I know what this is. This whole “life” thing. Great thinkers around the world have dedicated their lives to the question. What is the meaning of life? Or they ponder “why are we here?”

Well, I will tell you why. I’ve recently been having those dreams again. The ones my mother would tell me to keep to myself.  “People would think you were crazy!” She’d tell me, as if being crazy is some awful thing.

If being crazy means knowing the truth to our existence then go ahead and call me crazy. I’m proud to be one of the few that have discovered that our reality is nothing but a role.

I am the protagonist. You are the protagonist. Each and every one of our tales is a fabrication to which we all are the stars. It makes me laugh. All my life I’ve wanted to be famous, and now I know. I was born famous.

You’re probably wondering what I’m blathering on about. Well, to make things clear and concise, YOU A WORK OF FICTION.

This is indicative of a few things:

You do not have free will

Nothing is matters

Nothing is real

You are not

A sentient


Gloomy, isn’t it? I thought so too. When I first dreamed this dream, I fell into despair. My dreams have never been wrong.

I dreamed of the fall of the towers two weeks before I watched them burn.

I dreamed of the virus that would plague the world, and I dreamed of how to survive it.

I survived that, of course. I’m a survivor. At my age, I’ve seen it all.

I’m glad I learned this final lesson when I did, as opposed to back in the day when my joints didn’t hurt. When I had ambitions, friends, and lovers.

The rest of my days, of which there aren’t many, will be spent in pure despondency. I can at least say I enjoyed most of the time I’ve had. If there’s one piece of advice I have to give the young ones of this day, it’s that you must enjoy your life as much as you can. Cherish your youth and never take your life for granted.

At least, while you still can.

There was a girl named Sylvia, back when I still thought I was real. I sure thought she was real. A real good person, and a real fine lady. She liked me back for a little while.

You know how things go. You have friends in school, then you graduate. See each other less. You might talk a little, but not much. Before you know it, you just forget each other exist. Or at least you no longer exist in each other’s world, though you think about them every once in a while, wondering why you don’t reach out.

She always understood me. Either that or she was the best damned actress in the world. I told her about my dreams, and she didn’t look at me with those concerned, judging eyes. I don’t know why I didn’t marry her.

Mother told me not to tell anyone, but I told Sylvia. She thought I had the most interesting mind. A mind that comes up with such fascinating ideas. Sure, she didn’t believe my dreams, but she didn’t scorn me for them either. She didn’t think it absurd when I said my  that dreams foretold the future.

Maybe she was just being polite.

But she realized. She must have realized when my dream occurred in real life, or what I once thought was real life.

The fires. It was the fires. She didn’t know me when my first prediction came true as a child.I told her about it, but she couldn’t truly believe, for she had not witnessed it. But when one dream I had told her about finally happened, she must have realized. I’ll bet you a million bucks it scared her. I could tell the future. So, what else could I do? Was I dangerous? Powerful? I don’t blame her for creating distance between us.

But I do want her back.

Maybe, just maybe, she’ll believe me. You know what they say; misery loves company. I would love her company right about now. Maybe she would make this pretend life better. Maybe if we both know it’s an illusion, it’ll cancel out. Life could feel real again. Or at least, I’d enjoy it for a little while longer.

I decide to find her. When I find her number I hesitate to call. I start typing the numbers, but can’t finish typing. When I finish typing her number I can’t bring myself to press send.

Based on how my life has been directed thus far, seldom will I get what I want. Why would this go my way? She could even be dead for all I know.

I type the number. I press send.

“He-hello?” a quivering voice stuttered. I hear Sylvia’s voice for the first time in 45 years. It’s not the voice I remember, but I know it’s hers.

“Sylvia?” I ask.

“Yes?” she answers.

I feel tears brimming in my saggy eyelids. Things go uphill from there.

Now Sylvia is in my home. I’m no baker, but I made her some blueberry scones, knowing she would like that sort of thing. I was right about that.

When I tell her my revelation, she doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy. She smiles at me, nodding.

“I have come to learn the same thing recently.” She says.

“Yet you are smiling!” I exclaim.

“We have different perspectives on this.” She says. “I don’t see it as a horrible thing. My life feels so much more relaxing. No more pressure to succeed.”

I hadn’t thought of it that way. It doesn’t matter though. “But I have already succeeded. And now I’m retired. I’m just trying to enjoy my last days.”

“Who’s to say you can’t enjoy them?” She asks.

“How can I? There’s no point to anything.”

“You didn’t feel that way all those years. You enjoyed your life. Clearly, you can be no more than a fictional character and still enjoy your life.” Says Lydia, ever wise.

“But I don’t have free will. Someone else makes my every decision.” I say.

“Who cares? You went your whole life without knowing that and it was fine. Why should it make a difference now?”

She is right. And I am feeling bold all of the sudden.

“Will you marry me?” I say, seated on my couch since I am not physically capable of getting down on one knee.

“I have nothing to lose. Yes.”

Suddenly, I don’t care if this is all a hallucination. I’m the happiest man in the world. I have Sylvia. We could live in a ditch together and it wouldn’t matter. We both know the truth.

Nothing matters.

Nothing’s real.

It's all good.

March 14, 2020 00:38

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Andrew Krey
17:47 Sep 10, 2020

Hi Olivia, I liked your story, it was a good expression of the same fact being perceived differently when observed by different people. Let's hope they live happily ever after! Happy writing!


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Jen Park
14:18 Jul 21, 2020

Oh.. wait.... this is lyrical yet critical! It contains irony and analogies worth meditating of. I liked your unique point of view. Plus, I loved the last line.


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