I wake up, sweating profusely, my pillow is drenched. How did I not wake up sooner? It is always the same, but today is different. David is sound asleep next to me; his body heaving up and down. It is always the same nightmare over and over and I always wake up sweating- crying. It is always messy. I head to the shower. David doesn’t need to know. I don’t want to drag him into my troubles. He is a trainwreck already. I grab the loofah and run it across my lean body. ‘I really need to eat better’, I say to myself as I close my eyes. Tears start flowing freely and I tumble down to the bathroom floor and weep. Every time I close my eyes, graphic images appear: faces… familiar faces… strange faces… streets… dark alleys… buses and cars speeding… matatus hooting… arms, muscular arms… rough calloused palms. It starts all over again- the terror builds up. My heartbeat picks up and my body starts shaking vehemently. More tears pour. Suicide has been on the periphery of my venomous thoughts but…
Every time I lay my head to rest, that is the only thing my subconscious picks and replays. It is a constant reminder of how wretched I am, and crashed to the last atom of my existence. I feel it… I feel it to the bone. The pharmacist told me that I will be alright in a month’s time and I took the prescription religiously- with alcohol of course. It’s been three months and nothing has happened. Everything is still the same: the nightmares vivid and fresh. Three months since the gruesome events happened to me; three months of having to look over my back; three months of isolation; three months of sleepless nights. My body aches, every single part of it. I have become a hollow cocoon. I hate the world and all of its contents. I hate myself. There is filth everywhere. Just take a look around, I am filth- pure dirt.
I couldn’t stand myself. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror and I couldn’t look at myself through other people, so I cut all bonds. I stopped seeing my friends- the text messages and phone calls were frequent until one day they just stopped. I needed an escape plan, so I immersed myself in sativa and sometimes cocaine. I loathed the sting of the cocaine when I sniffed it, but nothing could match to its effects- the aftermath was pure bliss. When you’re an empty shell, anything goes. I did not know I was sinking deeper, that the water kept on rising. I started sleeping with my dealer, David. He was always at my place and I liked his company- he did not talk a lot. We never engaged in any conversation whatsoever. We were both fighting our own invisible demons and the substances made us feel invincible, so why talk? He used to sleep on my couch until one day when I startled awake from my nightmares, he was at my door then in my bed and I let him do whatever- I had nothing to lose. I wanted to get rid of the visuals in my head. I wanted the hands to be different ones. I never cared about affection. I just wanted to free my mind from the events of that day- from the imprinted face on my mind; from the cocky smile; and the bellowed grunts
I leave the shower and head back as I look for another T-shirt to sleep in. My phone wiggles as it lights up- ‘that’s odd’. I change into the ‘tee’ and slip back to bed as I check the phone. A missed call and message from Nicky. She never stopped checking in. David turns and faces the other side. Without thinking about it, I shut the phone and pull the sheets. Sleep does not will itself fast enough. Nicky calls again, I don’t know what came over me, I pick up with trembling hands.
“…hello”, she speaks. Surprise evident in her tone
“… Is that you? Can you hear me? Angel, please talk?”
“Nicky…” I speak, unsure.
I hear a sigh from the other end. ‘what have I done?’
“Oh my god Angel…”she says, in between sobs.
I feel the waterworks gather, ‘Why am I so darn weak and emotional?’
“Hey Nicky” I try and hold myself together.
“Angel, please talk to me, please tell me what happened. I miss you Angel. We miss you. Please talk to me, I can’t lose you like that…” she pauses, I hear someone from the background comforting her, “…please Angel”
That’s when I realise I had been holding my breath and tightly holding the phone. Tears are threatening to pour. My palms are sweaty and there’s this unsettling emotion at the pit of my stomach. My chest hurts so bad and I wish I wasn’t this person. ‘Why does life have to be like this? Some people have it easy, why not me?’
“Nicky, he t…touched me, I couldn’t help myself, he touched me. Nicky, I still f…f…eel his hands on me…”and a storm hits as tears fall endlessly. I have never talked about it with anyone and now that I’ve said it out loud, I feel myself shatter into a million shards. I feel the emptiness.…
” I am worthless, Nicky, I am a mess” I hang up.
I turn and find David sitting upright against the headboard, looking at me with a certain longingness I’ve never seen in him, his eyes look icy like he wants to cry and it scares me, I want to run away, I don’t want him to pity me, to look at me like I’m some broken toy he can fix. I stand to sprint but he moves faster than me as he engulfs me in a wide warm embrace and I sit there, in his bosom. He doesn’t say a word, he just rubs my back until I feel a drop land on my shoulders.