It was about two in the morning when Officer Clyde left. He kept reassuring us that there would be round the clock patrolling, but I still did not feel safe. My mind is trying to process the facts that those monsters continue to look for me and will stop at nothing to get me back. My skin tingles with disgust. Just the thought of being restrained makes me sick. The fog is back, and I cannot seem to fight my way out of it. My heart feels defeated, but my spirit wants to keep fighting. A big part of me feels a great pity for Allen. He never signed up for all this baggage. It just feels like right when I start coasting along, I find out that my running never made a difference. Here I am numb, as I start to accept that I will never be free of my captors. The more I spend dwelling on these facts, the more I feel my face burn with rage. Then again, I could just be feeling the effects of my fifth glass of brandy. Regardless of how much I want to drown myself in this auburn liquid, I need to get my mind right.
“Hey,” Allen says as he slowly walks towards me. I had not notice him for several hours. I imagine he stayed in his room, giving me space with my thoughts. I sit with my knees pulled to my chest, draping one arm over my knees barely holding the glass of brandy. My gaze is held by the floor. It’s not until Allen kneels down in front of me that I turn to face him. He took the glass from me, but very careful not to touch me.
“You don’t have to do that.” My voice is barely audible.
“You’re trying not to touch me. I appreciate it, but I’m okay.” I meet his eyes, “I’ve moved past this.”
“I just don’t want to make you uncomfortable, more than you already are.” He gaze is soft. “I know your story is not easy to share-”
I do not want to stay on this subject. Yes it makes me uncomfortable, but I have moved on. My past has been emotionally taken care of. It’s the reliving it that is difficult. I know I am a survivor, but I have my days. Hell, who wouldn’t?
“Thank you for the brandy”, I say in attempts to change the subject.
I hear you snort, but I know you are grinning. “You my dear, are most welcome.” Before Allen stands he takes my hand and softly kisses my knuckles. My reaction is hidden for the moment. Allen disposes my glass in the sink and returns to my side.
“Come on, it’s late. You need to rest.” I can see the pensiveness etched in your face. “Come, take my bed, I’ll sleep on the couch.”
“Thanks, but no thanks. I feel safer sleeping right here.” I start to straighten out on the couch and pull the soft throw over me. “Besides, those guys broken in through your room.” After a beat, Allen turns on a heel and heads to his room. He returns with a pillow and the duvet from his bed.
“If you don’t mind, I will feel safe sleeping on the floor.”
I could not help but giggle. I slide down the arm rest of the couch until I’m laying down. It doesn’t take long before the haze of today is gone. The darkness has consumed me and I now breath at a steady pace. Dear sleep, you have never felt so welcomed.
My eyes are shut, so my other senses have peaked. I hear nothing, but I’m aware of the throbbing pain on my right cheekbone. I don’t dare move, because I can feel his eyes on me. It takes a beat, but I notice that oh so familiar smell.
The smell of cigarettes fill the room and I know who’s here with me and what he wants. All the muscles in my waist tense. I cannot bear this again. His fingers greedily push their way up my thigh and stop at my jean’s waistband. He knows I’m awake. This blindfold shelters me from his eyes, but I suffer his grotesque touch.
I struggle with no avail. These dammed straps on my wrists and ankles, they have me strung up for his taking. Finally I show weakness and a whimper escapes my throat. He slides his hand under my shirt and rests his palm on my stomach. I cringe at his warmth. Withdrawing his hand, hear him puff his cigarette and place it on the table. Then he straddles me and I scream. No mater how loud I scream I can still hear him laughing. Laughing at me and my pain. My tears flow freely and catch on the pillow beneath me.
I’m shaking so hard I cannot believe this fear has consumed me so much. Tears streaming down my face, I cannot find my voice. Darkness and shaking surround me. Yet, I hear a faint voice. I strain to hear this voice.
“Sam! Wake up! Please wake up!” I realize it was Allen shaking me. Trying break me from my nightmare.
I inhale rather sharply and my eyes burst open. Allen is standing over me, petrified. I stare into his eyes and new tears fill my eyes. Allen’s face softens and before I know it, he has me cradled in his arms. I cling to his arm for dear life. On his knees beside the couch he hold me tightly in his embrace. I sob into his chest and the nightmare fades in my head.
Allen gentle shifts so he is calmly rocking me. My cries have stopped and my heart feels renewed. His breathing is so calming. His warmth is so inviting. I close my eyes and I can feel his thumb brush my tears away. I have loosened my grip around his arm, and my body has slowly begun to relax.
Allen wraps his arm behind me and scoops up my legs with his other. He quickly returns me to the couch but this time he sit with my upper half cradled in his arms. I can’t bear to open my eyes, the swelling has started and my eyes feel sore. I feel Allen take one of the blankets and covers me. He shifts a little and then settles us both to sleep. I feel his lips in my hair as gives me a kiss on my head. My heart smiles, then I drift again.
I jolt awake. Fuck where’s Allen.
“Hey, I’m over here.”
I look behind me to see he stands in the kitchen cooking. I had fallen asleep with my back to the room, so I was rather confused at where I was.
“How do you like your eggs?”
“Benedict.” I smirk.
“Okay fancy pants, I meant solid or watery.”
“Um-.” Baffled by his terminology I frown, “scrambled please.” I say finally.
“Cool, would you like some coffee while I finish up over here?”
“Yes, please.” I sit up, pulling my legs up so I sit with them crossed. I glace up and Allen has already poured my coffee. Still in socks, he slides over the wood floor. Stepping over his makeshift bed, he hands me a mug.
“Here you go.” Allen glances behind him then back at me,” Sorry I don’t have a table, do you mind eating on the couch?”
I had taken a sip of the coffee and burned my tongue. I wince in pain, then look up. How did I not notice he didn’t have a dinning table. “What-, umm, no that’s fine.”
“Yeah, I know it’s weird, but I never really had people over. Er, I never really needed a table. It’s just me you know?”
“Well I get that, but not even a coffee table?” I raise my eye brow.
“That’s what the side tables are for.” Allen giggles off some anxiety. “Like I said, It’s just been me. I would slide the tables around to use them.”
“Makes sense.” I try for another sip and prevail. “This is good coffee.”
“Oh shit!” Allen spins around and runs towards the stove.
Full tummies have me yearning to stretch my legs. I walked everywhere before they found me and now I have just been hiding. This isn’t fair, I feel like I am going to lose my mind just sitting here, waiting around for nothing.
“I say we go out for a walk.” I quietly say, shifting my gaze to Allen, who has been slumped over on the couch fighting the sandman. I watch his eye flutter open and find my gaze.
“You sure you’re up for it?”
I stare down at my tangled fingers. I take bite my lower lip and look up. “As long as you go with me.”
Allen smiles his sly smile. His gaze is ever so soft. Slowly he rises and takes my hand. With a swift motion he held open my jacket so I could slide it on.
The cold air bites at my face. I inhale as deeply as the wind will allow, closing my eyes I let myself feel free. A memory of me as a girl swims through my mind. The sun, bright as I twirl under its warmth. The yellow flowers consume my bare feet as I dance among them. It brings a smile to my face. I feel Allen’s arm wrap around me, bringing me into the now. I open my eyes and pull up my scarf.
Here’s to a moment of freedom.