Sometimes I woke up like this, somewhat suffocated, terrified of what couldn’t be seen with naked eyes. Some ungodly hours charmed me into a page of madness.
The night before I had placed my phone right next to my pillow. I liked to keep it close, as my roommate wouldn’t be pleased waking up to my morning alarm.
Yet my roommate had skipped town to visit her horrible boyfriend, and I had kept my phone close out of a plain habit, nothing more, nothing less.
As I came to my senses, I realized a heavy weight was placed upon me. My arms, blocked and unmoved. My legs went numb at another feeling, tingling around my neck.
I felt them. Fingers, as cold as ice, wrapped around my neck.
As calm as I could have been cornered by some darkness, I blinked my eyes and tried hard to see anything. Anyone.
It could’ve been a prank. Alicia? Is this you? My mind was racing and my breaths were short.
My lips parted slightly, but no word could come out. I knew I was alone. Alicia left and hadn’t returned. What good would come out of me screaming now? Not like anyone could come and rescue me.
After what had seemed to be an eternity, the weight lifted off and I sank into relief. I pulled myself together and sat up, immediately searching for my phone. I told myself, I had to call my mother.
And it would have been easy to do if only my phone had been where it should have always been. But it wasn’t there.
My heart started drowning in fear. My body froze and the air choke me for a little while. I sat on my bed and waited. I waited for the sunlight to pass my window and tell me that it would all be over.
Then when the sunlight arrived dimly, I jumped out of bed and started searching for my phone. The whole time searching I was swearing to not hold back on my anger if it had been simply a prank.
The top drawer where I kept my notes had it. My phone, placed there, battery out, useless.
I stared at it for few minutes, digesting everything in my mind. I raced to the bathroom and kicked the door open, hoping to find someone hiding in there. Someone guilty of this prank. I checked the space under Alicia’s bed, where her boyfriend sometimes would hide, still hoping.
I raced to Alicia’s closet, mine, and to the door, checking if it had been unlocked.
Screaming wouldn’t do. Would praying do?
I slowly returned to my phone, put it back together, and turned it on.
The thought of calling my mother crossed my mind again. I should call, I thought, I should call her.
But I decided to forget.
Sometimes I would wake up like this, all too terrified to question, all too unwilling to learn the answers, ofttimes wondering if there had been more to this than it seemed.
Yet this time I let it slip, and the time after, and the rest followed. After all, as long as it didn’t harm anyone, what would a cry do?