It was another normal day, I went through the motions of my daily routine - work, yoga, home. For a long time, I believed I will meet my true love. My heart ached for finding someone to start a family with. Eventually, I accepted that it’s just not meant for me. I’ll have to figure life out on my own.
Most days I am perfectly happy. Some days, melancholy nearly chokes me. Felling another ‘episode’ coming, I try to listen deep down inside. What’s triggering it this time?
My restless mind would not settle on anything. I guess I will have to just numb myself tonight and wait it out. I hope I have plenty of wine.
I get to the kitchen and pour a glass. Just my luck to forget to stock up. The only bottle is nearly empty. Fine, a few more sips and I go to the store.
I live in not the best part of town but I never had any issues walking down the street after dark, and the store is not that far. Got to make sure not to miss the closing time. I really don’t feel like walking all the way to the night shop.
I look out the window, staring at nothing in particular, letting my mind wander on its own.
I try to take another sip and looked down at an empty glass. Shit, how long am I standing here? The watch is showing it’s nearly eleven. I lost track of time...
Rush out to the store and pick up what I came here for. Three bottles of wine. Slowly I walk back home, enjoying the soft warm summer night air on my skin. Maybe I should just walk around the block. Another few minutes outside is tempting and I pass the turn to my street. In moments like these, I wish I would be somewhere in the countryside, roaming in nature not the streets of the city.
I love the city, I really do. However, sometimes being surrounded by all those people makes me feel so lonely.
Suddenly my thoughts are interrupted by a feeling I’m being watched. I pick up my pace, just another corner and I’ll be safe at home. I should stop freaking out every time I’m out at night. Nothing is going to happen, of course, there are people around. It’s not even that late.
Still, the nagging feeling makes me look around, my fist clenching the house keys spacing one between each knuckle as if getting ready to punch an invisible assailant. Who is exactly that, invisible, because there is not a soul on the street. I don’t know where this habit comes from, I just feel safer with my metal-enhanced fist. Even if it would not help me much if I would be in serious trouble, I have no idea how to fight. No matter, my mind is playing tricks on me again. I take a deep breath and turn to continue walking.
And then everything goes dark.
Groggy, I try to move and wince. Everything hurts. How much wine did I drink? And why am I lying on the floor?
Slowly I open my eyes but everything around me is pitch black. So cold I can barely feel my limbs. I take a slow breath. The air is heavy, mouldy and so humid. Am I still sleeping? Sometimes my dreams are too realistic. I close my eyes again and try to concentrate my fuzzy mind to conjure up a source of light or stir myself awake.
A few minutes later I feel like drifting away into the darkness again. Good, I managed to get out of what seems to be a strange version of a night terror. I have those sometimes.
The next time I wake up nothing has changed, except there is a faint light coming from around the corner. I focus and look around, feeling panic creeping up my spine. My heart races and I try to sit up. It’s hard but I manage. Feeling dizzy I try to make sense of my surroundings.
I don’t think this is a dream.
I’m in some sort of basement I think, like a dungeon from a historic movie. And am I in a cage? I stretch out a shaky hand and touch metal bars closest to me. Oh my god, it’s real. I pinch myself hard to make sure. Wait. Where are my clothes? Instead, I see a rag like cloth, barely covering anything.
Paralysed, I struggle to brief. I feel like I am being choked. A strange sound comes out, is it me trying to scream? From the corner of my eyes, I see a shadow getting closer. I close my eyes hard, terrified of what it might be. Not able to move as a few seconds pass, that feels like hours, like I’m in suspended time, I feel a sharp pain at the back of my head and slip into the darkness again.