|A scream filled my mind, my ears, my eyes. It was high pitched, shrill, full of terror. There was a long one, and then nine or ten shorter ones. Though I lay in my bed, hands now clutching my comforter tightly, I could feel the running; I could see the scenery. It was night, and there was some kind of white building to the right of the sidewalk.
There was man pursuing a girl about my age. He was large, strong—some kind of construction worker, maybe.
The girl was trying desperately to figure out what to do, but as the thoughts raced by, he gained. She could feel his advancements. Adrenaline refused to kick in. She was running on her own strength, and knew she was losing.
He couldn’t be outrun—it was impossible.
If she dared to dart out to the side, change her direction, he would only catch her faster, and she could practically see his long arm reaching across to where she would dart.
The only other possibility would be to, I thought, throw her elbow back. And as my thoughts coincided with hers, she did, and it seemed that our minds slipped into sync. But the impact, while existent, was weak and futile. Despite the contact, there was no effect, and even though I could not feel the tangible presence of his hand—then hands—gripping my elbow and upper-arm, I felt the limitation and restriction of movement in that area that she felt. The rest of our body flailed violently, like a rag doll—back and forth—limply, but out of instinct and desperation, and without any thought or decision to do so.
The screaming started up again, and that’s when the adrenaline really came, and we lost our ability to rationalize, and lost the ability to even realize that, or process any thoughts at all.
We knew what was going to happen next, as a natural consequence, and as soon as that abstract knowledge had processed, the residual effects trickled in. I felt no pain; at most perhaps the slightest pressure or tension in the area around the back of my neck and head, and I felt a blackness approaching.
It was as if our mind was falling away, backwards—but not like falling down. More like a separation from our body.
It was a black emptiness, filled with a dense liquid I had never encountered before.
I tried to will us into remaining conscious. Somehow we had to. This couldn’t happen. It couldn’t! It wouldn’t. But it did.
It didn’t quickly finish overtaking me, as I expected, but continued inching along at its steady pace, leaving us momentarily anxious and bored at the same time. The feeling of terror in the shape of our body (though the body was non-existent) never left, and I wondered for an unknown length of time, though I think it was relatively short, whether the feelings did not leave because it was a drug, and not a strike to the head as I had originally thought, or if that was simply how being unconscious worked.
It turns out that emotion was just the last thing to fade, and as it did, I knew that we should be feeling our body lifted and carried, and knew it was happening, though my own feeling of it was that that came from knowing and not from experiencing. The gift of being the dreamer.
When sometime later she found herself coming to, I thought of wood; a wooden table; a glass salt shaker. There was still the sense of panic, but there was a lack of adrenaline again. We felt as helpless as Little Red Riding Hood in front of the un-masked, pant-less wolf.
I was leaning towards it having been a drug, because it was taking us time to fully drift back into consciousness—and it was like waves, going back, and then forward, and then back again. The thoughts ran through her mind: I want to stay asleep. Don’t let me wake up. Please.
“Stay asleep,” I told her. “Stay asleep, love. I’ll go to sleep too, and then we’ll love each other in the nothingness together.” I got an image of long, shoulder-blade length hair, pulled back with a baby-blue hair-scrunchie, and falling over the bare skin of her back.
I tried to keep my new love with me; inside my arms, my mind. I tried to drag her out of the situation.
She was roused, stolen from me, and for a second I hoped that perhaps we were drifting away from reality, but no. She was conscious now. Her blouse was ripped off, her still-developing breasts were pulled at, groped, squeezed. And then she heard buttons being hurriedly popped open, heard the metal of a zipper. She was lying on her back, her legs dangling off of the table she had been put on. Maybe she was wearing a dress, or maybe her pants had already been removed, because there was no cloth resisting him as he entered her. I could feel the thrusts in my own body, could vaguely sense being filled by him, and knew there was pain, though I myself could not feel it. My right arm at the shoulder ached, and got worse as it continued to ache.
I knew there was bleeding, and I wondered how many thrusts it would take before he finished. I lost count. The pain I felt for her in my chest, the horror and sadness…surpassed recognizable emotion, and took over me.
When it was done, she lied there, and I could feel his satisfaction trickling out of her, as if it was coming out of me. She was forgotten, perhaps still on the table, perhaps not; I couldn’t tell. The numbness I felt began to throb into pain. It wasn’t much—but that I was able to feel it at all proved how much there really was.
My spirit cried out for her from some empty recess of her mind, and she went from catatonic shock to a desperate calling for me within moments. My spirit all but ran to her, clung to her, and I pulled at my own skin to simulate pulling her closer to me; so close that we seemed to merge and blur together. I held her to me, and cried with her—our sobs coming out as wide, gaping mouthed screams. We rocked each other, giving her comfort—not out of pity but out of unquestioned necessity. I felt so much love for this person that I did not even exist. All that I consisted of was love for her, and giving my life for her, or wishing to exchange our places, was something that came so naturally that I didn’t even think about for a moment, only knew and wished.
Curiosity flashed, and I saw the image of him, watching TV—content and pleased with himself. A football game was on the large screen in the other room, and he sat on the couch casually eating potato chips. Such loathing I had never felt before.
But even as he came back into the room, I held her. A sob, a scream, a breath caught in her throat, and he raped her again. I tried to comfort her during it and after, and continued to even as the times blurred together, and his sausage mouth and fat, hideous face collapsed on her.
She wanted to detach from her body, and wanted her mind to be aware but not a part of that thing which was only a tool. That tool which she inexplicitly and suddenly, but completely and undoubtedly hated. She hated that she was a part of it, and so willed herself to detach all but a thread, a thread that she was unable to break, from it.
Things started to blur.
“It’ll be okay,” I told her as I began to recede. That hollow thump sounded in me, and my pulse sped up. I knew I was lying. “No,” I rephrased quickly, “it won’t. It won’t be okay. But you’re strong. You’ll get through it.”
My dream faded, and it had been so vivid that I was convinced it was real for weeks. I tried self-hypnosis and daydreaming and meditation. I tried everything I could to get back to her. But I was never able to.