As I start to come out of the deep sleep I just was in, I feel his presence inside the room. I close my eyes
tighter than they already were in hopes that I have not yet given up the secret that I am in fact awake. I
don’t know how he got in but deep down I somehow knew this day would come and he would find us.
Why is he here? What does he want from me?
I begin to feel his breath on my cheek. His face must be roughly an inch away from mine at this point. I
try my hardest not to give any indication that I am awake but I start to feel the tears forming in my eyes.
I feel helpless lying here in my pink and white nightgown, no way of protecting myself, just a feeling of
vulnerability. I feel his fingers as he sweeps my curly brown hair off my face. A breeze comes through the
window to the left of me and a familiar scent gets blown in my direction. He’s wearing the cologne I
bought him nearly three years ago for Christmas.
It was our first holiday together in our brand new house. We both agreed to buy only one gift for each
other due to money being tight that year. I bought him a bottle of cologne and he bought me a pair of
sterling silver hoop earrings. He insisted I wear them all day while we visited our friends and relatives. He
made sure that every person I talked to knew the earrings were a gift from him. Looking back now I
believe those earrings were his way of marking his territory, with me being the territory.
After what seems like an hour I hear the swishing of his pants. I no longer feel his warm breath on my
face which leads me to believe he is moving around the room. I think of my cell phone on the night stand
beside me. Right now it is less than twelve inches from my left arm but if I move he will see me and I’m
not quite sure what will happen after that.
I hear his footsteps as he walks across the bedroom. I can picture him in my mind, undoubtedly the facial
impression of a madman. His brown eyes transformed into what appear to be two tiny black pieces of
coal. Neither a smile nor a frown can be seen on his pale white face. His brown hair is probably covered
with the same backwards, blue and white baseball cap he always wore. This image of him is one that has
haunted my dreams for the past three years.
He’s on the move again. He’s heading towards the bathroom. I hear the switch of the light and the
darkness that once surrounded my closed eyelids is no more. Why is he in the bathroom? I hear the
sound of the faucet turn on. He begins to struggle with that stupid soap dispenser. I don’t even know
why I kept the damn thing seeing as I hated it from the beginning. I’ve packed and repacked it so many
times and yet I refuse to throw it away. I think I keep it as a reminder, hoping to never let myself fall
victim to another man again. It’s a stupid reason, that I know, but that soap dispenser was the starting
point for the hell that that man put me through.
The holiday shopping rush had finally ended and we decided to venture out in search for knick-knacks for
the house. While walking around the store, he came up behind me and in his hands was that hideous
soap dispenser. It was cylinder shaped and painted green with gray stripes. At first I thought it was a
joke and I started to laugh but then I knew it wasn’t supposed to be funny. Immediately I stopped
laughing and apologized but the damage had already been done. I tried to put the dispenser in the cart
but he yelled at me saying the only reason I wanted it was because I felt bad. The rest of our shopping
experience was not very pleasant and we ended up leaving twenty minutes later. He didn’t say much that
night and even when he had something to say he felt his words alone were not able to get his point
across. The beating and verbal abuse I endured that night lasted a half- hour. He claimed I embarrassed
him inside the store and the fact that I laughed at him somehow indicated I was better than him. That
was the first time he had ever laid a hand on me and unfortunately it was not the last. I remember being
at work the next day and having to make up some lame excuse about falling down the stairs in the
middle of the night. Driving home all I could think about was whether or not I would get a replay of what
had happened the night before. When I entered the house, he was there to greet me with a kiss on the
forehead and an “I’m sorry. It will never happen again.” He then told me to hurry up and wash up for
dinner and then gave me a playful smack on the butt. I worked my way upstairs and headed towards the
bathroom. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed there on the sink was that hideous soap dispenser.
He just turned the faucet off. I can hear the rustle of the towel hanging from the rack. He’s on the move
again. Based on the sound of the floorboards, I can tell he is walking towards the bedroom door.
Suddenly the sounds stop, as if he is reconsidering the idea of leaving the room. I hear footsteps again
and this time I believe they came from outside the bedroom. I hesitate, but only a moment, knowing that
this is my one chance to react. As I slowly open my eyelids, I am able to see a little bit of the doorway
and am relieved not to see him standing there. I quickly reach for my cell phone but it is no longer there.
Damn, the bastard took it. My first thought is to get to Amber. I slowly start to raise my head from my
pillow which at this point feels like it weighs almost fifty pounds. I start to peel away the covers, careful
not to make a sound. Just then I hear a familiar voice echo throughout the room.
