CHAPTER TWO ~ DRIFTING AWAY
“Brian? Brian, I’m talking to you buddy!”
Brian turned his dreamy eyes and suddenly saw that AJ had seated himself beside Brian on the wall beside the beach. It took a moment for his brain to disengage from the memories of the dream last night and to focus on reality with AJ and his friends.
“Hi AJ,” he greeted.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” AJ frowned at him. “You’re so quiet and hardly moving! You get up, you sit out here and then you crawl back to bed at like seven at night! It’s not like you. Normally you’re goofing with Nick.”
“I guess I’m just preoccupied with things,” Brian said.
He could not stop thinking about Karine or their midnight forest. He dreaded awakening from the dream every morning. He did not want to be in this waking world when she was somewhere else that he could only touch within his dreams.
AJ cast his eyes about the beach, as I trying to find some reason for his friend’s strange behaviour. His gaze lingered upon the sea that reflected the bright sunlight. “The sea is kinda beautiful isn’t it? It’s not often we have the time to spend in somewhere like this.”
“It’s not that great,” Brian said as he shrugged. He thought of the calm pool surrounded by the perfumed lavender and violets that thickly scented the air and clung to Karine’s skin and clothes.
“How can you say that? The weather is like perfect and we’re on a hot beach with the sun beating down on everything!” He chuckled slightly. “Wonder how the hell management expect us to write any songs together when they send us to a place like this. We haven’t done anything except chill out!”
“Mmm,” Brian sighed. He glanced at his watch and with a sinking heart he saw that it had only just scraped past midday. The days went too slowly. He longed for the warm nights in his secret place with his lover.
AJ regarded him carefully. “Are you sick or something? You look pale.”
“I’m fine.” That was a lie of course, he had felt wonderful ever since Karine had first entered his slumber, but ever since the days had been miserable and devoid of any happiness. He needed her with him. He needed her to breathe. Sometimes he sat out on this beach and all he wanted to do was to dive into the deep waves of the sparkling sea and never arise for air. That way he could lose his body in the waking world that dragged him back every morning and sleep forever. He could stay forever with Karine that way.
It was so tempting.
AJ was still staring at him but Brian kept his eyes on the waves that crashed in the sea. It was so different to the magical calmness of the pool he had swum in last night with Karine. He smiled slightly at the sweet memory of her body pressed tightly against his as his mouth pressed passionately against hers. He was trembling at the very thought of seeing her again. She made him happy. She made him smile. She made him complete.
Why did he need anybody else when he had her?
“Hey guys!” a voice suddenly yelled.
“Nick, you have like the biggest mouth on the entire planet!” AJ laughed. “What’s up?”
Nick thumped down beside Brian and rolled his eyes at the lack of response form his friend. “You still fantasising about this mystery girlfriend?” he asked playfully.
“Girlfriend?” AJ’s head shot up. “Brian, you never told me you had a girlfriend! Who is it?”
“He won’t tell me,” Nick said as he watched a tiny crab toiling over the beach just below them. “I’ve never seen him with anyone since we got here. I don’t think she even exists!” He laughed slightly as he nudged Brian.
Brian glared at him, his eyes hardening. Karine was real. She was more real than anything he had ever known. She wasn’t just a dream. He couldn’t live if she was just a dream. “What the hell do you know about it?” he snapped.
“Woah he was only kidding!” AJ said. “And you must admit that it sounds suspicious. You’ve done nothing but mope around in this creepy way since we got here! It’s almost like you dreamed this girl up!”
“Shut the fuck up AJ!” Brian screamed as he jumped to his feet. “You know nothing about her and you never will because she’s mine!”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Nick said. “Brian, what’s going on with you?”
Brian ignored them totally as he jumped down to the beach and began to head away from their beach house where they could not disturb him from the beautiful thoughts of Karine and his dreams. They did not understand. They had changed recently. He had noticed it when he met Karine that all four of his brothers were dull. Hey had not seen the joys he had seen and each day he grew more irritated with them.
Now they were accusing him of living in a dream. But thois wasn’t a dream. This was real. She was real.
He wondered along the sandy shore of the beach, glad that AJ and Nick had decided not to follow him. He did not need them when he had Karine.
When he was far enough away from the beach house management had hired for them while they song wrote together he kicked off hi sneakers and trod barefoot against the hot sand. He tried to imagine that it was the cool grass of the forest beneath him and that the iwld ocean was the pond beside the lulling waterfall. He closed his eyes against the hot sunlight, preferring the soothing dark of the midnight sky and the fant stars with the shimmering moonlight. He breathed deeply but here there was no flowers and only the salty smell of the sea and the harsh, dusty sand.
He hated this world. He had once loved the beaches but now he wondered how he had ever felt that way. Once he had looked at the blue and white sky and thought it was beauty, but it was nothing compared to his dream world. Nothing.
For hours he wondered along the beach, but eventually he reached a spot where the cliffs closed in and he could not venture any further unless he risked swimming out into the wild waters.
He shrugged and begun to head back towards the beach house. In his head he recalled Karine’s voice and the song she had sang for him. He had not understood the language when he first heard it but strangely as he thought it over he realised that he could understand it. She had been singing of her love for him in her own native language.
She was not human. Nothing human could have the beauty she possessed and nothing in the waking world could give him so much pleasure when it touched him. She was like a fairy queen or a marvellous enchantress. Brian was only too happy to succumb to her enchantment.
He was pleased to see that his walk had driven most of the day away from him and the sun had begun to sink in the sky. He sighed in content as he climbed the steps to the beach house, imaging the dream that awaited him in his bed.
