April 27th, 2099
Sarah stands before me, her hands on my cheeks. I look into her eyes, feel her breath on my chin as she smiles. She hasn’t done that in so long. It’s a dream, the past, a past that is replacing the present.
Reaching out, I can feel her. I touch her short hair, my fingertips sliding through silky strands to the warm scalp below. She closes her eyes, sighing in contentment. Her body presses against mine and the scent of vanilla comes to me, faint but intoxicating. If I press my lips to hers, I know the taste of the gloss she wears will be strawberry. Strawberry and vanilla. I can’t smell, see or taste either without thinking of her.
It’s a fever dream but I can’t wake up. I follow her through the engine rooms, tap out numbers on keys that she tells me. Her whisper is in my ear, telling me we shouldn’t be alone. We should go home, go home and find others to be with.
I am at peace in those moments, when the dreams are at their most vivid. I could stay here forever and be all right, but I won’t. There is something in me that fights this perfection, this living dream. I won’t reach out to kiss her, to draw her to me forever, because that dream scared me then and I can’t accept it now.
And so I have these moments where I know I am becoming one of them. I wake from the dream and see my hand poised over the ship’s consoles and snatch it back. Sarah always said I was too afraid to reach out and embrace my dreams, but if she only knew the dreams I have now.