I quickly turn my head and there standing in the corner is Jason. A pit in my stomach starts to form and I
no longer am able to catch my own breath. What do I do? Where do I run? I’m trapped in my own
“I knew you were awake. You never could fool me,” he says.
Unexpectedly a burst of wind causes the blinds to sway allowing the moonlight to shine in the room for a
brief moment. The awful image I imagined is the one I see before me. I try and think what to do next but
my mind draws a blank.
“Jason what are you doing here,” I ask. The question doesn’t seem to faze him one bit. He starts to
move towards the bed. I can see both his hands at this time and although they are empty, I know what
kind of damage they can do on their own.
“The place is lovely Sar, but I liked the other ones better. There were a lot more windows in the place on
Kricket Street; although the place prior to that had the balcony off the bedroom. Tough call on which one
I’d say is the best,” he laughs.
I shudder at the sound of his laugh. When trying to fight him off from whatever pointless beating I was
encountering, I would hear that same stupid, annoying laugh come out of his mouth. It was as if he
thought everything he was doing to me was a joke. Well tonight will be no joking matter.
“So I bet you are wondering why I’m here. Well let me take away the fun in guessing. Sarah, I need you
and Amber back in my life and I’m here to take both of you away with me. Things just haven’t been the
same without you guys,” he says.
Well of course things haven’t been the same without me; he no longer has a human punching bag for his
convenience. He has no one to let his anger out on without the worry of getting hit back.
He goes on to say, “I can’t believe how big she has gotten. Don’t worry Sar, she’s asleep like a baby, I
just checked on her. And of course Grandma has fallen asleep on the couch again but she didn’t make a
sound when I walked past her earlier. I’m here for a second chance Sarah, we can be happy again trust
He’s insane. Why would he ever think I’d take him back? A million thoughts start running in my head.
What if Amber wakes up and comes in here? Do I dare make a run for it and lock myself in her room?
How would we get out from there? What about mom? What do I do?
“Jason, you know you aren’t supposed to be here. Why don’t you come back in the morning so we can
talk this ov…?”
“NO! I’m done talking. You and I belong together and I’m not leaving here without you or Amber. Now
you know what happens when you disobey me so why even consider it? Sarah, I hate being the bad guy
and I hate hurting you but in all honesty you bring it upon yourself,” he states.
How could he possibly think that I bring this upon myself? The man is delusional. I realize now this will
never be over until he gets what he wants, which sadly is me. I could pretend to go along with whatever
he says and then the first chance I get, break free and go to the cops, but what good have they done for
me? Even if they held him for a day, he’d be back on the streets looking for me in a matter of seconds.
No, tonight its stops; tonight it ends here!
“Jason, I’m no longer afraid of you. This is my house; now I’m telling you to leave!” As I stare into his
eyes, I start to question whether or not that was the best thing to say at this point. His expression
suggests nothing, remaining calm and unaffected
“Wow Sar, you got yourself a backbone. Well good for you; it’s about time. It still doesn’t change the
fact that you are coming with me. Now let’s go! I’m going to take you and Amber far away from here; a
place where no one can find us and we can be happy again. You remember the good times don’t ya Sar?
The late night walks around our neighborhood, the movie nights we had in our living room and of course
the passion we experienced in the bedroom! It will be just like that but better, I promise.”
I sense a bit of desperation in the tone of his voice. Maybe he has changed. Could things get better? No,
of course not! What am I saying? He’s the same man that put me in the hospital three times in a month.
The same man who knocked me unconscious because I forgot to iron his shirt the night before his office
meeting. This man can’t change because he’s not even a man, he’s an animal.
“Ya Jason, I remember. I remember the late night beatings for not having dinner ready or folding your
clothes the wrong way. I remember having to lie to my friends and family about how I received the
bruises all along my body. Trust me, I remember. Now, I’m not going to say it again, LEAVE NOW!”
For a split second I think I see a smile come across Jason’s face but it quickly gets wiped away and is
replaced with a terrifying look of determination. He starts walking towards me. I notice him grab
something from behind his back, tucked away in his jeans. I take a second glance and see him pull out a
large knife, most likely one from my own kitchen. I start to panic. What do I do? He starts to come closer
and before I can say or do anything he…
Beep, beep, beep!
“Mommy, its time to get up now; grandma made us breakfast.”
On My Own
By: Rachel DeRolf