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Awake in the Dark
“Not only are you an idiot, but you are also unforgivable.”
“I am so blessed to have a child like you.”
“We trusted you and you went along and dishonored us.”
“Any guy would be stupid to let you go.”
“Daddy said he would never leave you hanging and I promise.”
“I said I loved you, but it’s hard when you act like this.”
The phrases scroll through my brain, blinking in bright neon colors, no sign of letting up. I can’t sleep and to top off my misery I’m sweating really bad. Everybody is asleep. The bathroom night light leaks underneath my bedroom door. Just enough to hold up my hand and see it tremble. I snatch my hand back to my chest and squeeze my eyes shut. I pray that God will do some miracle and let it all be a dream.
I wake pry my open hoping to see something other than nothing, yet to no avail I see nothing. I slip from my teddy bear’s tiny grasp and tip toe to the soft light underneath the door. Outside my door its more nothing but at least I can see the bathroom door glowing from the nightlight. I pitter-patter across the new hardwood floors and slip into the bathroom. I close the door and lean back against the door breathing all hard as if I had just completed my best mile in 6:30.
The soft sound of my PJs as they slide against the grain of the door causes me to relax a little. As I crumple to the floor I could feel the cold stone tile radiate their icy grasp onto my sticky skin. I couldn’t help but lay there. My thoughts were becoming blurry and then I heard my head thump to the ground as my body made its landing. After the thump I was out.
When I finally regained any thought processing I popped open my eyes expecting to be in my room rubbing cheeks with my scratchy bear, but then I feel the hard stone and regain my surroundings. The tile has gone from cold to uncomfortably warm. I lean up not remembering how weak I was. I struggle to balance my self. I wince the whole time and even minutes afterwards, squeezing my eyes shut hoping when I open them everything will be back to normal.
My skin feels gross and clammy. I haven’t stopped sweating. I scoot my body to the toilet instinctively. Then I lean my head over the brim. I feel my body jerk as I cough up God knows what. The taste in my mouth is sickening and I cannot stand it. But I have to. My body wouldn’t allow me to get up and I didn’t know magic. I lay back to feel the tile’s coolness again. I must have been in there forever marinating in cold sweat. Finally I gain enough to get on my knees. Just enough height to rinse out my stale mouth. I drink about a gallon of water afterwards only to throw it up soon following.
I was exhausted. What was I thinking? They were tiny pills. Maybe it was the fact that I took in five of those oval shaped capsules. Or it could have been that I drank in two glasses of Redbull and vodka. I kept trying to remember that moment. Trying to conjure up what was going on in my brain. I pushed up from the counter getting to my feet. The difference in gravity sent my head spinning and I collapsed to the toilet. The top of the seat made a pshh sound, like a deflating balloon.
Again I pushed up from the sink counter. As soon as my feet steadied themselves underneath me I dragged myself toward the door. I walked from the bathroom to my room again. As soon as the bedroom door clicked behind me I kneeled to the floor, gasping. My heart was fluttering inside my chest. I couldn’t move anything, so that as I fell, I couldn’t catch myself. I fell on my face. My nose stung and I felt warm sludge creep down my nasal tunnel. The thump of my head was so loud the kittens underneath the house woke up. The mewing was soothing. I wished that maybe my parents would come home from the church revival or that my brother would walk in from staying out too late. I was locked into place. My body was insensitive and my breathing was short. Rapid.
Again the phrases scrolled right back in. They kept getting louder and harsher. The cacophonous voices screamed at me and all I could do was hear them. The tears ran down my face to soak in the carpet with the blood. I wanted to close my ears, but knew that the voices were inside me. Telling me every mistake I had made, and giving me every encouragement. I laid there in the dark. Finally I made a move. I rolled over.
It was the same thing every night. Why did I keep at it, and keep at it, and keep at it? I would be flying high one minute then the next I would be falling. Bruising my face, arms. The abusing was persistent. In the dark I would lay feeling every emotion. Then like a wave crashing to the shore I would become numb to every feeling other than pain. Torture night after night and no one seemed to stop me. The fighting was up to me. Me and the dark.