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Now we get a name for our narrator: Ethan Wate. And bonus, we get to see into his dreams. In this particular dream he's falling, but he's also somehow clawing through mud. Dreams are confusing like that.
A girl calls out to him in the dream. She's falling too. Her hand slips through his fingers and he loses her, leaving him with only the feeling of loss and the smells of lemons and rosemary. He knows he can't live without her.
Waking up, Ethan discovers that his window is open, even though he doesn't remember opening it. Hmmm.
Ethan's been having the same dream for months now, but he doesn't know who the girl in the dream is. He does know, though, that he's in love with her. "Love before first sight" (9.02.16).
There's a song on Ethan's iPod that he's never heard before: "Sixteen Moons." Its rhyming lyrics mention dreaming and falling, and Ethan is sixteen years old. Crazy—and kind of creepy—coincidence.
Amma, Ethan's housekeeper, shouts out Ethan's name, trying to get his lazy butt to come downstairs for breakfast. She uses his full name, Ethan Lawson Wate, so you know she means business.
Ethan's bed is filled with dirt, and his fingernails are caked with mud. He throws his sheets in the hamper and takes a shower, trying to wash away the smell. But the dream lingers on: he still smells lemons and rosemary.
Amma gives Ethan all sorts of cryptic advice over breakfast. It might do Ethan some good to stop cramming food down his throat like a human garbage disposal and listen up.
Some honking outside signals that Ethan's ride to school has arrived. It's Ethan's best friend, Link.
Ethan runs through the rain to get in the car. It's seven in the morning and already getting pitch dark—ugh, gloomy days.
On the way to school, Ethan asks Link if he was the one who uploaded "Sixteen Moons" onto his iPod. Link doesn't know the song, and—wait for it—it's gone from Ethan's iPod when he tries to pull it up.
Link and Ethan pass a black hearse on the way to school. In a small town like Gatlin, an unknown car is big news, especially a creepy one like a hearse. Ethan thinks it's an omen.