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Dont Leave me to my Nightmares
Aiden, he’s the only one keeping me grounded. I need him more than a child needs a mother. He has been there for me since the day we met at the child services building. He was there when I would scream the nights away, when I thought behind every corner was someone trying to hurt me. He was there the day the court sentenced my father to prison for fifteen years. Aiden was there when I could finally sleep again because my father had been sent away 1,500 miles away to Texas State Penitentiary.
Now Aiden is leaving me. It wont be for long, we’re not breaking up. I can’t stand the thought of where he is really going. Afghanistan is halfway across the world. What if he dies, what if someone kills him? I don’t know how I could live if he doesn’t return to me. He holds my life together. He is literally the reason I’m still alive. He’s the one that me convinced to stay here in Connecticut. He kept me from dropping out of high school, helped me get a steady job, helped me keep my grades up, loved me when I thought the whole world wanted me dead, and he still does everyday.
I can’t even begin to imagine not seeing his face everyday. To not be able to see his tall, built frame. He towers over me by a good five inches and when I kiss him I have to stand on my tippy toes. When his hand intertwines with mine; I can tell he’s worked hard and just wants me to be proud of him. His half smirk pleads for me to be fully happy although I can’t promise that. But the two things I’m going to miss the most is how he seems to wear a band t-shirts that always match my mood and when his eyes know what I’m thinking. He just has to look at me and he knows exactly how to hold me, what to say, and what I want to say but don’t have the courage.
I feel someone fold their arms around me. I look up to see Aiden smirking down at me. His eyes knowing that I have been transported to another time. He gently places kiss right below my left eyebrow. It’s the spot where my father gave me my very first scar.
“You know I’m going to miss you, Lexus. Please tell me that you understand that.” His eyes looked inquiringly
“Yes,” my voice quivered as I fought back tears, “I just don’t want to lose you.”
Aiden pulled me closer to him. He lifted my chin, his eyes asked permission. I kissed him before he could think twice. We became so close that we were one, he held me as though I would fly away if he let go. It’s moments like this that I know we will be able to make it. Aiden pulled away all to soon. Leaving me a feeling of longing and loneliness.
“I’ll miss everything about you,” Aiden started, “I’ll miss the way your smile lights up my world. I’ll miss that noise you make while your sleeping that sounds like your eating, but your really not. I’m definitely not going to miss your grams finding me in your room in the middle of the night and her screaming for me to get out. I will miss how the next morning I’ll show up and she’ll have breakfast waiting for me as though nothing happened the night before.”
“But that’s not what I’m going to miss the most, I’ll miss the way I can make you feel on top of the world. How you disappear into your mind to back then, but I can always bring you back. I’m going to miss not being here for you, and I’d hate for anything to happen to you while I wasn’t here. It would feel like I can’t protect you, that if I’m not here I’ll lose you forever to your past.”
“I’ll miss you too,” Tears had broken down my barriers and was seconds away from sobbing.
“I don’t know how I’ll keep myself together, but I’ll be fine. I got Grams and Pops. They’ll be here for me and they’ll watch me like a hawk, you know that.” Aiden didn’t look at me, he just kept holding onto me.
We moved towards the couch in my living room. It was a ratty old sofa, it seemed like it went through World War II. The thing was covered in drink spills and food stains, the red and green plaid fabric was fraying at the edges even ripped completely in certain places. It creaks whenever someone sits on it and it’s so perfectly lumpy it has the prefect pockets for your butt to sink into. It was the spot our first kiss, the spot where I first told him I loved him, he chose to not run away.
I curled up next to him and watched mindless TV for what felt like hours. The TV started to sound farther and farther away. Aiden’s steady breathing lulled me to sleep. I was off to the world of my nightmares.
I mustn’t scream, I mustn’t cry. It isn’t that bad. As soon as the pain numbs I won’t feel it anymore. More punches fly, spit lands upon my cheek, blood trickles from my nose. He’ll be done soon, maybe he’ll pass out right here in front of me. Seems like he’s been doing more than a little drinking at O’ Neil’s. I wonder if that waitress he’s been stalking finally told him to lay off. Is that why today hurts just a little bit more? Serves him right, he doesn’t deserve anyone. He doesn’t deserve love, compassion, not even a helping hand. Wait what is that?
