I know you haven’t slept in awhile. The dark circles under your eyes and the blank stare give it away. Your eyelids are drooping and you yawn every 10 seconds or less. Tired and defeated, that’s how you look.
Tired. Ain’t it funny to feel sleepy but unable to actually sleep. The body is begging for you to rest, but your seemingly rabid mind refuses. It spins around and around until it collides with your sanity.
The mind. It goes to places it should not go. It explores creases and nooks that have been hidden for a reason so long ago. It challenges your reality, banging on doors, and peering on windows. Rousing the demons shackled within.
You tossed and turned in bed while the time on your bedside clock rolled on. Finally, you gave up. You sat on your bed clutching your comforter to your chest. You prayed, like you do every night when the monsters have decided to leave the dark place inside your head, – to crawl on your bedroom floor , on its walls, and ceiling. They leer at your inability to rest.
First you beg, then you negotiate, and then you demand, and finally, like the real loser that you are, you beg some more.
But God probably had no problem going to sleep.
The fear is real, even if the reason for the fear is absurd. Your heart is pounding like it would jump out of your chest any moment and leave you. Everybody leaves you.
Your teeth chatter, your body shakes, and your vision tunnels. You can’t breath. The air around you is cold and hot at the same time. Your mind orders you to run! And you do as you are told.
You run to the door, but it’s bolted shut as usual. So you cower under the table instead, trying to remember what made you so scared in the first place. But the sense of doom is so thick you can almost taste it.
A voice calls your name. It sounds so far away. You strained to hear, but the beating of your heart is too loud it cancels out all the other sounds.
And then a hand touched you, and you screamed.
You recoiled, and then you tried to fight. You beat on his chest, tried to claw out his eyes. But he was so much stronger. They were so much stronger.
The feel of clammy skin, the stench of unwashed hair, mouths that smelled of cigarette smoke and stale coffee, makes you want to gag. The filthiness of it all is almost as unbearable as the pain.
The pain. It burns. Like fire licking flesh. Like a serrated knife shoved ever so slowly through your heart, only to be pulled out again. It’s like electricity wired directly to your soul. It left you empty.
He approached you slowly, and tried to calm you down. Finally, your eyes focused and you saw him amidst the fog. By then, you were no longer screaming. You are whimpering like an injured dog.
“Look at me. You are okay.”, He said in a soothing voice.
You looked into his eyes. They bought you back.
It was never the same was it? After the trauma, nothing was ever the same. Not the sunrise, nor the sunset. Not the air you breathe. Not even your dreams.
Nightmares are dreams too.
Your hate is married to your misery, while your fears take over everything else.
Fear is so familiar, it’s like a mirror of yourself. It took over, and you faded away.
I know you struggled to get out of bed today. Eventually however, you were able to summon enough strength to assemble all your parts into place, – then you put on an armour.
All the accessories the world expects you to have are clipped, tucked, hanged or smeared on a carefully constructed persona. Intelligence and skills, humour and confidence, drive and patience. For good measure, you even sprayed enough compassion to make anyone dizzy.
That made me chuckle. You made quite an impressive mask
But you don’t fool me a bit.
I see through your camouflage. Your brokenness, though masterfully hidden would sometimes peek out through your eyes, or your lackluster smile.
Sometimes, you shove your hands inside your pockets to hide the tremors, just like how you hide the cuts behind expensive clothes.
You are broken.
I know, because I was there too, in the dark, – with you.
I’m broken too.