Nightmare or Memory?
“Mommy, mommy! Let’s go on the Ferris wheel.”
“Slow down sweetie. Wait for your sister and I.”
“Hurry mommy! … Mommy? … Mommy!?! … Mommy, where are you?”
“Hey there little one. What has you all frazzled up?”
“I...I can’t find my mommy.” I wiped my hands on my eyes to try to hide my tears.
“Don’t worry little one, we will find her. Come with me and I’ll help you look.”
I took the man’s hand and he led me to the entrance of the park.
“I don’t want to leave, I want to find my mommy,” I started to cry again and tried to run away.
I wasn’t quick enough and the man grabbed me and carried me out of the park and to his car. I was thrown inside still screaming.
“NO...NO...NO. I WANT MY MOMMY...TAKE ME BACK TO MY MOMMY!” I continued to scream.
“SHUT UP LITTLE ONE...I AM YOUR DADDY NOW,” he yelled back at me.
I started to cry even more and curled up on the seat as far from the man as I could get.
I woke up screaming in the middle of the night. I found myself sweating and crying and at first, I wasn’t sure where I was. Then I heard someone running down the hall and open my door.
“Stacy? What happened? Are you OK? I heard you screaming from down the hall.” Jake slowly approached the bed as he saw me shaking in fear.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you. I...I just had a strange dream or nightmare...it frightened me so much.”
“Can you tell me about it?” Jake asked as he sat on the side of bed.
“I don’t know. I don’t remember much of it. I was in a park maybe...and I was a little girl. I remember calling out for my mother and I couldn’t find her. Some man offered to help me, but instead took me to a car and drove away. That’s when I woke up.”
“Was a dream, or a memory?” Jake asked as he scooted closer to me.
“I don’t know, but it seemed so real.” I held my knees up to my chest and rested my head on them.
“You are safe now. I won’t let anything happen to you if I can help it,” Jake said as he lifted my head up with his fingers on my chin. He then cupped my cheek and wiped away the tears that I didn’t realize were falling with his thumb. My heart started racing and I blushed and turned away.
He removed his hand and began to stand back up. “Get some rest, we can talk more about it tomorrow.” He headed to the door.
“Yeah?” he said as he turned around to look back at me.
“Anytime,” he smiled, “Goodnight.”
He turned away, shut the door and went back to his room.
I laid back down and tried to go back to sleep. I couldn’t get the images out of my head and it took a long time for sleep to finally come.
“Come on little one, we are home now,” the man said as he held his hand out for me to take.
“This isn’t my home. I want my mommy and real daddy,” I cried.
“What did I tell you? I am your daddy now and I don’t want to hear you say another word about those people. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?” He reached across the seat and grabbed me by the arm.
“Stop, you’re hurting me,” I tried to fight back, but wasn’t nearly as strong as him.
“I said, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?” he yelled again, pulling me across the seat.
“Ye...yes,” I whimpered as he dragged me from the car and into the building in front of us. It was now dark out and I didn’t know where we were.
When we got inside, he took me down a couple flights of stairs and a woman met us at the bottom. She held out her hand to me and guided me to a small table with some food on it. She gave me a sandwich to eat and juice to drink. I was hungry, so I ate everything she gave me. I started to feel really sleepy and the man picked me up and carried me to a small room and put me in bed. The woman tucked me in and she whispered, “Goodnight Stacy.”
The last thing I remember hearing was, “She is a feisty one, I’ll give her that. She may be young, but she is one to watch out for.”
Everything went silent as I drifted off to sleep.