Dream Lover - Extended

Chapter 5

It truly was an alien feeling...having this unattached piece of a lost puzzle in the palm of my hand, and not having any sensible framework to fit it into. He was real. He was actually real.

My entire first period class that morning, I was completely absorbed by the concept of my dreams being beyond my control. Beyond my reality. Perhaps even merging with it in some wicked way. I fought hard to remember every last lingering detail of my interaction with Caleb Jordan as I looked back over my notes, and tried to think of some logical way to explain how I could have just created him out of thin air like that. But all I could come up with was more evidence to support the idea that I couldn't have. There was no part of him that was recognizable as a part of 'me'. All I could remember was the completely self created scene of my dream and how little Caleb seemed to be affected by it at all. How he was so separate from all of my other thoughts, all of my other fantasies, all of my other experiences. And that's where things got creepy.

I saw his face in that yearbook. I saw it...clear as day. And the same name printed under his picture. There was no doubt in my mind that it was him. That was the boy. No joke, no mistake. And I'm sure that we didn't just randomly 'cross paths' somewhere at an earlier time either. Certainly not in a way that would cause my subconscious mind to just casually dig him up many years later without reason. So what, exactly, is going on here? You don't just dream about someone you don't know for days in a row without it meaning something. I've just got to find out what that meaning is.

I remembered to take notes on everything that happened since Caleb first appeared to me in the dream the other night. The somewhat undecipherable conversations. The incalculable amount of time we spent together. The games we played...and the kiss. That miraculous kiss. I made sure to write down everything in my notebook, turning page after page...still searching for more room. Even if I was getting some of the details out of sequential order, the more I wrote...the more I remembered. By the end of class, I had almost three pages' worth of vivid recall jotted down. By the end of my second period, I had even more. I had to show this to Chucky. Maybe now, with all of the evidence I've accumulated, he'll be interested enough to believe me.

"Dude...you've GOT to be kidding me." They were the first words out of Chucky's mouth when I went to see him before third period. He looked at my notes and listened to me tell him the story, and then he just gave me a raised eyebrow. "All of this happened in the last two days? Are you sure you're not just embellishing on some of this stuff. I mean, come on, Donnie. I've done my homework on dream walking, and nothing I've ever read covers anything even remotely similar to what you're telling me right now. Not even online."

"Chucky...please. You've got to listen to me. Stop with the books and the photocopied worksheets for a second and hear me out. I KNOW that there is something 'wrong' with all of this. Nothing about it is natural, or scientific, or documented, in any high school library book. This is REAL! I'm not fucking around here."

"Donnie, this might all make for some great sci-fi, but there is absolutely no evidence to support the idea that you're being haunted by a long-dead teenager."

"April showed me the yearbook this morning, and I'm telling you...it was him!"

"He died in '96, dude. That's, like, your whole life ago."

"I KNOW that! And that's what worries me! What if..." I stopped myself for a moment, wondering how ridiculous it was going to sound once the words were spoken aloud. "...What if I...found him, Chucky? What if I found him...in my dreams?"

Chucky stared up at me for a moment, pushing his glasses up on his nose as April and the others came into the room. For the first time, I think he was truly stumped for an answer.

"Hey, 'freakshow'? How goes your midnight ballet with the stars?" Baxter asked with a smile, not knowing just how intense our mood had gotten only seconds before his grand entrance. Baxter noticed our silence as he put an arm over my shoulder. “What? What'd I miss?”

Jeff could see from the look on my face that something was seriously bothering me. I couldn't quite tell if April had told the others anything about what I saw this morning or not, but if she had she must have put one hell of an effort towards keeping them from teasing me about it.

I knew it was real. I knew this wasn't some kind of hysteria. I just...I didn't have a way to make them SEE it! I didn't have anything concrete from the dream to show them. The best I could possibly do would be to convince them that I was going completely crazy and have them 'say' they believe me just to calm me down. All in all...I was completely alone in all this.

"I'm going to class. I'll see you guys later, k?" I said, secretly leaving my newest notes with Chucky and grabbing my stuff to head back out into the hallway. Everyone seemed confused, but April decided that she was going to be the one designated to come after me.

"Donnie? Donnie, wait..." She trotted a bit faster to catch up to me and reached into her bag. "I SO shouldn't be doing this right now." She sighed. I gave her a bewildered look, and she slowly pulled out a red folder from in between the stack of books she was holding in her arms. "Look, I made color copies of everything that I could find on Caleb Jordan here at school so you could take it home with you. It wasn't much, mind you...but it's something."

"Shit, April, THANK you!" I said, reaching for it. But she quickly yanked it back out of my reach.

"I'm ONLY giving you this info so you can get this craziness out of your system and move on already. NOT so you can use it to enhance your psycho ramblings. Got it?"

"I got it, I got it. Just give it to me." She did so reluctantly, but I gave her a kiss on the cheek anyway. "I just want to see what I can find out about him, ok? That's all it is."

She seemed so hesitant. So concerned. "Whatever. Just...take care of yourself, ok? You're actually starting to scare me."

"I will. Promise." I grinned, and I walked away with her keeping a worried eye on me. Some info is better than nothing. Maybe I can figure out who he is. Maybe I can even figure out what he wants.

