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Sharp, shooting pain and a blast of air into my mouth. Darkness. In the darkness, there is no pain.

Sharp, shooting pain and a blast of air into my mouth. Darkness. It doesn’t hurt here. I want to stay here.

Sharp, shooting pain and a blast of air into my mouth. Brightness. Too much. It’s too much. Every part of my body screams silently at once as it instinctually gasps for air, the darkness retreating. So much fucking pain… oh God. Everything hurts.

How can I possibly still be alive?

I hear voices. How can there be voices? I’m in the middle of nowhere, at the bottom of what felt like the Grand Canyon. I can’t make my eyes work right.

Why am I still alive?

Oh noooo please! Stop! Leave me alone! Oh God! Let me fucking die! I’m moving. Someone is carrying me. So much pain. Too much. My mind wants to go, I just need my body to listen. Oh Christ, make it fucking end!

Can’t a girl just catch a break for once, for Christ’s sake?

Car. No. Truck. I’m in a truck. How did I get here? I lost time. Why does my heart keep beating? Why does my body keep fighting? Goddamnit, stop already.

Nobody knows where I am.

Nia will worry. Nia. Safer for her without me. Fucking stop beating. I hear sirens. So loud. Why am I in a truck if there are sirens? I hope she knows I tried.

Is it really trying if I give up now?

Fuck off. I don’t know who I think I am, but I have fought long enough. Every day with Stephen was a fight for survival. I’m tired. It is my turn to rest.

If I rest now, my sleep will last for eternity.

I’m in a bed. Fuck. How much time did I lose? Am I awake? Nothing feels right, and it all hurts at the same time. I hate this. I’m ready to go goddamnit. Why am I still here?! Every day is another day I’m not running, and another day Stephen might be getting closer to me. I need to go, one way or another.

Use the medicine to heal.

It doesn’t matter anymore. I am ready to rest. I am making my choice, and that is my exit. There is too much hurt here, and too much loneliness. What is there to fight for?

Can it really be that easy?

I see scenes from my childhood; the dozens of foster homes I was in and out. Sirens. Good moments, bad ones. Nia. Nia laughing. Nia crying. Sirens. Stephen. Friendly Stephen. Loving Stephen. Angry Stephen. Cruel Stephen. Sirens. Deer. Tree branches. Sirens. My car sliding on its roof. Sirens. Sirens. Sirens.

So many sirens.

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