I woke startled and frightened, with the room enveloped in darkness. I woke alone and afraid, my skin glowing with a chilling sheen. I woke with the vivid imagery of my dreaming flashing before me, playing in my head, its afterimages seared on my eyes. I woke with the phantoms, their menacing scowls and glistening blades stepping out of the shadows, their cruelty, coercion and horror following me through the night. I woke calling out his name, calling out your name, calling to you, my body calling out for you.
As I lay in bed, eyes on the white ceiling, ears listening to my shallow, recovering breath, hands registering the heartbeat thudding through my chest, I longed to be held and soothed by you, longed for the safety of your strong arms, the sweetness of your tender kiss, I longed for you to hush the gentle cries and drink away my salty tears.