The sheets from my bedding wrap tightly around my legs. My chest constricts. The cutting shriek of my tongue rips at my eardrums as it quickly brings my mind from rem-sleep to consciousness.
I feel trapped.
It’s right then I sense sweat gliding from my neck down the curve of my breasts. My entire torso is soaked, I am dripping with perspiration. The fear of being eternally confined in the reality of my nightmares washes over my whole body as I attempt to wake my broken mind.
My head swells like a balloon as I feather my fingers along the side of my bed, whisking the bedding urgently with my fingertips solely to touch something I know. Something familiar. I glance around my bedroom, hoping, aching, to be anywhere other than the dream in which I am perilously trying to wake.
My heart is pounding so forcefully; I barely catch my breath.
I snap from sleep to sitting upright and heaving for air; I crave to fill my lungs, but my chest won’t open. I can’t help but believe his hand is still forcefully pressed against my throat, that I am still there, in the nightmare which haunts me. The same dogmatic dream I have had since the day he put his hands on me.
I beg to breathe as my mind transitions from what I can only hope is the torturous nightmare and not the lucid perceptions I now face with wide eyes and shallow breath.
Trapped forever between experience and the visions played out in my subconscious.
My hands work tirelessly, clutching at my chest. I need to pull at my skin. I want nothing more than to open my rib cage with my bare fists, to somehow let the air inside. But I can’t find my breath. I can’t find my certainty. I’m trapped between the little girl he once raped and the woman who wielded her sword and became the warrior; my reality evaporated within a dream.
My eyes widen, attempting to decipher the thick darkness in my room, but I am unable to view anything but the shadows of the nightmare in which my mind is brutally waking.
I am trapped between the existence of my explicit dreams and waking to realize the nightmare is over.
Until I sleep again.