I rushed to my next class and sat down in my seat, opening the folder as soon as it hit the desk top. April was right, the thin red folder wasn't filled with much. A few yearbook photos, a copy of the memorial page, and his name was listed as being a part of the Boy's Sophomore baseball team...but he wasn't pictured with the rest of the boys at all. He was nowhere to be found. I tried to find something else that told me more about him. An article, a club, another extra curricular activity...anything. But he seemed to surprisingly absent, even in his own 'press'. He must have been really withdrawn while he went to school here. Always in the background, never out front. Even the few pics there were of him seemed to have been taken by mistake. Like he would have avoided them altogether if only he was fast enough to get out of the camera's way. That's how I remember him in the dream that first night. Shy. Quiet. Withdrawn.

I looked at his class picture again...and that smile gave me such a cold shiver. It was so spooky to actually 'see' it somewhere besides just in my mind's eye. It gave my whole dream this unprecedented level of authenticity and realism. It made him come to life in full and vibrant color. And I could still feel his hands on me. It was like he was swimming in my blood...whispering my name. Waiting for me to come back to sleep, so he could visit me again.

I looked over all of the clippings two or three times each. It didn't take long. But I was still left without an idea as to what ultimately happened to him. These few measely pages weren't enough. I needed more.

I wandered through the rest of my day, basically sleepwalking through every class. Not remembering half of the lessons being dished out, not understanding the other half. I thought back to Caleb's sudden outburst in the dream. The wind, the warping scenery, the lightning, the thunder, the warm shower of blood. How could you just 'let' me die? That's what he said. 'Let' me die. What does it mean? Ugh...should I even be going any deeper into this? Maybe April and Chucky are right. Maybe I just need some regular old fashioned sleep and leave this alone before I make things worse.

I'll try to get in touch with Caleb just ONE more time. I'll do it tonight, and I'll be thinking clearly. Well, more clearly than before, anyway. If this whole incident just turns out to be some crazy, random, nightmare...then I'll close up shop and I'll walk away. I'll stop searching for him, stop talking to him, and...I'll just keep this memory as a spooky little Halloween tale to tell kids in the future. Nothing lost.


...If I find him again...and this turns out to be much more than some delusional fantasy...then I have no idea where I should go from there. Hopefully some option will present itself when the time comes. Until then, I'm really hoping that I'm being just as silly as the others think I am.

The final bell rang for the day, releasing us out into the streets for the weekend. The whole crew met up in the halls and walked out the back door. Everything was normal for the rest of them, but for me...I was too lost in my thoughts to really play along as well as I usually did. I couldn't seem to get rid of that groggy feeling from this morning. Every quiet moment of the day, I felt as though I was being pulled back into a state of sleep. Drowsy, unfocused, barely able to function at all...it made it difficult for me to do anything more than just...be 'present'.

”My class requires you to be more than punctual and 'present', Mr. James...” Came the sound of my teacher's voice. God, how I hated that man.

Ugh...it's really hard to think straight right now. I feel really disoriented.

At one point, as we were walking back to the car, April took a hold of my hand and gave it a firm squeeze. Our eyes met, and it was basically just a silent moment for her to tell me how much she cared. It wasn't a concern, it was more of a comfort. And it made me smile.

"Ahhh, SHIT!!! What the FUCK?!?!" Baxter shouted in frustration, making the rest of us jump.

"What is it? What's the matter???" Jeff asked.

"Goddamn PIGEONS! That's what!" He said, and we saw a big splotch of bird shit on his back window. "Look at it! That's friggin' SICK, man! I've got to start bringing a tarp to school. Seriously."

"Jesus, Bax. It's not THAT bad. That stuff 'does' come off, you know?" I told him, but he wasn't having any of it.

"Screw you, Donnie. When you get a car, you can treat it however you want to. This is my ride, man! Shit!" He threw his backpack in the front seat, and popped the trunk to get out a rag and some window cleaner to wash it off right away.

We all looked at each other briefly, smiling at the obsessive nature of his infuriated scrubbing, and April and I simply eased our way past him to climb into the back seat. April quietly mentioned, "You know, they have car washes for that kinda thing." But Baxter only grunted in response.

"Hey, Jeff, help me out man. Scrub a little bit on your side of the window." He asked.

"Dude...I'm not touching bird shit."

"You don't HAVE to touch the bird shit, I'm giving you a rag."

"I'm not touching a 'rag' that touched bird shit either."

The two of them went back and forth for a bit while April and I talked softly inside the car. She looked over at me, and I had to remind her, "I told you, I'm ok. Seriously. Please don't worry about me, alright? I was just a little freaked out, that's all. It's not like I had a nervous breakdown or anything."

"Nobody has a nervous breakdown all at once, Donnie."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

She paused for a moment, and said, "Do you remember...a few years ago? You know...when I had my accident?" As though any of us could ever forget. She rolled back her sleeves and showed me the faded scars on her wrists. They seemed so harmless now when I look at them. But I can remember when she was first released from the hospital. When the cuts were fresh. I remember how painful, how open, how deep they were. It was a sight I'll never forget, stitches and all. "These aren't decorations, Donnie. They're a constant reminder. Every day, I look at these scars, and I remember how the bad feelings just seemed to slip past my defenses a little bit at the time. A comment here, a bad dream there, a couple of school girl crushes, and a few bad grades. Little things, like termites...eating away at my foundation. Then the bigger stuff hits, and I realize, too late, that I'm no longer strong enough to carry the weight of it all. By the time it gets to the point of slicing your wrists open...you've collected so much harmful shit in your life that you don't even remember where it all started from. Everything becomes soooo easy after that. Just a few cuts...and it's over. You really believe that the pain's gonna stop."

