had happened again. The Dream. It had been recurring every night
for the past six weeks. There were minor inconsistencies here and
there, but several factors always remain the same.
is always there. I miss her more and more every day.
is also there, and he is arguing with Rochelle about Star Wars.
He claims Empire Strikes Back is the best—which it is—but
Rochelle disagrees. She says that all about Yoda it is. Robert says
it's the best because it has the most Han Solo and nobody
in their right mind could ever think it was all about Yoda.
And then there's the third man.
I call him Orson Welles. Not that he looks anything like him,
but...you get it, don't you? Or you don't, fine. Whatever. I don't
give a flying leap. O.W. is always giving a speech about why he
doesn't tip waitresses. It sounds vaguely familiar, but I've given
up trying to guess if I've heard it before and just assume that I'm
remembering it from my previous dream.
Anyway, in the middle of
everyone talking, suddenly Robert grows stiff and starts coughing.
He grabs at his chest, moaning in pain. Even though I'm worried, I
laugh at him. Every time. Makes me a sucky friend, I guess. O.W.
keeps right on talking and ignoring Robert until eventually Rochelle
yells at him to shut up and hits him with a beer bottle. I finally
manage to control my laughter and then we all turn to see what's
happening to Robert. Rochelle suggest heartburn and Mr. Welles
recommends antacid. The end result is always the same. Robert falls
to the ground and stops moving, stops breathing. Rochelle wonders if
he is dead and then suddenly his chest bursts open and out leaps...a
I forgot to mention, there's
always this creepy guy filming us. I've never seen him outside of
the dream, but O.W. seems to know him. At least, he knows his name.
Hefé, he calls him. The dream always ends with O.W. telling Hefé
to stop filming.
The only major change between
dreams is that I don't always wake up in a sweat.
I've told no one about my
dream. I don't know why. Maybe I think it would frighten anyone
else. Heckleberries, it frightens me. But it shouldn't, really.
After all, it's just a dream.
was one of the sweatless awakenings. Thank
goodness, I thought. I
was in the car with my family and Robert on our way up to Plymouth
Rock and it would be quite embarrassing to perspire in their
presence. Although, I doubt Robert would care overmuch. He'd been
my best friend since the move. My older brother Elmer, on the other
hand, would tease me about it for weeks. He'd probably ask me which
boy I'd been dreaming about that would get me so worked up in a
sweat. Gosh, he could be so immature. You'd never guess he was
heading off to college in the fall. Sometimes I wonder if he ever
really aged, or if he's still a little boy inside, wanting to play in
the sandbox with all the other kids. He's certainly more rebellious
than I am, and I'm a teenage girl right at the height of the angsty
stage of life. I've often heard my parents refer to me at the angel
in the family, while Elmer is the black sheep. Personally, it
bothers me when they say that. I'd rather see a sheep that's black
over an angel anyway. I mean, when an angel tells you what to do,
you gotta do it, but when a sheep tells you what to do, you can just
tell it you can't understand what it's saying. Which would be the
truth, so long as you don't speak sheep.
we there yet?” It was me that had spoken. But don't worry, I'm
not some irritating little kid that you want to strangle every five
seconds; I'm sixteen. The question was not a loud inquiry to my
parents, it was a soft one to Robert, who was sitting across the car
from me in one of the chairs in the middle of the car. Elmer sat in
the back and our picnic lunch sat in the way, way
back. Not that we had a rear-facing—or, “rumble”—seat
anymore, that was our old car. When we bought this minivan, all the
worlds I'd imagined while riding in the car backward died out like
stars, or something. I guess bugs die out pretty quickly too.
Especially that one kind of fly, that only has a twenty-four hour
life cycle. What is it called? Fuscrew it, I don't know.
so I asked Robert if we were there yet and he didn't reply. I
noticed that he had his headphones in, so I tried to guess what he
was listening to. Kids in the Way? Nah, too dark for a bright sunny
day like today. Anberlin? Nope, they're not good road trip music.
Relient K? They're fun and talented and Robert enjoyed seeing them
in concert when we won tickets to go see them(on my birthday, no
less! Best birthday present ever!!!
Matt Theissen's hair was glorious, so abundant you could have fit a
cow in it. Although, why anyone would want to hide a cow in their
hair is beyond me. Also, they ended up playing “Up and Up” which
is Robert's favorite by them, as well as “Be My Escape”, which is
my favorite song ever!!!
Whoa, two uses of bold ever's
followed by three exclamation points in the same rabbit trail.
