In the dream I was being attacked. He kept lunging forward. Lashing out. Pounding. Pounding. I was armed with a hockey stick, my fists, my voice, but it was failing. His voice though. Not his face, that was some random face from the street or from a movie background. The voice was his. The voice that infiltrates all of my worst dreams. The voice that tips MY dream into nightmare. It’s always the same. The taunting, the insults, the crying, the manipulation. Always.
My voice. It’s failing. I’m screaming, but the sound is muffled. His voice is louder. She turned up his volume. Her words never cut as deep, but her finger on the volume landed square on my jaw. I could feel it in my teeth.
His hands never touched me. With the odds against me, I narrowly missed every dish, soap bottle, shoe, brush, phone, and dog thrown my way. His hands never touched me, but my body ached. My stomach churned and churned, vomiting up the emptiness of stomach acid, every morning in the school bathroom. His hands never touched me.
The day after that dream. A year maybe a year and a half ago. He called my phone. He pleaded his case. I could hear the cars driving by and the wind in the background. Sneaking. He was sneaking this call so that she wouldn’t know. So that she wouldn’t object. So that she couldn’t protect. My feelings hadn’t changed. Once again, I made that clear. Once again, I spoke my truth. Once again I said goodbye. Age 13 to 30. I’ve lost count of how many times.
Selective memory. Your truth. Not mine.