I awoke for the fourth time that night, shaken by the unconscious recollection of my violation. I turned to the clock, my eyes beginning to water because of the sudden light. Peering through the blurring liquid, I saw that it was three in the morning. Blinking away the moisture, I lay down, knowing that sleep would overpower me again soon, and I would replay my anguish. I hated being overpowered. I longed to stay awake, to defeat the will to sleep, to remind myself that I could make my own decisions. I sat up, pulled back the cover and stood up, holding on to my bedside table to steady myself. I looked down at my legs, saw them struggling to keep me upright, like withering tree trunks. I steadied myself, before moving slowly towards the bathroom.
I took a cup from the windowsill. It was cold in my grasp, its indifference soothing to my invaded mind. I filled it with water and drank, tilting my head back gently. As I did so, I caught my own gaze in the mirror, staring back with dry, red eyes, duller than those of a cow chewing cud. Although my filthy secret tore at my heart with its yellow teeth, there were no more tears left, no more self pity. Only pain, regret, and a deep hollow emptiness where happiness once lived. My hair hung limply from my head, messy and tired, much like its owner. I sighed, before leaving the bathroom and wandering back down the corridor, passing the room in which my parents slept. They were so besotted with their work, they had not realised that their daughter Tessa had changed so much.
I entered my room quietly, but I did not go back to bed; I walked around it, taking in every little detail of my dwelling space. As I passed the desk, I saw a photograph of the old Tessa with her friends. I did not know her anymore; her smile, her cheerful eyes, her healthy figure were dead to me now. I laid down on my bed, placing my hands on my stomach. I gently lifted my pyjama top, allowing myself to look at my body. I felt my bones as they tried to force themselves through the thin, almost translucent skin. In my mind, the memory of his hands burned so brightly that I saw the marks he had left once again. His handprints covered my whole body as I felt them again, felt him again, touching me, forcing himself inside me. As he placed his hands on my breasts, I screamed.
My eyes snapped open as my parents ran into the room and my mother held me in her arms. I pushed her away. "What's wrong, Tessa?"
"Just another bad dream." She kissed my forehead and sighed.
"You have so many bad dreams, Tessa, it frightens me. Are you sure you cannot tell me what happens in them?"
"It's nothing, mum. Just go back to bed. Please." My parents obeyed me, and left the room, shutting the door behind them. They left me alone with my memories as I flopped onto the pillow. Suddenly, I sat up, something rising in my throat. I bolted to the window and forced it open. A mixture of blood, vomit and tears fell to the ground. I turned and leant against the wall, my legs failing beneath me. I slid down the wall slowly, holding my abused head in my hands. As I knelt on the floor, slipping beneath the depths of my memories, I shouted into my palms.
"Let! Me! Die!"