Thursday, September 08, 2005
Judy sat by her dressing mirror and watched as her husband tossed and turned in his sleep. She had opened the curtains and the moon was shinning directly into the room giving everything a bluish-gray tone. She hadn’t wanted to risk waking Andrew up, it had been hard enough getting him to sleep in the first place. He hadn’t slept for nearly two days now, afraid of the monsters that awaited him in his dreams. She unconsciously wringed her hands as she looked into the pained face of her husband. He was moaning softly and it was all she could do to stop herself from waking him. She knew he badly needed the sleep and she was determined to let him have as much as he could.
Her mind wandered back to their first date, remembering how he had shown up with a basket of posies, not knowing about her allergy. Between the smashed toes on the dance floor and the wine he spilled on her dress, it easily qualified for the worst date she had ever been on. Yet she fell for that sweet man with the disarming smile. He wasn't strikingly handsome but he had a kind face and beautiful eyes. His disastrous effort at giving her a good time had uncharacteristically swept her of her feet much to her surprise. She had known he was the one from their first clumsy kiss at the end of the date. That man was now gone. In his place was a stranger who hadn’t even kissed her in weeks let alone touch her. He was looking sicker everyday and the worst part was she didn’t know how to help him. A tear softly glided down the curve of her cheek and fell unnoticed on the back of her hand.
“Ahhhaaaaahhhaaah” he screamed then sat up clutching the beddings close to his chest. He was trembling and gazing about the room wildly and she rushed up to him, arms stretched out.
“It’s ok honey, I’m here”, she started to say as she reached the bed. Then his gaze fell on her and for a second she froze. The eyes that stared back at her were not human eyes, they were the eyes of a desperate animal!
“You...you are de... dead!” he stammered as he retreated back from her outstretched hands and fell on the floor. “You are d... I didn’t do it”, he said dragging himself backwards until he hit the wall. “I DIDN’T KILL YOU”.
She stood in shock, feeling the blood drain from her head. She wasn’t sure she had heard the words right. The words “kill you” echoed in her mind in some sort of lunatic voice that seemed to be laughing. She bumped into the dresser before realizing she had been moving backwards. She put her hands on it to steady herself feeling weak and faint. She opened her mouth to speak but all that came out was a whimper.
“Andrew, it’s me,” she managed in a hoarse whisper after taking in a deep breath. She was scared, scared of this man that she so loved. She couldn’t see his eyes anymore but she could see that his hands were trembling. She knew she had to go to him but it seemed her legs had turned to jello. She wondered if her neighbors would be able to hear her if she screamed.
“Andrew you’re scaring me,” she managed in a weak voice that came from a thousand miles away. “Andrew...” she muttered.
His hands had stopped shaking but he hadn’t responded. His body appeared tense and poised like a snake ready to strike. She looked at the phone on the night stand on his side of the bed and wondered who she might call and what she would say.
“Andrew, talk to me,” she said as she started inching closer to him. She pondered idly whether she would have enough time to get to the door if he suddenly tried to pounce on her. She could now make out the outline of his face and realized that his mouth was open and he was taking in huge gasps of air. She slowly reached her hands out to him while crouching.
There was a tense moment when it felt like the world had stood still then she felt his arm muscles relax under her palms. His breathing was shortening but he still had his eyes closed. She pulled him toward the bed and he came along easily. They sat on the bed for a moment, her arms around his shoulders and his head resting on her bosom.
“Judy,” he started to say.
“Shhh,” she silenced him, “I’m here it’s ok”. This was her husband, if the roles were reversed she knew he’d absolutely be there for her. She had to be strong because he needed her now. It would all be fine in a few days then they’d laugh about it. She reached for his hand and felt something warm and sticky. She pulled it up to the moonlight and saw his palm was covered in blood. She looked closer noticing the teeth marks between his index finger and thumb. He must have bit himself while dreaming she realized, wondering what kind of dream would make someone do that to himself.
“It’ll all be okay,” she said in a tone that was meant to be reassuring but even as she said it, the sinking in her gut told her it wasn't true. A raucous voice in the back of her mind laughed crazily and whispered over and over, “kill you...kill you...kill you”!