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I woke up for the third night in a row. Three nights of distress. And it never gets easier.

They have found me. Some how, the boys who assaulted me a lifetime ago have found me.

I am at a park looking for something. I don’t know what. But, then, every hair on my body stands. My heart does a weird flip. Something is wrong, I tell myself. My heart flips again. It’s time to panic, my head says. For what? I question. I slowly turn around looking through the park. There are people milling about every where. Nothing seems out-of-order.

I see a hot dog stand a ways down. I think I could go for some food so I work my way there. Run, I hear whispered. Run, now! Run! I stop dead in my tracks. What was that? I look around again. Nothing. But, I’m panicked now. My spidey senses don’t usually kick in unless there is just cause. So I look around again. I see a little boy being pushed by his sister on a tricycle. I see a dad pushing his daughter in a swing. I see a mom and two sons feeding the ducks at the pond. Then I realize, there are two men just standing near the woods by the pond their eyes on something in the park.

That’s weird, I think. Then I realize they’re looking at me. I take a step back and they take a step forward. Another step back. Another step forward. Don’t I know them? They seem familiar. I gaze back and I feel a gut punch with realization. No. No. No. This can’t be. No.

They know I’ve recognized them because Chad has that smirk on his face. The smirk that came when he threatened my life if I ever told. Run, now! I hear it again. Run! I turn around to get help and I realize there is no one but the three of us in the park. Run! 

My split second hesitancy was all it took for them to reach me. Koa has twisted my hands to my back. Chad has my face in his hand, “Didn’t I tell you to shut your mouth?”

Koa knocks my knees out. That’s just like him, I think. He could never think for himself. He pushes my head to the ground, “You should have listened.” Before I know it he has me on my back, arms pinned above my head.

“Please,” I beg. “Please, no.” I begin to shake. Every memory of what happened so many years ago comes flashing back. Suddenly I can’t breathe. I can’t speak. I feel the hot tears running down my cheek but my body has quit on me. I can’t move as they rip my clothes off in demonic desire. God, help me. Please, don’t let this happen again, I pray.

My heart was hammering in my chest. I could barely gasp for breath. Beads of sweat rolled down my forehead. I can’t seem to move my hands. Or my feet. I open my eyes but everything is so foggy. Where am I?

Then, I hear it. The stabilization I need to realize it’s a dream. Sleeping next to me, his heavy breathing. I’m safe, I tell myself. I’m safe. I reach for his hand and instinctively he rolls over and pulls me in. I’m safe. xoxo