Righteous!). Having decided that they were most definitely the band
he was listening to, I reached out and took one of Robert's earbuds
and put it in my own ear. I was greeted with what sounded two knives
being rubbed together while a third knife was stabbing a victim to
death and we could hear her screams.
“What is this junk?” I
He looked up at me, shrugged,
and said simply “I like heavy music some times. This is The
“Mmhmm,” I nodded, “Well,
I've just been sleeping; do you know how much further we have to go?”
half an hour, sweetie.” That would be my mom. Of
course she was listening in on our conversation.
“Would you like me to style your hair for the rest of the trip?”
“Mom,” I rolled my eyes, “I
don't need to do anything with my hair when all we're doing is
looking at a rock.”
“But it's an important rock,”
she said defensively, “You'll wanna look your best.”
“Why?” I raised an
eyebrow. I was so happy when I first learned to do that. “In case
George Washington is there and asks me to marry him?”
A smart reply followed,
“Actually, George Washington was not one of the original pilgrims
who landed at Plymouth—”
“Shut up!” I snarled.
you're probably thinking I'm horribly bratty and rebellious to speak
that way to my mother, but actually, it was my brother who had piped
up, and it was he I was silencing. After I'd snapped at him, he gave
a satisfied smirk and opened up his book again. How could he read in
the car and not get carsick? It's so unfair! Besides, he's using
his ability to do so to read Ted Dekker. I mean, really, can you get
any lower than that? If I
was able to do what he could, I would be reading classics, like Pride
of Green Gables,
not trash about murders and alternate universes and such.
After a brief silence, Robert
piped up. “I hear Plymouth Rock isn't even that big.”
“Where'd you hear that piece
of rubbish?” asked my dad from the front. That was my dad, always
trying to put Robert down. I don't know why he hated him so much.
ever seen Plymouth Rock?” I queried.
“No,” he admitted.
“Then how would you know that
he's wrong?” I retorted. That shut him up for a while.
so maybe I do
have a bit of a rebellious side
After what seemed like hours,
but was only half of one, we finally reached our destination.
“Anyone want half a piece of
gum?” my mom asked.
“Mom, stop taking only half
the stick,” whined Elmer, “Nobody wants the other half!”
“Actually, if you don't mind,
I'd love to finish it for you,” volunteered Robert.
“Here you go,” said my mom,
delighted. I just rolled my eyes. That was Robert, always sucking
up to my parents.
“And here we are,”
announced my dad triumphantly.
We all took a moment to gaze
upon the majesty of Plymouth Rock and ponder its significance in
American history—hey, is that a butterfly? So pretty!
It was Elmer who broke the
silence. “You know what? Robert's right, it's really not that
impressive. I'll be in the car.”
“Come on, son,” chided my
dad, “we just got here. Stick around for a bit.”
“Why?” Elmer wanted to
know, and to be honest, I was wondering the same thing.
“Because it's history, man!”
uttered my father, going off on one of his over-dramatic tangents,
“Culture! You have to appreciate it while you're young! Lord
knows I didn't fully comprehend the significance of history when I
was your age.”
Elmer smirked, “Then I guess
I'll just wait until I'm an old fogey like you to appreciate it. See
Elmer strolled off toward the
car. My dad followed him, still trying to reason with the boy. The
rest of us just sort of hung out and waited for them to come back.
Eventually, we realized that they weren't going to and that my dad,
despite his claims to the contrary, was probably just as bored as
Elmer and in all likelihood, they'd slipped off to have a burger or
Around the time I figured this
out, my mom decided to move off to a distance to admire the rock from
a new angle, leaving Robert and I alone.
“So this is Plymouth Rock,”
“Yup,” he agreed.
“And what spiritual
significance have you gleaned from this enlightening experience?” I
Robert smiled. “Never take
part in a Kirschbaum family trip.”
could choose to opt out,” I groaned.
“You were born into the wrong
family, Marie,” Robert remarked. Then he reached into his mouth,
pulled out the piece of gum he'd been chewing, and flung it at
Plymouth rock. The white glop stuck to the rock as if determined
that it should be part of history too. For a moment, I stood in
shock, nearly furious as my friend for defacing such a significant
monument. Then I looked again and realized it was just a rock with a
piece of gum attached. I turned to Robert and we both burst out
laughing. I high-fived him, and we turned to go back to the car.
for the camera!” a voice called out. I hate random crowd
photographers, but Robert and obligingly turned to face the camera
and smiled. The man pressed his finger on the button, but there was
no flash, no beep, no noise of any kind. To my surprise, I noticed
that he was not photographing us, he was filming
us. I was immediately taken aback, but then my shock multiplied
tenfold when I realized that he was the man from my dream. Hefé.