So I had a dream this morning; this morning because, as usual, after waking up at 07:00 and taking a 45 minute shower, I found myself lacking the motivation to make it out the door on time for my first class of the day. So back to bed I went, asleep at roughly 08:00 and awake at 09:15...and then back to sleep and awake again at 10:25. In that hour, I had this dream:

I am executing two men in the woods. They have done something horrible; I do not know what, but I know they have to die. I kill the first one cleanly, with a shot to the back of his head. I turn my gun on the second one...but he is gone. Suddenly I am overwhelmed with panic and begin to flee.

As I run, aimlessly, the geography around me shifts - I am now among a group of people.

And there she is.

I see her, and immediately feel compelled to take her with me. She's short - roughly 5'3", with a lean frame. Her hair is a dark auburn, chest length, with traces of curls towards its end; her face is freckled from endless days spent exploring in the sun. I grab her by the waist and stare into her eyes; she takes my hand and we run.

Endlessly, aimlessly, we run. Through forests, fields, populous cities, deserted towns, we run. We stop occasionally, resting on hilltops, mountainsides, in meadows under the stars. We hold one another, kissing, whispering our stories in hushed breaths, our faces serious and solemn. We have no direction, no purpose, no identities. We have no money, no possessions. No food, no families, no friends, no trappings of any sort; yet, we have one another, and we subsist solely by virtue of our presence, though we are strangers of a strange sort - I will never know her name, nor she mine, but it doesn't matter. We have someone to clutch at night and feel our hands clasped around their waist. We have no need of tears; worries are some ethereal presence, locked in a world that is foreign and unknown to us.

We travel alone. No matter where we rest, we never meet with anyone else; the rolling prairies always lend themselves to us at night, void of all inhabitants, human and animal alike.

And then he comes, swift and terrible - the survivor. We have run hundreds, thousands of miles, never staying in the same place twice, yet he has found us.

Panic envelopes every neuron in my brain, welling up rapidly until I am paralyzed with fear and anxiety, buckling to the ground. She grabs my hand and stares into my eyes, her eyes welling with tears, her face a tapestry of worry and anguish. She knows that I must fight. And should I lose, we will never meet again.

I force myself to my feet and size him up before throwing myself at him. I don't even care about winning or losing - I just want her to be safe. I have to protect her no matter the cost; she is all I have left, my only confidant in this world.

As my fist connects with his face, I bolt upright in bed, breathing heavily and slick with sweat.

I have had many, many dreams since registering on E2, several of which I considered noding; yet none of them have impacted me so profoundly as this one. I have always been one to analyze my dreams, and this one immediately reveals several needs and insecurities that I am certainly experiencing and am aware of in my waking life. But this is not why this dream resonates with me so strongly.

This dream hurts me. It hurts to think about; whenever it comes to mind (and it has done so hundreds of times today), I feel an unbearable sense of loneliness and my chest aches. The moment I awoke after my conflict with the survivor, I felt a sense of isolation so paralyzing that all I could do was lie in bed, trying to convince myself to get up again. Even now as I write these words, I am fighting the urge to crawl back into bed and bury myself in my blankets, though I know I will never meet her again. In the short hour I was asleep, I fell in love with her, and the extreme sense of attachment we developed has followed me into the physical realm.

No other dream I have ever had has caused me to reflect so deeply on my situation in this world; despite all of the friends I surround myself with, all of the activities I partake in with them, and all of the love I give and receive in return, I have absolutely no-one that I can confide in the way I could with her. And it makes sense; she is my subconscious manifestation of my ideal mate - my literal dream girl. This hurts worst of all - to this day I have never felt the sense of comfort that I found in my own head.

I just hope I meet her again someday.