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In a Blink

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 It's 2:00 AM. I'm sitting in my bed like a statue. It's been a month since I've returned home. It seems like only a memory of home, but I just can't seem to convince myself it's the real thing. I remember the bright green grass on the front lawn, the fancy and large exterior of the house, the plain, cozy interior. My room is the same; white walls, a simple bed, dresser, and nightstand. Nothing has changed. Everything is the same. Except for me.
 Ever since I've returned, it's the same every night.
 I stare absently at a picture of myself two years ago. Wavy brown hair pulled up into one ponytail, a few freckles speckled over my nose, a smile that reaches my soft blue eyes. My gaze slowly focuses on the mirror across the room. A nest of black hair sits on the top of my head, my face is pale, my blue eyes are bloodshot and there are distinct bags under them. 
 It's 3:00 AM. No matter how hard I try, my eyes cannot stay open. The memory of my room goes black, and suddenly I find myself in a dark room. A dim light radiates from an old green lamp, and I sit on the floor in the middle of the room. The concrete floor is cold and hard, and it freezes wherever it contacts my skin, which is almost everywhere. My jean shorts and white tank top that I wore to the movies are now torn and dirty. 
 Two large figures appear at the broken door. The duct tape that covers my mouth gets sweaty, and I breathe fiercely in and out of my nose. One figure steps closer, and I try to crawl to the corner of the room. But my hands and feet are bound, and I cannot escape. I hear them snickering, and both of them come me without hesitation. The first one grabs my arms tightly, and I feel a scream climbing up the back of my throat, when-
 I quickly open my eyes again. I'm back in my simple room, and I'm panting. I hear my heart beating a mile a minute, and I feel cold sweat rolling down my forehead. I glance at the clock; it's 3:02 AM. I feel hot tears flooding my eyes, and I bite my lower lip to stop them from spilling over. But it's not enough, and my eyes involuntarily close to avoid crying.
 My room disappears again, and the men are holding me to the floor. The worst is over, and now they are beating me. As they are laughing, tears run down my face silently, and I tense my muscles for the next blow. "Such a dirty little doll!" one whispers harshly in my face. His hot breath reeks of smoke and alcohol. I accidentally let out a whimper, and as one pulls my hair so hard some of my hair comes out, the other hits my face as hard as he can. My left cheek stings, already swelling, and my head is aching furiously. "Shut up," the one who pulled my hair says. 
 An hour later, they leave me in the cold and dusty room broken and abandoned. My crumpled body is shaking and my breath is irregular, and I try to tell myself I'm okay. 
 My eyes are dry now and I examine my room once more, still unsure if this is reality or not. My hands are shaking and my eyesight is blurry. But even so, I could tell the clock said 3:55 AM. "It's okay. You're okay. You're safe now," I tell myself. I lock my arms around my knees and I start rocking myself to calm down. After a few haggard breaths, I whisper, "See? That wasn't so bad. Now lay down and sleep." my body involuntarily winced at the word. My eyes were half closed and I could already see what was about to happen.
 I wake up to the sound of sirens and yelling. Footsteps come toward the broken door. Hope fills my head of happy thoughts and dreams of finally going home. The broken door swings open so hard and so fast it completely breaks off its hinges. Fear sweeps through me and I recognize the two figures. They angrily pick me up and throw me into the opposite wall. I would have screamed, if not for the duct tape. I topple to the floor and crumple my body into a tight ball. 
 Suddenly I hear more sirens, and many footsteps rushing through the hallway to find this room. The two figures immediately turn around and anxiously pack whatever they had. Before running away, they spat on me, and growled, "This isn't over, dirty little doll. We will come back for you," Before the police found me, the men gave me one last kick to the gut, and they were gone. 
 My eyes shot open and I sat up quickly, too afraid to scream. I expected the men to open my door and say, "Told you we'd be back, didn't we, you dirty little doll?" After realizing that wouldn't happen, I laid back down and stared at the ceiling. I stayed that way, hoping sleep would never come.
 




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