“What was that?” I scream out loud in the dark. Before I can even realize what was going on, I have the lights open and I have jumped out of the bed with the loaded gun I hide under my pillow. “Who’s there?” I scream out at the source of the noise.
I yelp once again and squeeze the trigger by accident. Thankfully, or not as it might be, I had forgotten to switch off the safety. I curse myself and quickly fumble with the gun to disable it while trying to keep my eyes peeled in every direction so that no one tries to sneak up on me. As soon as that’s done, I retreat to the corner wall furthest from all points of entrance. Feeling the sweat start making me uncomfortable, I barely make time to wipe it away before crouching so as to make myself a smaller target. I barely am able to stop myself from being consumed by the memories. Still the memories of the blood and pain haunt me and I shiver so badly that I can’t even aim at the doorway. Why is this happening? Are they back? Why are they back?
I jump once again at the sound and immediately turn to the window upon realizing it as the source of the sound. “Come out or I’ll shoot.” My voice is so badly shaky that I have no hope of keeping the emotion out of my voice. A part of me suggests that perhaps I should call the police but I don’t as the fear of being too relaxed in hopes of waiting for the police paralyzes me. I know that’s nonsensical but logic doesn’t penetrate.
And this time, I see the silhouette and the shadow is so fearsome that I am instantly out of breath. What is that? Tears fall freely as I am overpowered by the helplessness. Yet again, I curse myself for becoming so weak after the attack and nearly pull out the hairs out of my head. Why? Why did this have to happen to me? Why am I so weak?
There’s no one to call either. The attack had such a big impact that the social butterfly I once was is now an unapproachable loner. Even my family couldn’t stay with me and focus on their own individual lives at the same time. No help was coming.
I scream out loud and the intruder must surely know how much scared I am. “Come on, you can do it. Try your best. Keep your aim steady.” I mutter to myself but the shaky voice isn’t very helpful. Slowly, but steadily, I edge towards the window without coming into the line of sight of the source of the noise. What is this intruder trying to do? Scaring me to death seems to be working.
When I finally make to the window after what seems like hours, I carefully peek out the window, preparing for any surprises. The neighbourhood looks quiet, though. And then, feeling a bit braver, I unlatch the window.
And I am nearly blown back by the strong winds. I stumble back a few steps as I shield my eyes from letting any dirt in and quickly crouch directly below the window. The huge noise that window made cancelled any attempt of subtlety I had and I cannot help but tremble at the fear that this is how I will die. “Please. Please. Save me. Someone. Anyone. Save me.” I mumble under the breath and hope for an unexpected savior to swoop in and save the day.
The sound is a lot louder this time and I am so jittery that when the sound comes again, I throw the gun across the room. Stupid! What did you do? You idiot. Now stay still. What’s done is done. I ball my hands into fists and prepare to rise and surprise my intruder, who must surely be looking into the room. It is only moments now before I’m spotted. But the fear of being overpowered and abused paralyzes me and I don’t move at all.
I yell at the top of my lungs at this new sound and immediately jump up. There’s no doubt I woke up a few of my neighbours. And the new light that fills up my room is so faded that I just know that I did wake up the Donalds. I hold myself still in the position, hoping their waking up would scare away the intruder. And then wait for any sound.
It feels like the night has been endless when Mr Donalds finally yells. “Don’t be scared. The wind had partly broken one of the branches that seems to have been banging on your walls. It has completely broken now so there should be no more noises. Sleep comfortably.”
The words don’t make sense for some time but when they do, I am frozen in my position due to humiliation. I cannot help but hold the hand over my mouth as the sobs erupt. This is what I have become. I cannot even realize the innocent noise of a damaged branch. I was so scared, so paralyzed that I don’t feel worthy of even pity. The sobs keep coming out of the flimsy cover I put out and soon I don’t even try holding them in.
It feels way too long before I manage to calm enough to lock up the window and head back to bed. I slide the gun back under my pillow with the safety switched off and lie down on it. Tears still fall but no sleep arrives. The thought of living like this for the rest of my life is painful beyond words.
“When tomorrow comes…” I beg to whoever is listening, “give me the strength to get by. That’s all I ask. Just enough to get by.” A few sobs escape again as I repeat my desperate plea.
“Just let me get through.”