Cold Water

Do you ever wake up feeing like your heart is squeezing blood up in through the little veins in your throat, faster and faster until a metallic tang invades your tongue and taste buds, your chest vibrates, someone is grabbing hold of your sternum and tickling you from the inside out, twisting your organs painfully with their long bony fingers and threatening to burst them right through your skin and out into oblivion?

You want to run and run and run and never ever look back, flee from the feeling, out run yourself, your mind forces loud and guttural screams of agitation from your chest into the dead of the night until the beast within you has finally been released, burst from the fabric of existence and into the ether, leaving you nothing but a hollow shell.

The world is still and dark around you, oblivious to the invasion of your soul. Sweat pours from your heaving body and you realise that you are all alone in a full house. Up is down, down is up and nothing will cease the intensity, you leave your bed and blindly run to the bathroom, turn on the shower and let cold water rush over your head and drown out the demons for minutes, or hours, you wouldn’t know.

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A familiar voice comes into the bathroom suddenly, breaking the spell “You okay?”

“Yes… Headache” You feel the cold of the water on your face as the lie leaves your lips you don’t look up, you can’t, you don’t want to be comforted or hugged or watched with his eyes. Those eyes of concern and pain that want so desperately to fix it all but don’t know how, the eyes that beg for guidance that you cannot give because you don’t know how to fix it either, those eyes that make you want to live and die all in the same moment.

“Okay… love you” The voice leaves the bathroom again as your hot salty tears contrast against the rest of the water flowing down your cheeks, images invade your mind, over and over, photos of peoples faces you have never seen, places you have never been to, words, phrases, repeating, over and over and over again.

You eventually watch yourself stumble from the safety of the water and back into bed wrapped in a towel. The man who for God knows what reason won’t stop loving you lays next to you snoring softly and a tick of the clock previously drowned out by your heart beat suddenly sounds, echoing into the silence and shocking you back into your body, a reminder that time had stopped, just for a moment, just for you but the rest of the world continued on, the confusion belonged only to your thoughts, but for now you have control again and this too shall pass.

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