Remembering when I would stand by my parents’ bed and stare at my mother until she woke up, which she always did

Waking up from the worst kind of nightmare

I desperately wanted to wake someone else so they could make it better and remind me that it wasn’t real

Even though I could still feel the tender red mark on my skin where it had gripped me

I wanted someone to hold me and rock me back to sleep

Even though that’s my job now

I considered how each person in my house would react

and what it would mean to share my nightmare with them

Instead I stumbled downstairs

dizzy and sick

settling for the impartial solace of saltines with peanut butter quickly made and quickly eaten

and a glass of cranberry juice

which didn’t make my nightmare go away but the nausea faded

Still sleepy but paranoid that the nightmare will regain full control

I sit with only the light from the kitchen for company

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