Dreams aren't what the used to be. Marley's family is so worried about just because she dies in every single dream she has. She's sick of it. Especially of the fact that she keeps falling for the guy that always betrays her. In each new world he never remembers her but they always meet. The funny thing is that they've never met in real life. Marley hates his guts as well as loving him to bits but what happens when one day, it's not a dream? And this is all real...


1. Prologue

In this dream I was still lost. Apparently my family had died in a terrible bush fire that had lit up a whole town and devoured a lot of the nearby country side. Grey was my only contact. We’d known each other since we were two according to a few. So, as I sat in a hot classroom with my brow sweating from the humidity I couldn’t help wondering when the Guards were coming for me. The teacher had gone out of for some printing and had left the door open. Some cold air managed to slither its way past the heated steam. I had my feet resting upon the edge of the desk and back tilting the chair backward. As people outside of my dream world would say: I was being a rebel. “It’s bloody hot isn’t it?” I whispered to a girl called Amber, trying to strike up a conversation.
Amber shrugged and continued scratching at her desk with her compass. Her stringy blue hair was falling into her freckly face while her hard eyes were set on the word she was carving. “I guess,” she said after a while.

Nobody had really warmed up to me yet. It was only fair to consider that I was the new kid and I had a fresh slate to impress the teachers. “I bet you could fry an egg on McFarrell’s Ute.”

Amber didn’t reply and I knew she didn’t want to talk. I resided to my lonely corner of the room and began laying out my plan of action for when I met Grey and we started our run from the Guards. I didn’t talk about this with anyone since they would all question my friendship with Grey. He was never the good boy or the mischief maker either. He was just an average teenage boy and to some people that didn’t seem to fit with my perfect school attendance record or high grades. I could see where they were coming from but people have rights…don’t they?


After school had finished everyone congregated around McDonalds with the hope that they would be able to survive in the cool building. I stayed back and walked home because I didn't have any money for the bus. Usually I would wake up by now in such a heat and wonder why I was sweating so badly. A boy was leaning against the fence of the small apartment I rented out. He seemed oblivious to the fact that this was my house.

Hey you!” I called out.

The boy didn't reply.

What do you want?” I asked sharply, standing infront of him.

It wasn't until his shadow was cast over me that I realized I was considerably shorter than him. But I was faster. If he intended to rob me he wouldn't be able to catch me. No one was faster than I was.

You're Marley aren't you?” the boy asked. Even though he was trying to hide it I could tell he was lost too.

You're Grey,” I observed.

The boy took my comment as a yes and then slowly nodded. He was cute in a rough, lopsided kind of way. His nose was long and straight but his jaw was square and his eyes were bigger than normal so it seemed like you were looking through a glass ball and it was distorting his features. “We need to talk,” Grey said.

I shrugged. “I guess.”

So...can I come in?” Grey had his hands stuck in his jeans pocket. He was nervous. Yep. Definitely lost.

It hadn't really occurred to me that this stranger might want to come into my house. But he wasn't a stranger. He was supposed to be my friend. “Ah sure,” I decided.

We strode quickly down the front garden and rushed indoors so that we could escape the sweltering world outside. Inside it was nice and airy with a cool breeze coming from the air-conditioners. I dumped my school bag and slumped down onto a couch in the small lounge-room. “So I've been told we supposedly know eachother,” I said.
Grey shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “That's correct.”

Before the fire I mean.”

I know what you mean.” Grey fiddled absently with his watch. “I'm surprised they haven't found you yet.”

The Guards? Yeah,” I laughed half-heartedly. “Me too.”

I'm surprised you can afford to have the air-conditioners on for six hours. I can tell you can barely afford the mortgage of this house.” Grey leant back in his chair.

I frowned. Now that was something I hadn't thought of. I couldn't afford it.

Grey noticed my frown. “You didn't leave them on did you?”

I shook my head.

We jumped up as a man jumped out from the kitchen with his gun raised. He was the typical Guard with a marred face and sunken eyes and bulky build. Grey grabbed hold of my hand. Blood rushed to my face causing me to blush. “Don't make any sudden movements,” Grey whispered.

As if I didn't know that,” I replied angrily.

Then Grey did the most unexpected thing.

