Which World to Forget

The sun was setting over the shoreline, and the red shine on the water was closing its eyes along with the sky. Rae closed her eyes too, forever stained with heavy bags, and felt the last warmth of the sun wash over her. Next to her on the sand sat a scraggly boy with wild brown hair, darkening in the setting sun. Freckles pock-marked the entirety of his body, like splattered paint. His knees curled up to his chest, and his chin sat delicately upon them, knowing exactly what the sunset meant.

Rae opened her eyes in sudden curiosity and turned to him.

“What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?”

A wave gently crashed into the shore.

The boy turned his head toward the girl and sighed.

“Losing you; and having to survive it.”

Another wave crashed, and the girl started to laugh. Stars lit up with each heave of her chest.

“You’re so funny!” She wiped a tear from her eye, “You do that every single night, come up with something better.”

The boy was slightly taken aback, but he understood the answer the Rae was looking for. He wasn’t going to give it to her. All these years and all she wanted to do was toy with them. At least she had calmed down a bit in the recent months. But still.

He shook his head, giving life to his unruly hair, “It’s true!”

Isn’t this what she would want to hear anyways?

He looked at her. Really looked at her. He didn’t do this often, because every time she just looked… worse. Her hair was tangled, matted. The bags in her eyes fully weighed down any light that could still be seen. Her skin was bruised and scarred.
He didn’t understand. This world wasn’t real, she could so easily make herself look presentable, so nice.

Maybe she had finally lost track of which one was a dream.

Or perhaps this was the only place where showing how she truly felt didn’t matter. After all, everything here was really just an extension of herself.

And they both knew what happened after the sunset. Maybe he should just tell her what she wanted to hear.

“Fine then. Me. Just being me, every day. Knowing what this world really is, and being forced to think about it every moment of my life.”

The corners of her mouth were wavering, “Heh, knew it.”

He looked back at the sunset, it was only barely peeking it’s way above the water now.

Suddenly, he felt Rae throw herself against him in a tight hug.

She mumbled through his T-shirt, “One day, I’m going to lose track. I’m going to forget one of these worlds.”

She pulled herself out of the hug and stared at his face, “I just hope it won’t be this one.”

He managed to smile, it was a nice sentiment, even with the implications of that thought bearing down on him.

But it didn’t matter anyway. The sun was gone, and the dream was ending.

Time to wake up Rae.

Which World to Forget