In my reality in my drea.., p.2
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       In My Reality (In My Dreams Book 2), p.2

           Cameo Renae
 
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  As it neared midnight, I slipped under my covers. My stomach knotted as thoughts of traveling from Alaska to a college campus thousands of miles away whirled in my mind. Sighing, I reassured myself I’d only have to endure it for a week. Nothing major could happen in a week, right?

  I flipped to my side and pulled the blanket over my head, leaving a small space for my mouth and nose to breathe out of. I didn’t want any spirits bothering me tonight. And I was glad when sleep quickly found me.

  “No! Wait,” I shouted, shooting up from a deep sleep.

  It was the same dream I’d had for the past two weeks.

  A white Chevy Camaro speeding down a dark road. The light on the street was sparse, aside from the car’s headlights on the dark pavement. And for no apparent reason, the car veers off the road, flipping twice before crashing into a guard rail and tumbling down a ravine, crunching to a stop against a large tree.

  Every time, I hold my breath, waiting for the driver to kick the door open.

  My stomach twists as I witnessed the door jolt open, only for a guy to tumble out. Loud moans reverberate around me, blood soaking his face and his clothes. He crawls about ten yards from the vehicle, on all fours, then stands on wobbly legs before stumbling away.

  I call out to him, but he never responds. He needs medical attention, and I want to help.

  But it was just a dream.

  Why? What the hell did this dream mean? Was the guy dead? Was he a lost spirit trying to find his way to me?

  I could never glimpse his full face and didn’t know who he was, which made it even more frustrating.

  Was I supposed to find him? Because he apparently couldn’t find me. For the past three years, I’d never experienced anything like it. Usually, if a spirit needed my help, they had no problem finding me. Lucy said my gift helped guide lost souls in my direction, a lighthouse for the paranormal world.

  I wondered if any others had the same dream, which also consumed my thoughts during my waking hours. For some reason, I felt like I needed to find out who and where this guy was. But first, I had to know if he was dead or alive.

  Waking the next day, I knew I had to call Lucy. But contacting her wasn’t an easy feat. Her village, located in the north, had one common phone line. I’d have to call, ask for her, hang up, and wait until someone gave her the message to call me back.

  The last time I’d called, it took two days for her to respond. The delivery time depended on who was relaying the message. Most were teenagers who didn’t give a damn about an outsider calling, so I was thrilled when her nephew answered the phone.

  Less than an hour later, I’d made the world’s largest coffee and was just sitting down to read a book when the phone rang.

  Seeing her number on the phone screen made me smile.

  “Hello?”

  “Lizzy, is everything all right?” she asked by way of greeting.

  “Lucy! Yes, everything is fine. I just wanted to ask you a question.”

  She made a sound like she was relieved. “Is it about the dream you’ve been having?”

  “Uh—how did you know?” I was shocked, even though I shouldn’t have been.

  “I’ve been doing this for a very long time. My spirit guides let me know things,” she said, giggling over the line. “Once in a while, I’ll ask them about you. They’ve told me you’ve been having a recurring nightmare. Do you want to tell me about it?”

  “I do.” I sucked in a deep breath and quickly explained the whole dream. I knew she had limited time on the line, so directly after, I asked what she thought it meant.

  She paused and clucked her tongue, as if she was thinking. “If this spirit hasn’t come to you yet, there is a possibility he might still be alive. Maybe you’ve been given a premonition instead of a vision. Maybe you’re meant to help save his life.”

  I exhaled, feeling the pressure on my shoulders double in weight, thinking this was impossible. “How do I do that? I don’t even know what he looks like. I’ve never seen his face, and have no idea where he is.”

  “I’m not sure why some visions withhold certain details. There must be a reason you can’t see his face. Maybe you’ll have to rely on the other details of the dream.”

  “All right.” I sighed, frustrated for the umpteenth time in the past few years. Why couldn’t I enjoy some time alone, like a normal person? “In a few days, my friends are coming here to pick me up for spring break in California.”

  “Then I suggest you keep your eyes, ears, and heart open. I have a feeling there is a connection between the dream and this vacation.”