"Jesus, April! I'm NOT gonna let it get that bad..."

"Oh really? Funny. I can remember telling myself the same thing." I looked away from her for a moment, and she knew that I was almost at the point of trying to tune her out. "I just...I remember feeling like I was so alone when I wasn't. And no matter how crazy you think it sounds for you to be chasing some kooky ghost boy in your dreams...you're not alone either. K?" I turned back to her and nodded. "I made you a promise back then, remember. If I ever felt things going haywire on me again...I'm supposed to call you and talk it out. I want you to make me the same promise."

"You got a deal." I said, and leaned over to rest my shoulder on hers.

A few seconds later, the car door opened and Jeff plopped down inside. "Bax is a total psycho, you know that?"

Bax climbed in next, "Great. Now the back window is cleaner than the front window. I'm gonna have to spend all day tomorrow trying to even this shit out again." Yes...I agree. Baxter is quite...unique.

I must have been really worn out, because I kept losing my hold on what was going on around me. Like...sleepwalking, but while I'm awake. My thoughts felt as though they were being scattered, shaken up,and tossed back at me in a total disarray. I couldn't complete a single thought if I tried. And as Baxter came to a stop sign near the park...I turned my head to look out of the car window. The sun was shining brightly...the grass was a vibrant shade of green. And then...


A baseball, stained with blood, came racing towards the window right in front of my face and lodged itself in the glass!

With a loud gasp, I jumped back and scooted over to April's side of the car!

”WHAT? Donnie, what is it? What???” She asked, and everybody in the car turned around to see what had caused me to suddenly flip out like that.

When I looked back at the window...there was nothing there...

Not a single scratch.

Had I dozed off? I...I could have sworn that I was wide awake. Sleepy, maybe...but awake.

”Nothing.” I said softly. “It's nothing. I thought I saw...yeah, forget it. It wasnothing.”

”Okaaaaay...” Baxter said. “Anybody else want to have a crazy fit, or can I keep driving now?”

He dropped me off at home first, April giving me a quick kiss on the cheek before letting me leave the back seat. Jeff rolled down his window as I was walking up to the front door. "Hey, Donnie! Give me a ring tomorrow morning. We'll hang out this weekend. I've got something that might take your mind off of ghoulies and ghosts for a while."

"That's going to be quite an amazing feat during the Halloween season." I called back.

"Trust me on this one. It's a guaranteed cure for what ails ya."

Bax tapped Jeff on the shoulder and whispered, "Is it porn?"

"Bax, even if it was porn, it would be gay porn." Jeff answered, causing Bax to flinch.

"Eww, count me out, then."

"I'll give you a ring as soon as I get up, cool?" I said, and Jeff nodded, rolling up his window.

But not before Bax shouted, "Hey! Sweet dreams, Romeo!" And the car pulled away from the curb to take the others home. Thank God it's Friday.

Did I relax that evening? No. Not at all. Even when my parents came home and we sat down to dinner...my mind continued to wrap itself around Caleb's very existence and the inescapable dreams. It was like this instant obsession that I couldn't get rid of. I couldn't stop thinking about him. Caleb wouldn't let me.

I did a bit of homework. I did a bit of laundry too. But most of my time that night was spent on my laptop, looking for more details about this haunted entity in my head.

I searched for Caleb Jordan's name everywhere that I could find it, hoping to see something new and interesting. Unfortunately, most of the links I came across brought me right back to the same high school pictures and vague references that I had sitting in the slim red folder that April had given me. Except for this one, really old, website guestbook signature.

I have to admit, I needed to look up what a 'guestbook' was. That was a bit before my time. But it seemed to be a place where you could leave comments for someone to read. Sort of like FaceBook...but, you know...much much older, I think. I guess they didn't have Twitter or anything back then either. Weird.

Caleb's post was made to some other boy's personal website the same year that he died. I gave it a look, and it seemed pretty plain and average. Nothing special. It said:

"Hey, Brett! It's me, Caleb! I finally found your website, and I decided to sign your guestbook. Um...now that I'm here, I don't really know what to say. But I love your site, and...um...yeah. So...I'll talk to you soon, ok? Call me! -Caleb"

Like I said, it wasn't anything remarkable or out of the ordinary. But I added it to my haphazard collection of Caleb Jordan data anyway.

I looked through the website some more, but it was extremely basic. I guess there wasn't a whole lot you could really do with a personal website all the way back in 1996 unless you were an actual programmer, at least not anything like the stuff that you can do with them today. He was cute though. An athlete on the track team, letter jacket, adorable smile with dimples on the side, big blue eyes and longish brown hair. Hehehe, just looking at him, I could tell that Caleb must have at least noticed him once or twice. Probably a high school crush. Hey, maybe they even hooked up once or twice. Who knows? That would be hot, with Brett being a Senior and all. Hell, I would have gone searching for his website too if he was in my yearbook.