As soon as he pushed the door open he saw Kevin washing up the plates. He looked up as Brian entered. “Where have you been all day? AJ and Nick said you stormed off. You shouldn’t go off alone you know.”
“There’s no fans around,” Brian said simply.
“Yeah, but there’s cliffs around. I know you’re not stupid but just at least let us know. We never know if there are fans around.”
Brian shrugged, not really caring. “Sure.”
“We’re going out for dinner to this restaurant Howie found today.”
“I’ve got a headache. I think I’ll just go to bed.”
“Brian, you didn’t have breakfast. Did you eat while you were out?” Kevin asked staring at him in concern. “You look… ill.”
“I’m fine.” He tried his hardest not to snap and feigned a smile.
“Okay,” Kevin shrugged. “You nee any aspirin?”
“I just need sleep.”
“Been out in the sun too long.”
“I guess.” Kevin turned back to tidying up and Brian grinned and ran for the stairs, eager for sleep. He only ended up running into Nick as he tried to dash along the landing.
“Brian, you coming out with us?” he asked, his voice slightly icy after their fight earlier.
“No. I don’t feel well. I’m going to bed.”
“Going to spend it with your fantasy girl?” Nick scorned.
Brian wrenched open his bedroom door. “None of your business,” he snapped before slamming the door shut.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Brian lie on his back amid a thick clump of purple moss which was filled with tiny, star shaped pink flowers that shone when they caught the moonlight above. His blue eyes stared above him and reflected the heavens above him as they turned over his head in an endless cycle of beauty.
Beside him was his beautiful Karine, her hand clasped within his own. Tonight she was wearing pale blue trousers that were almost transparent and she was clad in a blue top to match. Her dark hair lay messily tangled about her shoulders as it had done since they had made love earlier.
He felt so much better being with her. It was like he belonged in this world instead of his own. He had been so tense all day and with just a few touches she had made him completely relax in her arms so that he became hers. He had melted into her body, breathing in and living for her scent and taste as he kissed her skin. He had forgotten all of his troubles in those moments when she caressed him and pulled him to her. She owned him now.
He sighed deeply and squeezed her hand in his own as he continued to gaze up at the night above him. It was so much better than the harsh sunlight in his own world. Everything in Karine’s world was better. He had never before seen such a thick, velvety blackness of midnight that could pull him up into it and mesmerise him totally. He had never before felt so much pleasure as he swam in that cool water that soothed every part of him. In his world when it rained he was sad and depressed and would do whatever he could to avoid getting caught out in it. Here though when it rained it was soft and gentle. It was cool and refreshing for his soul and he would stand out in the forest with his arms open in greeting to the clean water from above.
The beach today the others had said was beautiful, but they could never comprehend true beauty that was in the form of this forest. You had to be here to feel the softness of the green plants and the warm breeze against your flushed skin while you kissed and touched your lover.
He thought of Nick and the others. Why had he suddenly felt so hostile towards them and his waking life? Nick was supposed to be his best friend and he’d had countless fun with him before. His brow furrowed slightly as he realised that he couldn’t remember any of the fun things he had shared with Nick or the others. All he remembered was hard work and stress…
Just like a dream dissolves in the waking world, his waking life was disappearing because of this dream world. He was forgetting more about his friends and former happiness with every dream. He just did not realise he was losing it all.
“Do you think of me when you wake up?” Karine asked as she cuddled closer to his bare shoulder.
Brian turned to smile at her. “Every second. I hate my waking life compared to this dream world.”
She slowly sat up and stared at him. “You’re losing your life in that world because of me.”
Brian tilted his head, slightly puzzled by her words. He wasn’t losing his life. He was still alive. What did she mean? He smiled. “It’s worth it,” he whispered. “I love you.” He sat up and kissed her.
She did not respond. “Your friends love you,” she said sadly. “I should not be taking you away from them, or your family.”
Brian rolled his eyes. “I don’t care about them.”
“How can you say that? When we first met you spoke so highly of them.”
Brian shrugged. He didn’t seem to remember much about them. He just assumed that they were not that important anymore and that they never had been.
“You’re changing in your waking world. You’re becoming a part of my world.”
“Good.” He wrapped his arms about her and pulled her in for a kiss. He would rather die in the waking world so that he could stay forever with her.
She smiled tenderly but there was a hint of sadness within her eyes. “I feel guilty.”
“What about?” he asked while placing delicate kisses over her soft skin. “I hate the waking world.”
She closed her eyes. “Do you love me?”
Brian’s mouth fell open. “Of course I do!” How could this not be love? How could it not be love when she filled his head constantly and when he breathed her he felt ready to explode in joy and happiness.
“Are you sure?”
He stared into her eyes and saw tears there. “What’s wrong baby?” he asked as he stroked her hair.
She clasped his hand in her own and held it against her face before tenderly kissing his fingers. “I love you. You’re so kind and gentle. You make me feel like nobody else ever has.” She sighed. “I can see into your waking world sometimes in my dreams, just like you see into mine through yours. My people so rarely let people to see our world properly like I have allowed you to. I first saw you in my dream a week ago and you were so beautiful. I loved you in that moment and I knew I had to have you. I spent days trying to draw you into my world while you slept and then finally I succeeded.”
“That was my first dream of you,” Brian whispered, thinking of that first magical experience.
She nodded. “I want you to be mine. But that means leaving your own world behind.”
“I’d willingly do that. I don’t need that world. I want to be with you. Only you.” He kissed her on the mouth. “The others don’t matter.”
“You’re forgetting them.”
Brian looked puzzled. “No I’m not. I would know if I was.”
But how can you remember if you’ve forgotten something? How can you notice when you don’t remember what life was like before?