She was running down the dark corridor, her heart racing, listening for the slightest bit of noise. Turning into a small closet she quietly shut the door and waited. Silence.
Then footsteps. Slow patient footsteps getting closer and closer by the second.
She felt as if her heart was going to beat out of her chest and she was so terrified that she could hardly breathe. Why does this always happen to her? What did she ever do wrong to deserve this?
The footsteps were far too close for her liking and came to a stop just outside the door. She could see the shadows of the legs coming through under the door. They turned toward the door and tried turning the knob. The pounding in her ears made it impossible to hear and it felt as if her heart stopped. This was it.
The door didn't open.
She saw the footsteps turn to walk away and she sunk down to the floor unable to control her emotions. She cradled her head in her hands and prayed to wake up from this nightmare.
Suddenly the door burst open and the silhouette of a man shown in the doorway.
Her heart sunk.
He stepped forward and his face became visible. Short buzz-cut hair on top of a pale gaunt face. Dark sunken circles lay underneath deep black cold merciless eyes staring straight at her. His mouth curved into a menacing smile.
"You can never hide from me, Donna."
Shaking her head she started to cry and mutter under her breath, "No, no, this isn't real. This isn't real. I'm safe. He's dead. He's dead. This is just a nightmare."
"No, this is the beginning. The beginning of our life together forever."
He raised the knife and lunged for her and the all that could be heard was a terrified scream echoing off the empty hallway walls.
Donna woke up screaming, tears rolling down her cheeks. Looking around at her room, she could still see him standing above her, knife in hand, smiling ominously. The nightmare started differently every time but always ended with him standing over her. Every time she woke up screaming. The dreams hadn't gone away since that dreadful night but they had lessened. But that didn't mean that she was any more used to them than before. She was terrified to go to sleep every night, afraid of seeing his face and the faces of the loved ones that he killed. Killed to get to her.
She sat up and waited for her aunt and uncle to come into the room. Her heart was still beating erratically and she tried to make herself calm down. Raising her hand she wiped her forehead, ridding the remaining sweat that had gathered there during her nightmare. She hadn't had a dream in a week and her therapist, Dr. Crowe, said that she was very slowly but surely starting to recover from her trauma. She knew that she would be having these dreams for many years to come but she also knew that with time, a great deal of time, the nightmares would lessen to only a few times a year.
The last 5 months have been hard, dealing with the grief and loss of her loved ones. Not to mention the news and publicity that the murders garnered. All the headlines came rushing back to her. 'Local Prom Teens Slain', 'Prom Night of Terror.' She, her family, and Ronnie had been hounded by the press constantly since the murders. Donna flashed back to that horrible night.
5 months ago, Prom Night
Donna was outside in the front lawn as the Bridgeport police took care of the crime scene. She stood, dried tear stains on her cheeks, holding her arms around her body in an effort to warm herself. She was freezing. She felt so cold. Her Aunt Karen stood behind her holding her close. She couldn't feel her arms around her. She was vaguely aware of what was going on around her.
After the incident in her room Detective Winn led them out of the house to let the police do their job. She had watched as they brought the gurney with his dead body out of the house and loaded it into the ambulance. The man who had stalked her and caused her so much pain and suffering was finally dead. She wouldn't have to live in fear anymore. But she knew that that wasn't true. She would always be afraid. There would be a constant reminder of the horror in her memories and dreams.
Bobby's words to her flooded into her brain and her eyes immediately filled with tears. "There's nothing to be afraid of anymore." She was stupid to believe him. He was dead. Killed not one foot away from her and she didn't hear a thing. Three of her friends are dead. Her mother, father, and little brother all dead by the same man who was obsessed with her. All of this death was her fault. She was the reason for all of the people that she loved being dead.
Ronnie had shown up shortly after they were escorted outside and he told her about Lisa. They cried and held each other for what seemed like forever. They were all that was left of their once great group of friends. He stayed with her for a half hour then left to go home.
Detective Winn walked over toward them and nodded softly. He put his hand on Donna's shoulder and told her that everything was going to be okay now and that he would take care of everything.
"Where are we going to stay for the night?" her uncle Jack asked.
"We can get a room for you at a hotel or if you have somewhere that you think you could stay for a few nights you could go there. You can go gather some of your necessities and we will drop you off there."
Her aunt and uncle rushed into the room and immediately pulled her into their arms. She didn't know what she would do it she didn't have them and Ronnie. They were the only reason that she was hanging on.
"Sweetie, are you okay? Did you have another nightmare? I knew we should have moved after all this."
"No, no, it's okay. I'm fine. I'll be fine. I'm just sorry that I woke you guys up again. You aren't getting any more sleep than I am."
"And that's the way that it should be. We are always here for you no matter what. I don't care if it's at 3 in the morning."
Donna smiled weakly and nodded her head.
"Now try and relax. Try to rest. We have a big day ahead of us today. Are you sure you want to go ahead and start school? They would understand if you needed a little more time."
"Yeah, I'm sure. I'm ready to get back to normal. I know it won't be easy but I need to start sometime." 'And it's what all my friends would want me to do. Enjoy my life as much as I can,' she thought. The thing was she just always figured she'd have all of them to enjoy it with.