I felt his hands around my throat. The airwaves closing as I tried to remove his hand from my neck. Panic began to rise as I clawed and thrashed in desperation as asphyxiation took hold. His painted nails dug deep into my skin, ripping at my flesh. I could taste the blood, metallic tang filling my mouth. My eyes watered as I panted for air. Hands gripping his, I pleaded with my captor and braced myself against his body. Thrashing against the pain, oxygen began to exit my body as my vision grew hazy. I was drawing closer to unconsciousness. With each exasperated breath, I found that I could emit no sound, and with no syllable to pass my lips, no one would discover me. Overtaken with stillness, I was shaken awake by own debilitating scream.
I woke up in a cold sweat. Almost instinctively, my hands reached for my neck, expecting to feel the heat of freshly drawn blood. The moon poured through my window as I noted the time, two in the morning. A full moon streamed through my window as spidery and luminous shadows painted the walls. I laid back on my bed and drew the covers over my head. My vision was soon engulfed by the blackness and I pulled myself back to sleep.
I woke up to the sound of my alarm. Rubbing my eyes, I dropped my legs over the edge of my bed and reached over the night table for a cigarette. Lighting the cigarette, I inhaled deeply, and let the smoke circle my mouth; I need to give up smoking. Dressed in an old sweatshirt, I walked into the kitchen and let the smoke linger in the room. Clicking on the pot, I began to brew a cup of coffee. Running my hands through my hair, I braced myself on the edge of the counter. He hadn’t come home after our fight, I was left to fall asleep to fear. Images of the nightmare slid through my mind; I needed a distraction. Opening my laptop, I sat down at the kitchen table and watched the messages fill the laptop screen. Noting the call card, I was thrust back into how we had left things. He had messaged me at three in the morning, right after I had gone back to bed.
This hiss of the coffee pot signaled a finished brew. I was reminded of the empty flat, slammed doors, and the taste of unspoken words that resonated on our tongues. Last night was the first time I had seen him cry. The moment the tear ran down his cheek, I knew that I had once again fallen for his game. Such tender little things we are, so full of hubris that we allow our mind succumb to our body. Such fragile little flowers, simplistic minds that let the slightest bout of turbulence affect the greater path. I did not know how to proceed. With him, I was always adorned with exquisite lies and tactful regret. With him, I wore my fears as jewelry and let me worries known. As the years went by, and the excused became the truth, I could no longer convince myself that we were not broken. The proverbial bridge had burned, but one question remained: Could we be salvaged? The charred ash of fundamental stability was holding onto the remaining beams that kept us together.