Chapter 21.. Let the Fingers Do the Talking
Sleeping didn’t come easy to me, even when they drugged me out. Ruby had been a part of this conspiracy to keep me in a drugged state, more like a stoned state of mind when it got past six o’clock. When I did sleep, it wasn’t pleasant. I spent too little time actually out and too many hours battered by flashbacks, waking me so that I had to sit up to remind myself that I was safe, that all would be well, and I could get through the night until morning. I wasn’t always so convinced of my safety and just needed to hear Alex’s voice.
I don’t just see Randy; I see all of my ex-boyfriends. Every man who has hurt me in the past bombarded my dreams. The flashbacks of Randy’s assault triggered the beatings I sustained by Julian, and Julian’s outb
ursts of rage reminded me of David and his threats with the knives that he used to cut me.
That night was no exception. I smelled the burning hair and felt the heat of singed flesh, as the odors of the pier; the harbor and dead fish gagged me while I strained to catch my breath between his blows to my chest. Randy’s eyes were so full of rage; he seemed so demented. Then he just stopped. Randy just stopped hitting me. Instead, he was puffing for breath like he had raced me five miles and lost. I was definitely the loser then. When I finally visualized my closet door, and it was within my reach, he began yelling at me.
I don’t remember his words; they didn’t matter to me, I just wanted to cut myself off from this pain and scene of violence. “You have to keep focused, keep the closet shut, Megan,” I heard Alex say to me.
“Don’t you hear me?” Randy bellowed. Then he began ramming his fist into my face. My hands caught up in the handcuffs couldn’t cover my face to protect it, so I moved, trying to dodge his fists unsuccessfully. I woke in a sweat, found myself in my hospital room, IV pole near me, my call button at my side. If I rang it, they wouldn’t come in right away and when they did, they’d just drug me again and force me back to that stoned state where my dreams were more vivid than reality. They showed me what I didn’t want to remember, that I didn’t want to consider what he did to me to cause me such pain.
Just wanting to hear Alex’s voice, I picked up the phone’s receiver by the cord and positioned it so I could press the buttons with my fingertips as I dialed his phone number. A sleepy Alex picked up the phone.
I cried because I wanted to talk to him, I wanted to tell him what happened and I couldn’t.
“Meg, is that you? Hit the one.”
I hit the one button.
“Did you have a dream?”
I pressed the one button again.
“Call the nurses, Meggy,” he said with a yawn. I hit the two. That meant no.
“Do you want me to get dressed and come down?” I pressed the two button again.
“Do you want to hang up and let me get some sleep?” I pressed the two button.
“God, twenty questions. Okay, do you want me to call the nurses?” I pressed two.
“Ruby? Do you want me to call Ruby?” Two again.
“Meg, do you know what time it is?” I pressed the one. I knew it was three in the morning, but I had to hear his voice. I heard tones in the background. He was dialing their desk on his cell phone.
“Are you in pain?” he asked me. I pressed them both. Two minutes later, the nurse was in the room checking on me, scolding me for calling Alex when I should have called them.
“I love you, Megan, go to sleep.” I pressed three, which meant I love you too, then four for good-bye.