuesday schedule is such that once Spanish class begins, I have almost no free time until 9:00 PM. This idea just wouldn’t leave me alone though. It kept coming back all throughout Spanish, and then all throughout History and Psychology too. I finally starting writing at 10:18, and if you look at the time of publication below, you’ll see that this one took over two hours to write.

I hate killing off characters. Even characters that I’ve just introduced three paragraphs ago. I tried so hard to avoid having to write it. I even went back and added in a witty review of the recent Sherlock Holmes film (which, by the way, I loved. It’s just funner to be critical of things in writing). Eventually though, I ran out of filler, and had to write "Before I moved here, I had a best friend named Noah."

Why the name "Noah"? Okay, so you probably weren’t asking yourself that question, but anyhow: The name Noah is a nod to Noah Kaiba, a character from a particular show who also met with an untimely end at a young age. Like my Noah, Noah Kaiba didn’t do anything to deserve death, and his story is tragic enough that I think he deserves a character named after him. Also, don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last you see of Noah.

What I’m trying to get across here is summed up in the boy’s last line: "The only stupid thing is waking up and realizing that all of the amazing things that just happened weren’t real."

Having a nightmare about something terrible happening to you or those close to you can be scary, but it only lasts as long as you keep your eyes shut. Once you realize that it’s just a dream, the nightmare no longer has any power over you.

The worst dreams are the best dreams. Those believable dreams where you reunite with a long lost friend or a deceased family member are great while they last. But the moment you open your eyes, the spell is broken, and everything you had just moments before is lost. Waking up from a bad dream is a relief. Waking up from a good dream leaves you in a forlorn mood for a while if you can’t get the dream out of your mind.

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