My mind feels woozy, like I'm in the beginning stages of recovering from a hangover. I pry my eyes open, my body stiff with fatigue. I have not been in my Evil form for so long…. I've forgotten what a toll it takes on my body….and my mind.
I roll over and glance at my clock. It's already past eleven in the morning. I can't believe I've slept that long. Is Stephan still here? I really hope not. He brings the worst out of me. And that's putting it mildly.
Grudgingly, I push my body up and off the bed. I walk to the kitchen, enjoying the beautiful, albeit too bright, view of the ocean. It's a richly warm and sunny day and the waves are a dazzling blue. My mind thinks back to the month I spent underwater. I drowned over and over again, but eventually got to a point that my body seemed to relax and I could just enjoy the depths of the ocean.
People really have no idea what creatures and beasts lie on the bottom of the ocean floor. Some of the things I saw made me squirm with fright. They are the things that you'd only think up in your nightmares. Freakishly large, massive eyes, and so powerful it makes you freeze with terror.
My train of thought stops with a jolt as a tingling sensation spreads over my body. It's as unnerving as it is calming. The feeling warms my insides. My mind focuses, my eyes on high alert.
I am being watched.
I can feel it.
I move with a quiet ease from room to room, my eyes scouring every inch of space. I call Stephan's name, but he is not here. His aura has staled; he must have left as soon as he dropped me off at home last night. I suppress the pang of sadness I feel at his absence. I know this is the way he is, the way he always has been. And yet a small piece of me hoped it could be different. Maybe one day.
I still my body, my eyes closing and my mind reaching out to whatever presence it can find in my house. My subconscious moves with ease, her stealth and knowledge far exceeding any humanly limit.
Then I feel it. A spirit. A mind. My subconscious moves to it, doing her damndest to grab a hold of it and see who or what it belongs to. It's hovering in my living room, fighting hard to stay hidden.
And then in a fleeting moment, it leaves.
"Arrgghhhhh!" I shout, stomping my way back to the kitchen.
My subconscious stomps her foot in defeat and goes to pout in her corner. She still isn't real thrilled with me over last night's events.
Don't worry. Whatever spirit that was will be back. And when it does, next time I won't let it leave.
Todd is early to his appointment Monday morning. He comes into my office, squirting a handful of sanitizer into his hand before he sits down. He always looks so squirrely and uncomfortable. Of course, that can be a nervous trait of his OCD. I need to get to know him a bit better before I can deduce that though.
"Good morning Todd. How was your weekend?"
Todd looks at me, his eyes scared and dark. This is not going to be a good session, I can already tell. My cell phone starts buzzing in my pocket and I jump at the action. No one ever uses my cell phone to contact me, so this is a surprise.
I take it out of my pocket to turn the volume to silent and quickly check my messages.
Hey Stella, it's Evan. Hope your weekend went OK. I had fun with you on Friday. Do you think maybe we could
I scroll over to read the second half of the message.
go out again this week? Or this weekend is fine too. Just let me know! : ) Evan
I bite my lip with excitement. Despite all the evil, all the darkness of this weekend, Evan still wants to see me! But wait a minute. A red flag goes up in my mind. Evan still really doesn't know me all that well. He did ask me out rather fast. He got my cell phone number without me knowing (which I still have no idea how that was accomplished).
And now is texting me for another date, even though I had to kick him out of my house to talk to my ex-husband. If the roles were reversed I would have done all I could to get out - and fast. So why is he still pursuing me? Or am I just being too cynical?
It's times like these that I wish I had a good girlfriend to talk to. I'm in dire need of one.
"-and that's when he started raping me," Todd says, his unexpected words distracting me from my thoughts.
"Wait. Who did that to you, Todd?" I ask with genuine concern.
Todd pauses, studying my face ever-so-carefully. I think I make him nervous. Either that or he's wondering if this time I'll actually listen. I just have too much on my mind. I should have called off today. But no, I can't call off when I've only been here a week. That wouldn't go over well.
"Stella?" Todd asks, his eyes hard and cold.
"Yes, Todd. I'm sorry. I'm listening," I say, trying to comfort him.
I tune out my thoughts and force myself to focus on his words. Dissecting my love life can come later over a gallon of ice cream and a season of FRIENDS.
"Like I was saying," Todd continued, "after he raped me, I couldn't help but cry. And then after that he killed me."
"He killed you?" I repeated, frowning.
Todd sighed, his frustration evident.
"Stella I've only been describing my dream to you for the past five minutes!"
Ohhh! It was just a dream!
I nod my head, my body relaxing a degree. "Well, Todd. I think nightmares are normal when someone is under a lot of mental and emotional stress and -"
"No. It wasn't that. I've had nightmares before. This one was different. It was so….real. It was like I was watching it through someone else's eyes. I haven't had that type of dream since I was a little boy. I'll never forget it."
"And what was the nightmare you had as a little boy?"
I listen intently as Todd reiterates his nightmares to me once more, the one from his childhood and then the one from this weekend again. And the more I listen, the more my body becomes paralyzed with fear. No, no this can't be happening.
"-and then those damned creatures brought me down to Hell, raped me and clawed at my back. I don't know why they did it Stella, but as I died I watched this beautiful woman in front of me. Well I think she was a woman. She had long black wings and a body made of silver. She was scary, but beautiful. Does that make sense? But her eyes - they had so much hate in them," Todd finishes, his face pale and his voice shaky.
He looks to me in earnest, his features looking so much older than they did at the beginning of his session. He's not just having nightmares, I realize. He's seeing, mentally living…. my journey into Hell.