Carli grew a bit louder for a moment, and then her voice subsided altogether.
“Does she do that a lot?” Adam’s voice sounded half-amused, half-worried.
“Almost every night, and it’s the same dream over and over.” Glad to have a neutral subject, Renee explained the recurring dream of the Native American and the petite blonde’s obsession with the Rock. “I worry she’s losing her grip on reality,” she finished.
Adam’s voice was thoughtful. “Quite a few people believe dreams are omens. That’s not nuts. Heck, my grandma used to read tea leaves.”
“Carli truly believes the Indian and his hideaway are real. Not only that, she thinks the man purposely calls to her through her dreams.”
“If it means so much to her, why hasn’t she struck out on her own?” Adam asked. “If she’s sure it’s there, why isn’t she chasing after it?”
“She doesn’t believe she can survive by herself. She’s scared silly to try, and I refuse to look for a place that doesn’t exist. Trust me, she’s not going anywhere alone, not even if God Himself demanded it.”
“How long have you been stuck with her?”
Renee bristled a little at his choice of words. However, she decided to let it go. This once.
“We’ve been together almost since the aliens landed.” She shuddered at the memory. “I found her in a state of shock, standing in a looted grocery store eating stale Cheetos with tears streaming down her cheeks. She looked pathetic and lost and at the same time so sweet. I’d lost all of my own family to those bastards so I took her along with me. I’ve looked out for her ever since.”
“That’s great for Blondie, but what do you get out of it? Don’t get mad; I mean it’s obvious you care for her, but it’s hardly fair to you. It must be hard to have that much responsibility and not feel taken advantage of.”
Renee felt another flash of anger. “It’s not like that. Carli doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, and she’s not out for a free ride. She’s just afraid. Some people need more reassurance than others.”
Renee’s temper faded as she thought of Carli sleeping without fear at the back of the warehouse, her lovely face peaceful. “She’s been a great companion, always spewing out little trivial bits of information about the places we’ve been. She used to be a librarian so she knows tons of stuff. Until she started on this dream kick of hers, her company was great. She’s the reason I keep going.”
Renee swallowed a sudden lump in her throat and realized she may have said too much. She toughened the tone of her voice. “She’s so damned sensitive. I don’t know what I’ll do if she goes off the deep end.”
“She can’t be too far from reality if she knows enough to stick with you. I don’t think Carli’s going nuts. I think she’s dealing with the situation the best way she knows how.”
Renee had nothing to say to that. All she could do was hope Carli would be okay.