I guess I’m a prude. It’s not like I don’t want it or anything, it’s just the way I am. I grew up going to church every weekend, southern Baptist church specifically, and in between the raucous hymns and Holy Ghost fits, I was taught how to live my life. Eventually, I looked in the mirror and I was grown, well not grown, just the age when it was time for me to determine my own principles independent of what my elders instructed. I evaluated my religion and found it to be a suitable method of understanding the universe. I’m twenty now, and still going to church every weekend.

The other night I had a particularly interesting dream. I was laying in bed next to this kind of famous boy. I say kind of famous because he’s trying to be an actor, but he’s yet to land any major roles. I found him on my Instagram explore page a while back, imploring people to check out his new short film on YouTube. The film was about a group of friends trying to get one of their number to the nearest emergency clinic after he took a spill and broke his arm. The video was sweet and the  kind-of-famous-boy was persuasive as the friend with the busted arm. I followed him, wishing him success with the tap of finger.

Anyway, in my dream, I was laying next to the boy in a soft, king-sized bed with a thick duvet, the weight of which seemed to be pressing me into sleep. And since this was the kind of dream that came with its own architecture of the past, I knew we were in a hotel room and the boy and I were not only an item, we were in love. In the darkness, he lamented his situation.

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“I’m good at what I do, aren’t I?” he asked.

“Yes,” I assured him.

“I’m just so scared all the time.” he said with a sigh.

I rolled over so I was looking at him instead of the ceiling. The lights were off but I could still make out his features in the bluish-gray haze of the night. His thick eyebrows were scrunched together and his lips were mashed into a line.

“Of what?” I asked.

“You know. What if I never make it?”

I shrugged, which was kind of hard to do while laying on my side.

“I know it sounds corny, but you just have to believe in yourself and keep trying.”

“Self-tapes, self-tapes, self-tapes,” he chanted frustratedly, “I am good and they may never know.”

I frowned. I knew what he was feeling because I felt it too-constantly. The fear of never realizing my goals, never being appreciated for my hard work or talent.

“They’ll never know the stories I can tell,” he whispered dejectedly.

I had no words to sooth him, so I moved closer and placed my hand on his bare chest. His skin was hot, not ridiculously so, just as hot as it gets under your arms or between your thighs when you press them together. I moved lower and let my hand glide over the place between his diaphragm and navel, feeling the rises and depressions of his abdominal muscles. I moved lower still until my fingertips brushed the waist of his boxers. I knew he wouldn’t mind and I wanted to, but I couldn’t will myself to slip my hand beneath the band of elastic. Somewhat frustrated, I retraced my path until my palm rested on his sternum. After that, he rolled on top of me and we just held each other and I woke up.

I stared at nothing in particular for a while as I contemplated the workings of my unconscious mind. I was annoyed that I hadn’t gotten to feel him, but I was also proud of myself in a way. Even in sleep, I hadn’t abandoned my creed. In the end, I decided it was a good dream and I closed my eyes, hoping that if I fell asleep fast enough, I would be in the arms of a handsome boy once again.