I had a nightmare. I was dying slowly, my blood gurgling up out of my mouth like a fountain, pouring out of my ears. I used my hands to cover my ears to stop the leak. I shut my mouth to make the blood stop pouring out, but my mouth filled. I woke up screaming and sweaty.

Water poors over me, hot and comfortable. I am escaping the nightmares behind my eyes. I close my eyes and let water run over my face, washing my hair back behind me. I wonder about life and my hopes for the future. I feel almost safe, with this warmth over me. Almost content. I feel the warm water on my face. It tastes salty sweet.


I open my eyes and see red liquid everywhere. The nozzle is spraying me with blood.

Screaming, I fall against the back of the shower, my head bouncing. I can taste it in my mouth, the sickly sweetness. The warm stickiness on my skin. I fall against the shower curtain and crash to the tile floor, dripping with blood. It's all over everything. I look at my hands; they are red. I shake as my hair drips with blood. My arms and legs are shaking. I cannot control them. I am vibrating. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something move. There is a man. It is him.

I feel dizzy, to the point of passing out.

"No, no, no. Go away." I beg pathetically, shaking and sobbing... dripping with blood.

He takes a step towards me and I swing my hands out in front of me, hitting at air. I feel his hands around my neck. I am choking, choking, choking. Then stop. I look and he is gone. I gulp down air, filling my lungs. Covering my face with shaking hands, I cry. Why is my past following me? I shake with sobs, the blood turning to water on my skin.

"He's not real, he's not real." I repeat over and over until the words jumble into meaningless sounds. I sit on the floor, drops running down my face. What if he is real? He's real to me, in my head. So doesn't that mean he's real?

I look at my body realistically, like never before, and see bones, thin paper pulled over popsicle sticks. I stand up, shaking, and wrap a towel around myself. I wipe my face with a shaking hand. It is shaking so hard I can hardly hold the towel up. I walk to my bedroom, put on a T-shirt, and lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. I will not tell Damien about this. I feel I'm slowly losing my mind. Such a strange feeling.

I am dreaming. Things in my head. Shadows dancing to a soft hum. I hear a car beeping on the road outside my window, and I am pulled into another day, one I'm not quite ready for. Sun beams in through my blinds and I can see the orange through my eyelids. I peep out from beneath long lashes. There is a face beside me.

No! Why won't he leave me alone?! A small squeal escapes my mouth as I scramble to get away. My feet tangle in the sheets and he stands up and creeps over to me. I am paralyzed, dead weight. I blink over and over again, but he refuses to disappear. I gain my brain back, and leap up. I run out of the room into the bathroom. Panting, I lock the door and slide down to the floor. My life has become a nightmare, someone else's nightmare. I couldn't have dreamed this up in a million years.

I cover my ears as he pounds on the door. I scream, unable to cry anymore. My tear-ducts are empty. The pounding stops. I sit there, waiting. For thirty minutes, I wait. Shallow breathes escape my lips as I silently unlocked the door. I peek out. He is gone.

I cry, screaming and punching the wall. I am insane. My head is full of rage and fear. My knuckles are bleeding, but I just keep punching the wall.

"No, I will not let you into my life!" I scream at nothing. "You killed her! You!"

I punch faster and faster. The skin is peeling back and shards of sheetrock splinter my fist. Sitting down, I drift into the callous of my mind and suck on my fist.

"Caroline, you need help." I see Damien standing by the door, wide-eyed and shocked.

"Why? I'm perfectly fine." I am.