Mental Assault

Mental Assault

A Story by Bella Andrews
"

Letting go isn't easy, but when the memories won't let you let go, what do you do?

"

I sit up suddenly, covered in sweat, heart racing, and disoriented. After a few seconds I realize it was the dream, the same dream, always about him, that has woken me up for the past few years. Angrily I hit my pillow, what’s going on with me? I sit staring at the wall trying to erase the remnants of the dream from my head so I can fall asleep again. Why am I still dreaming of him? Why won’t he stop haunting me? Unable to force myself back into sleep, I get out of bed. I walk into the kitchen and grab a glass from the cabinet. Shakily I pour myself some water and sit at the table without bothering to turn on the light. The dark feels comforting and that’s what I need right now, comfort. I rest my head on my arm, and close my eyes.

My mind drifts to another time, another when. A time when my heart was happy, when everything made sense. But that means thinking about him, something I avoid doing. It’s been five years since I met the dark haired, deep eyed man of my dreams. I remember the night so well, the vivid details of the evening flood into my mind and I’m right back there, in the moment. I push the thoughts from my head. Fighting to remain calm. My mind winning it pulls pieces of memories from drawers I’d locked long ago. It’s been 3 years since he was called to fight for our country, called to fight a war that can’t be won. I remember a night we sat in his car, seats reclined back, holding hands, before he was ever called to fight, the night that he admitted that he was afraid to go to war. My eyes tear up, remembering the sincerity in his eyes, the fear in his voice, I remember feeling afraid for him, and for us, for the future in general. My mind  keeps drifting, back to the night that I got the phone call from him, telling me he was going to war in a month, that he had no choice. I remember the distance in his voice. I knew then that I was already losing him. I remember the sobs that escaped me all night after the phone call ended.

I force myself to walk to the window, and stare out into the dark. Trying to find something to distract me from the flood of memories, emotions, and things best left locked away. Yet, I know that more memories will come, and I’ll fight them, and I’ll lose. Why don’t I just give in to them? A question I have never been able to answer. I remember the first meeting the Army had for the families of the soldiers who’d been deployed. I remember feeling helpless and lost, and close to tears that day. I remember listening to speech after speech, meant to make you feel calm, and comforted. I remember how it didn’t work. I remember feeling angry, so angry at everyone of the officers and civilians that tried to make it seem okay.

 I remember the week before he was to leave, he ended our relationship. I remember feeling my heart shatter. I remember the numbness that spread from my heart, to my arms and legs, to my face, to my mind. I remember begging him to change his mind, begging him to let me be a part of his life. I remember him saying no.

 I remember driving to see him at the hotel he had to stay at the week before he left. I remember eating dinner in silence, neither of us sure what to say, but content just to be near each other. I remember wanting to hold his hand, kiss him, hug him, and him not wanting me to, not wanting to lead me on. I remember starting to feel angry with him for wanting me to be there, but not wanting me anymore.

I feel my legs begin to shake, and my heart begin to race.

 I walk to the bedroom and get back into bed. I wrap my arms around my pillow, and I take slow deep breaths. I close my eyes.

It’s almost over, it’s almost over, soon I’ll fall asleep. I repeat this to myself, over and over as I wait for the memories to finish their assault on my mind.

I remember the night before he’s to leave, I arrive at his hotel room. Together, side by side, on the hotel bed, we eat dinner. We sat there, watching the same stupid shows we used to watch, laughing quiet distracted laughs, each of us lost in our own thoughts, both of us remembering when we used to watch these same shows when we were still something. When we were a team and before we became strangers.

I remember drinking the beer. How it calmed my nerves, how it numbed the pain.

I remember grabbing his hands, kissing him, I remember asking him to take me, one last time. I remember him asking me if I am sure that I want it this way, without any promises of anything else. I remember saying yes.

I remember crying myself to sleep.

