Once my reverie was exhausted and my heart slowed down enough to let me hear, I realized that the footsteps were gone. The library was silent once more, just blessed, soothing silence. Even still, I remained utterly frozen, listening intently without breathing or blinking, trying to hear someone else's breathing, trying to find a sign that someone else was in the room. When nothing presented itself, I squirmed out from under the table and bolted down the stairs, exiting the library and sprinting the whole way back to my dorm.
Never before had it felt so good to sink onto a hard spring mattress and curl up into a ball, the door firmly locked and a chair propped against it for extra security.
That night I fell asleep listening to my iPod, blasting an instrumental version of Greensleeves, the same song I had been listening to my whole life, the one song capable of soothing me no matter how upset I was. In the last dregs of conscious thought, I sent out a small little prayer that tonight was the only time I would ever have to go through this. A sense of peace gradually crept over me and I took it as a sign of hope, finally drifting off with a smile.
Things would get better, I just knew it.
Thing is, they didn't.