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“Dude, you know what just occurred to me?” Rob was lying drunk on the couch, trying to play video games on his console, and failing miserably. “What if we’re not actually here and we’re both just dreaming?”
I looked at him and laughed out loud hysterically. We had both smoked some herbs beforehand and, coupled with the alcohol we’ve consumed, I laughed at everything he said.
Surprisingly, though, he didn’t laugh along but stayed dead serious.
“Dude, for real. I’m not joking. Don’t you ever feel like none of this is real and you’re just dreaming?”
“Well, yeah, but…” I tried to come up with a good argument, but couldn’t. I just kept on laughing.
“See? What if none of this exists and we’ve just met in my own dream. Or yours. Maybe it’s me who’s just a projection in your dreams. Or we’re both stuck in someone else’s dream.”
“Tell you what. Let’s give your theory a try, okay? If you’re actually sleeping right now, and this is only a dream, you should be able to wake up, right?” He nodded. “So, try waking up.” I couldn’t help myself but laugh out loud the moment I finished that sentence. It was stupid enough to be funny on its own, but I was even more curious as to how he’d try waking himself up.
Robb sat himself straight and dropped the controller on the floor. He sat still for a couple seconds, trying to figure out what the best way to wake up could be, then started pinching himself all over his body.
Watching him pinching his arms, legs, and even his nipples was beyond funny to me, and I couldn’t contain myself. At some point I even joined in and started pinching him everywhere as well.
“Well, that’s not working, is it?” I asked after a solid minute of pinching.
“Nope. I can feel it, so I guess I am, in fact, awake. Unless–“ His glassy eyes shone bright and his smile grew wide. “Unless I’m in some kind of a suit that allows me to feel everything as if it was really happening. You know, like some high-tech virtual reality video game that also lets you feel what your character feels.”
“Okay,” I understood what he was saying, but it was too farfetched for me to actually consider as an option. “So how would you wake up from that?” I laughed again. Despite the silliness of his idea I loved seeing him try stupid things.
“I have to do something the suit doesn’t let me experience. Maybe if I do a barrel roll? No, no, too simple. Do a handstand and see if the suit can force all my blood into my head?” He looked at me and I immediately knew he was going to try it out. “It’s a start.”
He got up and positioned himself against the wall. At first I wanted to talk him out of it, but it was too good a scene to miss. I grabbed my phone to record him fail the handstand, but before I could fire up the camera he was already upright on his arms and smiling at me.
We waited in silence for about thirty seconds until his face turned completely red, then I burst out laughing.
“That’s some serious high-tech.” He was determined to try further. “What are some other ways to wake up?”
“I don’t know. I usually wake up when I die in my dream.” The moment I finished my sentence I knew I had made a huge mistake.
“You’re right. When somebody shoots you or you fall with your bike or something similar.”
“Rob, no. I didn’t mean that.” I tried to take my words back. “It was a fun little experiment until now, but seriously Rob, don’t do anything stupid.” It was as if I sobered up in an instant and knew I had to talk my friend out of whatever idea had passed his mind.
“No, no, it’ll be fine. Trust me. You don’t need to die in your dreams to wake up, just experience some sort of shock, you know.” He stood up and walked over to the window.
“Rob, dude, don–“ He kept on going despite my efforts to change his mind.
“But you can’t really jump scare me if I’m expecting it, so…” He looked out the window–we were in the second floor. “I guess I need to fall.”
“Rob, are you out of your mind?” I ran up to him and dragged him away from the window. “Don’t be crazy. You’re going to get yourself killed!”
“Relax, Mike. I’ll be fine. I just need to shock myself awake.” He was completely calm whereas I was panicking.
“I’m not letting you jump. Seriously! You’re not jumping!” Still holding him by his shoulders, I shook him as hard as I could.
“Oh, relax. I’ll be fine. I can’t even die from this height.” He removed my hands from his shoulders. “You know I’m stronger than you, so quit trying to stop me, okay? I’ve made up my mind.”
“You’re not thinking straight, Rob!” I tried grabbing him again, but he shoved me away so hard I fell on the floor.
“I’ve made up my mind, Mike.”
He opened the window and looked how high it was, then crossed himself, and started climbing on the ledge.
I sat on the floor, dumbfounded, just the way I landed when he shoved me and just stared at him, with terror in my eyes. My friend was about to kill–or at least severely injure–himself and there was nothing I could do about it. A part of me didn’t want to see it, but another wanted to go closer and watch him fall.
“Here goes nothing,” he said, and right before he was about to jump I ran toward him, wanting to grab him by the hand to save him, but failed to catch him.
The two seconds of watching him fall felt like forever, but just before he would hit the floor, he vanished into thin air.
What the fu–, I couldn’t believe what I saw.
I rubbed my eyes and blinked a couple of times, but surely enough, he was nowhere to be found. He had vanished into thin air.
I tried to come up with a possible explanation, one that was more believable than the obvious, but couldn’t. The only option was that we actually were both inside a dream and that he had managed to wake himself up.
I started nervously walking up and down, trying to beat the idea of jumping out of my head, but I couldn’t help but think that if it worked for him, it would most certainly work for me as well.
I stopped near the window and felt the soft summer breeze on my face. I looked down and immediately became dizzy–I was afraid of heights.
I took a deep breath, swallowed the lump that has formed in my throat and climbed up on the window ledge, trying to look up instead of down the entire time.
I crossed myself the same way Rob did and took the leap of faith.
Unlike Rob, though, I didn’t wake up.
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