Chapter 5:

Answers - Part 2

The Garden Of Dreams

Nate came home from his work, he didn't have much to do so he just slept. He hoped that he wouldn't have another nightmare. And he didn't, he had slept peacefully after so long. 
He woke up in the morning in a fresh mood. He got ready and left for his college. He met Alex and his other friends there and they all decided to go out after college. 
Nathan called Dr. Clauss to postpone. He wanted answers but he didn't want to ditch his friends. 
"This is Nathan Frost calling. Could you reschedule my toady's appointment with Dr. Clauss to tomorrow."
"Sure, but that would cost you some extra amount sir." Said the automated voice.
"That's okay, I'll pay the extra amount."
"Okay, your appointment has been rescheduled sir."
"Thank you."
"You're welcome sir."
Nathan hung up. 
He and all his friends went out after the college. They went to Rey's Bar for some drinks.
They all sat down in a booth and a man came to take their order. This was very rare nowadays since most of the waiters were robots/androids.
The waiter seemed familiar to Nathan, just like Tessa did. But he just wanted to enjoy with his friends, so he didn't pay much attention to that. 
Laughing and drinking, and having a great time together with his friends, Nathan had remembered the good side of this "unusual" world which he seemed to have forgotten in the past few days. He felt relaxed, he felt great. Nathan enjoyed the company of his friends a lot. And just for a moment there, he had forgotten everything about his nightmares. He had forgotten about his true feelings for this world. He was having the time of his life with his friends, it was one of those moments he had at Ellie's party. He was truly happy...but suddenly a voice in his head said...
"None of this is real, it's all an illusion." 
It didn't take more than a second for Nate to realize everything he had forgotten for the  moment. His face went dull and his smile faded. He stared at his friends who were having fun without any worries. 
"You can never be this happy, this isn't you life, this is all fake." The voice said.
"What does that mean?" He asked voice in his head.
"You'll know soon enough." The voice replied. 
He didn't feel like hanging out with his friends anymore, all his happiness went away in just a fraction of a second. 
"I think I'll have to go guys..." He said to his friends.
"Why? What's wrong?" His friends asked.
"I don't feel good, upset stomach I guess...You guys have fun." He made an excuse and went back home, not to his apartment but to his parents' house. 
"Nate! It's a surprise seeing you."
"Mom, can I come in?"
"Yes, of course, come in."
"Thanks." Nate went inside and sat down on the couch. 
"Are you okay dear?" 
"Yes mom, I'm fine. I just wanted to see you guys, that's all. Where's dad and Ellie?"
"Ellie is at her friend's house, she's spending the night there. And dad's upstairs, in the study."
"Okay....can I go to my room?"
"Why not...Wait a minute, it's locked. I'll give you the key."
Mrs. Frost gave the key to Nathan and he went upstairs to his old room.
He opened his drawer and took out the photo album. He looked at the photos from his childhood. He saw a photo of his dad carrying him on his back, he smiled and said, "I remember this." He kept on turning the pages and soon found the photos from his teenage, he didn't remember any of those incidents. He had a bright smile in all of his photos, "It must have felt good feeling that happy." he said. He started feeling sleepy and laid down on his bed. He again hoped that he wouldn't have any nightmare. He soon fell asleep.

"Nathan! Nathan, open your eyes!" A voice said.
Nathan opened his eyes and found himself in a completely dark room with just one light above his head. 
"Huh? Where am I?" 
"You're inside your own consciousness."
"Do you want to know Nathan?" The voice said.
"Know what?"
"Who are you?" He asked.
"I'm you and you're me." 
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Do you really want to know about your past Nathan? Why can't you just live happily in this world? Why can't you accept it?"
"What are you saying? I don't understand." 
"Your family, that's all you ever wanted right? And now you have it, then why are you questioning this world? Isn't everything you want already present in this world?"
"Please, I don't understand anything. What are you talking about?"
"Just answer me this Nathan, do you want to live in this world happily with your family and friends or do you want an answer to all your questions? Tell me!"
"I want an answer. Who am I? Why do I keep having those nightmares? Why do I always feel like I don't belong in this world? Why do I have no memories of my past? Why? Why?" 
"Fine...It's time that you knew everything. But remember, you made this choice, no one else is to blame for everything that might happen in the future. This choice has been made by you Nathan, you!"
The voice disappeared and a man approached Nathan. His face wasn't visible from far but the sooner he came, the more visible he became.
Soon, he became completely visible.
Nathan didn't believe his own eyes. 
The person was Nathan himself. But he wasn't the same, he was different. His right arm was robotic, his hair was different, he had bruises here and there and he was naked.
"This has got to be another one of those nightmares." Nathan thought.
"No, this isn't a nightmare Nathan, and neither were any of the other dreams you had. They were all real, they were a part of your life." the other Nathan said.
"I don't understand."
"I know, It's hard to understand..."
"You're not me, you're different."
"No, you're the different one, I'm the real you."
Nathan was confused. 
The other Nathan reached out his right hand, "Grab my hand Nathan. Grab my hand and everything will become clear to you, every question of yours will get answered."
Nathan was hesitant. 
"What if I don't want to know the answers? What if the truth is too much for me to handle? What if it's much worse than those nightmares?" 
Sweat dripped down his forehead as he reached his hand slowly, very slowly, towards his other self's hand.
"C'mon, don't be afraid. You made this choice. You want to know the truth, don't you?"
Nathan thought about his family and the time he spent with them. He thought about all the moments when he was truly happy. 
"Do I really want to know the truth?" He asked this question to himself again and again.
"Everything's going to be alright. We haven't got anyone else except ourselves." Said the other Nathan. 
Nate's hand slowly reached up to his other self's hand. The only thing left now was to grab it.
"What will happen after I know the truth? Is the truth going to satisfy me?" 
He was overthinking too much. But he was now half sure that something was wrong with this world. 
"What if the my future is much worse? What if I'm better off without knowing?"
He couldn't escape these questions. His heart-beat got louder and faster, and he started taking deep breaths. 
"Damn it, why am I hesitating so much. I was so desperate to get the answers but now that I have the opportunity to get them, why am I overthinking so much?"
He paused for a second. He calmed down, and made a decision. 
He grabbed his other self's hand...
"See, it was this easy." The other Nathan disappeared after saying so.
Nathan's eyes started shining brightly as he levitated in the air. The room around him started rotating at high speed. He shouted in agony, but soon he stopped. 
He saw everything. Everything became clear to him. He got all the answers he wanted. 
Now that he was aware of who he was, he became his real self again. 
He stopped levitating and fell down on the floor. 
"Open your eyes Nathan" The same voice said. 

Nate opened his eyes. He quickly sat up and found himself in his bedroom at his parents' house. It was seven in the morning. He was still in the same world as before. 
The questions, "What just happened?" or "Another nightmare?" didn't come to his mind, because he knew exactly what had happened.
This time, he was different. He knew exactly who he was and where he was. He wasn't the same Nathan as before. 
"This isn't my world, I don't belong here...." He knew this for sure now.

"What the hell do I do now?" He asked himself. 
"How do I get out of this dream land?" 
"How do I get out of the Garden of Dreams?"