I searched through more of his home photos and some of his weekly posts, hoping to find some mention of Caleb somewhere on the site. As a friend, or a classmate, or something. But he was nowhere to be found. Nowhere except for that random greeting in the guestbook. Great. Another dead end.

I must have spent two or three hours in my room trying to find something more on him. The internet makes some strange suggestions for stuff that have NOTHING to do with what you're looking for sometimes. It was all just a cluttered mess of broken links and silly mistakes, and I was almost ready to give up. Until one short article in a local newspaper showed up.

It was small. I could have easily skipped over it. But the name of my area of town...and the word 'dead'...sort of stuck out and caught my attention.

Local Teen Found Dead In Suburban Home - A young male high school student was found dead in his home yesterday afternoon. Allegedly a victim of suicide. Caleb Jordan, 14, a promising young student at West Hill High School....

The search blurb stopped there, with a link that said 'Read More' next to it. Suicide? Did it say suicide?

I instantly sat up in my chair and clicked feverishly on the link again and again, but found that it didn't work. Another dead end. I suppose it was 'old news' now. But still...they had to have archived information on this story somewhere, right? I mean, they had to.

I kept searching through related links. I looked by his name, by the year, by the date that he was found in his house. Every news article, every television report, I even checked through old obituaries to see if I could find just a hint of what caused this. But everything came to a dead stop whenever it came to talking about what actually happened to Caleb Jordan, and why he felt the need tokill himself.

One thing about quiet little suburbs, they hate to have something as negative and scandalous as a teen suicide on their permanent record. They hush it up and hide it away, trying to make everyone forget about it as quickly as possible. Just so they can keep their property values high and their image as a community crystal clear so residents will be willing to pay them. Everyone seems to have done their homework when it came to erasing him from the internet. But I'm sure that something will slip through the cracks eventually.

It might have been the misery in my back, or the hopelessness of my search...or maybe it was just the fact that I had to get up early for school this morning, and after a full day, I came home to stare at a computer screen for hours on end...but my eyelids began to get seriously heavy. I was soooo drowsy, my attention span getting shorter and shorter by the minute. I'd yawned so many times in the past few minutes that my jaw actually began to ache. Still, I tried to stay awake for just a few minutes more...scrolling through page after page of what turned out to be useless garbage. Merely to find a glimpse of Caleb's name every now and then, and have it direct me back to his yearbook memorial page again. Never any further. As the minutes ticked by, I found myself falling asleep at my desk. My eyes would roll, my head would droop, my mind would wander...and finally I chose to simply give into it. This was becoming more of a torture than a quest.

I wrote my meager findings down in my notebook and kept a record of where I left off with my search. Then I shut the computer down, undressed, and got into bed. I doubt that I was conscious for more than a minute or two once my head hit the pillow. I'll just....'yawn'....I'll just see what I can find out when I start all over again....in the morning...

Yes...in the morning...

I can remember my first feelings of disorientation when I supposedly 'woke up' in my bed.

There was a strong wind coming in through my bedroom window, blowing my curtains in until they were almost sticking straight out sideways from the rod. As I looked over the side of my bed, I saw that I was almost ten feet high off of the floor. Mattress stack upon mattress, until getting down would have been quite a leap of faith. My mind had given itself over to dream logic for a moment, simply accepting what it sees as the truth. But as my concentration increased, I suddenly started to become aware of certain things that didn't make sense. I didn't recognize the sheets on the bed, or the posters on my wall. My digital clock had gone haywire, the numbers shifting and morphing into lines of unreadable gibberish. And it appeared to be night time...but the moon seemed to take up half the evening sky with its silver brilliance. Reality check completed. None of this was what it appeared to be.

I sat straight up in the bed, and looked over to my right to find a large 'lump' in the bed next to me. And it was....softly breathing.

I was a bit scared at first. It was a shocking thing to see all of a sudden. I watched the rise and fall of the body as it slept with the covers over its head, and a whispered breath...suggesting sleep. I then got the courage to nervously reach a hand over to touch it. It was warm. Soft. Alive. I silently let my fingers wander up to the top of the covers and prepared myself to pull them down so I could see who it was.




But as soon as I peeled back the covers, the lump beside me melted away, and the bed was left cold and empty. No trace of the sleeping body remained. Not an indentation, not a wrinkle...not even a hint of warmth where the body had been.

I swiftly jumped down out of the bed, falling ten feet to the floor and looking up at the empty mattress. This is wrong. This is all wrong. I didn't mean to do this. I should let go. I knew that I should just let my mind get swept up in the dream and stop trying to remain conscious through it all...but I was too intrigued to stop now. Perhaps...too scared of letting my guard down.

I walked out of my dream room and began to search the upstairs level of the house. Then continued to look around downstairs. I went from room to room...my parents room, the living room, the kitchen, the basement...nothing. Everything was empty. I was wandering aimlessly through the dark, but there was nothing that I could do about it, as none of the lights seemed to work. I tried at least once in every room, and got the same result. The furniture and all seemed to be in place, but...and it's hard to explain...but there was no 'air' in the house. None at all. No feelings of home. It was quite possibly the strangest thing that I've ever experienced in a dream before. It was almost as if...it was creating me, instead of the other way around. What had changed? Why was I feeling like this?

