Chapter 19 - Dreams

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He walked towards me. I stepped backwards and my back pressed against the wall. He quickly grabbed my wrists and pinned them against the wall. His breath smelled like tobacco.

"I told you not to run," he said,"Now you're gonna regret it."

He leaned in and pressed his body against me. I tried to escape but he was too strong.

I screamed and bolted straight up in bed. My forehead had beads of sweat dripping down it and I felt hot and sticky. Marcus awoke and he sat up next to me.

"N-Nims?" he said sleepily,"Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, I'm just warm," I lied," I'll just go get a drink."

I slipped out of bed and crept into the dark kitchen. The clock on the wall read half six. I sighed. There was no point going back to sleep now. I sat myself on the couch with a glass of water and flicked on the television quietly. Marcus was a deep sleeper anyway so he wouldn't wake.

I felt my eyelids drooping closed and soon I couldn't keep them open.

He was standing in front of me again and this time he had a knife in one hand. I squirmed as he dragged it down my right arm. A sharp pain seared through my body and I yelled. I fell to the ground and my vision went blurry as he kicked me in the stomach, chest, legs, head.

"Niomi!" I heard a voice calling somewhere deep inside my head. "Niomi please wake up!"

Marcus stood over me with his arms on my shoulders. I took one look at his worried, tired face and burst into tears. He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed me tightly. I nestled my head into the crook of his neck and we stayed like that for a while.

He soon let go of me. I wiped the tears off my face. "Do you want to talk about it?" he asked. I shook my head. "No, no I think I'm okay now," I said pulling myself together.

Truth was, I wasn't okay, I just didn't want to burden him even more with my worries. Anyway, it was just a stupid dream.

I glanced at my watch. It was now nine o'clock. "I'll go make us some breakfast," he said kindly.

Marcus made us some chocolate chip pancakes and Zoe and Alfie came over from their room to join us. I didn't mention last nights events to them, not wanting them to worry. We chatted happily for a while after and then decided to go into the city to do some shopping.

Zoe and I caught the train an hour later while Marcus and Alfie left us to go wherever they were going. I thought back to when Alfie had had his accident. This was exactly like it. A felt a jab of fear but then I thought that the boys would be more careful this time, surely.

We shopped for a long time until we decided it was time for lunch. We stopped in at a lovely little café on a side street. It was very cute and modern in there, with bright pictures on the walls and little cacti and plants on the table.

I ordered a salad with sweet potato chips and Zoe ordered a burger with a salad. We sat and ate in the café for an hour and then headed home, our arms full of bags. Marcus texted me telling me he would be home in an hour and a half, that him and Alfie had gone for a drink.

As we left the lift on the top floor, we walked down the hall and then I stopped dead in my tracks. Our door was ajar. My hand reached for the handle and then Zoe slapped it away.

"There could be someone in there," she whispered terrified.

"If there is, I'll knock them out with my bare hands," I said jokingly, trying to be light and funny. I opened the door very slowly. Inside, nothing had been touched. It looked just as we'd left it.

We checked the apartment cautiously and there was nobody or nothing to be seen until I stepped into our bedroom and I saw that the drawers had been yanked open. The wardrobe doors hung open on the hinges and the lamp was thrown on the ground. I put my hand to my mouth. Zoe came in and saw the mess.

Her voice trembled as she spoke.

"This is very bad."

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