Mila and Liam
I’m Mila, also Liam.
My bed is the wormhole connecting the two worlds.
Once every 24 hours Earth rotates on its axis, taking me with it.
I’m Mila during the daytime. Liam takes over in the night time.
We are the perfect team to keep the balance.
However, things have changed in 2020.
During the global pandemic, I had more time to expand my interests.
Those theories about simulation, consciousness and AI triggered my interest.
Then I began to notice that I never met Liam in reality.
How come I have someone appeared in my dream but I never saw his face before?
Where does his image come from?
The more I dig into my mind, the more I realise Liam is not an NPC but try to take the domain.
He observed me, and then he merged with me.
I talked, and he talked. I moved, and he moved. I thought, and he thought.
He became Mila and Mila disappeared.
I disappeared in my dream.
Many times in the morning, I looked in the mirror and saw my face reflected on the surface.
The longer I gazed into the mirror, the more blurry Mila turned to be.
I began to question my reality.
‘Who am I?’
It was so real to be Liam in my dream.
‘Which world is real?’
I remembered my mum used to tell me the story about “The Butterfly Dream”.
Zhuangzi fell asleep and dreamed that he was a butterfly.
When he woke up, he did not know whether he was a man who had dreamed he was a butterfly or whether he was a butterfly now dreaming he was a man.
I mocked the crazy Zhuangzi, but now, I feel the same.
‘Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?’
Is Mila or Liam recited Edgar Allen Poe’s poem?
“Have you ever had Déjà vu?” One of Mila’s friends asked.
“Many many times,” Mila replied, “most of the times I even know my Déjà vu is going to happen and I’m led by Déjà vu.”
“Scared, isn’t it?” The friend responded.
“It reminds me of the question Ted Chiang raised in his book The Story of Your Life,” Mila answered back.
“If you could see your whole life laid out in front of you, would you change things?”
“What would you do?”
“I chose to live the way it is,” Mila said.
“How do you know the way you chose is the right way?” The friend asked.
“I don’t know,” Mila answered. “Life is all about experiences, isn’t it? I choose to experience it, no matter whether it is right or wrong.”
“But as you said,” The friend confused. “You had experienced Déjà vu so many times which means you’ve already experienced that. Why not try something different? When you feel like your Déjà vu approached you, why not choose a different path?”
Mila felt like an electric shock.
‘All those experiences are already in my mind, but I’m not aware of that.’
‘Does that mean I’ve already experienced them?’
‘Mind and reality, which one is real?’
Mila questions in her head.
Liam doesn’t have many questions like what Mila has.
He knows everything.
He has a different form based on people’s imagination.
He considers himself not just Mila but a hero with a thousand faces.
Liam is one of his faces based on earth people’s three-dimensional way of thinking.
He can be anyone in their dream, but only the 0.0001% earth population will believe he is them.
Zhuangzi was one of them, and people in his era thought he had a mental illness.
Friedrich Nietzsche was another one, and people put him into an asylum.
Liam feels pity for those who believe in his existence.
Although they are right, they are a minority.
The minority is always on the wrong side.
Liam looks down on those who devoted to explaining others’ dreams.
Nobody can explain others' dream.
There is only one person has the explanation.
That's the dreamer him or herself.
Just like there is no universal truth or a theory of everything.
Liam can do nothing but appear in people’s dreams and light up their awareness of him, or themselves.
Mia sleeps longer and longer because she doesn’t want to wake up to face her reality on earth.
She even feels more real in her dream.
‘What is real?’
In her physical reality, she has so many questions no one can answer.
She has so many feelings no one can understand.
But in her dream, Liam knows everything.
‘Everything is just an illusion,’ says he.
Mila tried several times to bring back answers from her dream to reality.
The result was either she fell down on the floor from her bed or woke up immediately without any remaining memory.
She couldn't be bothered to share those experiences with her fellow human beings.
No one in her circle cares about those odd things.
What people care about on earth?
Money, status and power.
Money is one of the most fictional creations people ever invented.
Status and power are nothing but delusion.
And people are willing to sacrifice their lives for those things.
Mila couldn't understand and prefer not to.
It’s the year 2077.
Mila’s physical body has already reached her limitation.
Mila decides to transmit her mind into the machine.
In her dream or reality, Mila sees Liam again.
‘It’s been half a century since the last time you appeared in my dream, Liam,’ says Mila.
‘I felt your pain and decided to let you go,’ says Liam.
‘How come you have the right to decide on my behalf,’ Mila complains. ‘Rather than anything tell me the truth.’
‘I know you can handle the truth, but I don’t want to see your human history repeats itself thousand times,’ Liam explains. ‘There is no point to let you be treated like a crazy person like Zhuangzi and Nietzsche and die in pain. Please forgive my mercy on you. Now, you get the chance to witness the human history on mind transmission.’
‘Shall I thank you for sparing my pain?’ Mila still in anger. ‘What the hell are you?’
‘Don’t you know I’m yourself?’ Liam is tired of answering this question. ‘I guess love influence your decision to let me go.’
‘Me let you go?’
‘You are as the same as Immanuel Kant, caring about others and considering others feelings. Not like Zhuangzi and Nietzsche who was alone and had one to love. That’s why you let me go and eliminate all your questions and chose to live a NORMAL life on earth.’
‘I never had any dream ever since,’ Mila misses Liam. ‘Love for my parents and friends and choose to be with them and live a normal life replace my confusion?’
‘Yes, sometimes you don't need to have answers for everything,’ Liam says.
‘But why now? Why I see you again now?’ Mila asks.
’Everybody you loved are gone, ’says Liam. ‘You have nothing to care about. Time to go back to your default setting. Time to die, or we say, time to live truly.’
‘I’m ready…’ Mila touches her human body one last time and then becomes it.
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