"Caleb? Caleb, are you in here?" I called out, but there was no answer. Everything was dead silent. Even my footsteps were soundless. "Caleb? Caleb Jordan?" I went to the front door and opened it slowly...seeing a bright and beautiful sunshine day, just the wayit was before. I looked back into the house, however...and inside, it still looked like the middle of the night. Moonlight shining through the windows and all. But looking outside? Another perfect, cloudless, day.

Everything about this world was so...unpredictable sometimes.

I stepped outside wearing nothing but my pajama bottoms. The trees swayed with a gentle breeze, and the warm grass felt good beneath my bare feet. I looked around me to see if anything had changed. It was my neighborhood alright, although it never looked the same way twice two nights in a row. I'm surprised that I was even able to recognize it from dream to dream. I don't know how I found any familiarity between this world and reality, but I always did. All oddities aside, this place always felt like it was governed by the way things were supposed to be.

I called out again, "Caleb? Where are you?" I stretched out my hearing as far as it could go, but heard nothing in the way of a response. Was he upset with me? Did he leave? Or was he ever really here to begin with?

Neither question had an answer that I could take seriously. I simply didn't know. Maybe it's over, maybe it's not. I just wanted to make sure.

I concentrated on rising slowly from the ground, and with a bit of a clumsy jerk, I found myself levitating up off of the lawn like before and into the air. I made sure to take it easy this time, my body tilting and swaying while I tried to remain in an upright position. This flying thing is not as easy as it looks on TV, believe me.

When I reached a height where I could easily see as much of the neighborhood as there was to see...I slowly turned around in a steadily paced circle. Scanning everything around me for just a glimpse of him. Just a glimpse.

"Caleb? Are you there?" I called out in this loud boom of a voice that seemed to echo throughout the entire dream world. I was sure to put it in divine 'stereo', hoping that he would hear me. But still...my calls went unanswered.

I raised my hands up in front of my face, and with a simple thought, I 'pushed' that grayish fog as far back as the eye could see in all directions. But there was absolutely nothing to see. No sign of Caleb at all. He was nowhere to be found.

Disappointed, I lowered myself back down to the ground. I made sure to double check the tree in my front yard to see if maybe he was sitting up there, playing a friendly game of hide and seek or something. But the tree was empty. So I sat down on the front step in front of my house, and just waited. Maybe he was...you know...late or something.

I waited, and waited, and waited some more. I was able to amuse myself by pushing a few rocks around with my mind, but it was just busy work for the mind. Something to keep me focused on keeping a presence in the dream. It seemed like an eternity had passed, and instead of enjoying all of the vast powers at my fingertips, I just sat there and thought about where Caleb could have gone to. I don't know. Maybe Chucky was right. I've been making this whole thing up and I was starting to let it get to me. It just...it felt so REAL, you know? There was, like...this connectionbetween Caleb and I and...and I just wanted to...

Sighhh...I really am going nuts, aren't I? I should stop this. I think that some of that 'free dreaming' stuff April talked about is needed right about now. I should let go. I'm going to just let my brain do what it does best and release all of the jumbled info and stresses of my day in an unbiased, uninfluenced, fashion.

It's funny...I don't 'feel' crazy. But there's no reason to tempt the gods, right?

At that moment, something dropped down right in front of me, and splattered down on the concrete between my feet. A big splotch of bird shit. I looked up at the sky to see a purple pigeon flying overhead and vanishing over the roof of the house across the street. The mess it made was in the exact same shape as it was on the back window of Baxter's car, and I have to admit, it made me giggle out loud.

Geez, the weird little things your subconscious picks up in the course of a day.

Then...something really...bizarre happened. Something that...I couldn't really explain.

I was attempting to sort of let myself go. Just allow the dream to take control and give my more personal private thoughts a chance to express themselves at will. But...it didn't feel like that at all. Something...'happened' to me while I was in there. I tried to remember the details of it when I woke up on Saturday morning, but it's like there was this veil of confusion and weirdness that kept me from remembering much of anything at all. But I KNOW that something happened to me. And I know that it was...sexual.

As I tried to force myself to come up with a chronological account of what took place in order to write it down in my dream journal...I just found what few memories I did have flitting away from me before I could truly get a mental grasp on them.

I remember kissing someone. Deeply. Madly. I could remember being completely naked on a towel, spread out on the front lawn. A place where everyone could see me, and yet I didn't feel any fear of being seen or getting caught. I remembered the intense grinding of our bodies against one another...the sticky liquid from his excitement leaving a cool trail on the inside of my thighs. I recalled the warm, wet, moisture of his mouth as he sucked me...his tongue slithering gracefully under my shaft as I squirmed and whimpered with short bursts of forced appreciation. I can remember the taste of him as I returned the favor. The feeling of tightness as I penetrated him...and he held my back and shoulders...sucking on my earlobe and quietly purring with delight as he whispered my name.