  “I will. Thank you, Lucy.”

  “You’re welcome. And Lizzy, I know what you’re going through. Having this gift is not easy. If it’s meant to be, things will fall into place. Just remember, you can’t make things happen on your own. If you are intended to find this guy, you will. Destiny has a way of working things out. It’s not for you to worry over night and day.”

  “Yeah, easier said than done.” I laughed, rolling my eyes.

  “No eye-rolling,” she teased.

  “How did you—” I gasped. “I think your gifts extend much further than anyone realizes.”

  I heard her chuckle. “No, Lizzy. I am surrounded by teenagers on a daily basis. It was merely an educated guess.”

  “You could have fooled me.”

  “Have fun, Lizzy. Don’t hesitate to call if you ever need me. Especially if you find this guy of your dreams.”

  “You mean the guy in my dreams,” I reiterated.

  “Yes, of course.”

  We said our goodbyes and she hung up, leaving me to sit there, wondering if I would run across him on vacation. There was no way I’d be able to relax and have fun with this looming overhead.

  I’d have to find out what he looked like first. I couldn’t spend the entire trip examining every guy I came into contact with. Maybe a future dream would reveal his face. I hoped it would. There were still too many questions.

  And what if I did run into him? What then?

  Slinking into the cushions of my couch, I sipped my coffee and thought about Michael. It was the daily norm.

  I often wondered where he was or what he was doing. Was he still training with Jonathan, learning to become a Guardian Angel? I smiled at the thought, picturing him in action.

  I couldn’t wait to see him again. I knew one day I would, on the other side.

  Until then, I was trying my best, making sure to fulfill whatever I needed to do here on Earth before it was my time to meet him again.

  My cell phone rang, making me jump. It was the first of many calls I was sure to get.

  “Hey, Em.”

  “Hey, girl. Have you packed?” I must have paused for too long, giving myself away.

  “Girlfriend, you better get your rear in gear. Don’t make me come and pack for you.”

  “You wouldn’t have much luck, not with my hobo-chic wardrobe. I’m going shopping today and will try and get some beach-worthy attire.”

  “We’re on the road, so I suggest you tank that cup of coffee in your hand, get out of your jammies, brush your hair, and get to it.” Was I really that easy to read? When I sighed, she continued, “Lizzy, I’m serious. We’re coming for you.”

  “And that’s terrifying.” I giggled. “I’m leaving the house in a half hour.”

  “Good. I’ll call you when we cross Canada.”

  “You better drive safe.”

  “Tyler,” Emily chimed. “Lizzy said you better drive safe, or else she’ll send some ghosts to haunt your ass.”

  “Lizzy, come on. You know I’m the better driver,” he shouted back.

  “Yeah, he wishes,” Emily whispered.

  “Bye, Em.” I giggled.

  “Get a cute bikini, and I want a snapshot!” she exclaimed.

  “No bikinis,” I bit back.

  “Do it,” she growled, then hung up.

  I made it to Target an hour later, and after studying a few of the mannequ
ins decided to throw a few outfits together, then headed to the dressing room. I put on a pair of jean shorts and a tank top and stood in front of the mirror, horrified. My legs and arms were ghostly white. Oh hell. I’d become one of the living dead. It was no wonder spirits could find me. I was practically glowing.

  I sighed and asked Siri for the number and directions to the closest tanning salon, and made an appointment. It was a ridiculous thought. Getting a tan, so I could go to the beach and look decent in a bikini. What the hell was I doing?

  I ended up purchasing a week’s worth of clothes so I wouldn’t have to wash anything. Shorts, capris, T-shirts, tank tops, and a few summer dresses. Shopping wasn’t as daunting as I’d imagined, and I even had a few of the workers help me out. I actually felt like a normal, functioning human for a few hours.

  Next up: tanning.

  As I stepped inside the salon, the bell dinged, and a cold shiver ran down my spine. Glancing toward the corner, a teenage girl was standing alone. She wore a blue dress and had long brown hair, which curled perfectly down her shoulders. Bright green eyes were sunken behind dark circles. Her face was thin and pale. She was super dead.

