This is something that really happened. I wrote this a while before, not sure whether or not I should post it, but here I am.
TW: content may be too mature for some readers. Read with caution.
Whispers of hate and neglect fill my mind, seeping into every corner of my soul, squeezing the life out of my body. I was having the nightmare again. My mother, her brown eyes uncaring, stares at me and tells me she doesn't love me. She smashes a plate on the floor, angry tears threatening to surface. I yell at her as the dark world around us swirls, dark figures with red eyes staring at me, reminding me what a failure I am. Next thing I know I’m in the water, a white wedding dress draped over my body. I see someone in the distance, waving their hand for me to come over. I recognize it as my stepfather and I smile, lifting my arms to swim towards him, but each time I reach out my hand he gets farther and farther away. The water around me turns red, and a slimy hand reaches out from the murky depths and grabs me, pulling me under the surface of the water. I struggle against it, recognizing the one pulling me under, and panic rises through my chest. I reach towards the surface and scream my fathers name, tears mixing with the salty ocean as water fills my lungs. I fight against the creature, but I seem to be moving in slow motion, my arms like lead weights. I finally free myself from its grasp, swimming towards what I hope is up. Water and blood surround me, the whispers of failure getting louder and louder as my lungs burn for air.
Another dream. No, not dream... nightmare. I ran through the street, rocks and stones thrown at my head. I reached my house, bursting in and closing the door behind me. I gasped for breath, telling myself over and over that it's not real. It's just a nightmare. But nightmares have a way of killing you from the inside out.
I should be used to it. Nightmares are a nightly thing for me, after all. But I couldn't go running to my parents room this time. I'm 14 now, I shouldn't have to do this. I gaze around the house, seemingly like the one in real life, except there was a large gaping hole where my room was. My mother walked in, her face once again blank and void of emotion, just like it is in all my other dreams. She looks at me and utters a single sentence.
My body is thrust towards the now open door, and I clutch the doorway, tears streaming down my cheek. "No, I don't want to! Please, let me stay!" Behind me is my father... not my stepfather, like before. My real one. My Papi, as I call him. He wears an orange jumpsuit and chains around his wrists, holding a white wedding dress like before. "Come on, Monica, let's go. We are going to have a great time! I'll show you my house, me new wife, even my bedroom..."
"No!" I shrieked, clutching the doorway like my life depends on it. My father- my stepfather- appears in front of me, his eyes green and unemotional.
"Please, daddy," I beg. "Don't let him take me."
"I don't know who you are," he says, and my heart shatters as I lose my grip on the doorway. Papi grasps my wrists and drags me across the yard, a smile on his face. "We're going to have a great time, mi chucha, just you and me."
"No!" I scream, struggling against his iron grip. The chains clatter against my wrists as blue and red lights flash from across the street, a wailing siren piercing the air. Several cops materialize in front of me, guns trained on us, and a bullet strikes the air, making its mark on Papi's heart. I fall to the ground as harsh sobs choke my throat, and a strangled cry escapes as two more bullets are shot and my mother and father crumple to the ground.
I lie in bed, attempting to fall asleep, yet at the same time afraid of what will happen once the dark holds of nighttime consume me. I close my eyes, and seemingly not a moment later, gunshots ring in the air. I hear my mothers voice yelling at us to get down on the floor, but I’m so disoriented I simply sit in bed, trying to shake off the last remaining wisps of sleep. My mother bursts into my room and grabs me by the shirt, thrusting me to the ground as she hisses once again for me to get down. She winces at the pain in her back, a result from years working in the military. She leads me to the opposite side of the house, the gunshots finally registering. Gunshots were common in our neighborhood, but these were so close, so real, as if they were right next door. My two little sisters sit huddled next to me underneath the raised counter, tears streaming down their cheeks. I catch a glimpse of my dad, his usually brown eyes a bright green, and there was something else… I saw a look in his eyes I hadn’t seen in a while, and the blood drains from my face when I realize…
He’s having a flashback.
He paces back and forth from us to the entrance of the house. I hear the sound of a door opening, and I gasp as I realize he went outside. With the gunfire.
“Why did he go outside?” asked one of my little sisters.
“Military instinct,” responded my mother. “Assessing the threat.”
As soon as the words left her lips, I heard the sound of shattering glass as a stray bullet made its way inside the house.
Even after that day, I remember the look in his eyes, one full of pure wild instinct as his mind flashes between us and a battlefield, gunshots ringing in both. I’ll never forget the look he gave me, our green eyes meeting, yet seemingly not even recognizing who I was.