The following story is entirely fictional.
Aaron ran his fingertips along the shelves, mindlessly browsing its contents. Most of the items were empty glass jars. A few of them were less empty, half filled with colored liquids and things. He let his hand fall away from the cold shelves and kept on walking in that slow, bored pace. Nothing here interested him. Nothing he hadn't already seen before.
But he wasn't here for the contents of the jars. He was here because he missed her. This had been her favorite place, and he thought that maybe, just maybe, he would feel better after visiting.
So far he had only succeeded in making himself feel numb. What he wouldn't give for just five more minutes. Enough time to say goodbye.
But he pushed that thought from his mind. It was too late. She was gone. He understood that and knew he must accept it.
On the next shelf one jar stood out from the rest. There wasn't anything particularly special about it at first glance. It was made of glass. It was tightly sealed. And it had a carefully written label. The exact same as all the other jars.
But this was the only black jar midst a rainbow collection.
He lifted it off the shelf and turned the label over. One word was printed in lacy, flowing letters. NIGHTMARES, it read. Such a pretty script for such an evil thing. Aaron rubbed the glass with his fingers thoughtfully, then placed it back on the shelf. As he did so, a mouse darted past his hand, hopping from shelf to shelf. Aaron pulled back, surprised. The glass jar of nightmares toppled over and shattered on the concrete floor. Aaron brought up his hands to protect his face. Black jell oozed out of the jar and into the cracks on the floor. Aaron, realizing what he had done, backed away from the shattered jar and its contents.
A stench reached his nose. It smelled of something sweet used only to mask a vile horror that was the real smell.
A girl's voice spoke from behind him. "Aaron?"
He turned so quickly he nearly lost his balance. He backed into a shelf, his face white as a sheet. No. This couldn't be real.
"Melia?" he whispered. It was her. The girl he never got to say goodbye to. He glanced back at the shattered jar of nightmares. The black goo had disappeared.
"You're not real," he reminded himself, staring at Melia. "You're just a dream." He couldn't bring himself to call her a nightmare. She walked over and put a hand on his cheek. It felt real.
"It's okay, Aaron. I'm here now," she said, speaking in gentle tones. Aaron pulled back, unnerved by her touch.
Five more minutes just to say goodbye.
Now he had it, but he didn't want it. He thought he would feel better. He thought his heart would ache less.
He was wrong.
He turned his back to her and closed his eyes. She wrapped her arms around him and rested her head against his back. "Aaron?"
NO! This wasn't right. He was going to fall apart. "You're just a dream," he whispered again.
"Aaron, why are you not happy to see me? Why are you not talking to me?" She asked, sounding sad. Aaron shoved her away. He ran from that place. He ran as far as he could.
Aaron might not ever be able to tell her goodbye face to face, but he knew he needed to say goodbye in his heart. He needed to let her go.
Aaron learned that day that a nightmare isn't always something evil. Sometimes hopes and desires can be nightmares too.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!