The florescent lights caught something shiny held in my father’s hand. I caught a little sight of it. It was twelve inches long and had a black handle. It was the knife I had been using earlier to cook him his dinner. Searing pain enters my stomach. Then again a little bit higher, in between my ribs . My vision is blurred, all I see is a florescent light, and it’s the only thing keeping me conscious. A face steps over me, a sick perverted grin glooms down upon me.
“Never, ever say no to me again, got it?” He spat at me.
“Yes, daddy,” I whispered
DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN! I laid there, not moving, while he did what I hope that I never have to speak of again. When he was done, he started all over again. Beating me, saying that I wasn’t any good in bed. That I don’t know how to please a man and that I should have made more noise, shown him what a good job he was doing. Daddy decided he was going to give me one more chance, if I did everything he wants me to, he would finally stop. Like I had a choice anyways.
He asked me to do certain things and I did them. Things I can’t bear, things that if I say them will tear me apart. It went on for what felt like hours and it probably was. Then finally he was done. The only way I could tell was because he was snoring. He was still on top of me, inside me. The bastard couldn’t even finish so he could get off me before passing out. I was still bleeding and I couldn’t lift him off of me so I could get to phone, call an ambulance.
I felt my father start to twitch and fidget. He’s starting to wake up; maybe he’ll just roll right off of me. Then I can get out of here. Daddy didn’t wake up. Instead he shifted over and used me as his own personal pillow. I’m starting to black out, losing vision. I feel so cold, and yet so warm. Is this what dying is like? Ahh, there’s the numbness. Black…
When I didn’t show up for school the next day, child services came around. The school had come to realize that I didn’t come to school that often anymore. When I don’t show up for school they send someone over to haul me off to class. They found me addressing my wounds in the bathroom mirror. I was in such a daze; I didn’t even realize they were there. I was too busy thinking about the night before and how I was going to get out. I was driven to a building made of brick walls and cheery flowers planted in front. The flowers were so beautiful and I sniffed them only to find a bee right next to my nose. I didn’t want to go in there. There was this feeling about it that was off.
Once inside I was surrounded by people. Little kids screaming their heads off, adults bustling from room to room with piles of papers in their hands, and teenagers sulking against the walls with bored expressions upon their faces. Before I could even so much as smell the flowers on the table next to me or smile to the cute guy from across the hall, I was shoved into a small-secluded room. Four white walls, a doctor’s chair placed in the direct center, a counter covering the wall to the right and in front of me, they were covered in strewn doctors utensils and papers like a tornado went off in just that one spot. I felt like I was just put into a prison and I wasn’t going to be let out, I started to panic. The doctor will ask questions. He will wonder why I’m so messed up. Why I have been stabbed, but most of all he will wonder who did it.
I was so lost in my thoughts that I had not realized there was someone with me. The doctor was trying to get my attention. “How you doing?” the doctor asked in a quiet calming voice.
“I’m fine,” I replied, “just trying to figure out where I am.”
“Don’t worry your someplace safe.”
Then why don’t you just tell me what’s going to happen to me? The doctor ignored me the rest of the time, he gave me a routine checkup and sent me on my way. The people here seriously just don’t give a shit do they? I went out into the hallway and sat on a random bench waiting for anyone, someone to say ok you can go home now. Suddenly I felt a presence next to me; it was the really cute guy I saw earlier. Up close I could really see what he looked like. He looked about 19 and had hair that came just below his ears, the color of sand after a thunderstorm, but it wasn’t dull. Full lips that twisted into a smirk when he realized I was checking him out. He was on the tall side but then again I like to be on my tiptoes when I kiss someone. He looked like an emo kid gone right. Lastly I looked at his eyes. They were a piercing shade of green, the color of freshly cut grass.
“Nice scar.” His voice cut through me like butter.
“Ha, which one?” I asked coyly
“That one right there.” He pointed to my scar right under my left eyebrow.
“Oh that, that’s nothing.”
“Pretty name, Lexus, it’s different”
“Thanks, my mom picked it out, but she was never really around”
“And why’s that?”
“She thought it would be more fun not being a mom. She wanted to do her own thing plus she wanted to get away from my dad.”
“He one of those guys?”
“Yea, but it’s been so long I just grew so used to the pain. Sometimes I don’t even notice anymore.”
“When did it start, you don’t have to answer if you’re uncomfortable.”
