We never planned on the nightmares.
If we had had a moment to stop and think about it we would have realized that they would be the dark side to our paradise. But we never had that moment.
Now we have our paradise.
During the day we lay on the beach, in our hammock, we tease Linc and watch LJ surf. We share stories of past Christmas, holidays we'll never have again. We're happy-during the day. At night our fears come alive.
After the sun has fallen, after we've finished our dinner, when we've made our way into our tiny room. We glance at the pillows in dread; they hold no rest, only fear.
But it's also when we help each other the most. When he wakes in the middle of the night, screaming, crying against the same terrors I have.
I'm already awake, waiting for this, waiting to take him in my arms. Waiting for him to rest his head on my chest so I can stroke it and try to sooth against his demons.
It helps me in that moment as well. He soon falls asleep on me, his arms wrapped around my body, holding me as close as I can get.
I smile because it's only then when I can sleep, and he knows it.
During the escape we had saved each other from death so many times. Me pulling him to the right as Mr. Kim had aimed to the left, him covering my body with his as we hid from a ray of bullets.
But I think we need each more now.
We never thought it would be so hard. And we tried, we really did.
I got a job at a free clinic just down the road from our loft; Michael was rehired at his old firm. We tired to be happy.
I was the first to fail; I slipped a needle into my lab coat one morning, with no intention of using it to push morphine through my veins…but as a form of protection.
Michael followed suit days after. It happened in the bathroom, I was told, someone came up too quietly behind him, and he threw a punch that knocked the other man out for an hour.
It was soon after we realized it was impossible. We couldn't beat our fears, so we met them half way.
We moved to our paradise and now only have to face our demons in our dreams.
But there's comfort in knowing he's there with me, in knowing that every night he'll reach for me and pull me to him.
To offer me comfort or just to know I'm there.