“‘Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present – at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’”
– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll.
I – Dream Me – is not anywhere near as pathetic as Real Me is. Dream Me was fit with sexy rugged features and a tight body, allowing him to pull off a black tuxedo with a white shirt and black bow tie – something that Real Me would never think of attempting. He is who I desire to be.
Dream Me sat on the wooden bench on top of Primrose Hill. The night was chilly and his breath was visible in the cold air, with only the warm glow of the black Narnia-like lamppost that sat behind him, an isolated and silent watcher in the night, almost as if it was reaching down to Dream Me for a hug. The London skyline burnt as bright as the stars above the tall skyscrapers, the Shard reaching as far as it could to split the night sky in half. Dream Me sat ruffling through a scruffy paperback of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Penguin Classics, his legs rapidly shaking. The smooth pages felt alive under his fingers, stroking them slowly as the words seemed to swirl around each other. Curling in the still night air, the coloured smoke from the Caterpillar’s hookah drifted into Dream Me’s nostrils, but he promptly shut the book before the opium could begin taking effect.
He looked up as he heard the soft and slow approaching footsteps. It was as if that all the warm light from the lampposts from around the park had gathered into one being. The warm light approached and there glided an angel up the hill. The boy wore a white tuxedo with a black shirt and white bow tie. The stars in the sky began to shimmer and swirl like a mixture of paints and the sky turned navy blue. No longer so much darkness, but something from a book of fairy tales, more pure than Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
“May I have this dance?” Jerome extended his hand and gave his sweet cheeky smile. Jerome smiled with his eyes which lit up like sea-green beacons, not just with his mouth and his cheeks. It was more than that.
“It would be my pleasure,” Dream Me answered confidently. He placed the book down on the bench and took Jerome’s hand. It was softer than the book pages, warmer than the lamppost glow and the light from him began to fade slightly like he was sharing it with Dream Me, his stomach filling with giggling butterflies and his heart grew with a tender warmth. What was missing was now there. In that moment Real Me and Dream Me seemed to merge into one.
In my right hand I took his waist and in my left hand his right hand, and his left hand landed lightly on my right shoulder. We pulled each other closer to one another, and we both knew that neither were simply going to just let go. There was no music playing aloud, but in our heads an acoustic version of Imagination by Shawn Mendes played. We began a slow dance and the resonance of each guitar note, and harmonisation of the artist’s voice echoed softly in our minds.
“Who are you?” The question gently left his full pink lips which stood out between his pale face and jet black hair, the whisper sailing into my ear sending a tremble down my spine.
“I wish I knew,” Dream Me admitted – or was that Real Me?
“You know, you can tell me anything, right?”
Dream Me span Jerome and pulled him back in. “I know.” Real Me had left the building.
Jerome placed both his hands on Dream Me’s shoulders and Dream Me placed his hands on Jerome’s waist. Their heads lent against each other, their foreheads supporting one another’s.
“Kiss me,” said Dream Me. This kid was crazy.
“Are you sure? I know what it means to you,” Jerome asked.
Dream Me placed his left hand on Jerome’s right cheek and looked into those shining beacons of sea-green eyes which seemed to guide me to safety. Their bodies pressed close, the delicate essence of black vanilla waltzed into Dream Me’s nose. Dream Me choked back a sob a bit. “Yes. With you I feel safe,” his voice had gone soft. It was all he could manage to say.
“Then I am lucky to have finally found my way to you,” Jerome whispered longingly.
Dream Me was filled with relief and they looked into each other’s eyes, leaning in with a spark of something scary and new, something happy and beautiful, and…
Then I awoke.