They chased her in her dreams.
Daytime shudders had turned into nightmare demons, larger than life and more menacing than anything she had faced in reality. The monsters were spun out of fear and darkness, with glowing red eyes that flared at her very existence. Nothing could defeat them, certainly not her, and so she ran further and further until she thought she had lost them.
But she never really could lose them. They were, after all, a part of her. Try as she might, she could never run from herself.
Every night, she woke up drenched in ice cold fear that twisted around her spine. But she slowly learned that morning was never too far away. She had truly escaped, and the demons couldn’t scream inside her head once the first rays of sun warmed the still unfamiliar room.
She still wasn’t used to this house. The feeling of safety and love blanketing every inch seemed like a trick, and she was sure that soon the painful reality would come flooding back in again.
But, so far, that hadn’t happened, and she began to notice small changes within herself. The crystalline fire in her gray eyes had rekindled, breathing no longer felt like a burden, and the stars she had once screamed at now twinkled peacefully above her.
She learned the freedom in the mundane, like dancing around the kitchen while making coffee and the surprising bond that formed around the dinner table. She learned to curl her toes in the cool grass and taste the happiness of spring floating in the air and she no longer ran out of fear but simply for the joy of running.
She was still scared, scared beyond measure, because she knew that escape didn’t mean they would never find her. But in those moments, when her life was starting to bloom alongside the spring flowers, she could finally be happy.
And, very slowly, there was hope.