Song: Demons by Imagine Dragons
It always starts the same way.
It was gone.
It all went wrong so fast.
There were bars of metal and large planks of wood floating around me and I grabbed one of them, pushing my body up to stay afloat and breathed hard.
Alright. Now to find her.
Looking all around me, I took in the wreckage of the boat I was on just a few minutes earlier and bit on my lower lip to stop myself from crying at my hopes plummeting down.
I knew I had to be strong.
The rain had become more intense, pelting me with hard stinging drops and my ears were filled with the screams of the sea.
Soon my vision was blurred as I tried with all my might swinging my arms to clean my face off from the impending rain.
My voice rang with urgency, and my eyes filled with tears as the sea swallowed me once more, my screams of terror muffled by the waters and hands slipping off my anchor.
With a muffled cry, I sought out my anchor once more, tears running down my face at the board disappearing away.
I reached my arms out once again to struggle to escape to the depths of the watery prison determined to live.
I won’t die today.
Every muscle in my body was taut even though I felt tired more than ever as I desperately gasped for air that I craved and looked around for her.
The last time I had seen her, she was holding onto the ship’s wheel trying to regain control of the boat.
I stifled a gasp as the wheel bobbed up and down before me, the wood stained with scratches and cracks, no sign of her.
But, that meant she was still alive, which meant I had to keep searching.
I had to.
Temporarily, I was blinded by the streak of light that streaked across the sky and immediately after, thunder boomed.
A scream of pure terror escaped my lips and I duck away from the lightening, afraid that I’d get hit. And soon as it passes, I began to scream again.
I swung my head left and right as the feeling of dread settled in my stomach, and bile crawled it’s way up my throat, burning at my insides and bringing tears to my eyes.
Where is she?
Is she alright?
Oh, God, please let her be okay.
Suddenly, a figure’s hand burst from the murky water, the feeling of relief searing away at the dread I felt inside.
I took in a deep breath and pushed my body forward, swinging my hands wildly and fought the waves perilously attempting to reach her in time.
The current kept on pushing me back and my body began to get weak as I cried, urging myself to move forward faster but it seemed like she was going farther away.
Reaching out, I begged for my hand to be long enough to get to her, and stretched forward with all my might, struggling to stay afloat at the same time.
But at that moment, with widened eyes, I watched the hand begin to be swallowed up by the sea.
“NO!” I screamed as I myself began to descend, submerging completely with only the brightness of the full moon above me.
It was the last thing I saw before I surrendered.
Gasping for air, I jolted from the bed and my eyes flew open.
My heart was beating faster than a train, so I took some desperate breaths in order to steady myself with the sound of rain pelting down from outside my bedroom window.
It happened again.
Taking a glance at the clock on my dresser, I bit on my lower lip and wiped at my face releasing the crumpled sheets in my hands.
With the sound of the storm outside, just like that night, my body shook all over and rubbing at my eyelids, I knew that there would be no more sleep for me.
Throwing the blanket off myself, I guided my legs to swing down landing on the soft fuzzy rug offering little comfort then steadying myself, mustered the strength to stand.
My legs shook at the command threatening to give way but I steeled myself to shuffle over slowly to the other side of my bedroom.
I brought up my still shaky arms and forced them to wrap around my body. My long nails dug into my skin, the stinging pain brought to me the protection that I was really here and not there anymore.
“You’re okay,” I mumbled over and over again, at the lie I uttered to calm myself with each step I took.
But we both know I was lying.
The problem with hyperthymesia meant that I would never forget, always replaying in graphic details like a video on repeat inside my head.
The first recorded date was Jill Price, also known as patient A.J., which is one of the most well-studied cases of hyperthymesia, where she described her memory recall as being “automatic”.
"It’s like a split-screen.” She had said. ”I’ll be talking to someone and seeing something else... I’m talking to you and in my head, I’m thinking about something that happened to me in December 1982.”
Yes, I could memorize textbooks under an hour and become a perfect witness but, it had its downsides.
A gift with a curse.
Finally, I got to the switch and flipped it, filling the room with incandescent light, momentarily blinding me and hissed in reaction.
With a sigh, I sat on a stool and reached for a paintbrush and palette, setting up another blank canvas right in front of me.
And with a deep breath and started a new envision at a different angle of that unfortunate night.
It’s funny how your life can be normal and happy one minute and the next, it turns to absolute chaos.
“Another harmless nightmare.” That’s what my doctor would have said.
Giving it the first stroke, I concentrated hard enough on the blank print and began the process of what was to be added to my collection.
I called it a living memory that I witness every night since... that night.
When will it stop?
Breaking off, I balanced the brush on my ear and fingered the pendant against my neck. I admired the wings and gemstones that filled the jewel filled with history.
Painful and pretty.
The thunder boomed outside once more loudly.
A cold shiver ran down my body, causing me to clutch my robe tighter around myself at the thought of anyone caught in that monster.
And for a second, I actually hoped that one day I would be free of this nightmare.
But when the streak of lightning passed over again, I knew what my answer would be.
That’ll be a dream.
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