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Nightmares

“I don’t like guns, and besides, what’s more scary? Some guy with a gun, or some guy running at you like a maniac with a sword?” Noah countered in response.

   I thought about it for a moment before replying, “Well, I guess you’re right. If some guy was running at me with a sword, I guess I would run away, but what if whoever is after you has a gun? Running at him with a sword isn’t going to stop a bullet, and why would you want to get right up next to someone to hurt him? Wouldn’t you rather be able to stop him from the top of the stairs instead of having to be right next to him?”

   “That’s not the point, Becca. I’m not trying to hurt anyone. I’m trying to scare them into going away so I don’t have to hurt them. I just don’t like guns,” he said.

   “That’s stupid! Oh, here I am – crazy man with a sword. Hopefully I scare you enough that you don’t have the wits about you to shoot me,” I replied sarcastically, mocking both Noah and his reasoning with which I simply did not agree nor understand.

   “Becca, you just don’t understand,” Noah yelped, raising his voice.

   “Why? Why, Noah? What’s there to understand? Shoot someone from ten feet away and stop him, or chase him down the hallway with a sword? Come on, why would I NOT choose a gun?” I yelled back.

   “BECAUSE, Rebecca! You don’t know what it’s like to see someone get shot six times in the chest! To watch some guy get his balls shot off simply because it’s fun! To watch people laugh about it! I don’t like guns! Okay?” Noah roared.

   At that point, I realized my mistake and was immediately silenced. Noah was lying completely still and breathing heavily. I immediately snuggled up under his arm and apologized. “I’m so sorry, Noah. I didn’t realize,” I said, my voice cracking as tears welled up in my eyes.

   He didn’t respond right away, but he pulled me close and wrapped his arm around me. We lay there in silence for what seemed like forever until he finally said, “It’s okay. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

   We continued to lie there together until we fell asleep. Soon, though, I awoke to the rawest expression of fear I have ever seen or heard. A scream came from Noah that I can’t even begin to describe. He started to shake and flail, as if he were fighting for his life.

   “Oh, God. Please! Please! Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!” he wailed at the top of his lungs. Tears began to stream down his face. I dodged several punches and threw myself atop him, screaming his name, trying to wake him to save him from whatever hell he was enduring in his dream.

   “Noah! Noah! It’s okay! No one is trying to kill you. It’s okay! Wake up!” I yelled, holding him down as gently as I could to keep him from hurting himself. I screamed into his face and finally he stopped. He didn’t wake up so much as he stopped dreaming. His breathing slowly returned to normal and his eyes briefly fluttered open.

   “Becca?” he mumbled, reaching up through my embrace to wipe the sweat and tears away from his eyes.

   “I’m here. That was a really intense dream, sweetheart. Are you okay?” I asked, sitting up and rolling back to my side of the bed.

   He only coughed to clear his throat and replied with a barely audible, “Okay,” before he rolled over onto his stomach and immediately fell back to sleep.

   It was the single worst night terror I ever saw from him. The others were intense, but brief and short lived. This one seemed to last forever, coupled with screaming and sobbing. I was shaken almost as if I had experienced it myself. I sat and stared across the room, trying to steady my own erratic breathing and heart rate before returning my attention to Noah. I placed my hand gently on his shoulder and he flinched, mumbled and quickly rolled over onto his back.

   “Shhh. It’s okay. I’m sorry. It’s just me. It’s just Becca.” I whispered, hoping to stave off another nightmare.

   “Mmmhmm. Come here,” Noah mumbled, extending his arm.

   I cautiously wiggled my way over under the blankets and laid my head onto his shoulder, resting comfortably under the crook of his arm as he gave me a gentle squeeze.

   “I love you. Are you okay?” I asked.

   “Love you,” he quietly replied before he fell back into a deep, complete sleep.”

To read more about Rebecca and Noah’s relationship you can purchase Candy Apple Butterscotch: A Memoir on Amazon. Kindle and paperback editions available now. Audiobook coming soon!

Candy

Copyright R. MacCeile 2018

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