It was a vague experience, but one that I know I must have dreamed about, because I woke up still trembling on the edge of orgasm. What struck me as odd, though...was the fact that I don't think my subconscious was the one in control. Like...at all. I felt manipulated. Taken advantage of while unable to think and feel with any sense of reason or logic at all. Mindlessly making love to a sensual male body that I couldn't visualize or remember. I can't even say that I was conscious enough to 'enjoy' it, to be honest.

I was taking a very random set of notes out of order, all with very little detail added. My recall was usually much better than this, but...I felt so empty about it, due to my total lack of participation in the act itself. Had Caleb taken over? Had he...I mean, did we...?

I had to stop writing after a minute or two, as I couldn't remember anything else. My notes made no sense at all. Just brief flashes of sexual activity. A heated breath. A gentle lick. A passionate kiss. And the motions of vigorous love making as the boy tightly gripped my ass and begged me for more.

Did it happen? Did it not happen? My mind is so foggy right now.

Despite the sex lingering in my thoughts and faded memories, I can't say that I caught any hints that Caleb had actually come back and was a part of what was going on. And while that was a frustrating issue at first, I think I was almost glad that nothing happened. It was liberating to think that maybe I was just dealing with a freak occurrence for a while, and now this whole event was over and done with. I certainly look forward to not having it rest so heavy on my shoulders anymore.

Who knows? Maybe it takes the brain a couple of days to break this lucid dreaming habit and get itself back to normal. At least...that's what I was telling myself to get through the rest of my day today.

I showered and got dressed and made sure to call Jeff this morning like I promised. It was good to hear his voice at such a cheerful pitch. "So, are you gonna come over, or what? What are we doing here?"

"Yeah, I'm coming. Just...give me a second to wake up fully, and I'll hop on a bus. I'm a little out of it."

"Still tired, huh? Long night?" He grinned. "You didn't have any more dreams about 'you know who', did you?"

"Um...actually, no. I got nothing to report on that."

"Sweet! So you're cured."

I hesitated for a second, then told him, "Yeah. I guess I am. Whatever, it was just a weird experience, you know? What's even more insane is the fact that I think I'm actually going to miss talking to him. He was...you know...kind of cool."

"I'll bet.” Jeff grinned. “Now grab some caffeine or something and get your ass over here so we can hang out. I've been up for an hour and a half and I'm already getting bored!"

"Hehehe, no worries. I'm on my way."

I grabbed the folder that April gave me and made sure to take it with me to read again on the bus. Maybe I missed something. Overlooked some major clue. Who knows? If nothing else, it was just awesome to see that face again. Looking at that picture...it made me smile. Those bright green eyes and soft blond hair...hehehe, he really was a cutie. If I had to dream about somebody every night for the rest of my life, I could do a hell of a lot worse than a sweetheart like Caleb.

I figured I'd just take the whole folder with me. Jeff will love it when he sees it.

The number 206 bus picked me up almost as soon as I arrived at the bus stop. I took a comfortable seat all the way in the back by the window, and started glancing at Caleb's picture. Call me obsessive, but I found myself unable to go for more than a few seconds without looking at him again. To the point where I was quite sure that I was becoming infatuated with a boy that has been dead almost as long as I've been alive. How morbid is that?

Still...I was completely fixated on that picture. That smile. Those eyes. In my dream...I remember clearly hearing his voice. I wonder if my subconscious got the voice right. I wonder if it got anything about him right. A guy could completely mental thinking about stuff like this. But to me, it had become a game. A brainteaser of epic proportions. So the more I told myself to stay away from it, the more determined I became to get further involved in unraveling the enigma of it all.

And then...as if out of nowhere...visions of tongue kissing Caleb lustfully against the tree in my front yard rushed into my head and took up residence. It just...'happened'. I sort of tried to shake the thoughts from my mind, as getting a raging hard on in the back of a public bus wasn't necessarily my idea of a good time. But even though I was wide awake...'something' was forcing the issue. I couldn't stop. I could actually feel Caleb's tongue sliding against my own. I could feel his breath on my cheek. It was like he was really there. And every time I tried to think about something else...my focus would drift out of my control, and I'd be lost in this waking wet dream all over again.

I awkwardly held my legs together, holding the folder on my lap so no one would notice the tingling lump growing in my pants.

I shivered as I imagined Caleb gradually sliding down to his knees...his hands running up and down my stomach and chest underneath my shirt. Rubbing my nipples. Sliding up and down the sides of my abdomen. His face buried in the front of my pants, chewing lightly at the hardness he found there. I could feel the goosebumps as my pants and underwear were sliding down my legs. I could feel the tickle of his silky blond hair, warmed by the sunshine above, as it touched my sensitive shaft and caused it to jump in response.

I cleared my throat out loud as the buss traveled along, unaware of my crazed arousal. And as thoughts of Caleb's thin, pink, lips sucking me in as deeply into the sultry confines of his mouth began to take hold...I was forced to close my eyes and lean back in the bus seat...at the mercy of oral services that left me weak in the knees.

It wasn't until I heard my own panting that I opened my eyes again and tried to think rationally about what was happening to me. It was like...like he was really there. I could feel him soooooo intimately. Every swipe of his tongue, the light texture of his soaking wet tastebuds sliding back and forth against the ridge of my quivering head. In my mind, I held onto his blond head and ran my fingers back and forth through his hair as he sucked me for all he was worth, his fingers cradling my orbs and massaging them in time with the bobbing of his head.

