The sheets are cold underneath me, as the sweat pours off of me.
The room grows smaller, closing in on me. Mocking me, in my loneliness.
The breeze blows through the room, from the open window.
It sweeps over my wet skin, humid and unkind. It’s suffocating me.
Panic grows and my breath quickens.
Every bad decision and buried memory, surfaces and fills my mind.
Playing back scenes of terror and pain, like some bad horror film.
I’m shackled in place, by my fear, with no escape in sight.
I’m trying to fight against the swelling, frightening night.
But its shadows dance around the empty room and I am afraid.
I close my eyes and put my hands over my ears, because the quiet is too loud.
Then I hear her small voice, crying out to me.
Telling me to breathe.
Her strength builds deep in my chest and my pulse slows.
The warmth of her, flushes my skin, and calms my dread.
She pleads with me to let go.
Let go of the sadness, that chokes me.
Let go of the fear, that handcuffs me.
Let go of the pain, that paralyzes me.
She wants me to yield.
She wants me to open the door and let her back in.
She wants to be free.
I want to be free.
I take a deep breath,
Wipe the tears with the back of my hand
And let her in.