I remember the day he left, the ceremony, the tears, the hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye. I remember walking him to the bus, I remember telling him that I loved him that I’d always love him and holding his hand so tight and not wanting to let go. I remember the onyx cross that I gave him, that I begged him to take with him. I remember the fear on his face as he turned one last time to look at me.

The tears are running down my cheek now, onto my pillow, but I don’t brush them away. It feels good to cry.

I remember the weeks after. I remember the shell I’d become, the lifeless person that it left me. I remember getting angry, and wishing I’d been stronger. I remember the way the anger felt, wrapping itself around my numb heart, I could feel again.

I remember the year after, being caught in a constant state of confusion, anger, love, hate, concern, sadness, longing, swirling around me, making me unbearable to be around, making me unbearable, even to myself. I remember the night the dreams started their nightly haunting. Nothing seemed to be able to stop them. Not even the pills the doctor assured me would work.

I sigh loudly and shake my head. I look down at my hands, clenched tightly in my lap. I feel the resignation washing over me. I may not have the love of my life any longer. And I may never see him again. But I still have the dreams. The one thing that connects me to him. They haven't left me like he did, they've remained true to me.

I walk back to my room. My head is spinning, I feel sick, and I feel tired.

I pull the covers up to my shoulders, and place my head on my pillow. I wrap my arms around another pillow and I close my eyes.  My breathing starts to slow, my mind starts to spin the next dream. I feel myself drifting off, and know the memories will be back for their next assault, and in painful anticipation, I await their return.

© 2010 Bella Andrews


My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Featured Review

You have some good ideas here. Your strength, it seems, lies in your ability to portray a range of human emotions. I'm glad you went the route of focusing on the mental distance your character feels, rather than the physical one people tend to associate with a loved-one's going away.

The trouble is, all this valuable emotion gets lost beneath a clutter of poor grammar and lack of cohesive structure. The former is the easiest of these issues to fix: with some research and a bit of elbow grease, I have no doubt in my mind that you'll be able to tame some of those nastier errors. For instance, you begin the story in past-tense, then switch to present tense -- this is an error which can easily be avoided by being careful. Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" would be a fantastic book to look at; I think it would be a great resource in terms of strengthening your writing.

When I talk about structure, even train-of-thought stories such as this require starting at point-a and ending at point-b. You establish both point-a (fighting the memories) and point-b (accepting them), but the transition is missing. Perhaps if the memories brought some comfort, or if she decided it was time to move on, then she would have reason to discontinue her struggle with the past?

Just a few thoughts. Your writing has raw emotional power -- you need to find a way to harness it, that's all.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

You have some good ideas here. Your strength, it seems, lies in your ability to portray a range of human emotions. I'm glad you went the route of focusing on the mental distance your character feels, rather than the physical one people tend to associate with a loved-one's going away.

The trouble is, all this valuable emotion gets lost beneath a clutter of poor grammar and lack of cohesive structure. The former is the easiest of these issues to fix: with some research and a bit of elbow grease, I have no doubt in my mind that you'll be able to tame some of those nastier errors. For instance, you begin the story in past-tense, then switch to present tense -- this is an error which can easily be avoided by being careful. Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" would be a fantastic book to look at; I think it would be a great resource in terms of strengthening your writing.

When I talk about structure, even train-of-thought stories such as this require starting at point-a and ending at point-b. You establish both point-a (fighting the memories) and point-b (accepting them), but the transition is missing. Perhaps if the memories brought some comfort, or if she decided it was time to move on, then she would have reason to discontinue her struggle with the past?

Just a few thoughts. Your writing has raw emotional power -- you need to find a way to harness it, that's all.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

279 Views
1 Review
Added on July 6, 2010
Last Updated on July 7, 2010
Tags: Love, Loss, heartbreak, tears, dreams

Author

Bella Andrews
Bella Andrews

About
I have been drawn to writing my entire life. It pours out of me like water from a faucet that cannot be turned off. more..

Writing