I’m sleeping. The blankets are wrapped around me. I am warm and safe in my home.
I’m awake. The room is dark, mostly. The light from the alarm clock and a small part in the curtains lets in enough light to cut through some of the darkness. A silhouette I know stands beside the bed. Something is wrong, my brain tells me to run, but my heart says there is no reason to be afraid. I ask what’s wrong. Heavy, ragged breathing is his response.
A red neon danger sign appears on the wall above his head, weak at first, then glowing so bright I think the tubes will burst. His eyes are different. They’re empty, cold, calculating. All of the feeling runs out of my body. I know what is about to happen and I’m paralyzed. I pray: no God, please, no, not this.
He draws closer, no hesitation in his footsteps. Sure of himself, of his place, and of what belongs to him. I, unable to move, stare at the neon sign. I think about my mother and sister. They are statistics and I will be yet another.
Pain shoots through my arm as he pins it. He knows my weakness and uses it. But this pain is nothing compared to the pain in my heart. I will remember this and hide my weaknesses so that no one else can use them. I will be a closed book. At the moment, I have been opened, forcefully.
Pleas have no meaning here. The word no, a gurgling in my throat. He heaves and grunts. It lasts sixty seconds at most and then I am left alone.
The shower starts and I wake up. I’m afraid, as if it has happened all over again. Reliving an event I cannot change. I cannot tell you how many times I have had this dream or how many times it has kept me from sleeping. I can’t describe the need I feel to shower after having it. I have countless showers because of it, but haven’t had to for over a year. I am comforted when I reach out next to me. I am safe. It didn’t just happen, it is the past. I long to stop having this dream, to forget it ever happened, to let it go. How does one let go of something that was taken from you? Something that you can’t ever get back?
A part of me died that night. I have buried it, but not deep enough. How far must I dig? How long will I have this dream? I don’t know. I’ll just take it one day at a time. That’s all that I can do, I suppose.
I never intended to write this but here it is. Writing can be brutally painful, as this was, but it can be beneficial to expose yourself to that pain. Purging is good for the soul. Hopefully it is in this case.