  Great, here we go again.

  “Can I help you?” Another girl came around the corner, startling me. Her name tag read Amber. “You must be Lizzy.” She smiled, but her eyes showed concern. I must have looked like a deer in headlights. “Are you okay?”

  “Yes,” I exhaled, quickly digging through my purse and pulling out my wallet.

  My fingers trembled as I handed her my credit card. Nonchalantly, I glanced back over my shoulder to the dead girl still standing in the corner. Her eyes were wide, frozen on me, sending waves of icy shivers up my spine.

  “Right this way,” Amber said, leading me toward one of the back rooms.

  I’d opted for an upright tanning bed because standing seemed so much easier than laying. As I followed her, a cold breeze caught my back, and I knew the dead girl was following.

  I hated when the dead showed up in the most inconvenient places, wanting me to relay messages to the living. The scariest part was wondering how the living would take the information. I’d been called horrible names, punched in the face, and also had the cops called on me multiple times. It was a good thing the police knew about my ability, as I’d helped them solve some crimes, so I was never charged with anything.

  Amber paused in the middle of her spiel and gave me a quizzical look. “Hey, are you sure you’re okay? You look a little pale. These things really aren’t that hard to work.”

  I nodded my head, pulling my eyes away from the spirit. “Yeah, I'm all right.”

  She handed me a small bottle from her pocket. “You might want to rub this on your body. You look like you haven’t done this in a while.” She placed a bottle of sunscreen in my hand.

  “Thank you. You’ve probably saved me from being lobsterfied.”

  “Yeah, it happens too often.” She smiled and headed for the door. “I’ll leave and let you get to it.”

  My stomach twisted as I glanced over her shoulder to the ghost girl standing a few feet to her side. As uncomfortable as it was, and as much as I hated it, I had to do it. It was my calling.

  “Hey, can I ask you a question?”

  Amber turned back to face me. “Sure.”

  “Did someone close to you recently pass? A girl in her teens with long brown hair and green eyes?”

  “What?” Amber’s eyes narrowed, and her brow furrowed.

  I looked back at the girl, and she whispered, “Allison.”

  “Her name was Allison?” I asked, then held my breath.

  Amber’s eyes widened. I watched her hands ball into tight fists, and I could only pray she wasn’t going to hit me. But after a few moments, she exhaled loudly and uncurled her fingers. “How do you know Allison? Was she a friend of yours?”

  “No,” I whispered. “She’s here and wants me to give you a message.”

  She glanced around the empty room, before leveling her eyes on me, glaring. “Is this some kind of sick joke? Allison is dead. We buried her a week ago.”

  “I know,” I breathed. “And I’m so sorry for your loss. But her spirit is here, standing right beside you. And before she crosses over, she needs me to give you a message.”

  Amber twisted back again, staring at her reflection in a mirror against the wall. She couldn’t see Allison, but I could. She was now a foot away from her, her thin fingers reaching to touch her face, yet never quite making the connection.

  Amber twisted back to me. “You’d better not be lying, or I’ll beat the shit out of you.”

  “I’m not. I promise,” I breathed, unsure of my next words, but I spoke them anyway. “I’m—a medium.”

  My internal eyes rolled as I said the words out loud. I sounded psychotic and wanted nothing more than to step into the tanning chamber, shut the door, and forget this whole conversation ever happened. But the ghost girl would follow me. The dead always followed, irritating the hell out of me until I helped them.

  I sucked in a deep breath and spoke as Allison hovered next to me, whispering details in my ear. “Allison wants you to know she no longer feels any pain. She also wanted to thank you for staying by her side until the very end. Even though she appeared to be unconscious, she knew you were there. She felt your hand tightly grasped around hers and heard your voice. It was a great source of comfort.” Amber sobbed, tears trailing down her face. “She loves you and wants you to tell your parents she loves them too, and not to be sad.”

  “How do I know you’re telling me the truth?” She sniffled.

