"Are you really real?" she laughs. She is always so fey in these dreams. Her eyes dance in a way I'm frightened of.
"Yes." I am real. "I am real."
She tilts her head at me. She is sitting on the air above the lake which is the only thing I can see; everything is dark but us. I am standing on the water. She has that smile on, like an arrogant child. "More real than me? It's your voice, not mine?"
"Yes!" I want to wake up, I want to...
"You don't look real," she says, floating around me to look from all sides. I stay still, except that I'm trembling a little.
"Not as real as me," like I hadn't said anything. "I'm soooooo real. Very real. Do you know how real I am? I can do this!" And she stretches her arms above her head, takes an exaggerated breath, and falls into the water. "Sploosh!" she cries as she goes under, and the water echoes her with an enormous splash. I watch her grin ripple-distorted, her pastel hair fanning out around her. I am trembling in earnest, now.
She breaks the surface again and spins around in the air, laughing, spraying droplets everywhere that pass through me and make little circles on the water behind. "Can you do that? Are you real enough to splash?"
"You should be able to. If anyone can see you at all, the water can. You should be able to disturb it, at least." I want to wake up. "Do you even exist? Lots of people are going to see me. You know what I think? I think it's my voice. I don't think you're even there at - "
I wake up.
Morning. My whole apartment is here, my vision filled up with things I can see; very solid, palpable, real. I don't remember the dream. I can never remember the dreams. But I stand in front of the mirror for a time and I touch my face with my hand.
"Real," I whisper. "Real."