The Burden of Empathy : Chapter 7

Chapter 7

I was so freaked out I couldn’t even get back to sleep.  It was still dark, around 4:30am, but for some reason I felt like I had to get out of the hotel room, I felt suffocated and I couldn’t understand why.

I knew I couldn’t go out the front door because I’d wake my parents.  So I opened the window and shimmed down to the ground, pajama bottoms with a sweatshirt in the dead of a mountain night.  Yet despite the cold I went walking.  

I went on the same route I took for my other walk, along the Eel River, but something was different about it now.  The whoosh of the wind in the brush, and the shapes of the trees are so menacing at night.  In the day there are the most beautiful things besides Her.  There wasn’t anything to be afraid of, it’s like my dad always told me,  “There is nothing out there at night, that isn’t out there during the day,”  And he was right.  The rapists and psychos out walking at night are probably doing the same during the day, most just like to use the night as a cover.

The only calming thing was the sound of the river.  Even though I couldn’t see the river, I could hear it, and when everything else was scaring me, that river returned my calm.

It was when I was focusing on the sounds of the river,  out of nowhere came two jock thugs who knocked me down, kicked my rib cage in constantly, and frisked my pockets, they took my wallet, my phone, and my iPod.  Thank god I left my weed in the hotel room.

Suddenly I felt my pajama bottoms being pulled down and I heard one say, “you believe this, the mother fucker isn’t fighting back.”  Why should I?  I knew I had this coming, I knew this was my karma for attacking the boy and the girl.  I deserved this, I deserved to be treated like a piece garbage.

First he pulled down my pants, then my boxers.  Then I heard him whip it out.  Just as he was about to go in, I woke up.

I can honestly say I have never come out of a dream more startled and relieved than at that moment.  The sun had risen, so I got up.  Out of paranoia, I checked my self in the mirror.  No bruises on my face and my ass felt untouched, but when I took my shirt off I saw the biggest bruise on my rib cage I had ever seen.

I hope you’re as freaked out as I was, but I wasn’t worried.  I knew if I kept my shirt on I could hide it from my parents.

Published by James J Jackson

I'm a poet from California.

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