There are times when what is real, and what isn’t real is no longer as simple as people tend to assume. Rose knew that the real around her was only tenuous at best. She knew the real could fade away and become as insubstantial as any dream left behind on her sleeping pillow. She could easily step through this reality and open the curtains to look out on what lay behind this real world. There to see the shapes and shadows shifting as the real fell away from her eyes like those dreams faded from her memory as soon as she left sleep behind.
Rose could see worlds beyond this one. She kept silent about them because she knew that other people did not see those other possibilities rising like smoke above the real and fading off into a distance too far ever to see. If they did, then they too kept silent about them.
Rose knew each moment contained within it the seeds of so many other moments. Only one of those possible moments broke into bud and bloomed into what others liked to call the real world. Rose, though, could see those other buds flowering too, each one producing their buds until multitudes blossomed around her.
Sometimes it was hard to cope, hard to know what was real. She had to learn when she was young to focus on the one the others around her could see, and let the others fade out as though they were shadows and just as insubstantial. Rose knew there could never be enough photographic film to capture those lost moments. She knew, from seeing so many of her father’s photographs, that cameras could only ever capture the real. Rose studied those pictures meant to show ghosts and other strange ethereal presences in their backgrounds. But she saw them as what they were: fakes and accidents, not evidence of those worlds she alone could see.
There were enough photographs of this reality already; she did not need any more. It took her a long time to realise, to understand it all. Even then as a grown woman in her mid-twenties, Rose was not sure she knew it all. She knew of the many theories of multiple universes. How each possibility branched off in different ways across the possible universes. Rose knew all that was true, and she could see it with her own eyes or her own mind. For, after all, she knew the mind creates most of what we see, not the eyes passively showing what is out there. She knew those many worlds were inside her as much as they were out there.
All Rose knew was that one day she would find a way to slip free of the iron hold that this reality had over her. One day she would travel those multiple realms of possibility. She would see what was there and how different it could be from this world she’d lived in all this time. All while watching those other worlds go by as though she were on a speeding train and they were the landscapes lost to her as she passed though.
Only then, Rose knew, would she need a camera to bring back to her own world evidence of what could once have been, but never was. A chance to show everyone worlds lying out there forever beyond anything they could know.