Shifting my weight drew me out of my fragile slumber. I attempted to sit but my numbed arm couldn’t prompt me up. Its barely closed slashes weakened it even more than the hours supporting my head. I collapsed on my side. I used to like wooden floors and their posh reputation. Since they aren’t good mattresses, I had learned to hate them in the last few days.
Rolling onto my back, I watched the dark ceiling. My head complained; pain lingered where thoughts had disappeared. The say applied to every hollowed part of my being. Time killed me as surely as the trials you put me through.
Every inch of me abhorred moving. Older wounds scabbed and discouraged my efforts. They wouldn’t accommodate my muscles’ movements. They had lost their flexibility and refused to stretch and bend. Just like elders. The newest wounds compared to restless babies, crying their discomfort and keeping me awake at night. I had the world’s population on my body.
I even had continents mapped across the sea of my unarmed skin. My belly made great Americas with its large territory and medium population density. It ruled my world with its cravings and bowels. So much shit hid under its surface.
The nape of my neck was my Asia: very small lands, very high population. The cuts had been made with needles too. It looked frail but if it disappeared, my world would cease to function.
A nervous laugh shuttled past my lips and explored the space around me. Unfortunately, all other planets in my vicinity were dead. I laughed even more, and then stopped as suddenly as I’d started.
Somewhere under the tectonic masses of muscles laid an ever-burning core that you couldn’t reach nor extinguish. Mounts and valleys of a woman’s body may have often been described in more enjoyable terms but my reality kept me from remembering. It only reinforced that I needed to steel my heart.
I was losing my mind.
Mornings felt worst than the rest. My brain lagged and my will faltered. My body’s strain tore down my mental protections and the weight of the day to come crushed my every bone. Eventually, it passed. A few minutes were still required.
I looked at the ceiling and grew tired of the floor under me. I glared at the ceiling and found the hatred I had left.
Dizziness drowned reality for a moment then everything snapped back in place, caring very little how wrong that place was. I nodded to great the corpse by my side. Being doomed was no reason to be uncivil.
“I’m not sure what I wish anymore, Sean.” I didn’t expect the corpse to answer – I wasn’t that far gone – but talking helped me in mysterious ways. “I wish to get out but then I’ll live with all this seared on my heart.” I slid to put my back against my rock wall. “I wish Rebecca is okay but then she might have to live without us. And surely without you.” I shifted a little until I found the less hurtful spot for my shoulder blades. “I wish you were alive again but if genies are as mischievous as people say, you might want to eat my brains. I don’t think I can handle that right now.”
I was definitely losing my mind. I didn’t have the time to resume my desperate effort to break free, not before breakfast. Trying to force my leash out of the wall was the only thing that held me together.
“I think I know what I really wish, Sean. I wish neither of us had done things we regret.”
Breakfast was the easiest part of my day. Rancid bread and water didn’t sound like much. Yet, compared to what I endured during the other meals, this was paradise; there was no torture tactic side dish.
You squeaked your way into the leather couch. The television belted out children cartoon music. It shredded the atmosphere of the room with its high and playful notes. Shredded. Here, even that music’s joy had violence to it.
The sound throbbed against my migraine. I shut my eyes and masticated my bread, waiting for it to die. You always killed the sound. You were a killer. Why was it still playing?
Through the haze pain, I heard the DVD player open then close. The silence of the loading time covered an unmistakable threat. The screech confirmed my thought. What warranted a change of the morning’s routine?
I only had the sound and was thankful for it. Sean pleaded for his life. His voice broke on fear and sadness. He spoke of Rebecca and wept more for her then he did for himself. Then the cracking, sloshing and yelling began.
I only had the sound and detested it. The images my mind conjured up were probably worst then what actually happened. I opened my eyes and looked at Sean’s body. The mutilations weren’t that bad. How could it make so much noise?
The images kept coming though my reason told me reality had been gentler on him.
I folded my knees against my chest and encircled them with my arms. I rocked, banging my head on the wall every time I went back. My migraine loved it. I fell to my side and yelped as the cuts sent a reminder of their existence. Curled in foetal position, I waited for the storm to pass. Sean had stopped yelling minutes ago.
Finally, the sound ceased and your footsteps scuffed my way. You grabbed my shoulder and dragged me up. Your hand cradled my chin and our eyes met. You had green eyes today, just like mine.
I looked in my eyes and said: “You know you’re turn is coming, right?”