Used. That’s how she felt the moment she arrived home. The idea behind all of it had been to prove herself stronger than she thought she was. But maybe she wasn’t. Maybe she was just the frightened girl she didn’t wanted to be. The idea of being fearless had been a nice one to imagine but it had been highly unrealistic. This was, mainly, because she was always terrified. Every step she took into the world made her feel as is she had stepped into the mouths of hell. And though she forced herself through the most difficult things, she knew she was much more affected by everything than what she recognized.
She sat on the bed for a while. Blinds and a curtain covered the window, which was good. She didn’t want to know a single thing about the sun out there, about light or life in the world. She wanted to stay there in her room for a while, a long while. After fifteen minutes of staring at a point on the floor, she remembered her clothes and took them off as fast as she can. Once she was only in her underwear, she got into bed and tried to sleep.
It felt like the hardest thing she had ever done. Once again, her eyes would face the wall and wouldn’t close for nothing. She was too distracted, trying not to think about anything. That thought made her think about every single thing that had happened that night and she found herself repeating the scenes she had been through over and over again, like a movie in her head. She moved around in bed a lot, not being able to sleep or to shake off the thoughts.
Maybe it was her, or maybe it was the weather, but the room started to feel like a sauna. Everything felt hotter, as if she was trying to sleep in an oven. It made sleeping even harder. She got out of bed and head to the door but stopped there. She wanted to have some water but, to do that, she had to go to the kitchen and that room was surrounded by windows and light. It was everything she wanted to avoid. Yet, she had begun to feel a sore throat and had no idea way.
It was seven in the morning when she opened the door and practically ran to the kitchen. She grabbed a bottle of water and ran back to her room, as fast as she could. Other four people lived there and none of them were friends or anything like it. She barely spoke to any of them and couldn’t trust them with how she felt on that moment.
Once back in her room, she drank half the water in the bottle in one sitting. She cleaned her mouth with her arm and decided it was time to try again. Only covered by a thin sheet, she finally fell asleep after finally deciding not to think about anything. She just put her mind blank and it worked. She fell asleep but it was an uneasy sleep.
The poor woman moved around, her arms from one side to the other of the bed. She talked in her sleep too but it was hard to properly hear what she was saying, it was almost as if she was whispering to someone. That way, thrashing and whispering, she got to sleep for five hours. Around lunchtime, she woke up and decided that small rest had been enough. Her body wasn’t tired enough to keep on sleeping, although her mind certainly needed more time to get used to every single thing she was thinking about.
Once up, she moved the curtain and raised the blinds. Her window led to an inner yard but some light came through it. She had no intention of turning on her artificial light. The idea was to have natural light come into the room and feel a little bit less aggressive. After that, she decided it was time to have another expedition outside, this time to the bathroom. She ran quickly to it and did what she had to do as fast as she could. She didn’t want to stay there long enough to be greeted by anyone outside. Avoiding them was the idea for the day.
When back in her room, she looked around in her closet and found something she had thought about in the bathroom: cookies. They were the ones she used to eat as a little girl. They were really thick and covered with chocolate chunks. She took the box to the bed and grabbed her laptop. The idea was to eat and distract her mind from the night before. She still felt dirty, she still felt she had transformed into someone she wasn’t and now she had to live with that other person.
The best thing she could find was a cooking show, so she watched it in silence while eating about seven cookies. Once she was done, she put the box on the ground and covered herself entirely with the bed sheet. The food had helped her to feel tired again, maybe even sleepy. But then she realized there was something she needed to do before that, before anything. She put the laptop on the floor too and just stayed there, looking around the room.
But she wasn’t only looking. She was recreating her night in her head, from the moment she had decided to step out of her house to the moment, just five hours ago, when she had come back feeling as she was feeling. The idea had been to have a drink or two and then head back home but she knew it had been then when the other woman had taken control of her.
It was funny to talk about herself like that. She even smiled thinking that, after all, no matter what she told herself, she was that woman too. It was really another person, a dark figure in the night or something like that. That other woman with no scruples was also her but somehow she didn’t want to recognize her. She was scared to look at the mirror and realize who she was.
Her sore throat was still there. She blamed the smoke in the place she had ended in but also the people there, the men especially. She had gone to that dark world to loose herself and, she realized, she wasn’t ready for it. The place was very dark and filled with all kinds of people, at least all physical kinds. Because, in their minds, they were all exactly the same. They all seek pleasure beyond anything they had ever imagined; they wanted to experience the extremes.
She had used her cellphone to get to that place and she used it once again to get out of there. She stayed for about two hours and then ran out, leaving someone inside waiting for her. The nice girl that showed her face most of time, had appeared suddenly and had taken control of a body that had been through a lot during those two hours. She had done things she had never done before and that she probably would never do again.
That’s what she wanted to ignore, to forget, to stop thinking about. But, after eating her cookies, having food in her belly, she realized the best way is always to confront ones fears, to look at them in the eye and see if they are really scary, if it’s worth it to be afraid of them. Because some fears are useful but others are just there to be in the way, they have to be defeated or at least jumped over to go on with life.
She thought of all the kisses every touch, and also tried to put faces to all of that. It was good that she was able to do that. It made her feel less stressed, less like some kind of failure. She remembered everything, even with the alcohol and the drugs. Because it had been her who had done all of that. It had been her who had been inside the belly of the beast and had gotten out. It wasn’t some other imaginary woman.
She turned around on her bed and decided the subject was closed. The past has to be left aside, always in our minds but not in our way. She closed her eyes for a while but did not fall asleep. She just wanted to be quiet and in peace with herself. She wanted to feel less like a something and more like someone. With her eyes closed, she heard the world and decided to think about how she perceived it all, how she could imagine a whole universe only by the sounds.
It was a silly thing to do but it was the best game she could come up with. She was tired again and, as she played her game, she fell asleep. This time, it really felt like she was resting, not having to battle anyone or anything inside her mind. It was only her. She had been the one making every decision and she had to realize that was the way it was. She was the one calling the shots and she had to realize that wasn’t going to change.