The moonlight leaks through the small crevices in my blinds, causing it to dance across my ceiling. Creating an ocean of white light inside my room.
Sleep has not been on my side for a while now. The dark circles under my eyes give that away. Taunting me endlessly, reminding me of the nightmare that the darkness has become. A monster looming over me throughout the day. Waiting for me to slip under my covers before it crawls into bed with me, keeping me awake all hours.
I have slowly become a lifeless vessel. A corpse that the Earth has slowly taken chunks out of. It didn’t happen slowly either. It happened all at once. My innocence stripped from me the first time it happened. The first time the monster sunk its teeth into my untouched skin. Leaving behind a purple bruised surface.
My once smooth surface was quickly transformed into something I could hardly recognize. Becoming a toy that has been used and not taken care of. With knicks and chips all over it with its once beautiful paint peeling off. A toy that is shoved to the back of the shelf, unwanted and neglected.
My heart is beating so fast—so loudly—that it’s hard to hear anything else. I try to silence it. I try to control its frantic state in order to hear the clinking of a scotch glass from below. Because, once the clinking stops, the footsteps follow.
A routine, nightly route that takes the footsteps up the stairs, down the hall, and directly to my bedroom door. A routine that I’ve memorized so well. One that I hear even in dreams.
A terrifying sound that leaves a chill running up and down my spine. It wraps itself around my neck, squeezing tightly until everything fades out besides those footsteps.
I’m breathing so rapidly that I feel myself sinking into my mattress then rising back up. My eyes try to focus on the ceiling—the moonlight stares back at me. There’s a bolt of lightning near my ceiling fan. A crack that splinters off. The spark of lightning before the storm.
I try to let it distract me. And, in some instances, it does. But, tonight, after listening to the amount of time the scotch glass clinked, I know what tonight will mean. There is no distracting me tonight. Only preparing. For the worst.
It seems at night, nights especially like this one, all my senses are heightened. My hearing is sharp, picking up even the quietest of sounds throughout this giant house. My sense of smell even picks up the nauseating whiffs of scotch and bourbon. It seeps under my door and absorbs all around me. Instantly making me sick. My eyes notice something different about my room every time. They look for something—anything, to distract me from the monster in my bed. They work like hands trying to pull me from the rubble.
The clinking of glass suddenly stops, and the footsteps begin. Slowly up the stairs.
My hands grip my sheets so tightly I start to lose feeling in them. I stare even harder at the bolt of lightning.
Help me. Help me. Help me.
I plead to myself. Which is pointless because I know nobody will. Nobody can hear me. Nobody will ever know. The help I beg for within myself is never going to come. It’s a pointless cry into the night that dissolves into the air.
I hear the footsteps turn down the hall, growing closer to my door. It’s nearly here. All I can do is sit here helplessly and wait. Wait for it to come and take another chunk out of me.
My eyes grow misty with tears. Weak, useless tears that cause a rage to burn inside of me. A shadow appears outside of my door, the footsteps ceasing for a brief moment in time. As if the world freezes everything so I can have one last minute of the person I am now. Because, as soon as that door opens, this version of me will be lost forever.
The world unfreezes and the doorknob turns, pushing open the door quietly, revealing the monster that haunts my dreams.
I snap my eyes shut, pretending to be asleep. As if that does anything. The smell of scotch becomes so strong, it makes my stomach turn. It suffocates me like a pillow over my face. I’m drowning in it.
The undoing of the belt. The sound of a zipper.
I keep my eyes closed tightly. My hands feel numb.
It hasn’t even started yet and I already feel disgusting. Like I haven’t showered in months. My own skin and body repulse me.
I bite down on my lower lip until I taste blood. A metallic taste that slides down my throat. A way to silence the cries.
No amount of distractions, or tears, or pleading is going to save me. Then again, it never was.