When you Dream of Nightmares

January 31, 2010
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Here we go again. I’m getting ready for bed and I find myself fearing what I will find in my dreams. To tell you the truth, they’re not really dreams, they’re more like nightmares. It seems I can never be at ease. Why do these thoughts haunt me? That, I will never know. I can only hope that one day I can have a normal, peaceful sleep, like everybody else.

I change out of my everyday clothes and into my pajamas before heading to the washroom. I let the water run a bit before grabbing my toothbrush and brushing my teeth. Once that’s over with, I head back to my room and comb my hair, fixing it into 2 braids so it won’t be full of knots tomorrow morning.

Next, I turn on my nightlight. Yes, at seventeen years old, I still sleep with a nightlight, but I have my reasons. And so would you if you were in my place. I check my hamster to see if he has enough food. I do the same for my bird, my dog and my bunny. I have lots of pets, they don’t judge me the way others do.

Finally, I settle into bed and look around the room, making sure nothing is out of place. As I go to turn off the light, I jump. It’s nothing, simply my imagination making something out of nothing, but that’s what’s so scary about it. There’s never anything.

I look around again to make sure. The door is closed and locked, so are the windows; the curtains shut tightly over them so wouldn’t have to see outside. The cages all closed and locked as well. Good, I think, now I can sleep. I finally turn off the light and quickly dive under the covers, tucking them under my feet, my legs and my sides so nothing can crawl in and get me.

Now I close my eyes and wish that were true. In fact, my routine is just a bit different. I don’t have clothes to change into. I’m stuck in the same outfit day after day. I have no toothbrush to brush my teeth, only sewer water to “rinse” my mouth. My hair is tangled and knotty no matter what I do with it. The only lights we have at night are those on the street. We – how only I wish they were animals, so I could release them and let them to fend for themselves – but I couldn’t bare to be apart from them. What some people would so easily abandon, I could not – my babies, my children. We don’t have much of a bed really, a dumpster…

I make sure they are settled down and when I reach out to close the cover so the light isn’t too bright for us to sleep, I jump. I thought it was him, but no one’s there. No one was ever there. I screamed, over and over, as loud as I could but each time, no one heard, no one came. He would come back everyday, and it would be the same thing. I’ve lost count of how many times he’d done it. One day he came back with friends, that was it. I snapped after that. I took the children and ran. Maybe I should have left them, they might have had a better environment to grow up in - they might have had happier lives – but I feared for them too much then.

That is the reality of what I am. My innocence has been stripped from me. I must sleep now, another day awaits.

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