One day out of the blue, the nature of dreams changes entirely in one night. Instead of dreams as we know them, all dreams in this world have become vivdly lucid peeks into an entire other life.
Some people dream of someone else on the other side of the planet. Some dream of the life of someone long gone as if they were still here today. Some dream of people and places that couldn't possibly be their own.
And some, dream of another possibility. Another version of themselves, living a potential life that could have been theirs at some point.
For our main character, he'd been dreaming of a woman his age living the life of his figurative and literal dreams. She shares his background, his interests and his aspirations but not once had he ever considered that she was anything more than a kindred soul. Rather, she was a perfect embodiment of everything he strived for and the talents that made her that brought forth his deep envy and admiration for her.
It wasn't until one night that he made the connection that she was his alternate self. He dreamt of her living out her busy life as usual only to come back home to a surprise birthday party sprung by unexpected guests - her parents. His parents, different versions of them but the same father and mother that brought him into the world.
What he'd seen of her life came in pieces and nothing so concrete had shown up before but now he had no choice but to come to grips with the fact that his faraway dream life may have been out of his reach from the very moment he was conceived. The revelation tears away at him, his admiration for her turned into loathing for his lacking self and his own life spirals into a depressing reminder of what could have been.
He slowly gives up the passions and joys of his life, keeping himself awake only to fulfill his basic functions and sleeps the rest of his days away to get more time in that dream life of hers. However, as his own life steadily becomes bleaker, he notices that his other self also seems to somehow be affected by his downturn. She begins to act increasingly more dour and agitated for seemingly no reason and chalks it up to his presence affecting her mental state. That soon proves to only be partially correct.
One night, he drifts into the dream and wakes up in her head to see her glaring at herself in the mirror apparently annoyed by something. She lets out a long audible sigh, scrunches up her face and begins talking at the mirror.
"Hey! You can hear me right? I know you're in there. We need to talk."