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I was running. The adrenaline rush that were cursing through my veins are now wrangled with absolute terror and paranoia. My physiques are constricting and I want to stop but my feet seems to move at its own will. I can sense myself relentlessly looking for someone behind me though I see nothing but tainted darkness.

The fear crept into the innermost nadirs of my core, making me tumble on my feet and fall down. Everything is pitch black and I could sense the obscurities enveloping me—-luring me into their bittersweet promises.

Then, a figure appeared. I burrowed my brows in misperception, straining my neck to get a better assessment of it. Once I see half of his features, I heard a piercing scream. I look around for an escape route, rubbing my throat to ease the burning sensation. I was the one who screamed. With that, I ran and never looked back.

The infuriating sound of the alarm clock bolted me out from my sleep, and I sat up straight—dreadfully panting for air. I can feel my whole body quivering. Grabbing my pills from the nightstand, I drank it and sank back down the bed.

I try to even out my breath, not wanting to close my eyes in fear that I might succumb into my nightmares again. My dream left me confused and drained. It has been a long time since I dreamt of such thing. It has always been the same thing. Me running on a despondent bleak land, and then screaming at the sight of the cryptic figure.

My therapist once said that the cryptic figure denotes an immense part in the dream. Once, it transmuted into my father, which left me trembling for weeks—not even wanting to meet my own father's eyes nor acknowledging his existence.

The more I grew attached to people, the more the figure seems to copy them. I caressed my despicably thrashing heart, evidently afraid of whom I might see next.

"You can do this." I mumble to myself, not liking the fact that my voice feels strange to me. I know I am not apt to do things today but when I look at the time—1100AM, it says—I decided to be productive and got up from my bed.

My phone beeped, a sign that there's a text notification but I ignored it, heading downstairs to let my parents know that I am still alive (but barely breathing). I laughed inwardly, flabbergasted at how I can still manage to crack clichéd jokes when I feel sick to the bones.

"Hey, Sweetie." My mother greeted.

I mumbled a greeting back and took a drink from the milk box.

"Pagkagahig-ulo." Mom reproached. "Haven't I told you and your dad to use a cup whenever you drink the milk?"

Grinning feebly, I sluggishly put the box back in the fridge and blinked at her amiably. I was about to reply when dad went inside the kitchen and took the box of milk out from the fridge and drank it.

I chuckled at the sight of my mother fuming.

"[YDN]!" She barked ferociously. "Shouldn't you be a good example to your child?"

My father winked at me, a roguish smile playing on his lips. "Why, dear? I am showing her the etymological of efficiency: How to drink milk without wasting any time. And also, who would want to wash lots of cup, right?" He gave her a full blown smile, but I can detect the small fear in his eyes. Knowing how my mother can smell fear from a hundred mile radius, I already figured that my father is a dead man.

"'How to drink milk without wasting any time.'" Mom mocked childishly. "Mga tapulan!"

"I'm not lazy." I argued.

"So am I." Dad added.

They continued to banter around as I walk myself towards the kitchen counter. My vision started to blur—the black and white spots dancing in my peripheral vision, whirling and forming intricate waves and arrays. I cussed silently. The side effects of the medicine taking me off-guard.

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