Lawrence turned off his cell phone, plugged it into the charger, and set it on the end table. He closed his eyes and drifted to sleep.
He opened his eyes and was in a poorly lit room with just a table, a chair, and a television mounted to the wall. The remote was in the corner of the room, in pieces and he picked them up by hand. Somehow the buttons, plastic pieces, and batteries magically floated back together to re-form a remote.
He sat down in the chair and turned on the TV with the remote. The screen showed a dark bedroom with a sleeping man in the bed. He walked up closer to the screen and realized it was him. A bearded man with dark curly hair under a red blanket lied in bed.
He caressed his curly locks in fear and to check if they were the same as the locks on the screen.
He clicked through the other channels and found other darkened places in his city, the grocery store, his office building, his ex-girlfriend’s house. He flipped to the next channel, he was surprised to see his ex-girlfriend asleep in her bed. He watched her toss and turn. He wondered what she was dreaming or thinking about. Was it him or just normal worries?
He woke up and realized he was back in his own bed. He was back in the real world. He got ready for work like normal, but the thought of the dream lingered in the back of his mind. What was that dream and what does it mean? Does it mean she’s still thinking about me? I can’t wait to go back to sleep tonight.
He returned home late that night, his boss wanted him to catch up on deadlines. He was exhausted, so he went straight to bed.
Upon closing his eyes and drifting to sleep, he entered the dream world. He was in the same room as before, but there was a door on the left side of the room. There was a peephole on the door. The lighting was better, so he could see the black walls. The fear of opening the door got to him, so he didn’t open it. What could lie behind that door? Where would it lead?
He switched to channel 48, which had his parents sleeping in their bed. Suddenly, static appeared on-screen and the picture went back to his parents’ bedroom, but only his mother was sleeping in their bed.
He woke up. Why am I having these dreams? Did Dad just go to the bathroom or is this a premonition dream? Did he die? Will he die? Should I warn my mother? I’m sure it’s nothing.
He decided he had to open that door in his dream.
The next night, he fell asleep again and re-entered the dream world. But the door was gone. He rushed up to the wall where the door once was and he banged his hand on it in sadness and anger. A crack formed in the wall and he continued to hit the wall. A hole formed and he looked through it. He saw a figure made of light.
He woke up and thought about the dream and the luminescent figure.
The night after, he again drifted back to sleep and the door was there again. He tried to open it, but it was locked. How could it be locked if he was on the locking side of the door?
He woke up frustrated.
Night after night, something different happened in his dream, a new object like a lamp appeared in the room. And every time he tried to open the door, it was locked.
Weeks later, in one dream, he heard a knock on the door. His raspy voice said, “Hello?”
The door opened and it was his ex-girlfriend. She looked around, kissed him on the cheek, and walked out of the room.
He woke up, he had to call her. He tried to call her all day, but it went to voicemail. He thought she would answer eventually.
That night, he dreamt of watching his ex on the TV again. He longed to caress her hair again and hold his hand in hers. He knew where she lived, he could just drop by.
But the next morning, he checked his phone and saw he had a voicemail. It said, “Hi, Larry. Could you please stop calling me? It’s over and I’ve–found someone else. Goodbye.”
Lawrence’s heart cracked and he felt a pain in his chest. He held his hand on his chest and passed out.
He dreamt of opening the unlocked door and leaving. He ran toward the light and hugged, but it turned into sand. Then the sand pulled together and formed a three-dimensional glass heart. He picked it with his hands and it exploded. He screamed until he woke up.
He couldn’t move on. How could he?
He kept going to work.
He dreamt of watching the memories of them together on the TV. He wished he could talk to her one last time.
Every time he left the room, he ran to the light, but it always formed into a glass heart. Once, he ran with the heart and brought it back to the room. He threw it at the wall and cried.
As the years went on, he slowly got over her, but she would always be in the back of his mind.