After a few nights without a Ruby dream, Aria found herself sad about it. Even though her dad was right that the dreams really came from her – she wasn’t really talking to Ruby – she still liked talking to her dog.
Aria thought about this for a while during the day, but forgot about it by bedtime. Nonetheless, she dreamed about playing with Ruby at her cousin’s house.
As Ruby was fetching a ball Aria had thrown, she abruptly dropped it and said, “You still didn’t answer my question.”
“About how we do things?” Aria asked.
“Yes. And you figured something out even today.”
“What thing was that?”
Ruby kind of pointed with her snout and said, “Your toy broke and you figured how to make it not broke.”
“So, you want to know how I did all that?” she asked.
“Yes, I do,” Ruby said.
Aria stopped and sat down on her cousin’s couch. How exactly did I do that? She asked herself. Ruby wanted a very good answer, not just something like, “I thought about it.”
“Okay,” she said… “give me a minute.”
Ruby sat down near the couch and waited.
“What I did,” Aria finally explained, “was to remember that a lot of things can be fixed… I know that because I’ve seen my parents do it, and because they told me so too. And since that toy was made of wood, I asked myself how wood could be fixed. Then I remembered that my mom has some special wood glue. I remember watching her use it, and how she used it, and then I remembered where she kept it.”
Ruby continued sitting and waiting and Aria paused.
“Then, as I walked to where she keeps the glue, I imagined how I would put it on the toy and how I’d have to wipe away the extra when I squeezed the parts together – that’s why I changed directions and went to the kitchen for a paper towel – and last that I’d have to put it down in a nice way so the parts wouldn’t slip apart while the glue dried, which I knew would be about an hour.”
Aria stopped and looked at Ruby, who seemed a little bit confused. “And you did all of that while you were walking?” she asked.
“Yeah. All except the very first part.”
“Then you really are a superhero,” Ruby said.
“Can’t you do any of that, Ruby?”
“Not really,” she said. “We don’t remember on purpose… and I’m not sure what you even mean by imagine.”
After a bit of thinking, Aria said, “Imagine means that we make a picture in our mind of what we want, of all the parts we’ll need to do it… including things like time… and then we kind of play a movie where it all happens. Then we see if it worked or not.”
Ruby got up and walked around. It seemed like she was angry, scared, or something. Then she turned back to Aria and looked at her hard. “You really did that?”
“Yes. But I didn’t think about all those parts, I just did them.”
“We’re not at all like you,” Ruby said. “We can’t even understand doing all of that… and then to do it almost without trying… you’re gods.”
Aria wasn’t sure what “gods” really meant, except that it meant super-super good.
“I guess it’s just the way we are, Ruby. And I’m kind of sorry you’re not… but I’ll do those things to help you!”
And then Ruby dog cried. Aria watched, then ran to Ruby and hugged her. A moment later, when she remembered that dogs can’t really cry, she woke up.
It was still dark out, and so she went to her desk and wrote part of the dream, even though she was sure she’d remember it anyway. But by the time she had written about half of it, she was tired again and laid back down in her bed.
Ruby must have heard her. She came into Aria’s room and laid down in the middle of the room.
Aria smiled and fell back to sleep.