  “She wrote you a note. It’s tucked between her mattresses. There is one for you and one for your parents. She also told me she wants you to keep the necklace you have tucked in your pocket.”

  Amber gasped, then her eyes closed. Slowly, she slipped her hand into the pocket of her jeans, and as she pulled it out, her fingers were clasped shut. She reached her arm toward me then unfolded her fingers, revealing a star necklace. “I didn’t want to wear it because it was hers. But I wanted to carry a piece of her with me.”

  My voice trembled as the room filled with heavy emotion. “It’s yours now. Allison wants you to wear it. And every time you look up into the night sky and see the stars shining down on you, remember her.”

  A deep sob filled the room. Amber pressed her back against a wall and slid down, her face pressed into her hands.

  “Oh, and she wants you to stop being a pussy and tell Rob you like him.”

  This last message brought out a bark of laughter that soon morphed back into a soft cry.

  “I’ll never forget you, Allie. I love you, and miss you so much my heart constantly aches.” Amber raised her eyes to mine. “My sister was my best friend, and I feel so lost without her.”

  Allison knelt next to her, her eyes saddened. She wanted to comfort her, but couldn’t, and it made my own heart ache. Overcome with emotion, I wiped the tears welling in my eyes. “She refused to cross over until you knew how much she loved you.”

  “Will she cross over now?” Amber asked, looking up at me.

  “Yes, but always know she’ll be watching over you. They’re never too far.”

  Amber nodded, wiping her face. She stood to her feet and fastened the necklace around her neck.

  “I’m so sorry,” I whispered, laying a hand on her shoulder. “But know she is much better off now that she is not suffering and in pain. And she’ll be there waiting for you until you meet up with her again.”

  She turned to me and smiled through tear-filled eyes. “Thank you. You have no idea how much I needed to hear from her. My sister died from an overdose. She’d been battling leukemia for a few years, and the pain had become too overwhelming, I guess. By the time we found her the next morning, we couldn’t revive her.” Amber was barely holding herself together. “My parents will be happy to know she’s not in any pain. It’s been killing them. My mother has barely eaten since she died.”

/>   “I hope it’ll give them a bit of closure.”

  “It will,” she said. “It’s already helped me a lot.” She unexpectedly got up and walked over to wrap me in a hug.

  A ding on the door announced a customer had come in. Amber blew out a slow, steady breath and gathered herself. “Thanks again.”

  “No problem. It’s what I do.”

  She wiped her face dry before stepping out of the room. Then she popped her head back in, alarmed. “She’s gone, right? I didn’t just walk out on her?”

  I nodded and smiled. “She left after the message was delivered. No need to worry.”

  “Oh, thank God!” she exclaimed, patting her heart before heading back up front.

  I walked over to shut the door and glanced to Allison with a shrug. A broad smile grew on her lips.

  With a single nod, I watched her body slowly dissipate.

  My heart felt light, knowing I’d helped another family. Too bad they weren’t all this easy. Eventually, I’d have to come to terms that this was my life now, whether I liked it or not.

  Before I left the salon, I said goodbye to Amber, who asked if she could have my number in case her parents had any questions. I gladly gave it to her, hoping they’d find solace in the letters Allison had left them.

  Driving home, I felt exhaustion settling in my bones. It happened after every encounter, and sometimes, it took days to recover.

  I needed to walk away from the TV, otherwise, I’d watch Netflix all night long.

  Pushing off the couch with a grunt, I stretched my upper body as I walked into the garage. The White’s—Emily’s parents—had built it two years ago, knowing I needed a place to house the new Porsche I’d received from Michael.

  Opening the door, I held my breath and stared at the vehicle. Stepping forward, I ran my fingers over the slick black paint, then pulled the handle and opened the front door. My heart thrummed against my chest as I sat in the driver’s seat.

  I’d driven it twice. And both times, I broke down.

  I could still remember the first time he picked me up. I remembered how handsome he looked, the sweet smile on his face, the touch of his hand and how it felt so perfect in mine. The smell of the brand new leather seats lingered in the new car, triggering a flood of memories.

 
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