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My Nightmare: A Short Story
Gasping, I jolt awake again from a nightmare. Sweating, shivering, tensing, I try to relax. I roll over to see the clock. Ugh, its three o'clock and I know I am going to be up for a while. This time it was bad. The imagines that have been haunting my dreams are getting more vivid, more violent.
I shudder when his warm skin curls around my body. I know he loves me, he wants to comfort me, but he does not know. I have never been able to bring myself to utter the words. A warm, husky voice coos in my ear, "Baby? You ok?"
Keeping my voice low and level I answer, "Yeah, just another bad dream that I don’t even remember." With a swift peck to my cheek, Mitch is snoring again in my ear. I sigh with relief at this annoying, but comforting sound.
All I want is for this to stop. Isn't bad enough that I lived it? Now I have to dream about it too?
I wait a few minutes, roll away from Mitch’s warm embrace, and turn the light on. I grab my pen and notebook from inside my nightstand. Flipping through, I realize how many nightmares I had actually had, 127 to be exact, the same amount of days since it happened. It was terrible; It could not be named, spoken, or believed. But, It could be written and dreamed.
Every night since It happened I have written down my nightmares, recalling every terrible detail. The smells, the tastes, the pains, the sounds, every last gory detail. Usually I silently cried, letting my tears wash over the pages, salty exertions of the memory I wish I could delete.
Tonight it was so much worse. I write about the smells of his apricot shampoo and the coffee stains in his teeth. I write about the goose bumps covering my bare skin and the feeling of the cold, slick tile. I write about the pain as my eye swollen shut and what made the black and blue marks. I pause to trace where the bruising once shown, having to lie and say I clumsily fell and hit my eye on my desk at work. My face is drenched.
Suddenly, I am brought back to the present, ripped from my ghastly mind by stirring. Before I have time to react, Mitch's eye are fixed on mine, locked in and confusion is spreading over his face. "Babe, what's going on?"
My trembling hands drop my journal and cling to my gasping chest. Without hesitation I can feel his warm body pressing up against mine, rocking me gently, his lips pressed against my forehead. "It's ok," He breathed into me, "Please talk to me."
I choke, realizing that I have not been able to breath. My mind races through all of the harsh words that are going to come, all of the reluctant reality that I will have to give, all of the shame I will have to share. I clench my eyes closed, rip my hand from my chest and grasp my journal. Without allowing my mind to change the decision, I quickly shove the journal into my lover's body.
It only takes a few moments of Mitch reading before tears are streaming down his face. I know the words he is gazing at by heart, January 23, 2005: I was working late tonight when He came into my office and locked the door. I was so scared, so cold, so betrayed.