Like any teenager, Eve had a dark side. She wasn’t a bad kid by any means, she held good grades, she did her chores, she even offered to pet sit or babysit the neighbor’s clan when they leave town or go out for the night. But, just like the rest…maybe more than the rest, I would often see her brooding, lost in thought, as she stared out the window to the setting sun. I could see her face harden and her brow furrow. More than anything on this planet, she loathed the night. I could tell that hatred was hardening her to the nightly beauty that her nightmares overshadowed.
It was the night that brought HIM to her. This was no longer an occurrence that happened every so often, the nightmares were back a few times per week. We tried establishing a pattern. I asked Eve to keep a daily journal of things that happened during the day, things she thought, things she ate, and how she felt. We were hoping for something, anything to clue us into what triggered HIM to torment her dreams. I even set up my own charts to try to find a pattern, but there was nothing. The only constant was her feeling of “emptiness”, but that happened even on days that she had no dreams. Actually, Eve never dreamed.
She never dreamed of unicorns, she never dreamed of grassy fields filled with sunflowers, she never dreamed of her future princess wedding or even of any boys at school like normal teenage girls do. She told me that on nights she didn’t see HIM, she didn’t see anything. She woke up not even sure she had slept at all, dazed and unsure of where she was…or who she was.
Eve was, to put it nicely, unapproachable in the mornings. It was understandable. The girl needed rest and never got it. Each day she had to go to school and act like a normal teenager, get good grades, take care of herself and think about her future. But, each day she awoke confused from the lack of, or exhausted from the nightmares. It was almost as if she just wandered through every day on automatic. No wonder she felt an emptiness.
This morning was different though. As I was cooking our regular Saturday breakfast, eggs, waffles, and bacon, Eve ran to me. She nearly bowled me over as she hugged me with such force that I had to steady myself before we both ended up on the floor. Her eyes were brighter than I had seen them and she actually smiled up at me.
“I think I figured something out,” she said, “something about HIM.”
“What Eve? What did you figure out?” I asked.
“Let’s eat first! I’m starved!” she said.
As we sat there enjoying our breakfast on the porch, I couldn’t help falling in love with this little girl all over again. This morning, she looked happy like a girl should be. We sat there eating, and I waited, wondering what she figured out about HIM.
Originally Published on: Jan 22, 2014
This post was inspired to be written by a prompt from Studio 30+
Word: World & Loathe