And then...the moment of truth. Where I could take no more, and he began to stroke my length and suck harder at the tip. Waiting for me to explode. Inspiring and orgasm that was sure to go down in my personal history book as one of the best of my teenage years.

I had to stop. No...I needed to STOP! I was actually going to make a mess in my pants, right here on the bus! And I couldn't have that.

It actually took a surprising amount of struggle and focus to get Caleb to stop. To get him out of my mind, trying to picture myself physically pushing him off of me. And when I did...he gave me a really hurt look...and his eyes turned a bright red. And it was at that moment that he opened his mouth...and a sickening mouthful of stale blood poured from his lips and down at my feet!

With a jolt, I sat up in my seat! I quickly looked around me to see a few old ladies looking back at me to see what my deal was. I used my hands to feel the bus seat beneath me. To touch the window. Had I dozed off? I know I've been really tired but...

I rubbed my eyes. Oh God...it's hard to tell what's real and what isn't anymore. Get a grip, Donnie. Seriously, dude. I'm losing my marbles here.

I got off of the bus about ten minutes later, getting my bearing back and just trying to keep things stable for a while. I made the short trek over to Jeff's house and was welcomed warmly at the door. Let's just see what kind of 'cheering up' Jeff was planning to do for me.

He was so anxious that he didn't waste any time with any friendly foreplay concerning his surprise. As I sat on his couch in front of the TV, he brought out a small DVD box and displayed the picture proudly for me. "Jesse McCartney: Up Close And Personal? Hehehe!" I grinned, and Jeff smiled back at me as he put it in the DVD player.

"Consider this an early birthday present, my friend."

"Dude, my birthday is, like, in APRIL."

"Exactly. So don't be surprised when I don't get you anything." He sat down next to me and turned it on with the remote.

"Hehehe, are we seriously going to watch this right now?" I asked.

"A few pieces of it, yes."

"This is your big plan to get my mind off of my problems?"

"You get to see Jesse's boner in the 'She's No You' video. I figured it might have some positive effects on your psyche." He smirked.

"Psh! Har har...whatever, dude."

"I'm serious!"

"Dude, please. They are NOT going to show a teenage boy's boner on MTV, much less the Disney Channel or wherever he is now." But Jeff skipped right to the black and white video, and told me to watch. What the heck was he thinking? I mean, that's just ridiculous. That boy has one hell of an imagination.

At first, I just humored him for the sake of not ruining his enthusiasm, but...sure enough, somewhere near the beginning of the first chorus of the song, he walks toward the screen...and there was a rather obvious bulge in the front of his pants. "Whoah...wait wait wait...PAUSE it! No wait! Go back!!! What is that? That's not a boner! That's....something else, right?" Jeff giggled and shook his head, rewinding it to the appropriate moment that he was looking for. He laughed as I scooted way up to the television to squint and examine what I was looking at. "Wait...dude, really....is that...what is that?"

"Hehehe, you know what that is, Donnie."

"No way! That's not...wait...shut up! Omigod!" I sat even closer to the TV...and then let my jaw drop as I looked back at Jeff in shock. We both started giggling uncontrollably, and Jeff had to hold his stomach before he fell off of the couch. "Dude! No fucking WAY! Zoom in on it!" He did, and while I tried to double and triple check to make sure that it wasn't just some random fold in his pants or something...I think they were ACTUALLY showing his erection for a second! "I can't fucking believe what I'm seeing! That's TOTALLY a hard on!"

Jeff zoomed in as close as it would go, and there was no mistaking it. A nice sized erection displayed proudly for the whole world to see. Or at least...that's what we would rather believe, being the perverts that we were.

We couldn't sit still, and we started to playfully shove each other back and forth as we found ourselves giddy at the idea of seeing something so...dreamy. "Oh man, is that not the most delicious thing you've ever seen?" Jeff swooned, as we gave the video a series of cat calls and whistles.

I said, “They left that in there on purpose! They had to!”

"He's so HOT! I wanna lick the screen!" Jeff added.

"Anytime, baby! Anytime!"

"Yeah, to hell with those girls! She's no ME, cutie pie!"

"Hey baby...?" I started, and we both shouted simultaneously, "...Do you need some 'HELP' with that???" Which caused us to collapse into another fit of laughter that just made us feel good inside. There's something really special about being able to share an attraction like this with someone who understands. It's magic. And you know...Jeff was right...this really did help to take my mind off of things. If only for a little while.

"Dude, I'm SO looking into making this picture my screensaver once I get a decent screen capture of it." He smiled.

We calmed down a bit after a few minutes, and I looked over at Jeff to tell him what was in my heart at that moment. "Hey, Jeff...thanks dude. Seriously. I was....stressing myself out something awful, you know? This was really cool. I needed a break." I told him.

He threw his arm over my shoulder and gave me a quick brotherly hug before pushing me back to my side of the couch. "See? All it took was a hot celebrity's stiffy to make you feel better. That's good to know."

"Sighhh...we really need boyfriends, you know that?"

"Yeah, I know." He sighed. "I'm so horny I'm almost ready to start hitting on YOU just to get some attention."

