April 3, 2011

She opens her door just wide enough to slide through the opening. She turns, shuts, and locks the door in one smooth, fluid movement. She moves through her small dorm room toward her bed, carelessly discarding her clothing as she goes. Shoes by the door, earrings and ring beside the jewelry chest. Pants drop to the floor, followed by a white shirt, fluttering down to rest on top of them. Bra and underwear hit the back of the futon by the window, sliding down its sloped surface to rest on the seat. Hair elastic is placed carefully on the book by the pillows. Then she hoists her slim naked body into bed. She pulls all four comforters up to her neck, and closes her eyes. With that simple motion her face takes on the endearing desperateness of a child in prayer. “Please. Let sleep come to me. Please.”

Sleep does not come. She gets up soundlessly, her lithe body sliding from beneath her covers, and she goes to the door again. This time, she pushes her desk in front of it. It whines against the wood of the floor, but the knock of its bulk against the door resounds though the still air of the room reassuringly. She gets back into bed. “Maybe now. Please.”

Still nothing. She pulls her laptop over, sets it to play an audio book. She turns on music, the most soothing songs she can think of, but they only make her cry. She turns on her space heater, then turns it off and abandons all of her blankets for only the sheet. “Please, please.”

Nothing. She screams then. Just once. A cry of fear and frustration; anger and helplessness fight in the sound. And she leaves her bed, taking one blanket and one pillow, and she slips inside her wardrobe. She can sit on the smooth wood floor and close the doors inward. Here she is safe. Here he cannot find her. Even in her thoughts he cannot possess her, cannot make her hurt herself. Here she can sleep. “Thank you.”