The Aftermath

Some days were easier than others. Then there were the others. The ones she didn’t know how she would survive. The ones where she was afraid of everything and everyone and the fair was so tangible she could taste it. She never could explain what it tasted like but from the terror in her eyes I believed her.

It was strange because she was no longer on the street, for the first time in forever, she had her own key, to her own door, and she didn’t have to do anything to, or for anyone to stay there. She could close the door behind her and lock it, and she should feel safe.

Yet she didn’t. She was afraid to be by herself which you would think she would want after everything, but that was when she was most afraid. She was afraid of what she locked in rather than what or who she locked out. She couldn’t sleep. She had night terrors so real the hair would stand up on her arms and she would cower in the corner next to her fridge. She would barricade the door just in case if she managed to fall asleep, which you probably wouldn’t, she would hear whoever it was she was afraid of trying to get in.

She didn’t know who it was she was scared of. There were so many possibilities. So many people had hurt her, or promised to hurt her, bought her and then thrown her away. She was also afraid of herself. She was afraid of the things she would do to cope with the fear. She was afraid of the solution to the fear. You see it was a never-ending cycle of the fear, using something to numb the fear, running out of the stuff to numb the fear, and then having to do things that made her afraid again.

So she held on with all her might, tears streaming down her face, for daylight to come, for when she didn’t have to be alone and she could surround herself with her sisters. It was the only place she felt safe.

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