"Psh! Please...I am so out of your league." He gave me a wicked look of playful shock for a moment, and then kicked me with his sock foot. "Hahaha, I'm KIDDING! Jesus! Besides, you can't date your best friends. There's like...emotional laws against it or something."

"Hehehe...yeah..." Jeff's voice kind of trailed off after that reply, and I looked at him as he shyly directed his gaze back towards the screen. A sign that was usually an indication that he was hiding something from me. Jeff never did have much of a poke rface when it came to his feelings. I could see the faintest blush in his cheeks, and I had to know what was up with that.

"Ok, spill it."

"Spill what?" He bit his bottom lip and giggled to himself. I shoved him and gave him a look that let him know that he wasn't weaseling his way out of telling me what was going on in his head. So he eventually rolled his eyes and said, "Listen, if you breathe a WORD of this to anybody...I swear to God..."

"Ooooh, this must be good!"

"I'm serious, Donnie!" He said, and I raised my right hand to let him know that I promised not to tell. "It's just...ok...let me ask you something. And be honest with me, ok?" He paused for a second and then asked me, "Do you...I mean, do you ever think about...Baxter?"

I was confused for a moment. "Do I ever think about Baxter doing what?"

"You know..." Jeff's eyes widened a bit to give me a hint.

I gave him the most natural reaction that I could, "EEEEEWWWWWW! NO! FUCK NO!!! Dude! Are you serious right now? What are you TALKING about???"

"Hahaha! Shut up! No really, come on!" Jeff tried to hold onto my shoulder to keep me from cringing. "Be honest! Just between us! You've thought about it, right? Maybe just once or twice? Honestly..."

"Believe me, Jeff...this is honest as it gets."

"You're telling me that you don't think Bax is just a LITTLE bit cute?"

"Ugh!" I giggled, but Jeff kept pressing me, and I admitted it. "Geez...he's...he's kinda cute, sure. But he's...he's Bax! I couldn't do it. No way."

"I could." Jeff blushed. "I'm NOT saying I'm in love the guy or anything! I just...I 'notice', you know? He's blond, and he's athletic, and...if you keep him from talking you can almost picture him as a real sweetheart. Hehehe!" I gave him a weird look, and he sat back. "What??? I just...I think that...SOMETIMES....he can be....kinda, sorta...cute, that's all."

I smiled while he squirmed in front of my accusing eyes. "How long has this been going on?"

"There's nothing 'going on'. I just let my mind wander from time to time."

"How long?" I asked again.

"I dunno....a couple of months, maybe." He grinned. "He drives me CRAZY, don't get me wrong! But...I don't know...I think I kinda like that."

I giggled to myself. "And you have the nerve to worry about my sanity."

"Sighh...I don't know why I tell you guys these things. It's JUST a thought! A harmless little crush. That's all. Forget about it."

"Trust me, I'm trying to."

"I bet you you'd dig it if he came on to you though."

"Yeah, I can see it now. 'Hey, fuck face! Do you want me shove this hot teen beef in your pie hole or your brown eye?' I'm sure he'd be a real romantic."

"Hahaha! Laugh all you want, but the next time you see him I bet you'll be thinking about it." Jeff smiled. And we left it alone before we ended up getting too deep into the concept. I love Bax to death as a friend. Any flaws that he had were more entertaining than offensive, and he honestly had a heart of gold when it came down to true friendship, even though that heart could be a little rough around the edges. But as far as being an actual pursuit of mine? Nah...totally undatable.

We were quiet while watching the rest of the video, and then...I found myself snickering quietly as a funny thought popped into my head. "What?" Jeff asked.

"Dude...hehehe...I could totally see Bax 'doing' you on the hood of his car!" I could barely get it out without cracking up, and I got a well deserved punch in the shoulder for that one.

Jeff and I spent the afternoon together, and I almost felt like I was getting my whole life and grip on reality back to normal by the time I was ready to leave his house. He flipped over Caleb's picture once I told him that I had brought it with me, just as I thought he would. He thinks Caleb is hot as hell. Then again...Jeff and I think 90 percent of the male population of Earth is hot as hell when we're horny enough. It's sort of what virgins do at this age. I'm glad that he recognized Caleb's appeal the way that I did. If only I could introduce them to one another. Jeff would be in love in the first few heartbeats, I'm certain of it.

I got up and walked to the door after a few hours of laughs, and he asked me, "So, what's up with you asking this Austin boy from school to the party? Are you gonna do it, or what?"

"I'm thinking about it. Give me some time."

"You don't HAVE a lot of time, dude! Cory's party is this coming weekend! So put a rush on that thought process and make it happen already."

"Why do you care so much?"

"Because I want him to sit between us in the back seat of Bax's car so I can feel him up on the way there. Why else?"

"You need professional help. You know that?" I said as I walked out of his house.

"I need SEX! Professional, or otherwise. That's what I need."

"Later, Pervie McGhee!" I called back, and started on my way home as he waved goodbye. The party, I had almost forgotten that I've still got to get my shit together before it's too late and I end up scrounging for garbage at the last minute.


The last thing I want is to look weird in front of Austin. Now that I know he'll be 'looking' for me and stuff. Hehehe! Look out, Caleb...you may just have some real life competition coming your way.