The thing I’m not uncomfortable around you. I don’t even know you and I feel the exact opposite, I feel like you can be there unlike so many others. “It started when I was about 8 years old, he come home drunk one night and he didn’t get any.. you know.. anyways he used me instead. When I refused he just beat me until I bled. He never actually did anything to me, mostly he would just beat me when I refused then he would pass out on the couch. But there was something different about last night. He didn’t take no for answer… sometimes I just wish my mom had taken me with her and I wonder why she didn’t. Then I remember, oh yea she didn’t want me.”
We were both silent. Me lost in thought and Aiden, I hoped was thinking of a way of responding. I started to cry and he pulled me into a hug and rubbed my back. He kept whispering in my ear that everything was going to get better and he didn’t let go.
“Lexus… Lexus… Lexus wake up… I know you can hear me.”
The room felt like it was spinning and it finally settled onto Aiden’s face. I was wrestling a wool blanket that had placed onto me. No wonder it’s so hot, it fells like its 100 degrees. I realized that I was looking up at Aiden who was peering over the edge of the couch. I was lying on the floor. How did I end up here?
“Lexus are you alright? You fell asleep on me, but then you started screaming and fell off the couch. I couldn’t get you to wake up. When you started to calm down I tried again but you still didn’t wake up. Did you bang your head when you fell? You might have a concussion. Do you want me to get Grams? How about an ambulance? Do you need something to eat? Will that make you feel better?”
These questions came flying at me so fast it was hard to comprehend all of them. My head started pounding and the room was spinning faster and faster. I felt someone place a cold compress onto my head. Suddenely I started to feel much better. I looked up and found Aiden with a worried expression placed upon his usually calm face. He lifted the pressure off the compress and gestured to ask if I wanted more or less pressure.
“That felt good, put it back.” I whispered, barely audible.
He placed the compress back onto my forehead. A few minutes later I told Aiden that I wanted to get up. He helped me up, actually it was more like he pulled me up. We walked up into the kitchen together and grabbed some water and an apple. I sat down and munched on my apple, watching Aiden the whole time. He went over to the sink and filled two glasses with water. He placed one in front of me and stared at the floor.
“I leave for the airport in an hour,” he stated.
“I know,” I couldn’t look at him because if I did I knew nothing would keep me from crying again.
“I guess we should get going, go to my house first and get my things. Then we go to Hartford.” We headed for the door.
The Hartford Army Base was packed with people, people going to Afghanistan and their families. Aiden and I stood off to the side by ourselves, saying our last goodbyes.
“You be safe, you here me? If anyone tries to shoot you get everyone around you in a circle and stay in the middle of it. That way you won’t get shot.” Aiden smirked at my comment and pulled me into a hug.
“Don’t worry, I won’t get shot. They won’t have time. I’ll already have shot them before they even have the chance to think about it.”
“Are Mike and Devon here yet?” They were two of Aiden’s army buddies. They were in the same platoon and were going to Afghanistan together.
“Yea, I saw them already, they say hello and that they’re going to miss you.”
“Tell them I said the same… do you have to go? I want you to stay! Please don’t leave!”
“I have to, you know this. I’ll be back before you know it.” Aiden’s voice started to quiver. I looked up to him to realize he was crying. I kissed the tear off his face. I held onto him, my life depended on it. If I let go, my heart will shatter.
Aiden’s platoon was called to line up so that they could board the bus to the airport. Aiden pulled away from me and picked up his bags. He stood in line next to Mike and Devon.
“NO! AIDEN DON’T LEAVE! PLEASE, AIDEN PLEASE!”
I ran to him and tried to pull him away. Someone tried to pull me away from him. Aiden grabbed me and kissed me so intensely that I lost my balance. He kept me from falling. We cried together for a moment then Aiden was tapped on the shoulder by his commanding officer. He told him that he needed get on the bus now.
“I love you,” was all Aiden said.
“I love you too.” Tears were streaming down my face.
Aiden got on the bus, he chose a sea next to the window. He looked out the window staring intently at me. I went up to the bus and placed my hand on the window. He did the same. The bus started to pull away. No I can’t let you go, I need you. I ran after the bus, but I couldn’t keep up. I fell to my knees and wept. Aiden with out you, how much longer is it before I’m consumed by my nightmares?