Some nights I have really terrible nightmares. And I mean terrible. I wake up sweating, crying and completely panicked. I’ve suffered from them for a few years now, but they’ve become less frequent as time has gone on. When they first started, they’d last for a month long span and make me scared to fall asleep. I’ve prayed and spoken with counselors and friends. I’ve even tried to dissect them to see if I could explain them away. The idea that maybe my subconscious is dwelling on something… But nothing. Still they have continued and I’ve just learned to wake up and remind myself they weren’t real. Oh, and to outlaw scary movies.
But then I had a nightmare last week. Same old crazy, horrifying beginning. For a girl with a pretty positive life and a ban on scary movies, I have no idea where my mind comes up with this stuff. But there I was in this intense, graphic nightmare with my best girlfriend. We’d been kidnapped and were being held hostage in this disgusting, dark basement. Our captor was in the next room the whole time and above the trickle of water coming from a faucet in the corner, all we could hear was the sound of his boots on the floor and his occasional chats with himself. We sat there clinging to each other, crying and trying to make sense of it all. We didn’t know the man and had no idea what he wanted with us. I could feel the tragic ending coming. It always does. So we just sat there scared and tired, awaiting our fate.
And that’s when it happened, just like out of a movie. A man rushes in out of nowhere and unties me. As he’s untying my girlfriend, we all panic at the sound of our captor coming to check on the commotion. Our hero finally gets the zip-ties off of my friend’s wrist just as the footsteps reach our doorway. I’m in disbelief as to what’s happening. The story never goes this way. As calmly as he came in, he tells us to run as fast as we can out of here. That he will take care of the rest.
The sound of his voice startles me. It is comforting and soft, yet authoritative. It’s so familiar and immediately makes me feel safe. It’s my boyfriend’s voice. I stand there for what feels like minutes, unsure whether I can let him handle the ending of this nightmare alone. He tells us again to run and as I grab my friend’s hand to leave, I look up and see him for the first time. I have only a second to admire the love and sacrifice he wears across his face before we have run out of time. Hand in hand, my friend and I bolt out of the basement, through the filthy house we’ve been kept in, and out into the street. Just as we reach the open light, I hear a single bullet ring out and pray harder than I’ve ever prayed that it came from the gun my boyfriend was carrying.
I wake up peaceful. No tears, no panic, normal heartbeat. Just calm and stillness. I roll over, hug him hard, and in my half-asleep logic, I start thanking him over and over again for saving me. I tell him I’m so glad he made it. Of course, he has no idea what I’m talking about and after I explain, he just laughs. And I have to admit that while I’m explaining my dream, I realize how crazy it is, too.
But I think it’s a perfect metaphor for how I’ve felt about him since we started dating. He has always made me feel safe and taken care of. Even when I barely knew him and we were just getting to know each other, I just trusted him and knew my heart would be safe in his care. And I trust him so much within my soul that he’s even there in my dreams to keep me safe and sound. Even if just for one night, I’ve been given the one thing that can finally put an end to the paralyzing fear I live at least once a month in my dreams. A man who will fight for me against all odds, just as he’s done in real life all along.
Either that or I’ve been watching too many of his action movies. Since he’d probably be embarrassed by me telling you guys this story, we’ll just go with that! :)