It Smiles Back
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It speaks to me

Quietly, like a whisper from a lover.

The words seep into my skin, into my cells.

“That’s not good enough…You’re never good enough.”

I believe it.


“They are watching you…Why did you dress like that? Why did you wear that bright colored shirt?”

Its breath caresses my neck but I shrug it away.


“He’s following too close…He’s going to follow you out to your car.”

Its invisible hands tighten around my neck. I can’t breathe.

Don’t look back, he’ll see you.

Run

No, you’re being ridiculous. He doesn’t even know you exist.

The tightness in my throat spreads to my chest. It hurts.

If I don’t run now I will be paralyzed.

He will definitely get me then.


I abandon my shopping cart and make it to the car before

the building is lifted from my chest and I my lungs can fill with air.

The tears flow.

I hate the tears because it loves them.

It drinks my tears like an elixir, growing stronger and louder.

It laughs at me now.


“You can’t let her take those kids… She isn’t as cautious as you are. She doesn’t think about the consequences. Look at all the ways your children can die.”

I don’t want to see this.

The images flash through my head

as if it were a movie on the big screen.

I cringe at the scene where my baby girl is attacked by the dog.

I shake away the image of a wreck that throws my son from the car.

It’s not likely those things will happen.

“But what if?” It chuckles.


I’m physically sick now,

My head pounds, a lump grows in my throat and butterflies

do somersaults in my stomach.

No, not butterflies. They are pretty and what I feel

in my stomach is not pretty.

It’s grotesque and rotting.

A pair of scissors hover, threatening

to cut the last strand of my sanity.


He eyes me from across the room with concern on his face.

He’s good to me.

“He’s selfish.”

He takes care of me.

“He takes care of his kids.”

I’m important to him.

“Your opinion never mattered.”

He loves me.

“Who could ever love someone like you?”


It has me now; I can’t shut it up.

I can’t turn it off.

It’s static in my head, crashing waves.

A train speeding down the tracks.

Are you okay, babe? He asks.

It smiles back.

“I’m fine, honey.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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