I am looking at photos of my body; mutilated. A police officer is showing them to me, telling me what happened and I can’t believe the body in the pictures belongs to me. Patches of skin have been cut off my chest and my flesh is bloody and bruised. He is telling me I was hurt, all over, very badly, and that they haven’t caught him yet.
This, this is the real fear underlying all else: that I was not safe and I could not be. I rushed to all the doors and triple-locked them and I was so paranoid; checking and rechecking and looking out windows. But he was out there, and he was waiting for me and he had hurt me; he owned me now. No matter where I went, or what I did, I knew he would be there. And that feeling has lingered in my chest all day. Sick with fear and paranoia. He was so much more than just a figment of my imagination, he was a culmination of everything I’m most afraid of. And the way I felt him was like the blood in my veins; warm and constant. I did not have to see him to know what he looked like or be in his presence to know he was there.