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Don’t give up. Keep going. Be smart; don’t make any noises for him to follow. What was that? Stop and breathe. Don’t scream. Stay calm.
I can’t keep running. I need to rest….
No! I can’t. I. need. To. Keep. Going!
I can’t feel my legs. I can’t….
I need to find a place to hide, a place where he can’t find me. But there is nowhere to hide, just dirt and trees, their branches catching my arms and tearing at my shirt. Far along I see a little opening. I see….light. I pick up the pace on the dry dirt floor on my bare feet, and look behind me to see if I’m alone. When the pathway started to widen, I forced all of my strength to jump on the other side. But all of a sudden I am engulfed by water, drowning and slithering, as I try to swim up to shore. The pale blue sky hangs over me, portraying me with its light color and endless clouds. Weak, the numbness takes over me, leaving me lifeless, descending into darker shades of blue. Eyes closing t o shut and heart beating slow, I encounter a dark face with mischievous eyes and wicked smile. Then black.
Eyes open, I jolt up in bed, coughing and screaming, every muscle in my body aching. Heart beating like a rabbit; I acknowledge my surroundings; blue walls; wood dresser; green bed sheets. My breathing returns to normal and I wipe the heavy sweat on my face with my red shirt. I close my eyes and try to recall the dream that just happened. No not a dream, a nightmare, a nightmare that felt so real. The scratches on my arms and the water on my lungs, unable to breathe felt too lifelike.
I put my head on my forehead, feeling the pulse and pain going through my hand. The only times that I could have a headache is if I had been in the water too deep or I have been crying or screaming really hard. So why does it hurt so much? I look down to see scratches going all around my arm, like a spider just made a web on me with blood. What? This cannot exist. This is impossible.
“Angela? Angela are you alright?” my mother shouts from down the hall. I didn’t realize that I was screaming until my mom burst from my door. She sprints toward me and switches on the light.
“It’s alright Angela, it was a dream-oh my gosh, what happened to you? Look at your arms! ” Her voice cracks.
I look down and notice that my nails are bleeding, and did not realize the pain until my mom pointed it out. “I did”. I say in a whisper.
“What?” mom prompts her green eyes with dark circles and breathe like peppermint.
“I did.” I say louder.
“What do you mean you did it? Why would you do this to yourself.” She comes at me, grabbing my arms.
“Oww! I don’t know. I had a bad dream and woke up like this.”
She looked down at her hands wrapped around my arms, and departed the room. I could hear my mom in the bathroom, searching in the cabinets for the first aid kit. She comes in, white case with Red Cross and all, with a charge look on her face. She looked beyond her years with her wrinkles so deep around her eyes and mouth. She opens the kit and takes out the cotton balls and alcohol. She pours the alcohol on the white puffy ball and said, “This might hurt a lot.” Then she rubs it on it on my arm and I screeched in pain. I never had anything like this happen to me before; I always was cautious and careful when I did anything reckless, so all of this felt new to me. The burning sensation running through my veins and repulsive chemical smell was unbearable.
“Hold still. It only makes it worse if you keep moving.” She demanded.
I stopped squirming and chopped down on my lip, hard. I smell metallic and the iron taste of blood.
She stopped the tortured part and smeared on scar cream, soothing the wounds on my arm, finishing with rolls of bandages. She continued with the other arm and said, “This should help. I hope this doesn’t happen again, Angela.”
I hope it doesn’t happen either, I thought.
“Well I should get back to bed. I work early in the morning so I will be able to see you when you get back from school.” She kissed me goodnight and head for the door. “I love you sweetie.” Then she was out of ear shot.
I threw myself on the head of the bed against the soft fluffy pillow and glimpsed at the clock, 11:00 p.m. Oh great, nine more hours until the first day of school. I stare at my ceiling, not closing my eyes to fall asleep, then noticed me eyes start to flutter and a big yawn comes, and before I fell to unconsciousness, I heard a soft laughter.
Good night Angel.