He kicked the Guard in the face, grabbed my school bag and made a run for it, dragging me along with him.




Out of nowhere the wall came crashing down onto Grey who was frantically trying to scramble out of the rubble. I tugged on his sleeve and tried hauling him out before the heavy bricks broke his spine. His face was a mix of absolute fright and worry. And the wall kept on falling…lower…and lower…I gave Grey’s arm one more fierce tug and we both fell backwards onto the hard cement. He took a deep breath of air, savoring the life he still had. I stayed still. Mainly because I was staring at the starry sky above. My dreams always started and ended this way. I knew what was going to happen. Every single part of my sleeping imagination was playing itself out in my head.

“Thanks,” Grey said. He put an arm draped over his gray eyes as if shielding them from something. And, regardless of the past events, a smile was plastered onto his dirty face.

“No problem,” I replied automatically. This time Grey was shorter than I remember but still recognizable as the same boy I’d shared my first kiss with all those years ago. That’s the sad thing about waking up and going to sleep again. They never remember. “What were you doing anyway?”

Grey shrugged and then began laughing. “I tripped.” He picked at his shoelaces. “Damn string.”

I suppressed a smile and braced myself for what was going to happen next. “Do you think they heard us?”

“Probably,” Grey said. He got to his feet and brushed his pants and shirt off casually. “Makes it more fun.”

I shook my head. If anything, I was downright petrified of the Guards. In the futuristic world I dreamed up there were these men that hunted down any stray or lost dreamers. Other than that they tended to terrorize the cities. The only bad thing is that I find myself lost all the time. Grey cocked his head to one side in a thoughtful way that tells me he’s contemplating whether to ignore my unfriendly attitude or keep being optimistic. That’s what I love about him. “We should start running again shouldn’t we?” It seemed he’d decided to ignore my prickliness.

I didn’t reply but instead started running flat out along the dimly lit street. Sharp breaths behind me told me that Grey was trying his best to keep up. I’ve always been a better runner than him.

There were loud voices behind us.

I heard something over here!”

You're just imagining now aren't you?”

A wall can't fall on its own.”

What wall?”

But I saw-”

I couldn't hold back the smile this time. When it's your dream there are certain privileges such as making things disappear or reappear. I skidded to a halt and pressed my back against the cold stone of a wall. Grey collapsed down next to me.

Whew. That was a work out,” Grey puffed.

I managed a hoarse laugh. “Getting unfit I see.” I let my body slump onto the grass below. My head tipped over and rested on Grey's broad shoulder. He looked down at me and his face reddened considerably. Usually I would've blushed too but I was too tired.

Um...do you have any food? I ate my rations for today a while back.” Grey's eyes had widened hopefully.

They're in the bag,” I sighed. I dropped my backpack onto Grey's lap who clawed through it hungrily in search of food.

Thanks,” Grey managed through a mouthful of food.

I rested my head against the stone and started gazing up into the bright celestial lights again. There were thoughts running through my head that I wished would just go away. Things like: why was I always lost with no family or way of knowing where to go? What would happen if I died in a dream? And why did Grey and I keep meeting each other?

It wasn't until I felt a sharp prod on my shoulder did I realize that I'd fallen asleep. “Sorry,” I apologized.

Grey smiled sadly.

Then I felt rough hands grab my hands and people's voices ringing in my ears. “Grey!” I screamed.

Grey got to his feet and stayed where he was.

Grey!” I repeated just to make sure he heard me properly. “Grey?”

Grey took a step forward and I felt relief rush over me. But then he pressed his lips to mine and retreated backwards.

Grey?” I pleaded.

Grey shook his head. I glared furiously at him as I twisted and writhed in the attacker's grip. Finally I broke free and came face to face with a Guard. He leered down at me with a scowl. “Stray 221 acquired,” the Guard said into the intercom.

Acquired?! I stared at Grey. How had they known where we were?

The Guard placed handcuffs on my wrists and shoved me towards a van. Lights danced across my eyes when I landed on the metal floor, hard.

But I didn't say anything when they closed the doors or drove away. And most of all I didn't say anything when I was placed on a bench in a science lab. Or when they injected a serum into my arm.

I'm sorry,” Grey whispered in my ear.

And I didn't wake up again.

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