“YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER!” she screamed,her little face turning beet red.
No, I’m not, but that was beside the point. Eve had been in my life since she was a little one and I was the only person she could count on, the only person who knew her secrets.
“Please just go away, I just want to lay here,” she cried.
What else could I do? Nothing that I would say could calm her. I covered her lightly with the sheet and made sure Bear was on the bed where he belonged. It was ten years to the day that Bear had come into our lives. He had seen everything in Eve’s life since the day she took him off the shelf. His fur was a bit more matted and his stuffing perhaps a bit flatter, but his smile was just as brilliant as the day we got him. I walked into the hall, and could hear her muffled cries as she tried to stifle them with her pillow.
Sweet Eve had been dealing with horrible cramps every month for awhile now, but this was the first time I had seen it knock her down as bad as it had. Her face looked older as she gripped her fists in pain and she could barely walk to relieve herself when it was time. The pain killers, we learned long ago, only made her dreams of HIM worse. It made her unable to wake and escape his grasp when he tried to take her in her slumber. Each month we go through hell, always looking for solutions but never finding reprieve.
Sometimes, her pain was so horrible that she passed out. I always had a sense of it happening. It was like my whole being felt lighter, and I felt a hovering above me. I knew it was Eve projecting herself and looking for help. The devil in her dreams not only haunted her nights, but he haunted her unconsciousness no matter when it came. When I felt her reaching, I would run upstairs and dab her pretty, little face with a cool cloth and call her name until she came back to me. When she returned, it was always with a gasp of air, almost like she had stopped breathing in her unconsciousness. Then she would reach for Bear, gripping him tight to her chest. I knew she wasn’t suffocating. I could barely see the soft rise of her chest taking in a new breath, so my concern for that was minimal at best. What worried me most was HIM.
The day had turned to night quickly it seemed, which was good since the whole day had been an argument about her pain. Eve was worse than usual, tired from lack of sleep, and doubled over with cramping so intense that she had been vomiting. I have no idea WHAT she was vomiting since I couldn’t get her to eat anything. Any suggestion I gave her about pain medication was nixed by her fear of HIM. She didn’t want to give HIM any advantage over her. I tried to convince her that I would stay right by her side, but she fought with me tooth and nail, discarding my every idea.
It had been a couple hours since I had left her room after being reminded I wasn’t her mother, so I decided I had better check in. What I found was something straight out of hell if I had ever envisioned one.
“EVE!!” I screamed, “Oh my God!!”
She looked through me with blank stare and glassy eyes wide as could be. I could see her lips moving and hear her tiny voice ever so softly yet I couldn’t make out the words.
“EVE!! Wake up!!”
She was sitting straight up in the center of her bed, The center of her bed…more like the center of a blood bath. She sat in a puddle of bright, red blood that stretched from one side of the queen bed to the other and almost just as long. My eyes instantly teared up, I wanted to run. I wanted to scream. I couldn’t do either. I had to wake Eve and get her out of whatever nightmare she had succumbed to.
I ran to her and as I tried to reach for her shoulders to shake her, she laid down violently almost as if she was pushed. Still, her eyes remained open. I grabbed her wrist to pull her from the bed and sea of blood. It was as if I was playing tug of war. Something or someone had a hold of her. I could see bruises around her wrists and ankles as if she had been bound too tightly. I couldn’t move her. Her lips were still moving, so I leaned in to hear her.
“He’s here, he’s here, he’s here…” she chanted.
I ran to the bathroom, removed the liner from the trash can, and filled it with cold water. As I stood there for what seemed like decades, I saw the empty pill bottle in the sink and a scattering of little white pills on the carpet. Eve had succumbed to the pain after all and resorted to pain pills, but I wasn’t sure how many had been in the bottle. What I did know was it was empty and that was not a good sign.
There was no time to think. I almost fell back towards her bed with the trash can filled with water and doused her like a burning fire. She screamed and gasped for air, sitting up and pulling against the invisible restraints. I grabbed my keys from my pocket and opened my tiny key chain knife to cut the restraints that only she could see. As I made my invisible slices, her wrists, then her ankles came free and she leaped at me, hugging me tight, almost suffocating me.
We sat in a crumpled, bloody, wet pile in the corner of her room, sobbing. Her face looked haggered, older as if she had turned from the innocent girl I had once knew to a disheartened woman much older than her fourteen years. Eve had turned and I knew there was no getting her back.
Originally Published on: Oct 23, 2013
Part 2 of a series: Read Part 1- HIM
This post was in response to a writing prompt from Studio 30+