Suddenly I am standing on the front porch of my nightmares, the door eerily still, wide open. I feel the walls close in on me as I look at that spot on the floor. The haunting shade of red draws me in as I recall being curled up on that floor, spitting blood and drowning in my tears.
The back porch door slams shut with a thunderous boom that demands my attention. I find the gaping hole in the new, unfinished drywall and I’m brought back to the time where my words were unwelcome. The sting on my face feels so real, I turn away despondent.
I hear the ghostly whisper, just inside the front door, “Why are you so impossible to love?” I’m struggling to catch my breath as I’m assaulted with toxic, wicked words from the past. The fireplace roars to life for only a brief second. It’s long enough to take me back to the rush of adrenaline at the sight of him in handcuffs, surrounded by innocent, worried angels.
I avert my eyes as the pain of these flickering memories comes to life. I wipe the lone tear before it falls and pick my shoulders up. The ghosts of the past grab my hand and lead me toward the girls’ room. I stand frozen as I stare at the closet where I had spent many nights hiding, running.
The light overhead flickers on. I’m alone in a bare room, the walls peeling and flaking away different colors, bringing back all the changes this room alone has seen. I breathe in deeply as I scan the room and recall the fold-away cot that used to reside in that corner. I feel a breath on my ear and recall more words from the past, ‘cold-hearted bitch.’
I hug my arms to my body and turn around. I flip the light switch as I move past the door. One last glance back shows me the outline of the crib that was once there, and I’m reminded of his negligence. Slowly shuffling down the hall towards’ the boys room I look up to see that single, fist sized hole in the wall.
‘I feel sorry for your kids having you as a mother.’ I pause, clasp my hands over my ears, and will the words to stop. I continue on to pass the bathroom that will never see completion and I’m riddled with pain as I remember all the empty promises.
As I approach the boys’ room, the door swings open as if waiting for my arrival. I see myself standing over there, tears rolling down my cheeks, paint roller in my hand, words of despair roaring out of my mouth. I watch those words fly through the air and explode on the ghost of the man who first broke my heart.
I see myself sitting in the corner, head leaning against the wall, eyes wide open, watching those sleeping angels. The feeling of letting them down is so real I can’t help but gasp for breath.
My breath won’t come and I panic. I run, tripping into the living room. I fall in the exact spot where he tackled me to the ground. I feel completely paralyzed as he pins me down and demands I stay. I push him off and he vanishes into thin air. I try, but fail, to pick myself up, breath heaving. The terror is squeezing my lungs.
I begin to crawl towards the kitchen when suddenly the knives are thrown across the floor towards me. The blades glisten in the moonlight creeping through the window. ‘Here, take it. Cut yourself.’ Instinctively, I grasp the handle of the closest knife in my fist. Defiantly, I throw it with as much force as I can as I scream, “FUCK YOU!”
I angrily pick myself up from the floor and push through to the place that once held me prisoner. As I reach the threshold I’m forcefully shoved backwards. I catch myself against the wall and feel a strong breeze blow past me. I’m suddenly assaulted with the memory of him malevolently stealing my angel and disappearing.
I shiver as the temperature seems to plummet suddenly. I move back towards the doorway of my own personal hell. I’m assaulted on all sides as I step into the darkness. It’s so dark and feels so cold. Each breath I take feels like a knife to the lungs.
There is a strong wind blowing remnants of what once was into a chaotic scene of pain and agony. The objects of my rage fly through the swirling ashes. I begin to see the faint outline of an unforgettable man coming towards me.
Everything in me is saying to go, run. I feel paralyzed until that strong grip pushes me to my knees. I can see him remove his pants and come closer. In an instant he’s gone so quick, vanished. I slump over, heaving, as I’m lost in the vicious grip of trauma.
I struggle to gain composure as I whisper to myself, “It’s a nightmare. You survived.” After an eternity I sit up and look around. Through the haze I see the towering bed frame on the other side of the room. Next to it I can barely make out the table. I see the slight glimmer of the precious object that was more important than me. I reach out to touch it and pull my hand back, burned.
The flames ignite all around me as everything I ever owned disintegrates to ash. The fire moves across the unfinished floor as if leading me to the bathroom. I hear a horrid, bellowing scream as I move toward it. I glance at the mirror and pale as his form appears behind me.
I blink and I’m flat on the floor with an ache in my jaw. The flames are gone but I still feel the fire burning inside me. I pick myself up and shoot flames at the outline of his face. I’m swirled around so fast I become dizzy. I begin seeing stars as he bends me over the sink. My tears come so fast and hard the sink begins to overflow.
I’m frozen in fear. I can’t turn around. The water is building up so fast. I’m choking on my own tears. I look up, into the mirror, and it is as if nothing happened. Everything looks eerily put together, colorful and arranged just so.
I look to my right at the window and toilet. I pause at all the holes in the wall. I grip my fist and remember the pain and frustration of putting all those holes there. I glance to my left at the cabinet and shower. I walk to that place on the floor where I spent so much time writing, venting, smoking.
I’m so terribly confused. I’m so horridly heartbroken. I’m so dejectedly ashamed.
I move to shut the light off and head back to the bedroom. A deepening sadness overcomes me as I pass the door frame. I become a chaotic mix of fire and water and the pressure builds up. The despair is overwhelming but the anger is growing larger.
I walk around the bed to my side. As I sit down, the color drains from the room, as if unplugging a bathtub. I’m plunged into darkness once more. I fight back the panic as I hear dominating voices getting louder. I struggle to keep my breathing steady as the tears fall down my cheeks.
I see the glint of silver from those small, sharp scissors. As if in a trance, I pick them up. I run my finger along the edge and I’m stabbed with disappointment. I feel the blood creep down my skin as I pass out.
To be continued…